Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Spanish amabassador dies

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMGary Spaulding

The political directorate has reacted with shock at news of the sudden death of Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica AnÌbal JimÈnez Abascal.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Arnaldo Brown and Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Edmund Bartlett expressed distress at the passing of the 67-year-old ambassador in his homeland.

Brown told The Gleaner that there was no prior notification that Abascal was ailing as he had seen the ambassador at a reception earlier this week.

"This is one of the reasons why it came as a shock us to us. Certainly, from my vantage point, he seemed quite healthy and in good spirits the last time I saw him," said Brown.

Brown told The Gleaner that the ministry was alerted during the course of yesterday that Ambassador Abascal passed away in Madrid (Spain's capital), where he had gone on vacation.

"On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I wish to express sympathies and condolences to the government and people of Spain," said Brown.

"We also want to express regret and condolences to his immediate family and the mission here in Kingston."

Said Bartlett: "The Opposition has received, with regret, news of the passing of the Spanish ambassador to Jamaica."

Bartlett described Abascal as an outstanding diplomat who contributed much to strengthening the relationship between Spain and Jamaica as well as enhancing the business and commercial dimensions.

"The ambassador's urbane yet forceful personality has enforced the diplomatic and fraternal links that have characterised our relationships over the years," said Bartlett.

A career diplomat who entered the diplomatic service in 1974, Abascal came to Jamaica in late 2014. At the time of his appointment, he was the consul general of Spain in Perpignan (France) and previously served in overseas assignments in Africa, Cuba, Uruguay, Germany and Venezuela.