By Ajong Mbapndah L
It is all about service to my country says Carlos Veiga Ambassador of the Republic of Cape Verde to the USA. In Office for some six months now, Veiga arrived Washington in the twilight of the Obama Administration and ended up been sworn in by President Donald Trump.
With a unique profile, his appointment as Ambassador to Washington, DC, was perplexing to many. A well-respected Lawyer, with stints as Attorney General, President of the ruling party, and Prime Minister for two terms, serving as Ambassador was not something Veiga was looking forward to. With a very close finish in two Presidential runs including one (2001) where he lost by seventeen votes, many thought that Carlos Veiga was done with public office, but then a call came from President Carlos Fonseca for him to be the country’s envoy to Washington, DC, and he accepted the challenge.
What may be seen by some people as a demotion was seen by Carlos Veiga as a choice to continue serving his country as he had done with brio over the years. My appointment and presence in Washington is a symbol of the importance that Cape Verde attaches to its close ties with the USA, said Veiga in a recent interview at his Massachusetts Ave Office in Washington, DC. Cape Verde is considered as a strong ally of the USA with strong partnership on maritime issues, and fighting drug trafficking, Ambassador Veiga said, as he looked forward to deepening the relations.
With a strong diaspora presence, Ambassador Veiga equally a large community of Cape Verdeans to look out for. The U.S hosts about 500,000 people from Cape Verde mostly around New England. Veiga said he was excited about opportunities to interact with compatriots in the diaspora who were the nemesis in his past Presidential runs.
Cape Verde is a very stable country with a solid record in democratic values and principles, Ambassador Veiga said. The country has not known military coups and political transitions have been peaceful, said Veiga as he gave credit to Cape Verdeans for the choice to live and move forward together as a people.
While Cape Verde may not be as resource rich as other African countries, prudent management, and good governance have placed the country firmly on the part of development. There are opportunities to invest in maritime services, new technologies, and financial services, Ambassador Veiga said in making a pitch to US and other potential foreign investors. Cape Verde has one of the most friendly investment climates anywhere in the continent, Veiga continued.
Cited recently for the fifth straight time as one of the world’s “Ten Best Ethical Destinations,” by Ethical Traveler, tourists are guaranteed a most agreeable and fun-filled stay in Cape Verde, said, Carlos Veiga. From the quick visa procedures, to the friendliness of the people, and the unique beauty of the islands and historic sites, Cape Verde should be the country to visit, Carlos Veiga enthused.
Responding to a question about President Carlos Fonseca serving his second and last term, Ambassador Veiga described him as a friend who did great work in the past on the constitution. President Fonseca has made immense contributions on the democratic strides that Cape Verde continues to make, Ambassador Veiga said.
With two unsuccessful presidential bids in the past, Ambassador Veiga was coy about his political future.You never say never in politics, he said, but was quick to point out that the presidency was never a do or die affair for him, but rather a desire to offer the country better leadership at a critical point in its history. The elections are still several years away, and right now, I have been assigned with serious duties to represent my country in Washington, and it is an assignment I have to discharge to the best of my abilities, Ambassador Veiga said.