Feb 20, 2009
FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique: Martinique is canceling its yearly carnival festival for the first time as a two-week-old strike continues to paralyze services across the French Caribbean island.
Fort-de-France Mayor Serge Letchimy says he canceled the event in respect for an activist killed this week in the nearby island of Guadeloupe. The government there is confronting a monthlong strike.
Police earlier had criticized Letchimy's decision to hold the festival because they have not had time to prepare for the festivities due to the strike. The four-day carnival was scheduled to start Feb. 22.
Every year, more than 50,000 people parade down the streets of Martinique's capital.
Letchimy made the announcement late Thursday.