Remarks by Ambassador Jeff Daigle
NEC Land Dedication Ceremony
July 4, 2021
(as prepared for delivery)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Rui Figueiredo Soares;
Mayor of Praia Dr. Francisco Carvalho;
Mr. Vice Prime Minister, Ministers, and Cabinet Members;
National Assembly leaders;
Distinguished guests and dear friends;
Good morning to you all!
It is an honor and a privilege to welcome you to the site of the future home of the Embassy of the United States of America in Cabo Verde.
On behalf of the U.S. government, I want to thank you for gathering today to commemorate the dedication of this land for the new embassy compound, which represents a $439 million investment by my government in the U.S.-Cabo Verde bilateral relationship.
I also wish to express my appreciation to all of you here this morning who helped make this momentous step forward possible, whether by negotiating transfer of the land, preparing the deeds, coordinating the signings, planning today’s ceremony, or helping to ensure that our new embassy serves as a model of sustainability.
There is still much work to be done to make the embassy a reality, so I humbly thank you in advance for your continued support and assistance with this process in the months and years ahead.
I can also assure you that the benefits of the new embassy will be well worth our time and efforts. Construction of the embassy alone will pump more than $100 million dollars into the Cabo Verdean economy. It will create new jobs, both during the building phase and when we open the new facility. We will work with local contractors and share with them the latest innovative construction practices. Our new embassy will feature sustainable design elements and construction materials as well as renewable-energy and water-conservation technology. In addition, the new embassy will celebrate both American and Cabo Verdean art and pay tribute to our long-enduring ties.
The end result will be a larger, more comfortable, more inviting, and more accessible space for embassy visitors, including visa applicants and students exploring U.S. education opportunities.
However, this is only the beginning. A larger embassy with more resources and more personnel will enable us to deepen and broaden our bilateral relationship across the entire range of partnerships, including growing two-way commercial ties, expanding educational and professional exchanges, and strengthening security and law enforcement cooperation.
From this enhanced platform, we look forward to continuing to support Cabo Verde’s goals to serve as a regional digital hub, transition to the use of clean and renewable energy, and realize the full benefits of its maritime economy.
Of course, making a swift recovery from the current global pandemic is key to achieving these goals, so I am very pleased that President Biden’s recent announcement that Cabo Verde will receive a bilateral donation of vaccines from the United States will support the government’s already outstanding efforts to vaccinate the Cabo Verdean people as quickly as possible.
Given the long history of close ties between our two nations, it is fitting that today’s ceremony is taking place on July 4, which is both U.S. Independence Day and one day before Cabo Verde celebrates its own independence on July 5. Just as our two countries’ national days stand side by side on the calendar, the United States and Cabo Verde have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than 200 years. It is upon our bedrock of shared values –- an enduring commitment to democracy, rule of law, good governance, and respect for human rights – that the U.S.-Cabo Verde partnership has flourished and will continue to grow and thrive well into the future.
Once again, thank you very much for attending today and for your continued support for the new embassy and the unshakeable U.S.-Cabo Verde friendship.