I have today transmitted a letter of congratulations to President-elect Senator Barack Obama of the United States on his historic victory at the polls yesterday. The Government and people of The Bahamas join with millions around the world in extending congratulations and best wishes to the new American administration.

The success of Senator Obama’s extraordinary campaign will go a long way in shattering racial stereotypes in America. It is a quintessential American story of victory over tremendous odds.

This has not been a victory just for Senator Obama, Vice President-elect Senator Joseph Biden and the Democratic Party. It is truly a victory for America which yesterday demonstrated to the world that, notwithstanding its history of slavery and discrimination, it has peacefully moved beyond race in selecting its President. This will strengthen the special place that America holds in the minds and hearts of freedom-loving people everywhere.

The Bahamas has enjoyed a special, warm and close relationship with successive U.S. administrations. Our national interests are closely intertwined with those of the United States of America, our nearest neighbour and chief trading partner. And so we look forward to a continuation of this special relationship that has long existed between our two countries.