Peaceful Protests by Soualiga United Leads to Apparent Reopening of French Border in Saint Martin (Update: It’s Official!)

Peaceful protests on the island of Saint Martin appear to have lead to the reopening of the French border. While it’s not yet known if this will be permanent or temporary, it certainly feels like a turn to once again close the borders would be ill-advised and potentially met with an uprising.

Based on some of the posts we’re seeing on social media, in particular a picture of Saint Martin President Daniel Gibbs and Sint Maarten Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs fist-bumping, we believe that this move may be, in fact, permanent. We hope it is.

The entire island of Saint Martin has certainly been through challenging times lately, as COVID-19 has devastated tourism on both the French and Dutch sides. The border being closed was just one more obstacle for those that live and work on the island.

There is conflicting information and a lot of this is coming in real-time. We will update you as soon as we get more information. Social media posts are highlighted below.

Update: The Préfet has agreed to remove all border point controls immediately and the containers that were placed at Oyster Pond and the Lowlands will be removed as early as Thursday, September 17th.

St. Martin President Daniel Gibbs (left) and Sint Maarten Prime Minister Sylveria Jacobs (via Jadira Veen)

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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