Prime Minister’s Independence 39 Address – September 19, 2022

I greet you with love, peace and a renewed sense of purpose  and hope for our beautiful nation of St. Kitts and Nevis on the  39th Anniversary of Independence. 

When our national flag was raised on September 19th, 1983,  so too were the hopes and dreams of our people. 

We are a proud people, a hopeful people – led by our  forefathers and foremothers from British colonial rule to our  own dream of freedom and self-sufficiency.  

Each Independence season, it seems only right that we ask:  “Are we truly independent? Are our people free?” The debates  are robust and lively in our barbershops, village bars and shops  and even in our homes among friends and relatives.  

While the answers will vary – I believe we can all agree that  our Federation has come quite far since that day 39 years ago 

Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

when we first uttered the words of our anthem: “Thy children  stand free on the strength of will and love.” 

It is our will and our love of nation that has brought us this far.  We are a people who are always stretching for better. We  have the power of our ancestors, the many unsung, known  and unknown heroes who we celebrated just this past  weekend on National Heroes Day. 

Our political independence was just the first step. Over the  years, we have also built the foundation of our own social,  economic, and cultural freedoms. I will confess, we are not  totally free yet – as a small island nation, we depend on many  partners, internationally and regionally.  

But we are on a path of continuous improvement for our  people and our country. And as your Fourth Prime Minister of  this land – of which I am very proud to be a citizen – I am  honoured to lead our country along this path.  

Our nation is much closer to true independence than not.  -1-

Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

As we approach 40 years as an independent nation in 2023,  we also set our eyes on transitioning into a republic. We trod  on towards that goal. That goal of self-determination and self actualisation where we truly encapsulate our sovereignty.  

That is why each time I get the opportunity to speak to our  nation’s young people, I challenge them to be innovative, to  be creative and to envision a better St. Kitts and Nevis and use  their immense skills to help get us there. 

Such was the call to action made by Kittitian and world renowned photographer, Professor Tau Battice during the  2022 Prime Minister’s Lecture on September 14th. He  encouraged all of us to tap into our visual and creative  faculties, as we envision where we would like to see St. Kitts  and Nevis in the future. Thank you Professor Battice for  challenging us to do better and be better. 

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Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

My goal is to harness the immense power and unbridled  talents of all our people to help fuel this rocket ship, we call  Liamuiga and Oualie, into the stratosphere of prosperity and  excellence. 

Your government is now just a month old and we have been  working extremely hard to fulfil the pledges and the covenant  we have made with you: 

  • All COVID-19 related health and travel protocols have  been removed 
  • A new, modern MRI has been ordered for the JNF General  Hospital 
  • Our Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College is now free for our  students 
  • Financial assistance has been enhanced for our critically  ill children who need overseas medical attention ● Persons wrongfully dismissed for not taking a COVID-19  vaccine have been compensated 
  • Our COVID-19 frontline workers will soon receive an  honorarium for their selfless work during the pandemic 

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Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

  • Economic costs supported has been reinstated for all  disciplines being pursued by our students at the  University of the West Indies 
  • Women and youth have been appointed to critical  ministerial and ambassadorial positions 
  • And for the first time in our nation’s history, we have  three women in our Federal Cabinet of ministers 

Your government is working! And we will continue to work  tirelessly on your behalf.  

We continue to ask for your support and your patience as we  carry out this work. Yes, there will be missteps but I assure you  and reassure you that any mistakes made will not be because  of ill-intent but rather because of our fervent desire to make  our country better. 

I must pause here and recognise the passing of Her Majesty  Queen Elizabeth The Second who will be laid to rest today in  England.  

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Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

Her 70-year reign was marked by resilience and piety and we  offer prayers and comfort to her family and all who mourn at  this time. 

As we commemorate our 39th Independence, we have to give  thanks for God’s mercy over the years and more recently as  our nation was spared the full brunt of Tropical Storm Fiona. I  thank sincerely all the members of our National Emergency  Operations Centre and our disaster response teams for  keeping us safe and informed. 

My fellow citizens and residents, the state of our St. Kitts and  Nevis is stable and hopeful. I know this because throughout  every corner of these great islands that I visit, our people are  reenergized to work and build our economy … our people stop  me and express how excited they are about our future.  

This gives me hope that your government is on the right path  and I continue to ask you to support us and help keep us on  that path. 

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Contact: (869)467-1846 presssec@gov.kn www.sknis.com 

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis  Government Headquarters  

Church Street, P.O. Box 186, Basseterre, St. Kitts  Telephone: (869)465-2521 

Your country can be no greater than yourselves. It is not God  that makes the cities and towns. God gives you the land, but  you build the cities. Your St. Kitts [and Nevis] will be no  greater than your mindset.” These were the words of The  Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey when he spoke to our  people in November 1937 at the Mutual Improvement Society  Hall, the remnants of which still stand in Lower Market Street,  Basseterre today. Brother Marcus Garvey was right then and  his words are quite appropriate even now.  

I encourage us all to have that collective mindset to build our  country, to mould and empower our youth, to protect and  empower our women, to truly live out the philosophy of  Country Above Self. Indeed, as our Independence 39 theme  states, we must all collectively “refocus, recreate and  redesign.” When we do that, when we realize that St. Kitts and  Nevis can be no greater than ourselves, then we will be able  to answer that question and say “YES, we are independent!” 

Thank you and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY once again. May  God continue to bless you all and may God continue to bless  our Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. 

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