GUADELOUPE – As the general strike entered its second week and many stores remained shuttered following nighttime looting in Guadeloupe, French President Emmanuel Macron said violence over COVID-19 restrictions had created a “very explosive” situation.
A few hours before Macron’s Prime Minister and members of the Caribbean archipelago were to speak in Paris, there were reports that protests had spread to Martinique, another French overseas territory 190 kilometers (120 miles) south of Guadeloupe.
It is not only the COVID-19 curve imposed by Paris last week, including vaccination requirements for health workers and health pass policies, that provoked the unrest, but it also reflects a deep rift between some overseas territories and metropolitan France.
Macron told reporters in Northern France, “We must explain, explain, explain and convince, convince, convince because one must not play around with the people’s health.”
“To quell the unrest in Guadeloupe, 200 extra police officers have been deployed, including elite police commandos.
Following a fourth straight night of trouble in Guadeloupe’s main city, Point-a-Pitre, the streets were unusually quiet on Monday.
French media reported rioters had broken into an arms depot and taken rifles, as dozen of stores and pharmacies have been looted.
“We just don’t know how far this will still go,” said the Mayor. Covid-19 has led to unrest in Guadeloupe.
Schools were closed on Monday as there were “big worries” as rioters had guns. The protesters are demanding changes in governmental policies. They want to see a reform in funding and tax rates. The protesters are also calling for more job opportunities and better wages, which will help people get out of poverty.
The Guadeloupe situation is dire.
Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France consisting of a group of islands in the Lesser Antilles chain, located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. /Source: Britannica/