Martinque and Guadeloupe are French territories in the Caribbean. As he did in mainland France, President Emmanuel Macron is mandating healthcare workers there be vaccinated and citizens produce proof of vaccination to enter public buildings, including restaurants, cafes and libraries.
The residents of these territories did not want to accept shots in exchange for jobs or the ability to move about freely in public. The revolt against Macron’s mandates have been widespread, angry and in some instances, violent.
This civil unrest has its roots in past abuse by the French government. For decades, a pesticide called Chlordecone (also known as Kepone) was sprayed on banana crops. In 1975, Kepone was banned in the United States as it caused a variety of serious health complications including tremors, memory loss, low sperm counts and cancer. Although aware of its devastating effects on humans, France didn’t ban the use of Kepone on these French islands until 1993. It has been found that almost all residents of Martinique and Guadeloupe have traces of this pesticide in their bodies, and the water and soil is still very contaminated. Guadeloupe has the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world.
Consequently, the people have a deep distrust of the government because of this deceit and its callous disregard for their health. They are aggressively questioning whether the mandates and passports are really about their health at all. In fact, on Guadeloupe the pushback against the government’s mandates has been described by local military police as “quasi-insurrectional.”
If you look around the world, you see a pattern and it is the same on these islands. In Martinique, 5,950 people had been infected with Covid by the end of 2020 and 43 people had died (or 0.011% of the entire population). Then the vaccines were rolled out in the Spring of 2021. By the end of August 2021 there were 36,646 cases of Covid, and of those 405 had died. The role vaccines may play in these leaps in cases post-mass vaccination is a subject of debate and discussion among scientists, virologists and epidemiologists.
Regardless of the case increases, Martinicans and Guadeloupeans do not want vaccine mandates and passports. As is often the case, people do not respond well to the government using coercion to get them to inject things into their bodies.
Especially when the government did not give a damn while their bodies were destroyed for years by pesticides.
Sometimes a “quasi-insurrection” is what it takes to make them listen. Although supposedly the vaccine mandates and passports are “non-negotiable”, the French government is postponing their mandate deadlines on these islands, and those workers placed on unpaid leave for refusing the vaccine will now be paid while “dialoging” with their managers.