- This is the latest update since Haiti's cholera outbreak,
previous articles accessed through the following links, including the most
recent on Sunday's sham election, an exercise in imperial control:
- On November 24, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans
Frontieres - MSF) reported it continues increasing its efforts in response
to Haiti's deepening crisis.
- From October 22 to November 21, MSF teams treated 29,000
people in cholera treatment centers (CTCs), established in Port-au-Prince,
Artibonite region (where the first outbreak occurred), North, and Northwest
with a 2% or less case fatality rate.
- A remarkable record showing that cholera is easily treated
when done effectively in time. Otherwise, it's fatal, a major problem for
growing numbers unable to access care, including because of heavy rain
in some areas turning roads to mud.
- On November 24, Al Jazeera headlined "UN revises
Haiti cholera estimates," saying:
- Officials say it's "spreading faster than originally
estimated and could infect hundreds of thousands." A new World Health
Organization (WHO) assessment estimates 200,000 cases in three months,
400,000 in a year. All 10 provinces are affected.
- The UN's Haiti humanitarian coordinator, Nigel Fisher,
expects "literally hundreds of thousands of cases. The medical specialists
all say that this cholera epidemic will continue through months and maybe
a year at least...."
- On November 25, Haiti Libre reported 27,933 confirmed
cases, 1,523 official deaths, and too little capacity to handle growing
- "The situation in Haiti is urgent and will get worse
and worse in the coming weeks." In total, 36 CTCs operate with a 2,830
bed capacity, far below what's needed. The areas (departments) most affected
are Artibonite, North, Northwest, West (including Port-au-Prince), and
Northeast. Daily, dozens more cases are reported.
- Some human rights groups want Sunday's election postponed.
Let Haiti Live's executive director, Melinda Miles, said:
- "Cholera is a game changer in the most fundamental
sense. What we can say, definitely, is that....no elections held in the
midst of the current exploding cholera crisis can be considered credible."
- Most pertinent is banning 15 political parties, including
by far the most popular, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas that would sweep to victory
overwhelmingly if participated. It's why it's excluded, to assure imperial
favorites are selected. Democracy is off the ballot in Haiti.
- On November 23, Canada's CBC headlined, "Cholera
help slowed by indecision: UN," saying:
- UN bureaucracy is "slowing down aid," making
it likely that deaths "could rise above 10,000 if help doesn't quicken."
Most at fault, rich nations failing to help, notably the Obama administration
spurning its responsibility to earthquake and cholera victims, obstructing
aid and providing none of its own, leaving Haitians on their own.
- On November 24, Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance (OB)
provided its latest update, conservatively estimating "nearly 95,000
cases," the majority subclinical. Again, in many areas, they confirm
an undercount of around 400%, saying:
- "In many areas of Haiti, we are documenting outbreaks
that are not being accounted for in the official statistics. We therefore
estimate the upper bound of estimated total (subclinical and clinically
apparent) case counts to be nearly 375,000, (and a) true community load
(close) to 800,000 if subclinical infections are counted."
- OB sharply criticized America's Centers for Disease Control
(CDC), calling its hubris well-known, a factor contributing to its inappropriate
strategy for providing an infectious disease crisis warning. Moreover,
CDC acted unprofessionally, spurning available peer-reviewed literature
and operational experience. It played an important role in advising USAID
and other US government organizations to withhold funding. It's how America
treats poor people everywhere, including at home.
- OB also held USAID and the State Department culpable
for downplaying the gravity of the crisis, despite multiple professional
briefings. Thomas Adams, Haiti Special Coordinator commented on the epidemic,
saying "turn off the alarms." In other words, Washington has
no intention to help.
- The UN's Cluster System also failed, and the NGO community
largely spurned its responsibility, OB citing:
- "countless examples of large NGOs either openly
refusing to share information used to detect, verify, and execute emergency
responses for villages experiencing 'first contact' mortality, or deliberately
remaining silent as unfunded 'grassroots' organizations scramble to send
volunteers into remote areas to help....The rule of thumb is the more funding
and the larger the organization, the less likely (it is) to share information
about fatalities and emergency need for response." Or deliver vitally
needed services, their interests largely bottom-line driven, making them
non-profit in name only.
- In addition, OB criticized Haiti's government for "dereliction
of duty," a November 17 AFP report providing a recent example, headlined,
"Haiti's Preval urges calm as cholera toll soars."
- His government failed to help earthquake and cholera
victims. Preval stayed out of sight, largely invisible while Haitians suffer.
Instead, on November 17, his recorded message said:
- "Disorder and instability have never brought solutions
to a country going through hard times," never mind spurning his responsibility
to help. Noting protest outbreaks in Cap Haitien, Port-au-Prince, and elsewhere
around the country, he said, "Gunshots (fired by UN paramilitaries
killing two or more Haitians), throwing bottles, and barricades of burning
tires will not help us eradicate cholera bacteria. On the contrary, it
will prevent the sick from receiving care and to deliver medicine where
it is needed."
- A shocking display of indifference and hypocrisy, reason
enough why most Haitians despise him, his party, and government.
- A Final Comment
- Despite calls to postpone elections and address urgent
cholera and earthquake priorities, Sunday's sham process will proceed.
US ambassador Kenneth Merten affirmed it at a November 23 videoconference,
- America supports "free, fair, and transparent elections
on November 28....We urge Haitians to go out and vote and to exercise their
right to do so."
- One unidentified reporter challenged him, saying:
- "A number of articles have come out recently, arguing
that this election is not free and fair, cannot be....given the exclusion
of a number of political parties, (especially) Fanmi Lavalas....What is
your comment on that?"
- Merten: "Yeah, I understand there have been criticisms
of this. However....the sheer number of participants from across the political
spectrum (offers) a pretty good representation of the Haitian body politic.
Regarding Lavalas....there are at least five (presidential candidates)
who are former Lavalas members....So I think their representation....is
- False, another example of America's big lie everywhere
its imperial boot kicks hard, in this case violating Haiti's 1987 Constitution,
guaranteeing free, fair and open elections.
- Haiti, however, is a de facto US colony, militarized
by proxy Blue Helmets, a repressive occupying force backed by Pentagon
might when needed. US marines and other contingents are never far away,
never shy about intervening, never reticent about smashing people, communities
or countries, unconcerned about lawfulness, democratic values and social
- Haitians know it and their northern neighbor, stomping
on them mercilessly for over 200 years, the Obama administration no different
than its predecessors. It exploited Haiti's crisis, abandoning millions
to suffer and perish from hunger, exposure, depravation, and disease, a
testimony to American depravity.
- The best from Merten was that Haiti had "a difficult
year, (but) it is important that the political process move forward."
Politics before people, capital before essential needs, America's imperial
arrogance, Haitians paying the price.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour
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