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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guadeloupe, Martinique Rocked by Unrest

Guadeloupe and Martinique have been rocked by unrest the last few days with streets blocked by riots and many services closed. The US Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for both Guadeloupe and Martinique, effective until May 13, 2009. According to the alert:

Due to ongoing labor strikes, riot police from mainland France are now stationed in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Most commercial activities have ceased, and there are mounting shortages of food, water, and power on both islands.

In Martinique, strikes and large-scale street protests continue. Gas stations, stores, the port, and banks remain closed. There are continuing interruptions in power and rapidly dwindling water and food supplies.

In Guadeloupe there are reports of increasing tensions, with armed gangs blockading routes and targeting residents and tourists. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens being specifically targeted. The government is reportedly mobilizing the police and armed forces to address the possibility of severe civil unrest.

To read the entire text of the travel alert, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4432.html.

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