Alvin P. Adams Jr., Ambassador Who Helped Haiti Pursue Democracy, Dies at 73

Yale diplomat who, in 2am heart-to-heart, talked Haiti General into giving up power:

Alvin P. Adams Jr., an American envoy and champion of human rights who was instrumental in nudging Haiti toward democracy, died on Oct. 10 at his home in Portland, Ore. He was 73.

The apparent cause was a heart attack, his cousin Timothy M. Phelps said.

A three-time ambassador, Mr. Adams persuaded Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril, the Haitian military ruler and a protégé of the ousted dictators Francois Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude, to abdicate in March 1990 and leave the country on a United States Air Force jet.

General Avril’s departure paved the way for a provisional civilian replacement and, later that year, for the ascension of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first freely elected president and a Roman Catholic priest at the time.