Strikes to hit French Guiana as tensions paralyze territory

French Guiana paralysed as tensions mount before strike

The government minister for overseas holdings called for calm Monday, and said on RTL radio that the government mission has made progress on demands from fishermen and farmers.

Cazeneuve says the ministers will meet with union representatives, politicians and residents. The protestors are complaining about very high rates of crime, unemployment, and the overall cost of living.

The Department of State is warning USA citizens to avoid travel to the French territory of French Guiana due to widespread protests throughout the country and along the roads leading to the neighboring countries of Suriname and Brazil.

Candidates for France's presidential election next month have belatedly urged aid or intervention in Guiana in response to the crisis. French Guiana was paralysed by a general strike on March 27, closing schools, disrupting airline traffic and further stoking fears of instability in the French overseas territory which has been gripped by protests since last week.

The unrest is a reminder of the deep economic, social and racial divides between France's mainland and its former colonies from the Caribbean to the South Pacific that remain French today. Some territories use the euro currency, and they all depend heavily on imported goods and policy decisions made in Paris.




French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said a delegation of ministers would be sent to Guiana before the end of the week if certain conditions were met, without elaborating.

Air France and Air Caraibes cancelled all flights into Guiana and schools and universities were closed.

The launch will be from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.

Arianespace, a venture of Airbus Group SE and Safran SA, postponed two launches planned on Thursday for Telebras SA and Korea's KT SAT as protesters barricaded roundabouts and blocked entry to French Guiana's capital, Cayenne. The US embassy in neighboring Suriname can only provide limited assistance to travelers, it said, and added: "US citizens should avoid travel to French Guyana at this time". USA citizens should avoid travel to French Guiana at this time.

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