The United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016

Washington, DC, Thursday December 15, 2016 - H.R. 4939: United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016 was passed by Congress on Tuesday December 13, 2016.  President Barack Obama is now expected to sign the bill into law.  The key sponsor of the bill, which was introduced in the House of Representatives on April 4, 201 by Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.   “At a time when our friends in the Caribbean need us more than ever, this bill will prioritize our partnership with the subregion for many years to come. It is long past time to have a multi-year strategy that will allow us to increase engagement with the Caribbean, especially when it comes to energy and security. The countries of the Caribbean are profoundly important to the United States, and particularly to the many Caribbean-American citizens in our country. I look forward to working with the Caribbean-American diaspora to ensure that they can provide input to the State Department and USAID on U.S. relations with the Caribbean in the years ahead. With constant crises around the globe that demand U.S. attention, we must not lose sight of our long-term interests close to home,” said Rep. Engel.

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Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas  - Policy UpdatesThe Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas (CAHFT) formally recommends that the seventeen Caribbean United Nations Ambassadors request a meeting with the President-Elect after the November 8, 2016 General Election and before Inauguration Day, Friday January 20, 2016.  This recommendation comes after the successful passages of H.R.4939 - United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016.  The bill declares, “that it is U.S. policy to increase engagement with the governments of the Caribbean region, the Caribbean Diaspora community in the United States, and the private sector and civil society in both the United States and the Caribbean.”  The Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq, Interim Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University has graciously agreed to work with CAHFT and the Caribbean Diaspora with our outreach the Ambassadors. 


There has been a gradual push to strengthening U.S. ties to the Caribbean from President Barack Obama’s administration in recent years.  The President visited Jamaica on Wednesday evening, April 8, 2015 met with a group of CARICOM Prime Ministers for what was billed as a Caribbean Community (CARICOM)-US Summit.  This was the first visit of a sitting president to Jamaica in thirty-three years.  President Ronald Reagan came to the island nation in 1982.  Vice President Biden Visited Trinidad and Tobago on May 29, 2013.  During his visit the Vice President remarked, “I'm here because President Obama wanted me to have an opportunity to dialogue with all of you and because our country is deeply invested and wants to become more deeply invested in a partnership with all the nations of the Caribbean.” 


The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas continues to advocate for and support solid public policy that seek to strengthen ties between the United States, the Caribbean and the large Diaspora in the country.  H.R. 4939 is now in the Senate and will potentially have a hearing once Congress reconvenes after the November 8, 2016 General Elections.  We will continue to provide policy updates and advise you on the progress on the recommended meeting between our Ambassadors and the President-Elect. 


Very Best Regards,

Hon. Peter Lyn René, MPP

Chairman & CEO

The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas



Caribbean American Heritage Foundation, in our efforts to continue to keep our community informed, launched CAHFT TV with our channel on YouTube.  We provide in depth interviews with member of the Caribbean Community who continue to make positive contributions to  society;  we will also provide live coverage of social and entertainment events.

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