Haiti loses former ambassador, expert on Dominican relations

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Guy Alexandre, a former Haiti ambassador to the Dominican Republic who recently published a book on how to improve the relationship, died Friday of a heart attack, Jacqueline Charles reports for The Miami Herald. He was 68.

“He was an honest, uncompromising intellectual,” Evelyn Margron Alexandre said about her husband who died in Port-au-Prince en route to the hospital. “He believed in people, he believed in knowledge.”

Born in St. Marc, Alexandre was first assigned to the Dominican Republic in 1991. His diplomatic career ended in 2003 during the uprising against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Alexandre would later serve as an adviser on international relations under Haiti’s 2004-2006 interim government. He then joined the International Organization for Migration in Haiti, serving as a senior adviser and program manager where he, among other things, oversaw a program for returning deportees.

“In a way, he was the institutional memory of Haiti on migration and as such was a valued expert on the subject for IOM,” said IOM spokeswoman Ilaria LANZONI.

But it was Alexandre’s expertise on Haiti-Dominican relations that made him the go-to person for journalists, activists and governments seeking a better understanding of the tense diplomatic relations.

In recent months, he had become invaluable as both nations met to address a number of issues, including last year’s Dominican court ruling stripping citizenship from persons born to undocumented foreigners. The issue deeply worried him, his wife said.

“He could have been the person to bring the voice of reason on how we can approach that problem,” said former Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. “Haiti is losing at this time one of our great intellectuals and one of the most efficient diplomats we ever had.”

Former Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Alexandre was not only a big brother to him, but “a true democrat always looking for a pragmatic way to use his empirical studies or his authority to improve the daily reality of Haitians.”

The two often met over lunch to discuss their common interests, the Dominican Republic, immigration, politics and higher education, Bellerive said.

In addition to his wife, Alexandre is survived by daughter Rachelle Alexandre, three grandchildren and a host of family and friends.

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