Above: Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister ANR Robinson
By Andrea Perez
PORT OF SPAIN — Trinidad and Tobago is mourning the loss of former Prime Minister and President Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson .
The 87-year-old Robinson passed away at about 6 AM Wednesday morning at the St Clair Medical Centre.
On Wednesday, Minister of National Security Gary Griffith disclosed that Robinson would be given a state funeral and said arrangements have already begun with the necessary protocols to be observed.
As Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister from 1986-1991, he was held hostage and shot in the leg during the failed coup attempt in the country in 1990.
He was also beaten by his Islamist captors for ordering the security forces to attack “with full force” instead of backing down.
All told, 24 people died during the coup attempt, which was carried out by a little-known radical Muslim group, the Jamaat Al Muslimeen – with the majority of the deaths coming during looting that erupted in the Trinidadian capital.
Beyond Trinidad, Robinson is widely recognized as coming from a generation of West Indian intellectuals who were to change the course of the region’s history and for his role in helping to create the International Criminal Court.
He also served as the country’s president from 1997 to 2003.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a release that Robinson had been “one of our nation’s outstanding sons.”
“Mr Robinson’s passing is a deep and tragic loss for our country, but the legacy he leaves behind shall surely live on to inspire today’s and tomorrow’s generations,” Persad-Bissessar said.
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, who is currently Dubai, said in his tribute that Robinson was “resolute in his role as leader and will always be remembered for his famous words in the attempted coup, ‘Attack with full force.'”