Bust of Dominican Republic founding father installed at UWI

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Ambassador Wellington Bencosme, professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, pro vice chancellor and campus principal UWI; professor Lancelot Cowie, honorary professor of Latin American studies programme and Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne. – Grevic Alvarado

The embassy of the Dominican Republic (DR) unveiled a bust of the founding father of the DR, Juan Pablo Duarte Diez, at UWI’s St Augustine campus, on October 18.

The sculpture is in the hall of the Heroes de la Patria Grande of the Alma Jordan Library.

Ambassador Wellington Bencosme unveiled the bust.

He said: “Today is a special occasion for me, my wife and the embassy staff to show the Trinidadian people and – a special occasion for the students – how great Juan Pablo Duarte Diez was for the Dominican people.

“We hope the image of Juan Pablo Duarte in the UWI-St Augustine campus, along with the several illustrious heroes sharing this hall, will prompt us to delve into his life and his work, recognising his many virtues, among which are unwavering patriotism.”

Bencosme said Duarte understood the Dominican people had their own identity and had the right to political independence.

“It is our sincere hope that the image of Juan Pablo Duarte, father of the nation, represented by this bust, will be an inspiration to students, faculty, and visitors, present and future generations.”

Ambassador Wellington Bencosme and UWI professor Lancelot Cowie, honorary professor of Latin American studies programme unveiled the bust. – Grevic Alvarado

Also present were Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne and diplomatic representatives from other Latin American countries.

Prof Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, pro-vice chancellor and campus principal; Prof Lancelot Cowie, honorary professor of Latin American Studies; and Frank Soodeen Jr, campus librarian, represented UWI.

Browne said: “It is my pleasure to join you today, to honour the legacy of a man whose contribution to nation-building has earned him a premier place among the Caribbean’s greats – Juan Pablo Duarte Diez, a visionary leader who dedicated his life to the pursuit of liberty, justice, and self-determination for the proud nation we now call the Dominican Republic.”

Browne said Duarte’s unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom and independence caused him to be deservedly referred to as father of the nation by Dominicans.

“Let this bust embolden us all to find our own voice and stand against injustices within our various spheres of operation. In this way, we, like Duarte, can leave an indelible mark on the pages of history and on the hearts of men.”