The United States has always been a friend of Dominica and we will not abandon you in your time of greatest need. We stand in solidarity with you during this time of loss and tragedy.
However, I want to take this moment to express how personally heartbroken I am as I watch the news and hear the reports of the devastation. I vividly remember interacting with student leaders at the North East Comprehensive High School where I had a firsthand look at the contributions being made to alleviate poverty while addressing children’s issues. In those moments I saw the dynamism, openness, and potential that is at the heart of every Dominican.
The path of destruction left in the wake Hurricane Maria, clearly demonstrates our interconnectedness and why The United States places so much value on our partnership with Dominica. For decades, we have had our Peace Corps Volunteers in Dominica working hand in hand with local partners for the betterment of society. The warmth and hospitality with which Dominicans welcome our Volunteers leaves an indelible mark on their lives and I am certain that the Volunteers, both past and present, also feel a profound sense of grief.
On one of my many trips to Dominica, I visited the northeast part of the island where I met the Kalinago people. Having survived on Dominica for centuries –through conquests, disease, and disasters, the Kalinago epitomize the resilience and unrelenting spirit of the Dominican people. This spirit of resilience is interwoven into the fabric of your society. These qualities will be called upon and challenged as the recovery commences, but make no mistake; Dominica will recuperate.
I cannot tell you that this will be an easy or quick process. However, know that you have a friend in me and in the people of the United States. We will mourn with you and when the time comes– we will rebuild with you.
Linda S. Taglialatela
U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS