80.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 17, 2024


Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on Sunday expressed his "shock and deep sadness" at news of the sudden death of Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Douglas.
The Dominica Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday that Douglas, 58, was discovered dead at about 10 a.m. at his home in Portsmouth, about 30 miles from the capital of Dominica, Roseau. According to the Associated Press, the apparent cause of death was a heart attack.
AP reported late Sunday that Dr. Gregorio Monterrey examined Douglas' body and said the prime minister showed "symptoms of a heart attack" but said he could not confirm the cause of death until an autopsy is completed. He ruled out foul play.
Communications Minister Pierre Charles said in a radio statement that he had become acting prime minister.
The prime minister had just returned from a summit of Caribbean leaders in Jamaica, following a trip abroad that took in Australia, Taiwan and Canada, part of his program to attract new business through international contacts.
Turnbull had met with Douglas this summer when the Dominican leader attended the rededication of St. Croix Government House.
In a statement, Turnbull said, "The people of the United States Virgin Islands join me in extending our profound condolences to the Government and people of Dominica, including those residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the passing of Prime Minister Douglas. He will be remembered as a forceful fighter for his homeland who was dedicated to improving the living conditions of his people."
Douglas was elected in January as the leader of the Dominica Labor Party after promising to clean up corruption and prod the economy of Dominica, in part by promoting eco-tourism and lowering its dependency on banana exports.
He was born into the island nation's plantation-owning upper class but became a Marxist early on and helped lead the Caribbean black power movement in the 1970s. His political views moderated over the years as he became involved in governing, winning election as a senator after the island won independence from Britain in 1978.
Douglas became head of the Labor Party in 1992 and was instrumental in turning its policies more toward the center.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.