Collapse of Haiti to Have Catastrophic Domino Effect

Protesters angry at spread of cholera. Rabble
The arrival of United Nations troops after the US-backed coup which saw the overthrow of Haiti's democratically-elected president, Bertrand Aristide, brought with it cholera, a disease which is still raging to this day. More than a million people will have been affected by the epidemic by the end of this year, and the number of dead stands close to a staggering 10,000.

From Haiti, cholera has reached: Cuba, Florida, Venezuela, and Mexico; and it has killed close to 500 in Haiti's neighbor, the Dominican Republic. Besides cholera, the Zika virus has recently arrived in Haiti and, given the nation's nonexistent infrastructure, promises to spread like wildfire in the collapsed country's densely-populated slums.

In a nation where most people survive on less than a few dollars a day and can barely afford food much less mosquito repellent, we have the makings for a humanitarian tragedy. Of the 4 million people that experts predict will be infected by the Zika virus, an extremely disproportionate number will have been infected in Haiti. If Brazil's Pernambuco was ground zero of the Zika crisis, it soon promises to move to the continent's most impoverished nation, where cases of microcephaly may cripple the future of an already struggling people.

Combined with two medical calamities, Haiti is currently facing a political crisis. Elections, which were due to take place in just over a week, have been canceled. Haiti's Constitution demands that current President Michel Martelly leave office on the 7th of February, but there seems to be no hope for an election to select his successor, since the main opposition candidate has backed out of the race, citing fraud. The Los Angeles Times quoted an expert on Haitian politics, who said: “You’re looking at a country absolutely mired in institutional chaos. They are teetering on the brink. They are there on the edge of the precipice.”

UN truck caught dumping waste in a river
The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola and a turbulent history with Haiti, has already begun preparations for a catastrophe that looks almost inevitable at this late stage in the political game.

Dominican politicians are already calling for an international intervention in order to prevent another major disaster.

Haiti has been relatively stable since Minustah (United Nations "peacekeeper troops") were emptying up to 2,000 rounds a night in the slum where the US-deposed president enjoyed most support. Diplomatic cables leaked by former US Army Private Chelsea Manning detail a nation where up to 30,000 bullets were being casually fired a month as part of peacekeeping efforts, and where waste was so badly disposed of that cholera came back from the history books. 

However, UN peacekeepers may soon yearn back for the first three years that followed the overthrow of President Aristide. The coming political crisis arrives in a nation that is reeling from the effects of an apocalyptic earthquake that leveled what little infrastructure existed, where cholera is almost a weapon of mass destruction, and where the Zika virus promises to annihilate an entire generation of newborns. 

Minustah forces raid. Abassi
When the coming Haitian civil war reaches full intensity, we may be looking at a million refugees fleeing death, disease, war, and hopelessness to nearby Caribbean islands. The European Union has received one million refugees and is nearly on the verge of implosion as a result, despite its population of half a billion.

The by-comparison minuscule population of the Caribbean, and the severity of the illnesses that will be imported by the refugee wave, may see the medical system of several islands collapse.