Mobilization against the health pass in Guadeloupe: “The situation is almost insurrectionary”, according to a local deputy

“We must take into account the reality and specificities” of Guadeloupe, pleaded on franceinfo Friday, November 19 lhe LREM deputy of Guadeloupe Olivia Serva, after the prefect announced the establishment of a curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. until 23 November. For five days, the Overseas Island has been plagued by demonstrations and violence linked to an indefinite strike to protest against the health pass and the vaccination obligation of caregivers. Olivier Serva calls on Prime Minister Jean Castex to “exchange views on differentiated, adapted, intelligent and concerted solutions”.

franceinfo: Is this curfew necessary in Guadeloupe?

Olivier Serva: It is necessary that the State, at the highest level, hear the suffering and the concern of Guadeloupe. The situation is serious. (…) In August, I voted against this law on the health pass and the vaccination obligation because, for Guadeloupe, the vaccination rate leads to the idea that we cannot apply as it is this vaccination obligation for caregivers. The Minister of Health, Olivier VĂ©ran, has turned a deaf ear so far. The state must understand this issue because the situation is almost insurrectionary. This is why I have just, along with the six other parliamentarians from the island, written to the Prime Minister to ask him to meet. Why is there mediation in Martinique and not in Guadeloupe? Why do we let this situation rot? Why not ask caregivers to do a PCR test every 72 hours to make sure they are negative? Today, we have roadblocks, men and women who lose their working tools, who risk their lives, who cannot seek treatment. This is done at the expense of the health of Guadeloupe. (…)

Why is this law inapplicable?

Quite simply because today, the quantity of vaccinated people is insufficient. In Guadeloupe, there are people who are not vaccinated and who are caregivers. The health system cannot function without them. That vaccination is the best solution, okay, but we are not going to stupidly and maliciously apply a situation that does not work in Guadeloupe. Today our country is on fire and blood. At some point, you have to take into account the reality and the specifics. We are on an island, we have a history and an experience as well as different reactions. It is a fact and no one will be able to coerce rather than convince.

How do you explain this reluctance in the face of vaccines in Guadeloupe?

There are several reasons. First of all, there is the weakening of public speech and the public authority of the state. Why ? We lived through the chlordecone scandal with the state which, twenty years ago, told us that this insecticide would be no problem. Finally, this molecule poisoned our lands, our mothers and gave cancer. This has created deformities for 600 years. It is an experience which leads to a distrust of the word of the State. Then, most of us suffered colonial slavery. I am vaccinated and I have always called on those I love to be vaccinated. However, the point is that there are some people who do not want to be vaccinated. These are essential links in Guadeloupe for the health system. We therefore ask the Prime Minister to be able to discuss with us, that we consider differentiated, adapted, intelligent and concerted solutions.

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