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When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
The strain of cholera brought to Haiti by Nepalese U.N. soldiers in 2010 has spread to the Dominican Republic, Cuba and now Mexico. In the past few months, Mexico has reported 176 confirmed cases of the disease, with one death. The Pan American Health Organization reported that the genetic profile of the strain in Mexico presents a greater than 95 percent match with the Haitian strain.
“Haiti may have many problems but until 2010 cholera was not one of them. In fact, the country had no known history of the disease at all,” the Al Jazeera host explains. In October 2010, the first of now 8,000 Haitians died of cholera introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal and the U.N.’s negligence in allowing their untreated waste to poison a major river.
Haitians say protests are the inevitable outcome when troops who have occupied Haiti for five years with seeming impunity have introduced a deadly, misery-multiplying disease.
Cholera, a "disease of poverty" caused by lack of access to clean water, has spread to Haiti's capital city of Port au Prince. At a small, desolate camp of ripped tents nearby, a gleaming water tank is propped up on bricks. But it’s empty.