Above: Nelson Mandela
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Governments across the Caribbean regionhave expressed their condolences following the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Here are some of their words:
“The people of Jamaica consider Nelson Mandela to be an honorary citizen of Jamaica. We are grateful that he chose to visit our Island in July 1991. The love and respect of the people of Jamaica for his lifelong struggle for freedom, dignity and justice are as strong now as they were on that historic visit to our shores. We grieve together with the people of South Africa and the family of the late President the loss of this giant of our times and this man for all times.”
— Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica
“The entire human race has lost one of the finest mortal beings who ever walked this planet. Nelson Mandela overcame the tyranny of racial oppression to become an apostle for a world where people, irrespective of colour or creed, could dwell together in peace and harmony. He has finally departed our earthly realm, but his memory will endure throughout the ages. We who were privileged to have known Madiba must ensure that his legacy will continue forever to inspire men and women who strive to spread freedom, justice and peace in our single universe.”
— PJ Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica
“For most leaders across the region, including myself, Nelson Mandela’s life has inspired us to lead lives of service to our people. In his first speech immediately after getting out of prison, he also said, ‘I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.’ Those words mean a great deal to me in my everyday work for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. In my estimation, Nelson Mandela’s greatest and most notable achievement was his ability to unite a deeply divided country, a skill which all politicians of today greatly yearn for.”
— Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
“He will forever be remembered as a man who fought for freedom and won it for millions around the world. The legacy he has left us is one we shall always celebrate and we shall always thank God for.”
— Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago
“The struggle he led with other distinguished anti-apartheid fighters has entered into the annals of world history as one of the most defining periods in our world. However, it was not only the struggle, but the manner in which it was conducted which will always remain an example and an inspiration for others working for social and economic justice everywhere”.
— Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana
“Mandela is not only the father of Democracy in South Africa, he is the symbol of democracy. And like any symbol, he is not dead. He is present in all of us and guides us by his lifestyle, his courage and faith in the true struggle for gender, racial and national equality.”
— Michel Martelly, President of Haiti