Jamaican prime minister, David Thompson, died yesterday, a victim of pancreatic cancer, making him the third Barbados leader in 25 years who has died in office.
The leader had been seriously ill after being officially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.
Deputy PM Freundel Stuart who had taken over from Thompson during his illness has since been sworn in as the country’s new leader.
Thompson, who had been Jamaican leader since 2008, delivered an address to the nation last month that was broadcast on the radio so that people would focus on his words, rather than his emaciated appearance.
Messages of condolence have been issued by other Caribbean leaders following his passing. Denzil Douglas, PM of St Kitts and Nevis, said: “It is a loss to not only the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean.”
According to the Jamaican Observer, Thompson was the protege of Errol Barrow, the founder of the Democratic Labour Party who famously led the country into independence 44 years ago.
Other celebrities who have battled with pancreatic cancer include opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, actor Patrick Swayze and Bollywood star Nargis Dutt.