Miami – Christmas swiftly approaches and, as such, signals the closing of another year. As we enter this special time, we cannot help but reflect upon the year immediately gone by and, in so doing, recognize that West Indians across the southern United States and in the Caribbean, experienced their share of joys and sorrows.

All Caribbeans celebrated Asafa Powell’s record breaking 9.77 second, one hundred metre sprint in Athens and Trinidad & Tobago’s successful qualifying match for the 2006 Soccer World Cup.

As well, we celebrated the inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice as yet another significant step taken by our region to solidify institutional integration.

Regrettably we also suffered the loss Dame Eugenia Charles, former Prime Minister of Dominica. However, Caribbeans can take solace in the fact that Prime Minister Charles stood as a symbol of the indomitable strength and vision which so many of our women possess.

Let us be encouraged, too, in recalling the reason for the season. Christmas represents the gift of hope and redemption given to us by God through the birth of His son, Jesus Christ. Let us be inspired by this message of love to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves in both the overseas Caribbean community and the region of our origin. But, beyond this, let us also accept that we have a responsibility to help our respective nations of birth in the Caribbean to overcome the challenges they have in education, health, public safety, and so on, by rendering support to the schools, hospitals and clinics, police forces and other agencies in need of the expertise so many of their overseas nationals have. Let us embrace the truism that positive change in this world begins with each of us.

On behalf of the Caricom Consular Corps of Miami, as you recognise this holy period, I am honoured to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God bless you and God bless the Caribbean.

C.P. Ricardo Allicock
Consul General of Jamaica
Chairman, Caricom Consular Corps of Miami

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