News Americas, TORONTO, CANADA, MON. Nov. 25, 2019: The U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisory on the tiny Caribbean island nation of Dominica, warning nationals to “exercise increased caution” if travelling there.
The increase to Level 2 comes amid civil unrest on the island last week. The US says, “demonstrations and protests can take place with little or no notice” and “local authorities have used tear gas to disrupt protests.”
The Nov. 21st update that remained as of last night, Nov. 24th, came after days of anti-government protests on the island. More than 200 protesters clashed with the police when they tried to march to President Charles Savarin’s home Monday night to call for reforms.
According to news reports, the security forces set up barricades in Roseau as the protesters called for the implementation of electoral reforms, which were dictated by the Organization of American States at a meeting in August.
Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has since addressed the small Caribbean island nation to condemn the “intrusion of violence into the election campaign,” pointing out that the protesters are not demonstrating because of electoral reform, as previously reported by the Western media.
But the opposition United Workers’ Party say they are only pushing the governing party to enact reforms in a bid to gain a better electoral advantage.
Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has called for calm in the Commonwealth of Dominica and for adherence to the rule of law and constitutionality.
Voters on the island head to the polls on December 6th.
Protests in Dominica is the latest to break out in the Americas. Haitians have been protesting since September while protests are also ongoing in Chile, Bolivia and now Colombia.