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									 BRIEFS                                                                                                                                                    8
                                                                                                                  THE COUNCIL ON
Guadeloupe                                                                                                         HEMISPHERIC
Gretchen Knoth
   Workers staged the largest protest in Guadeloupe’s history from January 20 until March 4, 2009. Pro-
                                                                                                                          1250 Connecticut Ave. NW
testors claimed that workers’ wage levels were inconsistent with the island’s high cost of living due to the
                                                                                                                       Suite 1C Washington, DC 20036
rising price of imported commodities, brought about by the global economic recession. The strike end-
                                                                                                                phone: 202.223.4975 e-mail:
ed after the French government agreed to meet the demands of the Yiannaj Kont Pwofitasyion (LKP),                                     issn: 1275-559
                                                                                                                fax: 202.223.4979
an organization representing 47 interest groups demanding that France increase monthly wages for the
lowest paid workers by 200 Euros, while simultaneously lowering the cost of fuel and other necessities.             Washington Report on the Hemisphere
   The protests began in the midst of a global financial crisis, worsening previous discontent over Paris’               © 2009 Published Biweekly
neglect. The rising costs of consumer goods coupled with a faltering tourism industry have spurred                   (23 Issues per Year Including Index)
social unrest due to increased uncertainty about the condition of the island’s economy. Guadeloupe’s                by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
tourism industry, one of the greatest contributors to the island’s GDP, has slowed significantly due to             August 18, 2009 Vol. 29 No. 16
decreasing volumes of international travel. Not surprisingly, the travel and hospitality sectors have been      Founder, WRH: Robert Nachman, Ph. D.
harmed as airline and cruise companies struggle to attract consumers in a declining market. As the is-          Chairperson: Judith Chiara
land’s tourism industry is not expected to recover until 2011 at the earliest (according to the Caribbean       Editor-in-Chief: Larry Birns
Tourist Report), Guadeloupe’s inhabitants are likely to remain dissatisfied. However, as some econo-            Managing Editor: Courtney Carvill
mists cautiously predict that the recession may be nearing its end, social stability could begin to return      Associate Editors: Lisa Boscov-Ellen, Alexandra
to the island in the near future.                                                                               Deprez
                                                                                                                Illustrator: Margaret Scott
                                                                                                                Trustee Editorial Board: Peter G. Bourne, M.D.,
                                                                                                                former member of Carter White House; Charles
Cuba                                                                                                            B. Dale, former President, The Newspaper Guild;
                                                                                                                Roger Wilkins, former editorial board member,
Kaitlin Porter
                                                                                                                The New York Times, Washington Times, Washing-
   On July 29, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin signed four contracts allowing his country to          ton Star
prospect for oil and natural gas in Cuba’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S.      Senior Research Fellows: Sean Burges, Ph.D;
Geological Survey, this area may hold up to five billion barrels of oil and 10 trillion cubic feet of
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