September 25, 2020

Caricom pays tribute to former Haitian leader


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From Jamaica Observer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The (Caricom) yesterday paid tribute to the former, René Préval, who died last week of a stroke. He was 74.

In a condolence message, Caricom Secretary-General Irwin described Préval, whose body now lies in state ahead of the official State funeral today, as “an astute and consummate politician” whose “skill was amply demonstrated by the fact that he is the only Haitian President to serve fully his elected term of office on both occasions”.

“This ‘quiet, unpretentious’ Caribbean statesman and Haitian patriot never lost his common touch as he pursued the overall development of his country and his interest in the rural areas. As president, he played a critical role in promoting stability, development, democracy and the rule of law following trying periods of political turbulence and the upheavals of natural and man-made disasters.

“Conscious of the importance of integrating Haiti more deeply into the Caribbean family, in his first term he met with Caricom Heads of Government and initiated the process which led Haiti along the path to membership of the Caribbean Community.”

La Rocque said that Préval would be remembered by all who knew him and those who worked closely with him “as a fair and kind man, who respected the rule of law and understood the importance of executing the highest standard of democracy for the benefit of securing a stable and advanced Haitian society”.

In Haiti, the Chamber of Deputies noted that Préval’s “qualities of moderation, humility, sense of dialogue with the other powers and especially that of the measure at the helm of the State have earned him two mandates to the Presidency of the Republic”.

President Jovenel Moise and his wife will lead the mourners at today’s funeral to be held at the Kiosque Occide Jeanty on the Champs de mars that will be followed by a civil ceremony, after which the body will be transported by convoy to Marmelade, a commune and former duchy in the Artibonite department of Haiti, where the last prayer will be delivered by the parish priest Reverend Father Evans André Delavar.

Preval will be buried in that commune afterwards, according to the official statement released by the authorities for the funeral.

IMAGE: Rene Preval

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