CARICOM SG mourns quiet, unpretentious, Caribbean statesman and Haitian patriot

Former President of Haiti Rene Preval (Photo via Miami Herald)
Former President of Haiti Rene Preval (Photo via Miami Herald)

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Wednesday paid tribute to former President of Haiti, His Excellency René Préval, who died suddenly in his homeland last week.

In a message of condolence, the Secretary-General described the former two-term Haitian President as astute, a consummate politician, quiet, unpretentious Caribbean statesman and Haitian patriot who never lost his common touch. With reference to his role in the Community, President Préval met CARICOM Heads of Government during his first term in office, and initiated the process which led  to Haiti’s membership of CARICOM, the Secretary-General recalled. Ambassador LaRocque said that President Prévalwill 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.”

Please see the full message below:

On behalf of the Caribbean Community, I express sincere condolences to the family, Government and People of Haiti on the passing of His Excellency Mr. René Préval, former President of the Republic of Haiti.

 An astute and consummate politician, President Préval had a long record of public service as Minister, Prime Minister, two-term President and political party leader.  His 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.

President Préval shall 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.