Ambassador Richard Bernal has died; Holness saddened by passing
Ambassador Richard L Bernal

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Former Jamaica Ambassador to the United States Dr Richard Bernal has died.

The respected diplomat reportedly died suddenly Wednesday afternoon.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed sadness at the ambassador’s passing, hailing Dr Bernal as a “pillar of the academic and diplomatic community”.

“Ambassador Bernal gave committed service to his beloved country, Jamaica, and to elevating our status and relations with bilateral and hemispheric partners. He represented the people of Jamaica with honor, dignity, and professionalism,” Holness said in a statement.

Dr Bernal was Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States of America, and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS); positions he held for 10 ½ years.

He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (2008-2016) and was a Chief Trade Negotiator for the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Ambassador Bernal’s resume also includes an eight-year stint in the position of Director-General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) where he had responsibility for trade negotiations for CARICOM.

About Dr Bernal’s work, the prime minister commented: “He had a wide breadth of understanding of international economic policy and economic development as they affect small island developing states such as Jamaica and other countries of CARICOM. His experience with Caricom institutions, international development financing institutions and as an academic, demonstrated his competence and commitment to the promotion of Jamaica’s role in the world”.

“Ambassador Bernal’s legacy will live on in the continued manifestation of Jamaica’s positive engagement with our global partners and dexterous navigation of global issues that affect the South and indeed the world as a whole,” Holness added.

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