Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Clintons, Obama pass for UN Haiti cholera gets bipartisan criticism

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (sentinel.ht) – Historic Republican Congresswoman, Mia Love, an intriguing long-shot for Donald Trump’s vice-president, and Democrat Congressman John Conyers, have led a bipartisan effort of 158 members of Congress in criticizing the Obama administration’s failure of leadership over the cholera scandal that erupted in Haiti under the Clinton State Department.

The joint letter was sent to State Department and a copy to the Haiti Sentinel from the congressman’s office. It criticized US policy since the October 2010 outbreak which erupted under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Head of the United Nations Envoy to Haiti, former President Bill Clinton.

At least 30,000 people have died as a result of the epidemic caused by the United Nations for which the world body refuses to accept responsibility despite countless independent studies, including from the CDC, which places blame on the organization.

The letter, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, is critical of the UN and moreover the passiveness of US policy. It was signed by 12 Republican and 146 Democratic members of Congress. Led by John Conyers, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, and Mia Love, a Republican congresswoman from Utah, the letter’s signatories include many of the most senior voices on foreign affairs on Capitol Hill.

“We are deeply concerned that the State Department’s failure to take more leadership in the diplomatic realm might be perceived by our constituents and the world as a limited commitment to an accountable and credible UN,” the letter says.

It continues: “We respectfully urge the Department of State to treat the issue of a just and accountable UN response to Haiti’s cholera with the urgency that 10,000-100,000 deaths and catastrophic damage to the UN’s credibility deserves.”

Under Clintons’ State Department and United Nations

Cholera erupted in Haiti in October 2010, just months after the January 2010 earthquake. At this time, the US was intensely involved in what has become a failed reconstruction of billions of dollars. Hillary Clinton was leading the State Department and former President Bill Clinton was the UN Envoy to Haiti and Co-Chair of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commisson (IHRC).

The cholera bacterium was brought to the country by UN peacekeepers from Nepal who set up a base at the top of the Artibonite River, a major river that runs through the center of the country.

The joint letter to Kerry mentions a report by the UN itself carried out in 2010 and leaked recently to the Guardian, which showed that the world body was fully aware that sewage at its peacekeeping bases was being dumped in the river, well after cholera was first detected.

The Congressmembers are excoriating about the UN’s conduct in the wake of the disaster. They note in their letter that the official death toll is almost 10,000, but the reality might be three to 10 times higher, making the Haiti outbreak the worst cholera epidemic of modern times.

“While the deaths, illness, and evidence of malfeasance mounted … the UN continues to refuse to even discuss providing compensation for the losses incurred by those killed and sickened by the cholera it brought to Haiti. There is no notable progress in its proclaimed efforts to provide the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to control the cholera epidemic.”

The UN has denied responsibility and rejected calls for compensation contained in a class action lawsuit filed in New York by victims of the disaster. The world body is claiming immunity from damages in the case.

Full Letter

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Post source : Congress faults Obama for not being tough with UN over Haiti's cholera crisis - The Guardian

About The Author

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.