National News

Former Jamaica Ambassador to the U.S. Richard Bernal has Died

by Howard Campbell

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Richard Bernal, who served as Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States from 1991 to 2001, died here January 4. He was in his early 70s.

Bernal collapsed while walking with his wife in the upscale neighborhood of Norbrook. No cause of death has been announced.

An economist by profession, Bernal attended the University of the West Indies (Mona) and University of Pennsylvania. For several years, he served as Jamaica’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness hailed Bernal’s commitment to his country, describing him as a “pillar of the academic and diplomatic community”.

Ambassador Richard L. Bernal
Ambassador Richard L. Bernal

According to Holness, “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.”

Bernal was also a member of the Board of Directors at the Inter-American Development Bank from 2008-2016 and a Chief Trade Negotiator for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Ambassador Bernal’s extensive service also included an eight-year tenure as Director General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM) where he had responsibility for trade negotiations for CARICOM.

“He had a wide breadth of understanding of international economic policy and economic development as they affect small island developing states,” Holness stated.


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