Barbados Mourns The Passing Of Prime Minister David Thompson
Tributes continue to pour into the Caribbean island of Barbados as that nation and the rest of Caricom mourns the passing of Prime Minister David Thompson, the 7th Prime Minister of Barbados who passed away at his St Philip home early Saturday morning after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. President Bharrat Jagdeo in a message to the people of Barbados said Prime Minister Thompson earned the respect of the people of Guyana and of the entire Region through the tremendous courage and dignity which he displayed to the end. President Jagdeo said in his fight we saw his true quality as a leader – one who placed his country and people above himself.
Opposition Leader Robert Corbin also offered his sympathy to the people of Barbados.
David Thompson became the Prime Minister of Barbados just over 2 and half years ago after leading his party the democratic labor party to victory at the 2008 polls. He was never one to hide his dream for the Caribbean region and during an interview I did with him just one month after taking office he said
As Prime Minister, Thompson saw Barbados through one of the worst economic crisis to face the world and the region. That came just after he took office. He also overlooked radical changes to the islands immigration policy and that did not find favor with a number of Caricom governments. He spoke openly about the need for Barbados to be allowed to develop and make its way back to the road to prosperity and famously said Caricom nationals wanting to move to Barbados should wait on an invitation. He also never hid his Guyanese roots, being the grandson of a Guyanese.
His failing health in recent months removed him from active duty at his office but he was still very involved, almost to the very end. His state funeral is being planned. He is the 3rd Barbadian Prime Minister to die in office.