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UN needs to take ownership of its introduction of cholera into Haiti

As if Haiti didn't have enough problems on all levels, post the devastating earthquake a couple of years back the UN introduced cholera into the country.    It's more than timely for the UN to take ownership of what it caused and clean up the mess - literally!

"Haitians have had a long and arduous struggle just to achieve the rights that most people in the rest of the hemisphere have enjoyed. From the revolution of Haitian slaves that won independence from the French in 1804, through the U.S. occupation (1915-1934), the Duvalier family dictatorship (1957-1986), and the last 20 years of devastating foreign intervention, the “international community” just hasn’t seen Haitians as having the same basic human rights as people in other countries.

They still don’t, perhaps because Haitians are too poor and black.  While the horrific earthquake of January 2010 brought international sympathy and aid – much more pledged than delivered – it didn’t bring a change of attitude toward Haiti.

This is perhaps most clear in the failure of the United Nations to take responsibility for the additional devastation they have brought to Haiti with the deadly disease of cholera. Since the outbreak began in October 2010, more than 7,445 Haitians have died of the disease and more than 580,000 have been infected, and these official numbers are an underestimate. It is now firmly established, by a number of scientific studies, that UN troops brought cholera to Haiti by dumping their human waste into the country’s water supply.

This is gross negligence that would have landed them a multi-billion dollar lawsuit if they were a private corporation, or even criminal prosecution.  But the UN has so far refused to even admit responsibility; although Bill Clinton, who is the UN’s special envoy for Haiti acknowledged in March that the UN brought cholera to Haiti.

“As cholera was brought to Haiti due to the actions of the UN, we believe that it is imperative for the UN to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic, ” said Congressional Democrats in an appeal to Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a few weeks ago.  Despite the fact that the letter was signed by the majority of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, it was ignored by the media in the United States.  And Rice has yet to respond."

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