Remarks – Consular Appreciation Reception

Good evening.  Protocol having been established, it is a pleasure to welcome all of you this evening.  I would like to take a minute to say a few words about why we have invited each of you here tonight.

The primary mission of U.S. embassies around the world is to promote the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens.  We also are here to facilitate the legitimate travel of people from other countries to the United States, and to represent the best of America by providing prompt, courteous, and professional service to all of our customers.

With over six million U.S. visitors to The Bahamas each year and visa applicants from over 100 different countries, the Embassy dedicates significant resources to consular operations.

I am very proud of the work our Consular Section does each day.  They are the public face of American diplomacy and strive to provide a high level of service to all our customers, from Americans citizens to Bahamian visa applicants.  We would not be able to provide this kind of service without our consular section’s hard work and professionalism, including overnight, on weekends, and during the busiest holiday seasons.  I cannot thank you enough.

These consular services also depend directly on the assistance of key partners.  Our efforts would not be successful without the support of all of you here tonight.  Without your assistance, we could not help sick and injured Americans receive urgent medical care and return home safely.  We could not assist victims of crime so that they are safe and able to seek justice.  We could not efficiently adjudicate visas and help facilitate the travel of Bahamians to the United States.

We remain grateful for your partnership and assistance in these important missions.  I want to thank you for all of your efforts and for your excellent cooperation with the U.S. Embassy.

In this regard, we wish to make two special recognitions tonight.

First, we would like to recognize Vladimir Lindor, representing the Carnival CareTeam, for the work the Team does to care for American tourists who encounter emergencies in the Bahamas.  Mr. Lindor, could you please come forward?

Carnival’s CareTeam regularly goes the extra mile to make sure that passengers aboard Carnival Cruises are cared for when they encounter medical, legal, and family emergencies. However, the CareTeam’s work also goes beyond helping Carnival passengers.  You all will remember the plane crash off New Providence Island in December of last year.  Carnival CareTeam welcomed U.S. survivors from that crash aboard a Carnival Cruise departing Nassau that same day; as a result, the Americans were able to return home to the United States without having to board another aircraft.

Carnival also shares information on emergency preparedness plans and practices with our embassy staff, improving our ability to work together in case of a major crisis.  There are many more examples of the Carnival CareTeam’s assistance, but the result is that their hard work this year has helped the consular section provide assistance to many American Citizens in distress.

On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I would like to present to Mr. Vladimir Lindor this Certificate of Appreciation for Carnival’s CareTeam.

I would like to present our second certificate of appreciation this year to Ms. Vivette Moss, a Supervisor of Data Management at The Bahamas Registrar General Department.  Ms. Moss, could you please come forward?

Ms. Moss provides regular assistance to the Consular Section’s Fraud Prevention operations.  Her verification of biographical information assists us in detecting and preventing identity fraud and helps us to ensure the integrity of the visa application process, while making it easier for legitimate travelers to go to the United States.  Ms. Moss exemplifies how cooperation between our two governments benefits both our countries.

On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I would like to present this Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Vivette Moss.

Thank you all for your tremendous support and assistance to the U.S. Embassy.  We are very grateful.

Thank you again for joining us, and please enjoy the rest of your evening.