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Haiti's Cholera Epidemic Sparks Outrage


By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 17 November 2010

Haiti's Cholera Epidemic Sparks Outrage - by Stephen Lendman

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 lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

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I posted links yesterday for a few good video reports and two articles in the first post of the following page, below, and I think the best of these videos to start with is for the roughly roughly 12-minute interview of Oct. 26th on Dem. Now! with Dr. Evan Lyon. The death toll has risen a lot since then, but what he says remains important or very important. The link for that video is right after the excerpt of the second AlJazeera article in the post.

http://warisacrime.org/content/washington-backing-indonesian-state-terro...

Recommended are the other videos linked in that post, but I haven't viewed the last one in the post and which is not about the cholera outbreak, as people who check will see. It's about what France owes Haiti.

On November 14, Operational Biosurveillance said it confirmed statistics of up to 400% undercounting.

http://biosurveillance.typepad.com/haiti_operational_biosurv

I'll excerpt from what is provided in the above page for their article, "Current Map of Cholera-Affected Areas", which apparently was posted this morning at 9:34 a.m., unless that's supposed to be for update. It's evidently time and date of update, for opening the article in a separate tab shows that it's originally of Nov. 4th.

We will adjust this map as more information becomes available.

Updates: Official stats, DR official acknowledgement of cholera, updated map.

While the UN OCHA maps and official MSPP reporting tends to focus on Artibonite and points north, there are other areas routinely not included on the OCHA maps that have reported cholera. We opt on the side of "cholera until proven otherwise" or when political sensitivity is such that full disclosure and transparency allows.

Current official stats are more than 16,700 cases and 1,034 fatalities. In some areas of Haiti, we have confirmation that in-patient statistics are under-reported by as much as 400%. In many areas of Haiti, we are documenting outbreaks that are not being accounted for in the official statistics.

There is no question of under-reporting. If we assume the case counts are 1/4 the true community load, then 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. ...

As noted by HEAS one week ago and today officially acknowledged, cholera is in the Dominican Republic. We expect to see medical clinic inundations inside DR in the near future.

The above Biosurveillance page provides more articles on the situation in Haiti, btw. And definitely listen to the Dem. Now! interview of Oct. 26th with Dr. Lyon referred to in my first post in this page, so above this one.

Stephen Lendman wrote:

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.

A number of the reports referred to in my first post, above, two articles and a few videos, say that Haiti hasn't had a case of cholera in at least 50 years, so Haitians haven't developed immunity to this easily treatable disease. One of the reports I provided a link for say that three categories of people, children, possibly women, and elderly people can die within 12 hours of contracting the disease, while others can die with 24 hours, so like Dr. Lyon said in the interview on Dem. Now!, this is a very fast-acting sickness for Haitians, who lack sufficient clean water for drinking and bathing, purposefully due to the US, France and Canada, but especially the US.

I feared genocide was an unstated motive behind the withholding of aid for Haitians after the earthquake last January, after years of the US criminally refusing to restore their democratically elected government, but while I have no definite way of being certain that genocide is intended, what's going on with this cholera outbreak certainly reinforces this speculation or belief. I definitely believe that genocide has been and is intended; genocide, and economic slavery for survivors.

Being called a "conspiracy theorist" won't bother me one f*cking bit. Conspiracy is involved. Otherwise, aid would have been delivered, plenty of it. And the US, Canada and France certainly conspired to commit the Feb. 29th, 2004 overthrow of President Aristide and Haitians' democratically elected government.

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

MINUSTAH stood by, watching, while the extremely violent criminals the US, France and Canada released from prison and put in charge of "law" enforcement took machetes to unarmed Haitians of Port au Prince in or on a soccer field. MINUSTAH also took part in killing a number of these poverty-stricken and treated-as-slaves Haitians in Port au Prince neighborhoods, probably Cite Soleil, literally shooting them on the street and in their homes while they were unarmed and didn't commit violence; although, even if they had thrown rocks, say, then it would've been more than deserved and rocks don't kill, while MINUSTAH does.

The UNHRC or HCR representative demanded corrections for this, but the commander in charge of MINUSTAH responded with what basically was like threatening words and definitely, and clearly, refusing to comply with international humanitarian laws, et cetera. And the UNSC did what? Nothing for Haitians; that's for sure.

Kevin Pina did excellent reporting, articles and video, or certainly audio, on events in Haiti. Brian Concannon also did, and HaitiAction.net was also a good source, among others, some of which there are links for in the Links page at Haiti Action. These are articles or reports of several years ago though, so it'd be necessary to look through archives, or to use a Web search engine.

It's definitely worth checking out Haiti Action today.

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.

The US surely is keyly responsible for the withholding of the aid, as it is for the obstruction of restoring Haitians' democratic government; I believe.

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.

According to I believe two, if not more than two, reports referred to in my first post in this page, for links to reports, it seems highly likely that the cholera arrived with Nepalese soldiers of the UN "peacekeeping" force. There was some, if not much, cholera in Nepal before they departed for Haiti.

Haiti's now feeling the sting.

Of death; and intense misery for survivors.

Articles, one or more:

I hadn't known of HaitianTruth.org, before Stephen Lendman's article, so took a little time to check it out and found an article about an evidently stunning topic.

"FLASH – FLASH – FLASH WHY PREVAL REFUSED CHOLERA VACCINE", Nov. 14th, 2010

www.haitian-truth.org/flash-–-flash-flash-why-preval-refused-cholera-vaccine

Doctor Larsen attended a luncheon with a few dozen Haitian doctors today. During this gathering he explained why President Preval refused to accept Cholora Vaccine for treatment of Haiti’s population.

“We will not accept the vaccine because it will make those who receive it believe they cannot catch Cholera and then they will do nothing to prevent it. We would rather spend the money on educations…”

MY GOD IN HEAVEN!!! Preval and Larsen are educating the people by telling them they should wash their hands by having someone else pour water over their hands…

Is this approach just a case of simple stupidity and ignorance on the part of a competent doctor, with alcoholic problems?

Or is it Preval’s ruthless and cynical effort to create a human tragedy that will allow retention of personal power? He is now shifting away from Manigat as his presidential puppet and favors a last minute move to sit Celestin on the seat of power.

(snip)

Wondering if this is indeed true, I tried a Web search about this and didn't find a link to an article saying the same thing. But maybe the following one will do.

"Haitian President Rene Preval suspects Cholera Outbreak is a Bio-Weapon"

Google translation from noticias.terra.com.br 24 October, 2010

http://info-wars.org/2010/10/26/haitian-president-rene-preval-suspects-c...

Haitian President Rene Preval said on Saturday that the cholera epidemic affecting the country since the beginning of the week was “imported”. Preval, however, does not want to investigate the origin of the outbreak. “It would be irresponsible and dangerous” to identify a country as a source of the epidemic that has killed 210 people, said the Haitian leader to station Radio Kiskeya in Mirebalais, one of the areas affected by the disease.

Accompanied by Health Minister, Alex Larsen, head of the Interior, Paul Antoine Bien-Aime, and the police chief, Mario Andrésol, Preval also visited Artibonite (north), another division greatly affected by the outbreak.

The leader took the opportunity to ask that people follow the recommended hygiene practices to prevent the disease from spreading further. “Help yourself and help the state,” said the Haitian president, who also asked that news organizations should collaborate with the campaign against the disease through newsletters and awareness messages.

Update re. vaccination:

I am not medically knowledgeable, having no formal education whatsoever in medicine, but have read and heard that vaccinations are to be avoided as much as possible in order to protect and develop the immune system, and there's no mention of vaccination for treatment in any of the reports that I linked in a post here (see my first post in this page). And the Wikipedia page doesn't mention vaccination for treatment. The page says like in the reports I had linked in the other post, saying that "In most cases cholera can be successfully treated with oral rehydration therapy (ORT) which is highly effective, safe, and simple to administer.[4] Rice based solutions are preferred to glucose based ones due to greater efficacy.[4] In severe cases with significant dehydration intravenous rehydration may be necessary ....".

For antibiotics, Wikipedia says, "Antibiotics for 1 to 3 days shorten the course of the disease and reduce the severity of the symptoms.[1] People will however recover without them if sufficient hydration is maintained.[4] ...".

So the Haitian-truth.org writer evidently hasn't taken the time to read anything on how cholera's to be treated.

When I was perhaps 12 years old, my brother and I contracted some sort of sickness that caused highly frequent, green, and rather purely liquid diarrhea for me and vomiting for my brother when we went with family to Ottawa, Ontario one summer. We spent much of the next 24 hours seated on the toilet and leaning over a bucket, after which parents and an aunt, who spent a lot of time washing my underwear decided we better be taken to the hospital, where the nurse said it was a good thing we were brought there, because we urgently needed some vaccine or antibiotic, which she administered with a [long] needle in the butt. I don't know if it was a vaccine or just an antibiotic, but we very quickly recovered. She nurse said it was a dangerous condition and that a good number of other people had had to go to the hospital to be treated for the same condition. She said it was a virus or bacteria in the water, and she said nothing about needing rehydration. So I guess it wasn't cholera.

"Cholera reported in Florida as Haiti death toll climbs"

by the CNN Wire Staff, Nov. 17th, 2010

www.haitian-truth.org/cholera-reported-in-florida-as-haiti-death-toll-cl...

Cap Haitien, Haiti (CNN) — Haiti reported more cholera deaths Wednesday as chaos reigned in this country’s second-largest city and cases among people who had traveled from Haiti were reported in Florida and across the island in the Dominican Republic.

The woman who had recently traveled from Haiti to Florida was recovering, the Florida Department of Health said.

Her case was identified through the state’s enhanced disease surveillance system and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, where it was confirmed, the state health department said.

The state, which has about 241,000 Haitian-born residents, has asked local health care providers to watch for people who become sick or show symptoms of cholera after returning from travel to Haiti.

“We are working with our health care partners to ensure appropriate care of this individual and prevent the spread of this disease within the community,” said State Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros. “We will continue to monitor the state for any future cases.”

(snip)

This, to me, seems like an inappropriately titled article. It is more alarmist than it should be. It could say something about this not being a general outbreak sort of situation in Florida, that it, for now anyway, is only with respect to Haitians traveling to Florida. Seeing the title, I thought it was about a general danger and it evidently isn't.

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