88 thoughts on “French Macron wants destructive gold mining in French Guiana

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  36. 75 years ago: Imperialists contest over French Guiana

    On March 16, 1943, demonstrations erupted against the Vichyite administration in the colony of French Guiana. Spurred by food shortages, the population marched on the government building and demanded the pro-fascist Governor Rene Weber break with Vichy France and Nazi Germany. By the following day supporters of General Charles de Gaulle had obtained the leadership of the revolt, while Weber and his associates fled to Dutch Guiana (Surinam).

    The revolt in this tiny colony of 40,000 people on the Caribbean coast of South America immediately became a bone of contention between de Gaulle’s British-backed movement and that of General Henri Giraud, the US puppet who headed French North Africa and served as a cover for American collaboration with the fascists of Vichy France.

    When French Guiana’s day-old provisional committee attempted to cable de Gaulle and report that it had ceded from Vichy France and wanted to ally itself with him, the administration of Franklin Roosevelt held up the cables and leaked information to the press that the colony had rallied to Giraud. Two days later de Gaulle claimed French Guiana. The US ultimately forced Guiana to accept Giraud by threatening to refuse shipments of food to the colony if it persisted in its declaration for de Gaulle.

    For the opposing French factions, control of Guiana meant control of its number one export: gold. Meanwhile, the US decision to back Giraud was part of its strategy to dismember the French colonial empire. Unlike de Gaulle, the Vichy French had already shown their pliability in relation to Germany. The US also reasoned that at the end of the war it would be easier to justify taking colonies from a government that had been allied with Hitler than a government that had fought on the side of the United States.


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