A Time To Be Thankful

November in the United States is a month to be thankful for what we have and what we have achieved, to remember our veterans from the many wars, and every four years to express our opinions by voting for the president of our United States.  All of these occasions allow us to think about where we have been individually and as a nation and where we wish to go.  The United States’ fundamental values are expressed in our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Since our Independence, we continue to strive to form a more perfect union and to honor those who have served for these values in our armed forces.

Now that the U.S. has completed its 58th election, we are preparing for our 45th president and the 26th change of the political party of our president, the United States has held true to these core values of the democratic process.  As we have seen in the last week, the United States’ democracy is continuing to grow and serve the people of the United States.  As President Obama said recently at a Press conference with the visiting Prime Minister of Italy,

One of the great things about America’s democracy is we have a vigorous, sometimes bitter, political contest.  And when it’s done, historically, regardless of party, the person who loses the election congratulates the winner, reaffirms our democracy, and we move forward.  That’s how democracy survives, because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign — and that is making sure that the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself.  Because democracy, by definition, works by consent, not by force.

This opinion about how democracy works in the United States is truly core to the American way of life.  During the Civil War, then Secretary of State Seward wrote the following to our Ambassador in the United Kingdom:

In this country, especially, it is a habit not only entirely consistent with the Constitution, but even essential to its stability, to regard the administration at any time existing as distinct and separable from the government itself, and to canvass the proceedings of the one without the thought of disloyalty to the other.

With these thoughts in mind, I want to remind everyone that we will continue to move ahead both during the transition period and after the new administration comes into office with the collaboration we have around the world, pushing every aspect of our foreign policy forward.  The pace of events across the globe does not allow us time to pause our actions.  In Equatorial Guinea, this means that we will continue to be concerned with the democratic space in country, the economic diversity possibilities for investors in the country, the economic, health, and educational opportunities for all of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, and the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens and companies in the country.  Ensuring that the government respects the rule of law in the implementation of programs involving those U.S. citizens and companies will continue to be among our high priorities.  We are firmly committed to working with the entire Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to achieve goals such as improving the protection of victims of trafficking in persons, prevention of such abuses, and prosecution of the perpetrators of those abuses. We will need your support, and the support of the entire Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to achieve all of these goals.