Caribbean felt a profound sense of loss with Mandela's passing: CARICOMListen /
As prepared as we were for the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela , the profound sense of loss felt by the peoples of the Caribbean region was doubtlessly felt in all regions of the world, the Permanent Representative of St. Lucia Ambassador Menissa Rambally told a special meeting of the UN General Assembly dedicated to Mr. Mandela's life.
Speaking o behalf of CARICOM – the Caribbean Community, Ms. Rambally said Mandela's stature, quiet dignity, and steadfastness amidst sustained repression stood as a source of great strength for those who oppose such violation of human dignity characterized by the apartheid system against which he fought so long, and against which he ultimately succeeded.
“ Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter who was in prison for some twenty-seven years for his efforts to bring freedom and equality to South Africa. He was certainly one of the premier human rights defenders of our time. The Caribbean region was consistent in its support for the struggle in which Mandela and his comrades waged against formidable odds. The Caribbean Community joined in the global efforts to bring an end to apartheid. It was, therefore, with overwhelming satisfaction that we witnessed the release of Nelson Mandela from incarceration, we take pride in knowing that the efforts of the international community played a significant role in the demise of apartheid and the beginning of the creation of democratic governance in South Africa.”
Ambassador Rambally recalled that then- President Nelson Mandela honoured CARICOM countries with his presence at the Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community held in Saint Lucia in 1998 where he expressed his appreciation to CARICOM for its support during the struggle against apartheid which he stated was “one of the greatest crimes against humanity.”
This is Donn Bobb, reporting.