The Times of India,
October 24, 2012
HAVANA: Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Wednesday sided with Haitians seeking reimbursement from the United Nations after a 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, saying it would be “fair.”
“The United Nations is aware it has the responsibility to pay $100,000 to every one of the Haitian victims of the cholera epidemic that has caused the death of more than 7,000 people in Haiti, who were infected by the Nepalese (UN) contingent,” Castro, 86, wrote in an editorial published on Cubadebate.cu.
Castro, who left his home and was seen in public Saturday for the first time in more than six months, said he thought the money Haitian victims and US attorneys were seeking “seems fair” since an investigation showed the strain that infected Haitians was “exactly the same one that exists in Nepal.”
But Castro said he was troubled that “nobody mentions how much the Haitian nation should be compensated,” given it is a “poor and underdeveloped country.”
Some 7,500 people have died of cholera in Haiti, just east of Cuba, since the outbreak started in 2010.
Studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leading experts have said that Nepalese peacekeepers based at a camp at Mirebalais in northern Haiti brought the strain of cholera into the country.
Lawyers acting for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti have filed a legal claim demanding $100,000 dollars for each death and $50,000 for each person made sick.
Castro, 86, who left power in 2006 amid a health crisis, after almost five decades at Cuba’s helm, said earlier this week that US and international media had reported “the most singular garbage” about his health, referring to rumors he was on his death bed if not already dead.