Workers Vanguard No. 1055

31 October 2014


U.S./UN Role in Haiti’s Cholera Crisis


9 October 2014

In the recent article on the Ebola crisis in Africa (WV No. 1053, 3 October), we take up the latest in a series of imperialist interventions and occupations around the world cloaked in humanitarian disguise. The U.S./UN imperialist occupation of Haiti was mentioned. The bourgeois press and the capitalist rulers have conveniently and hypocritically buried the occupiers’ role in the cholera epidemic that ravaged Haiti.

As I was writing, I noticed a brief note in the “World Briefing” section of the NY Times (8 October), which mentions that “a federal judge in New York has agreed to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit filed against the United Nations by advocates for Haitian victims of the deadly cholera epidemic that first appeared on the island four years ago. The lawsuit, filed last year, argues that United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti were responsible for introducing the disease through sewage contamination from their barracks after the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. The epidemic has killed more than 8,000 people.”

That’s right, 8,000 and counting. We communists have thrown a sharp spotlight on imperialism’s role in thwarting basic lifesaving measures to ameliorate the cholera outbreak in Haiti. In 2010, the U.S. prevented the development of water purification facilities that could have saved countless lives. The cholera strain was similar to a South Asian strain and perhaps linked to the presence of UN troops from Nepal. (“Haiti: Cholera Epidemic and Imperialist Oppression,” WV No. 970, 3 December 2010).

The U.S. occupation in 2010 was designed to keep desperately poor Haitians out of the U.S. following the devastating earthquake and to perpetuate U.S. imperialist domination over the region. The Democratic Party Obama administration and the UN special envoy to Haiti, Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton, provided a “kinder, gentler” face for bloody U.S. imperialism in its strangulation of desperately impoverished Haiti. In accordance with the racist ideology of the imperialist rulers, black/dark-skinned people throughout the world are viewed as the inherent carriers of disease, crime and bestiality. On the contrary, it is the imperialist criminals worldwide, led by the U.S., who are monstrous, rapacious beasts. Armed with an internationalist revolutionary program, class-conscious workers will struggle to sweep away capitalist class rule through world socialist revolution.

Don A.