United States Ambassador Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat on Sunday said a democracy can only achieve its full potential with ample and safe space for free expression, opposition voices and political dialogue.
"Freedom of expression and dissent are critical contributors to a vital democratic process," she said while addressing a function at the Liberation War Museum in the capital.
The US envoy presented an authenticated copy of the 'Blood Telegram' with the seal of the US State Department to the Liberation War Museum at the simple function.
Former Consul General Archer K Blood and the co-signers of his telegram embodied the importance of dissent and its role in sustaining an operational democracy.
Bernicat said this document is yet another measure of America's longstanding relationship with Bangladesh and of their shared democratic values.
The Liberation War Museum, a historically and culturally important place to visit, both for Bangladesh citizens and for foreign visitors to Bangladesh, she mentioned.
Washington continued to support the brutal Pakistani military junta as it massacred tens of thousands to suppress the Bengali uprising in 1971.
The then US Consul General in Dhaka Archer Kent Blood raised a stink over Pakistani brutalities in a failed attempt to influence the Nixon-Kissinger policy on East Pakistan.
Those messages known as 'Blood Telegram' were seen as one of the most strongly-worded dissenting messages in the history of the US foreign service. At least 25 Americans had signed the Blood Telegram at that time.
Bernicat said Consul General Blood and those who signed his despatches "embodied the importance of dissent and its role in sustaining an operational democracy."
Archer Kent Blood was recalled couple of months into the Liberation War as his bosses in Washington found his pitch against the genocide unacceptable.
She said this gift is an authenticated copy of the famous 1971 telegram signed by 29 Foreign Service Officers who raised their dissenting voices against the prevailing US policy towards Bangladesh.
Chris Elms, one of our Desk Officers, was so inspired by his recent visit to the Museum that he worked with the National Archives to obtain this official copy.
This telegram is an important legacy for every Foreign Service Officer. Archer Blood paid a price for his dissent, though he finished his career honourably.