By Onz Chery
Anthony “Tony” Barbier, an acclaimed politician and professor, died at 74 years of age of respiratory problems last week in Haiti. He was married to Liliane Pierre-Paul, a prominent Radio Kiskeya reporter.
“Haiti lost a great intellect, a tolerant and very courteous man,” Goston Pierre, an AlterRadio reporter posted on Twitter. “I’m overwhelmed by Anthony Barbier’s death.”
Barbier was the minister of public service under President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1994 and the general secretary of the National Palace under Jocelerme Privert from 2016 to 2017.
Barbier co-founded the Democratic and Popular Sector, a widely-known opposition group.
Over the years, Barbier taught various subjects at the University of Haiti. He was a member of the Faculty of Human Sciences and the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary. Barbier was also a founding father of the National Commission for Administrative Reform and a renowned sociologist.
Sympathies poured in from around the country to Barbier’s family, including from President Jovenel Moïse, who offered his condolences to Pierre-Paul on social media.
“I present my sympathies to his companion Lilianne Pierre-Paul,” Moïse tweeted. “I appreciated the quality of his teaching as a professor and his dedication as a great servant of the government.”
Privert went to Radio Kiskeya to visit Pierre-Paul on Wednesday, but anti-government protesters threw rocks at his car and flattened his tire while he was inside the vehicle in front of the radio station.
Radio Kiskeya has made similar headlines many times in the past. Bandits shot at the station in 2015 and Pierre-Paul had to go into exile on different occasions.
“The tireless Tony died without seeing his dream of an egalitarian and democratic Haiti realized,” Monique Clesca, a reporter posted on Twitter. “He fought to the end for us. Thank you, friend.”
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