Three days of bloody rioting have killed seven persons and threatened the Caribbean island's first successful tourist season in three years.
Except for minor incidents yesterdat, order was restored after a radio broadcast Wednesday night in which Prime Minister Michael Manley called the riots "an organized plot to overthrow my government."
A 13-cent increase in the price of gasoline, to $1.99 a gallon, triggered the rioting Moday, with mobs takingup the slogan, "The poor can't take no more."
Manley said the disturbances were costing millions of dollars a day in lost tourism revenues. Hotels on the north coast have been filled this year for the first time since widespread political violence in 1976, when opponents of Manley's socialist policies made a major point of the prime minister's close ties to Cuba.
The main inconvenience for the thousands of American tourists was blockade of roads to the airport from the resort areas of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Flights and access were reported to be back to normal yesterday but Manleyhs statement on losses indicated that far more tourists are leaving than coming.
Manley defended his decision to raise the gasoline prices, sayig the move was required under terms of the International Monetary Fund Loan he obtained to bolster the island's beset economy.
Bauxite mining, the other main source of revenue after tourism, was slowed by wildcat strikes in support of those protesting the gasoline price hike.
Among those killed in the rioting were three policemen.