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The U.N. Lacks Moral Authority to Dictate Morale in Haiti

category central america / caribbean | imperialism / war | non-anarchist press author Monday February 24, 2014 21:48author by Chris Celius - Foreign Policy Association Report this post to the editors

It is a volcano jumping between dormant and active stages and last month, it erupted again, spitting a litany of condemning editorials across global opinion pages that set ablaze United Nations’ inexcusable, uncompromising policy in Haiti, where the cholera epidemic, now entering its fourth year, killed more than 8,300 people and sickened another 650,000. An advocacy group representing the victims provoked the latest upsurge of Haiti’s cholera fiasco when it filed a lawsuit against the U.N. in a Manhattan Federal District Court, demanding reparations.

Although an Everest of evidence only indexed U.N. peacekeepers, particularly a Nepalese contingent caught dumping human waste into the Artibonite River near its base that numerous studies pinned at the origin of the outbreak, the global organization refused to accept responsibility for its man-made disaster. However, lead counsel Mario Joseph hopes this eruption will spew enough lava to overwhelm U.N. officials’ deniability and compel them to pay financial reparations to its victims.

The U.N.’s response to the lawsuit varied little from its persisting refrain; a confluence of circumstances, including the country’s dearth of clean water and good sanitation facilitated the spread of cholera. Beyond its dismissive, dehumanizing response however, the global entity failed to provide a shred of scientific evidence, challenging the slew of academic research that traced the cholera strain to Nepal that experienced an outbreak in the months preceding its peacekeepers’ deployment to Haiti.

Rather than taking necessary safety measures to protect hundreds of thousands of lives, the U.N. neglected to properly screen its troops, failed to maintain proper sanitation facilities, and take immediate, appropriate actions following the outbreak. It therefore carelessly allowed Haitians to become infected with cholera, unheard of in the Caribbean nation since 1867. Instead, organizational leaders hid behind the 1946 Convention of the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, claiming absolute immunity from prosecution, spitting on the graves and faces of its victims.

Asked about an official response to the lawsuit, “it is not the United Nations practice to discuss in public claims filed against the Organization,” answered a U.N. spokesperson. Yet, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon telephoned President Michel Martelly in February 2013 and told him that the U.N. would not compensate any of the 5,000 claimants the Institute for Justice and Democracy (IJDH) represented in a similar November 2011 lawsuit. As Joseph argued, “The United Nations can’t have humanity and impunity at the same time,” which was a pivotal conclusion researchers from Yale Law School reached last July, after examining the cholera debacle. The report noted the United Nations’ immunity clause does not confer absolute impunity, especially when the world organization blatantly violated its contractual obligations to Haiti and its responsibilities under international human rights law. In its signed-agreement with the Haitian government when it established a peacekeeping force there in 2004, the U.N. promised to create a commission to review claims related to complaints about its troops. Such a commission has never been established, noted the report.

U.N.’s degrading response to its victims’ public outcry constituted not only an attack on human dignity and decency, but also a violation of fundamental accountability principles that has govern society for millennia. As such, we must stop punishing poorly behaving children; intervene in countries where totalitarian regimes use chemical weapons on their own people; or, for that fact, administer justice to individuals that, through criminal negligence, allow others to die.

The Yale report correctly stated, the U.N. “risks losing its moral ground by refusing to comply with the very law it demands states and other international actors to respect,” and I could not agree more, especially when the rising tide of anti-Martelly demonstrations inhibiting the country could necessitate peacekeepers’ intervention. Granted, the United Nations played a pivotal role, helping save and/or improve lives in Haiti, particularly in the country’s post-quake struggles; nevertheless, human lives must supersede self-serving bureaucratic, political or policy manoeuvres.

Related Link: http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2013/11/25/the-un-lacks-m...aiti/
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img_0001wb.jpg imageOctober 19th Mobilization against UN troops in Haiti 15:49 Fri 21 Oct by Batay Ouvriye 0 comments

On the basis of the Call from Collective for the Compensation of Cholera Victims in which we participate, some 400 persons mobilized last October 19th to protest again against the presence of the MINUSTAH (U.N.) troops in Haiti.

72a2d82c4bd14e14f80e6a7067000da2.jpg imageEnough is enough: let us all demand an end to the UN occupation of Haiti (29th February 2012) 15:27 Mon 17 Oct by Various Authors 0 comments

There are a thousand reasons for the UN occupation troops in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to leave. And not one single legitimate reason for them to stay. [Castellano] [Kreyòl Ayisyen] [Français]

35224_114775465236655_100001126067519_82272_7402679_n1.jpg imageCosta Rica: No cheeks left to turn 23:18 Wed 04 Aug by Colectivo La Libertad 2 comments

Statement by the Colectivo La Libertad from Costa Rica on the increasing militarization of Central American-Caribbean area, the growing repression of the popular movement and of any form of social protest, and their position on the approval for the stationing of thousands of US Marines on Costa Rican territory. Solidarity! [Castellano] [Français]

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_pwen_6.jpg imageHaiti: workers take over Flag Day (May 18th) 22:20 Sat 12 Jun by Batay Ouvriye 0 comments

May 18th, 2010, Flag Day commemoration! But: what flags? The American one, the French one, the Canadian, Chilean, Brazilian, Argentine, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan ones…? Or those of Jordan, Nepal, Congo, Senegal, China Israel, Sri Lanka…? Or, perhaps, those of Doctors without Borders or the Oxfam team?

demokrasi_popile_1.jpg imageSolidarity with the Haitian people! No to militarisation! 06:06 Wed 24 Feb by Comité Democrático Haitiano en Argentina 0 comments

The earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12th, also shook the consciousness and the heart of people all over the world, in whose eyes Haiti once again existed. It also shook our memory, since in between the press releases on this natural catastrophe, there have been leaks of the “social” catastrophes that have been suffered by the Haitian people and which are never taught at school. US and UN military occupations, bloody dictatorships backed by the Pentagon, embargoes and sanctions imposed by French and US imperialism, all of which have been as devastating as the earthquake. [Castellano] [Français] [Italiano]

dscf0017.jpg imageReport on the Haiti Solidarity Day demo (Dublin) 19:58 Thu 08 Feb by Paddy Rua 7 comments

Brief report of the Dublin activity in solidarity with the Haitian people struggle on the 7th of February

haitis.gif imageThe UN’s Christmas present to Haiti -- Assault on Sité Soley 06:49 Tue 26 Dec by Haiti Action 2 comments

Urgent action alert from the Haiti Action Committee - December 24, 2006

In the early morning of Friday, December 22nd, starting at approximately 3 a.m., 400 Brazilian-led UN occupation troops in armored vehicles carried out a massive assault on the people of Cite Soleil, laying siege yet again to the impoverished community. Eyewitness reports said a wave of indiscriminate gunfire from heavy weapons began about 5 a.m. and continued for much of the day Friday -- an operation on the scale of the July 6, 2005 UN massacre in Cite Soleil. Detonations could be heard for miles, AHP reported.

02.jpg imageUN whitewashes massacre amid new attacks in Haiti 01:33 Mon 16 Jan by HIP 0 comments

The January 9 strike came two days after the death of the commander of U.N. military forces in Haiti Lt. Gen. Urano Bacellar. His death was initially reported as a suicide but U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Juan Gabriel Valdes has implied in recent interviews to the Haitian press that it may have been an assassination by forces trying to disrupt the electoral process. And finally, the right-wing opposition of president Mbeki in South Africa with ties to Haiti's elite ridiculously implied that a sniper from their country, at the behest of Aristide, killed the general.

pwen_1.png imageHaiti: On the January 9 (2006) Strike 20:22 Sun 08 Jan by BO 3 comments

For us of Batay Ouvriye, this is a call that is directly and openly against our interests, we of the popular masses. In the solution they are requesting – and building -, the strike is a first step. The next will be against us, since already in the first one, they don’t take into account the true nature and true forms of OUR problems in the question of insecurity. In truth, broadly shooting down residents of the popular neighborhoods (the strike heads might as well ask for bombs to be dropped massively on them) solves the gang problem, for all they are concerned.

pwen.png imageOn the Haitian Elections 19:27 Sun 08 Jan by BO 0 comments

Batay Ouvriyé Union's position on the Haitian elections.

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imageMartelly’s (s)election in Haiti: dance to the sound of Duvalierism! Aug 02 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 3 comments

Article on the recent electoral process in Haiti, the (s)election of "Sweet Mickey" Martelly and the process of restoration of Duvalierism by the so-called international community. Originally appeared ins an edited version in the British magazine "The Commune" , issue 23 - July 2011, with the title "Another UN presidential (s)election in Haiti".

imageBaby Doc returns to Haiti: the Duvalier Restoration Jan 19 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 0 comments

With the arrival of Baby Doc back in Haiti, the cycle opened by the extraordinarily tragic popular revolts of 1986 can be said to have come to completion. The restoration strategy of Duvalierism has succeeded, at least for now. Mouthing pious words about relief and wiping the crocodile tears about the misery they have created from their eyes, the "international community" has spared no efforts in helping the neo-Duvalierists bring about the Restoration. [Castellano]

imageThe Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the UN Occupation in Haiti Nov 03 by B.O. Solidarity Network 0 comments

At first glance, one might wonder what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have in common with a UN “peace” mission on the opposite side of the world, in Haiti, a non Muslim country. Indeed, from the standpoint of US military casualties or US military expenditures, there is little in common

imageNo to US/Imperialist Occupation of Haiti Aug 02 by BO Solidarity Network 0 comments

For more than 30 years, since the end of the 70’s, each year, without fail, progressives in NY have gathered to mark July 28, 1915, the anniversary of the first US occupation of Haiti, a 19 year occupation that made more than 15,000 victims, an occupation that radically changed Haiti.

imageWhy We Should Oppose the U.S. Occupation of Haiti Apr 20 by John Reimann 0 comments

From the Industrial Worker (Official Newspaper of the Industrial Workers of the Wolrd, IWW) #1723, vol. 107, No.2, February-March 2010.

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imageEnough is enough: let us all demand an end to the UN occupation of Haiti (29th February 2012) Oct 17 0 comments

There are a thousand reasons for the UN occupation troops in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to leave. And not one single legitimate reason for them to stay. [Castellano] [Kreyòl Ayisyen] [Français]

imageCosta Rica: No cheeks left to turn Aug 04 2 comments

Statement by the Colectivo La Libertad from Costa Rica on the increasing militarization of Central American-Caribbean area, the growing repression of the popular movement and of any form of social protest, and their position on the approval for the stationing of thousands of US Marines on Costa Rican territory. Solidarity! [Castellano] [Français]

imageSolidarity with the Haitian people! No to militarisation! Feb 24 0 comments

The earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12th, also shook the consciousness and the heart of people all over the world, in whose eyes Haiti once again existed. It also shook our memory, since in between the press releases on this natural catastrophe, there have been leaks of the “social” catastrophes that have been suffered by the Haitian people and which are never taught at school. US and UN military occupations, bloody dictatorships backed by the Pentagon, embargoes and sanctions imposed by French and US imperialism, all of which have been as devastating as the earthquake. [Castellano] [Français] [Italiano]

imageThe UN’s Christmas present to Haiti -- Assault on Sité Soley Dec 26 2 comments

Urgent action alert from the Haiti Action Committee - December 24, 2006

In the early morning of Friday, December 22nd, starting at approximately 3 a.m., 400 Brazilian-led UN occupation troops in armored vehicles carried out a massive assault on the people of Cite Soleil, laying siege yet again to the impoverished community. Eyewitness reports said a wave of indiscriminate gunfire from heavy weapons began about 5 a.m. and continued for much of the day Friday -- an operation on the scale of the July 6, 2005 UN massacre in Cite Soleil. Detonations could be heard for miles, AHP reported.

imageHaiti: On the January 9 (2006) Strike Jan 08 Batay Ouvriyé 3 comments

For us of Batay Ouvriye, this is a call that is directly and openly against our interests, we of the popular masses. In the solution they are requesting – and building -, the strike is a first step. The next will be against us, since already in the first one, they don’t take into account the true nature and true forms of OUR problems in the question of insecurity. In truth, broadly shooting down residents of the popular neighborhoods (the strike heads might as well ask for bombs to be dropped massively on them) solves the gang problem, for all they are concerned.

more >>
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