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Bill Richardson, seasoned US Democratic diplomat, passes away at 75

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US diplomat Bill Richardson. —AFP/file 

Bill Richardson, a seasoned Democratic statesman and former US ambassador to the United Nations has passed away at the age of 75, according to his associates who announced the news on Saturday.

Richardson was renowned for his tireless efforts in negotiating the release of detained Americans across the globe, 

Richardson’s illustrious career encompassed multiple prominent roles, including serving as the governor of New Mexico and holding the position of US energy secretary.

His passing occurred peacefully in sleep on Friday night, as conveyed by the Richardson Center for Global Engagement in a statement.

In American politics, Bill Richardson stood as one of the most prominent Latinos, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s political landscape. 

His reputation was firmly established as the “Indiana Jones of US diplomacy,” marked by his fearless and audacious confrontations with authoritarian leaders who were deemed pariahs by the United States.

Among his high-stakes encounters were engagements with figures such as Iraq’s late president, Saddam Hussein, and Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro.

More recently, Richardson played a pivotal role in securing the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner from a Russian prison, where she had been incarcerated following a drug-related conviction.

The statement from the Richardson Center said, “He lived his entire life in the service of others – including both his time in government and his subsequent career helping to free people held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.”

It underscores his exceptional willingness to engage with any person or entity if it held the potential to bring freedom and justice to those in need.

Bill Richardson’s passing marks the end of an era in American diplomacy and public service, leaving behind a legacy of unwavering dedication to humanitarian causes and the relentless pursuit of justice for those in peril abroad.

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