Dominica on alert over 'plot'

Prime Minister Eugenia Charles has called on Dominicans to remain vigilant in light of recent attempts to topple her government and warned that those involved would receive the law's "full severity." Monitor Latin America correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that Miss Charles in a 15-minute radio address May 5 gave the first official reaction to the recent arrest of 10 men, most of them from the southern United States, in New Orleans on charges of organizing an invasion of Dominica.

The small eastern Caribbean island has been faced with a variety of internal pressures in recent months. Dominica police in March detained 8 Dominicans alleged to be involved in a plot to topple the government. Among those detained were former Prime Minister Patrick John and the commander of the disbanded defense force, Maj. Frederick Newton.

Whether those arrested in New Orleans had any connection with those detained in March is unclear. But Miss Charles, who had just returned from the US, where she conferred with State Department and FBI officials, said the Ku Klux Klan was involved in "one big plot." Some of those arrested in New Orleans are Klan members.

She added that the Klan "was out to destroy, kill, and injure all black people, especial ly black leaders who are independent and successful."

Most of Dominica's 83,000 citizens are black.

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