Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic Sparks Outrage

In early November, thousands of Haitians rallied for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return and presidential hopeful, Jean-Henry Ceant, in the November 28 elections, one rigged by banning 14 political parties, including Fanmi Lavalas, by far the most popular.

Ceant founded Aimer Haiti (Love Haiti), “a movement uniting and integrating human-centered (principles) and committed to the pursuit of the ideals of unity, solidarity and fraternity to build a new Haiti on the basis of shared responsibility, social justice, peace and economic progress for all.”

He’s also a notaire (notary), businessman, community leader and philanthropist, the only candidate most Haitians support, whether or not he’ll deliver on promises if elected. Aristide did, Preval for a while, then sold out the public that backed him. Given Washington’s iron fist and no shyness using it, populist governments everywhere are at risk, especially in deeply impoverished countries like Haiti.

For now, a raging cholera epidemic takes top concern, officially causing over 1,000 deaths and around 15,000 hospitalizations. However, these figures way understate the true crisis, one or more estimates believing the true count is several-fold. On November 14, Operational Biosurveillance said it confirmed statistics of up to 400% undercounting.

“There is no question of under-reporting.” At one-fourth the true crisis, “we now have nearly 60k cases shedding pathogen into the environment. We believe the true statistic to be closer to more than 100k based on the degree of under-reporting. It is extremely difficult to estimate the true scale of this epidemic now. (It’s) grossly uncontrolled, uncontained, (and) has exceeded public health capacity to investigate and assess every site reported and every sample received.”

Disturbingly, the entire country is affected, including the densely crowded capital, Port-au-Prince, with up to 1.5 million in makeshift accommodations on city streets and wherever they found space, living in the open under dismal sanitation conditions.

On November 14, New York Times writer, Randal Archibold, headlined, “Cholera Deaths Up in Haiti, With Worst to Come,” saying:

“Several epidemiologists have said the disease has not peaked and will likely worsen and” spread, UN health officials “estimating about 270,000 may be sickened in the coming years.”

The true potential minimally exceeds a million, eventually causing many thousands of deaths, preventable because cholera is easily treated if done properly on time. However, little Western aid was provided, virtually nothing from Washington despite over $1.1 billion pledged. Also, Haiti’s medical infrastructure is woefully inadequate, besides poor sanitation and most Haitians having no access to clean drinking water.

Overall since the January earthquake, Washington obstructed what little aid arrived. Then cholera and Hurricane Tomas flooding, making conditions on the ground worse than ever, indifferent rich nations doing little to help.

Haitians finally reacted, riots erupting in Cap-Haitien on Haiti’s north coast. On November 16, Al Jazeera headlined, “Haiti cholera protests turns violent,” saying:

Clashes with MINUSTAH forces killed at least two Haitians. “Protesters, who hold Nepalese UN peacekeepers responsible for the cholera outbreak (from an identified Asian strain foreign to Haiti), threw stones and threatened to set fire to a (Cap Haitien) base,” according to Haitian radio and eyewitness reports.

Al Jazeera’s, Cath Turner, said the situation was “brewing for a while, (evident by) tense relations” between MINUSTAH and local people. “Back in August, a 16-year old boy was found dead – he was hanging from a tree.” Haitians believe UN troops killed him. Its paramilitaries have terrorized Haiti since arriving in 2004 to support a coup d’etat regime after US marines kidnapped Aristide in February 2004, then forcibly flew him to the Central African Republic. He’s now in South Africa in exile, wanting to return. On orders from Washington, the Preval government prevents it. In a recent interview he said:

“I love my people and my country, and I cannot hide it, and because of that love, I am ready to leave right now. I cannot hide it. What is preventing me from leaving, as I said earlier, if I look from South Africa, I don’t know.” He wants to return as a private citizen, not a head of state. “In my view,” he said, “they don’t want me back because they still want to occupy Haiti,” and freely exploit its people and resources, of course.

Haitians demonstrate often for his return, his presence alone badly wanted, his spirit a way to infuse hope for better governance and conditions, what’s so far sorely lacking. The Cap Haitien protests are unsurprising, among others expressing outrage for lack of government and UN aid. For also failing to contain the cholera outbreak. The more it spreads, the greater the anger.

On November 15, Haitian Truth.org reported that:

Cap Haitian is closed. Schools closed. People (are) on streets throwing rocks. MINUSTAH troops (were) disarmed by Haitians. (The) airport (was) under attack. Preval is finished…. Business is closed. The city is shut down. (At the airport), attempt(s were made) to burn (a) terminal underway…. Much gunfire (was reported).

Incoming aircraft were diverted. UN vehicles were being burned. Haitians demanded removal of UN troops. They fired tear gas at demonstrators. MINUSTAH’s airport headquarters was burned. People say stop the election. Help children.

On November 16, Reuters also reported clashes in Cap Haitien, a local businessman saying: “The whole city is blocked, businesses and schools have closed, cars have been burned. It’s chaos here.” Demonstrators set fire to the Pont Neuf police station.

Al Jazeera’s, Cath Turner, said protests so far are:

just the beginning” of what Haitians are calling a “very strong civilian uprising against the UN in Haiti. We have been speaking to our sources on the ground in Cap Haitien, (and they’re telling) us that people are on megaphones encouraging people to get out on the street and to continue telling the United Nations, ‘Get out now.’

Turner also said likely protests will happen across much of northern Haiti. “There’s been suggestions of a coordinated effort to continue these protests until the UN gets out of the country.”

Since arriving in 2004, they’ve been hated. They’re not peacekeepers. They’re belligerent occupiers, reigning terror on ordinary Haitians.

From Port-au-Prince, independent journalist, Ansel Herz, said two Cap Haitien police stations were on fire. “Protests were (also) reported in….Hinche and Gonaives….” Scattered outbreaks have also occurred in other parts of the country, including in Port-au-Prince near the presidential palace. Potentially they may break out anywhere, given the level of frustration and anger over desperate conditions and inadequate aid, especially by the UN and rich nations able to provide it.

On November 11, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) highlighed the crisis saying “All of the hospitals in Port-au-Prince are overflowing with patients, and we’re seeing seven times the total amount of cases we had three days ago.” In deeply impoverished Cite Soleil, in northern Port-au-Prince, the number rose from 30 five days previously to 216. “People are coming from everywhere throughout the city, slums and wealthier areas.”

The soaring need far outstrips the ability to serve it. In light of a fast-spreading crisis and inadequate outside aid, expect growing anger as the death and illness toll mounts. It’s Haiti’s latest cross to bear, a country beset by centuries of oppression, occupation, exploitation, neglect, deep poverty, and now cholera – an imperial epidemic likely to claim many thousands of lives, perhaps willfully targeted for removal, President Aristide, among others, saying “evidence strongly suggests” that the Asian cholera strain was imported.

Why not, given America’s longstanding depopulation agenda, a model Henry Kissinger presented in his 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200). Shaped by Rockefeller interests, it was a plan to cull unwanted, unneeded, “useless eaters” by various means, including coercive methods, withholding disaster relief, and spreading deadly diseases that kill. Haiti’s now feeling the sting.

Stephen Lendman wrote How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Contact him at: lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen.

7 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on November 17th, 2010 at 10:35am #

    Even by Mr Lendman’s standards, the claim that cholera was deliberately imported into Haiti is absurd. Even more so than his claim that aircraft were spraying Kiev with some virus or other. That a hitherto unknown Asian strain of cholera which suddenly pops up in Haiti was brought in by a carrier from Asia makes sense. That it was introduced deliberately is nonsense. Thus, “imperial epidemic”, my foot! Is it any wonder the US has become the laughing stock of the planet, with its creationism, Bible literalism, black helicopters and things like this?

  2. mary said on November 17th, 2010 at 11:42am #

    More of the Kenny knocking copy.

    I have no doubt about Mr Lendman’s credibility in this case and in the other matters he brings to our attention. I pity the poor people of Haiti. What next will befall them?

    This is from a November 13th interview with Jean Bertrand Aristide

    Can you give us your thoughts on the recent cholera epidemic?

    As for this recent incident of cholera, whether or not it was imported – as the evidence strongly suggests – it’s critical. First, those who organized the coup d’état/kidnapping of 2004, paving the way for the invaders now accused as having caused the recent outbreak of cholera, must also share the blame. Second, the root causes, and what facilitated the deadly spread of the disease are structural, embedded in Haiti’s historical impoverishment, marginalization and economic exploitation. The country’s once thriving rice industry – destroyed by the subsidized US rice industry in the 1980s – was in the Artibonite, the epicenter of the cholera outbreak. The near destruction of our rice industry coupled with the systematic and cruel elimination of the Haitian pigs rendered the region and the country poorer. Third, in 2003 our government had already paid the fees on an approved loan from the InterAmerican Development Bank to implement a water sanitization project in the Artibonite. As you can remember, that loan and four others were blocked as part of a calculated strategy by the so-called friends of Haiti to weaken our government and justify the coup d’état.

  3. hayate said on November 17th, 2010 at 11:48am #

    I agree with Mary. The ziofascist/fascist oligarchy has a long history of infecting others with disease to reduce their numbers. They’ve now added creating diseases and spreading them to their portfolio. In the realm of total repugnance and barbarity, their is nothing these war criminal freakaziods wouldn’t do, provided they thought they would be able to get away with it.

  4. bozh said on November 17th, 2010 at 12:28pm #

    it wld be more profitable to world inegalitarians to import cholera and other diseases to korea, vietnam, china, venezuela; however, this does not prove that haiti is not being used as a guinea pig.
    and if it turns out effective to use it against pashtuns, et al. i do not put anything past the mafia! tnx

  5. bozh said on November 17th, 2010 at 1:51pm #

    china with 1bn people until very recently may have used only up to 5% of resources.
    now china uses more. it is forced into a much premature and possibly unneeded industrialization; just in order to survive.
    we know what happened to SU! it had two choices: defend SU with rifles or with artillery, tanks, jets, warships.
    china now faces neonazis and possible utter catastrophy unless it can seriously hurt or even destroy some lands.

    we can see how threats of evanescence also causes unnecessary pollution and higher consumption. it doesn’t matter whether neonazis wld attack china. what matters is that historical record shows that neonazis cld destroy any region and wld love to do.

    of course, i do not underestimate ‘jews’. they appear at forefront in just such endeavors; however, world plutos love them or may be using them as well. tnx

  6. mary said on November 18th, 2010 at 1:45am #

    Letter from the well informed Joe Emersberger to Guardian journalist Rory Carroll who wrote (www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/16/haiti-cholera-united-nations-peacekeepers)

    “The 12,000 UN peacekeepers, one of the biggest such missions in the world, lived up to their name: they kept peace. Rampaging criminal gangs melted away and anarchy gave way to stability.”

    These words – in the most generous interpretation – reveal that you are completely ignorant of credible and damning reports about MINUSTAH’s destructive role in Haiti. Shortly after a coup – backed by the US, France and Canada – deposed Haiti’s democratically elected government in 2004, MINUSTAH was brought in to serve the Latortue dictatorship. According to a scientific survey in the Lancet medical journal, MINUSTAH’s armed allies in Haiti perpetrated about 4000 political killings in the 2 years while Latortue was in power.



  7. liz burbank said on November 18th, 2010 at 11:23pm #

    more important info: on US v. Haitian plans

    Cholera in the War for Haiti