Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has expressed condolences at the passing of former Trinidad and Tobago President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson, calling him the “Caribbean’s elder political statesman”.
Robinson, who had been ailing for several months, according to the Trinidad Express, passed away at the St. Clair Medical Centre around 6 a.m. He was 87.
The following is a statement issued by the prime minister on the passing of Robinson:
“If, as Alger said, ‘true statesmanship is the art of changing a nation from what it is into what it ought to be,’ then no one can deny H. E. Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson S.C, OCC, TC, the accolade of statesman.
“It is with great sorrow that I have learnt of the passing of the Caribbean’s elder political statesman, former President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, H. E. Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson. His was a tireless journey in the pursuit of justice and equality for all. In that regard, he was among the strongest advocates for the formation of the International Court of Justice, a role for which he was given due recognition, internationally.
“Saint Lucia had the honour, in July 1998, of hosting the Caribbean Community’s 25th Heads of Government Meeting at which His Excellency was conferred the region’s highest award, the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC), this in recognition of his sterling contribution to the regional movement.
“His Excellency is also the only individual to have served as President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is doubtful that such a feat will be replicated.
“As Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency was taken captive during a sitting of the House of Representatives when the Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted to stage a coup in 1990. Even with a gun placed to his head His Excellency refused to surrender and instead, using words which had now become immortalised, called on his country’s armed force “to attack with full force.” Courage was surely a trait His Excellency possessed in abundance.
“A. N. R. Robinson was more than politician. He initially made his mark in the legal field rising to its highest rank, Senior Counsel. Many an indigent individual benefitted from his pro bono work.
“Trinidad and Tobago and the region have lost a great son, one whose reputation and influence went beyond the narrow confines of local and regional politics and instead reverberated throughout the world.
“On behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, I extend our deepest condolences to His Excellency’s family and to the Government and People of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
“May he rest in peace.”