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The Haitian people continue to suffer because, since the earthquake TEN MONTHS AGO, 2% of the rubble has been cleared, and therefore nothing can be rebuilt and therefore people cannot be relocated and therefore they cannot rebuild their lives. Why the delay? Because the wealthy landowners in Haiti (friends of Bill Clinton et. al.), can't agree on who should pony up land to relocate the millions of homeless people, and so they're waiting on the election in a few weeks, and then it will be sorted out, presumably, in favor of whoever wins. Meanwhile, millions endure unbearable living conditions for months on end. And people die unnecessary deaths.

Cholera can kill in 24 hours. Cholera is not a natural disease of the Caribbean, and so the people there have no immunity.

On Sunday reports were that the UN was investigating allegations that a Nepalese peacekeeping base was the source of cholera that has stalked Haiti since October 20.

Days after a cholera epidemic sickened more than 12,000 people, UN investigators took samples of foul-smelling waste trickling from the base into an already infected river system close to it, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

...The international body says survivors of January's earthquake are mostly at risk as they still live in dirty camps.

Recent flooding brought by Hurricane Tomas has accelerated the epidemic.

The charity Oxfam has warned of supply shortages in terms of soap, water purification tablets, buckets and dehydration salts, saying the existing stock can serve "less than 10 percent of those living in tent cities around the capital.”

Earlier today, the United Nations made an emergency appeal for $164 million to combat the outbreak.

Cholera is a bacterial infection spread by drinking water contaminated by the feces of infected people. Saline solutions can effectively treat the disease, but without immediate treatment patients go into shock and die quickly of dehydration.
Riots have now broken out. The UN denies the allegations that their peacekeeping forces from Nepal brought the disease into Haiti.

(Reuters) - Protesters in Haiti who blamed United Nations peacekeepers for the epidemic of cholera there rioted in two cities on Monday, hurling rocks and setting fire to a police station, police and eyewitnesses said.
In the northern city of Cap-Haitien, the demonstrators torched a police station after confronting U.N. troops, while in Hinche in the central region, they threw stones at Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers.
A cholera epidemic, which broke out last month, has killed more than 900 people in the poor earthquake-hit Caribbean country, and the U.N. mission has repeatedly denied widespread rumors that Nepalese U.N. troops brought the deadly disease to Haiti.

But we know that UN "peacekeeping" forces have a history. 

New photos and video evidence show a truck from the Nepalese MINUSTAH base dumping sewage into a tributary of the Artibonite River in Mirebalais. Sewage traveled 400m and contaminated the Artibonite — a major source of clean water for the Central Plateau and the Artibonite areas.
Aljazeera, the Middle East news outlet, also discovered that the toilets in the Nepalese base in Mirebalais are connected to a tributary connected to the Artibonite. The video shows UN Nepalese soldiers making a hasty effort to close the drains without notifying Haitian authorities. In the Aljazeera video, the efforts to contain the spill appear to be a cover up.
It is worth mentioning that a cholera outbreak started in Kathmandu a couple weeks before the Nepalese contingency arrived in Haiti (see: ) and furthermore, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) determined that the current cholera strain is most similar to a cholera strain from South Asia. See:
The United Nations has denied any connection to the spread of the cholera bacteria (see: ), and has launched an internal investigation. Many observers in Haiti are outraged that the UN thinks it can serve as both judge and jury raising questions about how they will hold themselves accountable if their findings confirm that the source of the outbreak was a UN base. Hundreds of Haitian citizens in Mirebalais protested on October 29 in front of the Nepalese UN base.

Al Jazeera's Cath Turner, en route to Cap Hatien, said that the situation "has been brewing for a while" with "very tense relations" between the UN peacekeepers stationed there and the local community.
"Back in August, a 16-year-old boy was found dead - he was hanging from a tree. And the Haitians believed that he was killed by the troops up there," she said. But the troops claimed the boy had committed suicide, and there was never a formal investigation into the boy's death, she added.
"As you can see, this is really the next phase of this deadly cholera outbreak - this real frustration against the troops - and these people in this community also believe that the UN troops, particularly the Nepalese, are responsible for bringing cholera into this country."
There are Nepalese as well as Chilean troops in Cap Hatien.
This isn't the first protest in Haiti, where crowds have taken to the streets, expressing anger at the Haitian government and the UN for failing to contain the outbreak.
What is cholera?

  • An acute intestinal infection that heavily affects people in developing countries.
  • Infects 3-5 million and kills 100,000-120,000 people annually.
  • Waterborne bacteria spreads quickly through drinking water, can kill withing 24 hours.
  • But it is easy to cure with re-hydration fluids and salts, as long as it is caught in time.
And of course, if people had clean drinking water and sanitation, they would not have to worry about cholera. But millions of Haitians and other people throughout the world have no reliable access to clean water supplies. DESPITE all that money that was raised for Haiti TEN MONTHS AGO.

You know, Dean Kamen invented technology for water purification, called the Slingshot, which can run on any kind of fuel including the methane gas in cow dung, can remove any kind of contaminant from water, requires no filters, membranes or chemicals, and needs no technical expertise to run. But the World Bank said it was too expensive.



Meanwhile, in July 2010 the US sent warships to Costa Rica.

On the 2nd July 2010 the Costa Rica Congress authorized the entry of 46 U.S. warships capable of carrying 200 helicopters and warplanes, plus 7,000 U.S. Marines "who may circulate the country in uniform without any restrictions" , plus submarine killer ships to the Costa Rican coast for "anti-narcotics operations and humanitarian missions' between 1st July 2010 until 31st December 2010.
Despite the fact that Costa Rica was not suffering from any "humanitarian crisis." 

Why did the US military send all these resources to Costa Rica when there is an actual, severe, bona fide humanitarian crisis in Haiti? Not to mention the people of the Gulf and Mexico?

What was so important in Costa Rica??

In September, the US military reported on the successful mission to Costa Rica.

In total, the CP10 Partnership of the Americas team aboard Iwo Jima triaged 5,769 people, performed 2,537 dental and 3,750 optometry services at two medical sites, conducted 3,210 veterinarian services throughout the Limon region, gave 1,268 pairs of eyeglasses and 472 pairs of sunglasses and performed 54 surgeries...

In addition to medical services, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 7 Construction Battalion Mobile Unit 202 built a playground, upgraded a bathroom and overall renovated two school sites in Westafalia and Hone Creek, Costa Rica. Community relations projects, led by the ship's Chaplain Cmdr. Don Oswald, included painting projects at the school sites where the Seabees worked.

...Non-Governmental Organization personnel also worked in different areas of Limon to distribute HCA-related goods, such as wheelchairs, backpacks and toys to children. In total, over $290,000 worth of goods were distributed to local hospitals, organizations and schools. Specific donations in total for Costa Rica include: 35 pallets of wheelchairs; a pallet of water filters; 6 pallets of medical consumables; $232,750 in Project Handclasp donations; 12 pallets of goods from the Latter Day Saints and 3 pallets of disinfectant.

While enjoying three days of liberty in Limon and Puerto Viejos, the CP10 team took time to participate in the local Dias del Negro parade, which is a national holiday to commemorate the culture and spirit of the African American people in Costa Rica. Sixteen Sailors, the Air Force Band, members of the Costa Rican Embassy and Military Group all rode on the Continuing Promise 2010 float.


What makes Haiti have one experience and Costa Rica another?

Both countries have corruption. See top link for more on Haiti's corrupt elite.

Costa Rica is also corrupt.
One ex-president convicted but walking around on appeal and might very well go free on a technicality, one now on trial that has been delayed over and over again which looks ominous for a conviction, and one in self imposed exile living the good life in Switzerland.

...Also in October long time and seemingly trusted judge, Mauel Sanabria got 16 years behind bars for letting walk free, three Colombians caught with 923 kilos of cocaine. Not only did the three not check in as ordered (Sure!) they have left the country altogether....Some of the very people who are paid to protect this country are criminals themselves such as the “crooked cop of the week” who got a cool $2,000 every time he radioed ahead to the drug traffickers where they might be stopped and searched. ...It seems that identifying corruption has been well done by the media.

What is illusive are convictions as a result of an overly active, hyper yet anemic judicial system that very much favors the rights of the accused rather than the victims of crime. In short, “Do the crime and probably not the time.”


And what of this latest border dispute?

It's all very interesting but WHY is it an issue now, all of a sudden?

Perhaps because the area is popular with drug traffickers?

“Some of the people most interested in this conflict are drug traffickers,” Moncada said Tuesday at the OAS.
There might be merit to his words. In recent visits by The Tico Times to Barra del Colorado and San Juan de Nicaragua, just north of the Río San Juan, many residents said that the only benefit created by the heavy police and military presence in their towns was diminished drug activity.
“That’s been the nice part about having all these police here,” said Guillermo “Memo” Cunningham, who owns a small restaurant and hotel in Barra del Colorado. “All the drug traffickers are hiding out and worried. It’s disrupted their business for a few weeks and made the town a little more peaceful.”
The isolated, largely unpatrolled rivers and lagoons of the region have long been a portal for drugs. Both the Río San Juan and Río Colorado provide entryways into the countries from the sea and, in a region with very little police or military presence, traffickers are known to carry drugs into both nation’s hearts.

In fact, that is allegedly the reason that Nicaragua sent troops to the area. 
Edén Pastora, Sandinista revolutionary hero turned Contra rebel, who is now in charge of Nicaragua’s controversial dredging project on the Rio San Juan, told the Nicaraguan television station La Prensa TV that he entered Isla Calero in mid-October to control drug trafficking activities taking place on Finca Áragon, located in the area contested by both countries. Pastora said the Nicaraguan military found 72 barrels of fuel, high-powered boats, satellite telephones, weapons and undocumented Honduran workers.
Although Marco Reyes, the owner of Finca Aragón, denies Pastora’s claims, cooperation to combat drug trafficking in the region could be an important step in fighting drug distribution in the region. Both Costa Rica and Nicaragua are listed on the U.S. government’s list of 20 major drug trafficking or producing countries (TT Sept. 17).
“We agree with and accept the recommendations of the OAS,” said Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro. “While not the prominent issue in these proceedings, there is a definite need to reduce drug trafficking in the region.”
And the reason that Nicaragua has been portrayed as the aggressor...?

And isolated along with Venezuela...?

Nicaragua claims a conspiracy and has threatened to withdraw from the OAS.

President Daniel Ortega said Nicaragua will consider withdrawing from the Organization of American States after the regional body’s Permanent Council asked him to redeploy his troops outside the zone Managua is disputing with Costa Rica, a resolution by which he said he would not abide....Nicaragua was a victim in the forum of a “conspiracy” headed by Colombia, the country to which he attributed “an expansionist policy in the Caribbean Sea,” and to which he added Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico, nations he accused of having drug trafficking interests, Ortega said.
...The OAS called on Costa Rica and Nicaragua to withdraw security forces from a disputed area of their common border and to hold talks to end the conflict. The resolution was approved Friday in a special session by a vote of 22-2, with three abstentions. Nicaragua and its close leftist ally, Venezuela, were the only countries to cast “no” votes during the contentious meeting.

Time to pay attention.


Edo said…
Hey AP, friends of mine go to Costa Rica regularly to surf, spending a month or two there at a time.
Bearing in mind these are just sun and surf loving people, one aspect of their travel stories stuck with me.
They live pretty much on the beach, camping etc, but when they talk about going to bars etc, they're ALWAYS owned by Israelis. Of course, I was interested and asked why Costa Rica should have so many Israeli people there...
Their response was that they were draft dodgers... but I'm not so sure! Especially with all that cocaine there.
A. Peasant said…
ahh, that's interesting edo. draft dodgers, that's a good one. so they don't like the nasty IOF? sure they don't.

could be similar to india. a lot of israelis go to india *after* serving in the IOF, where they hike and hang out and spend most of their time doped up and causing trouble. no doubt they are psychological basket cases but it doesn't occur to them to drop the "chosen status" which is the root of their problems. and guess who comes to their aid? chabad. and chabad is in costa rica too.
Anonymous said…
A lot of useful information here, from Nepalese to Israelis. Many thanks.

- Aangirfan
chuckyman said…
It certainly is an interesting region in terms of deployed US hardware. It is difficult to discern an obvious target or endgame yet. The requisite players are certainly on the scene.

I had read recently of a proposed new rival to the Panama Canal in Nicaragua– possibly using Lake Nicaragua itself. That might make economic sense to a country initially but hardly a recipe for good health in the long run.
Penny said…
The Panama Canal has just undergone a huge expansion, so, it is difficult to think of a rival being built. Billions being spent.

Actually IMO I think the Panama Canal and oil transport is key to the positioning of the US military in Haiti.

I did a post on this subject way back.
Penny said…
Sorry, I mean in the process of an expansion.
chuckyman said…
Agreed Penny – your post is more relevant to current events. Your comments reminded me that there is a similar build up of naval forces around Yemen and the Gulf of Aden – ie the approaches to the Suez Canal. Coincidence maybe?
Penny said…
No not really, these are chokepoints.
I believe that is the correct term.

Crucial for oil shipments
when I have more time I will dig up the older posts and leave the links here, you can check them out and see what you think.
A. Peasant said…
i do remember your post on chokepoints Penny, and that sounds about right to me. useful for oil especially and also other things that need transportation.

sometimes the US military seems to be loitering. i don't know a better word for it. there's no obvious reason for them to be there, it's like they're waiting for someone to show up.
Anonymous said…

More on the missile

They plan to put microchips in medication next that can be relayed to a computer arm band and then the internet. Rolling eyes.
Anonymous said…

Cooking in copper would knock out the cholera in haiti immediamente.
aferrismoon said…
Apparently the worst way to deal with human waste is to add it to water.

Dry toilets!!!

That would do away with large underground sewage pipes and their cost and propensity to carry disease, rats etc.

Of course there's no enormous infrastructure corruption payoff doodah with that.

Anyhow they're shooting Haitiens now - the classic solution

Penny said…
chuckyman: speaking of oil chokepoints, Haiti and the expansion of the panama
here is the info I was referring too.

and you mentioned Yemen and of course Somalia, give you an idea why the US is so all fired up to get to war with Yemen.

there may be more hanging around my blog, but, I think you will get where I am coming from with my commentary
chuckyman said…
Thank you Penny. I appreciate you taking the time to trace those for me. I can see from the URL’s that I’m going to enjoy reading them. If I leave a few comments please don’t think I’m turning into a stalker (grin).
Anonymous said…
I noticed the draft function disappeared from my word press blog. You either publish right away or forget about it.