Co-naming of Liberty Avenue gives Guyana and Guyanese recognition

-Diaspora key to Guyana’s development
-Foreign Secretary

Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York was co-named ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ at a simple, but significant ceremony on Saturday.

Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Robert Persaud, said the event gives recognition not only to Guyana, but to the contributions US citizens of Guyanese descent have made to transform the area from a depressed community into a thriving commercial and residential area.

Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Robert Persaud delivers his address at the naming ceremony

The Foreign Secretary was at the time delivering his remarks at the unveiling ceremony, which was held at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard. He was accompanied by Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Hon. Kwame McCoy.

“Today we stand here to mark this historic occasion because of the many contributions, sacrifices and accomplishments you and your forefathers would have made to this community over the years,” he said.

Mr. Persaud said the naming is something US-based Guyanese have advocated for over several decades. Some 60 per cent of Guyanese living in the US reside in Queens. He said the transformation of the area was heavily based on the hub of flourishing Guyanese businesses.

“I want to take this opportunity to recognise the contributions of the Guyanese owned businesses here in Little Guyana that continue to not only significantly promote our rich Guyanese culture, but also serve the Guyanese communities here in New York City.”

Mr. Persaud highlighted some of the Guyanese businesses that contributed to the development of the area. Those are Sybil’s, Guyana Choice Fish & Meat Market, Little Guyana Bake Shop, Bakewell Bakery & Restaurant, Hibiscus Restaurant & Bar, Dave West Indian Imports, King Solomon Shipping, the Law Offices of Kawal Totaram and NMCRA Connectors Realty.

With that, the Foreign Secretary said the Guyana Government is keen to make the diaspora a key feature in national development priorities. Accordingly, the Government recently held its inaugural Virtual Diaspora Conference in keeping with President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s plan for diaspora engagement in Guyana’s development. The forum attracted over 1000 participants.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Hon. Kwame McCoy, second from left, along with US Congressman Mr. Gregory Meeks and Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Robert Persaud

Mr. Persaud, in affirming Guyana’s commitment to engaging the diaspora said the Government has “already reinstated the Diaspora Unit at the Ministry and is finalising a framework for our overseas Missions and Consular posts to ensure that all Guyanese around the world are well engaged and adequately served. 

It is our intention for each and every Guyanese, whether residing in Guyana or overseas, to have the opportunity to benefit as the country gears up to embark on a new development pathway. We want you to be an integral part of our great nation’s transformation.”

Mayor of New York, Mr. Bill de Blasio, US Congressman Mr. Gregory Meeks along with several State and City leaders and representatives from the Guyanese community also attended the ceremony.

The co-naming was made possible after New York City Council and Council Member, Ms. Adrienne Adams voted to approve the co-naming legislation in December 2020.

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