Medical contorversy over Aimé Césaire’s death

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Aimé Césaire, the writer and politician from Martinique who was reported dead on Saturday evening by a relative, was still battling for his life as at Sunday evening at the Fort-de-France Teaching Hospital, where he was admitted last Wednesday, a medical source told panapress.

The source said most of the vital organs of the poet, except for his brain, had ceased to function, quoting a statement made by the family.

“His clinical situation is highly critical. We prefer to leave it in God’s hands,” the family was quoted as saying.

A companion of Léopold Sédar Senghor, Senegal’s first president, 94-year-old Césaire has dedicated his entire life to politics and writing.

In 1939, he published “Le Cahier d’un retour au pays natal”, a collection of poems that has become a classic in the Black African literature, and designed with Senghor and Léon Gontran Damas the concept of Negritude.

Considering himself as much an African and a Martinique inhabitant, Césaire took part in all the struggles against colonialism and racism.

This commitment led him to active politics, where he became Fort-de-France mayor in 1945 at the age of 32.

After serving as MP and chairman of the Martinique Regional Council, Césaire gradually withdrew from politics in 2005, but popularity had remained intact among the Martinique people.

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