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Untitled-1From former campaign operative to U.S. ambassador to South Africa the son of Haitian immigrants has indeed come a long way. President Obama on Thursday confirmed New Yorker, Patrick Gaspard, the son of Haitian parents, will become the new ambassador of the United States to South Africa.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes praised Gaspard as “somebody who is close to the President (and) somebody who cares deeply about South Africa.” In a brief email to the Daily News, Gaspard said he is “ecstatic and deeply humbled” at being chosen by Obama.

It’s fast approaching the time of year again when the people of the island of Jamaica celebrate that nation’s Independence. And (not to be left out) the Diaspora will join in that celebration. As such, the splendor of the colors, music, vibes and fabulous folk of the island will be on full display in the Ballroom of the New York Hilton Hotel on Saturday August 17, when the Jamaica Independence Celebration Foundation Inc (JICFI) of New York presents the annual Anniversary Independence Ball. 

Coming off a record setting 50th Anniversary of Independence Ball where Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Portia Simpson-Miller, ON, was the guest speaker, the stage is set for a marvelous 51st. The theme is “Celebrating Jamaica,” and is under the patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica to New York, Herman G. LaMont. Special guest will be His Excellency, Professor Stephen C. Vasciannie, Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States of America. The Grand Marshall of the event is Mr. Sam Wright of Quality Auto Mall and Ford Credit.

portiaPrime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that engagement of the Government with Jamaicans overseas is central to the country’s advancement. She said that the Government has embarked on an aggressive growth and development strategy to spur investments, create jobs, boost business, and enable a better quality of life for all Jamaicans and the Diaspora is integral to the process.

“We take the position that Jamaica’s growth and prosperity agenda is incomplete without the committed engagement and active participation of the Diaspora. We are resolutely committed to implementing the policies and programmes necessary to facilitate increased levels of inclusiveness and involvement to make Jamaica -Diaspora investments, business and philanthropic activities seamless and successful,” the Prime Minister stated.

Legislation aimed at helping illegal Caribbean nationals remain in the United States legally, may have hit a roadblock even as the U.S. Congress is making progress in overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

With just weeks before the current session of the New York Legislature comes to an end, the bill that would provide financial assistance to illegal Caribbean and other immigrants stalled late last month. Critics say the New York State Dream Act, that was overwhelmingly approved in the Democratic-dominated Assembly, stands a slim chance of passage in the Senate, where Republicans share control in a coalition with breakaway Democrats.

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