The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

58 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL b In the early 1990s, with the end of the Cold War, the French West Indies lost strategic importance. Besides, their American expatriate communities and trade with the United States remained relatively modest. It was in this context that the State Department put the consulate general in Fort-de-France on a list of diplomatic and consular posts to be closed in 1993-1994 for budgetary reasons. The consulate, then headed by Consul General Raymond G. Robinson, closed its doors on Aug. 1, 1993, despite the mobilization of Martinican elected officials and the French government to try to avoid such an outcome. Martinican Deputy André Lesueur deplored the closing in the French National Assembly on Oct. 18, 1993: “This decision, in addition to the fact that it obscures the historical dimension of relations with the United States, is highly prejudicial to the French West Indies.” The United States did, however, wish to maintain a consular presence in Martinique, and in 1993 the State Department opened a consular agency attached to the consular section of the U.S. embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados. This agency is still in operation. n This villa is where the head of the U.S. consular post resided, in the Didier suburb of Fort-de-France, 1993. COURTESY OF HENRY RITCHIE