When Wyclef Jean announced that he was running for president of Haiti, everyone laughed. Surely he wasn’t being serious! What next? Pras Michel trying to be mayor of Trumpton? But he was. Very serious. Y’see, he really cares maaaan.
Yes indeed, the rapper and former Fugees one-timer made his first televised announcement of his bid for Haitian president last night on CNN.
And now, Sean Penn (what’s he got to do with it?! Read on, you’ll see) is wading in questioning his motives as a leader of a country on its knees.
“This is somebody who’s going to receive an enormous amount of support from the United States, and I have to say I’m very suspicious of it, simply because he, as an ambassador at large, has been virtually silent. For those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence.”
Penn, who has been active in Haiti since the earthquake, pointed toward allegations about Wyclef mishandling $400,000 worth of donated for the country through his Yele Haiti foundation.
“He claims he didn’t do it. That has to be looked into it. I’ve been there. I know what $400,000 could do for these people’s lives.”
“I see in Wyclef Jean somebody who could well have been influenced by the promise of support of companies. I think Haiti is clearly vulnerable … There is a history of American interests coming in and underpaying people. This is a culture or one to two dollars a day, that they were making.”
“I haven’t seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti. I think he’s an important voice. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground. I want to see someone who’s really, really willing to sacrifice for their country, and not just someone who I personally saw with a vulgar entourage of vehicles that demonstrated a wealth in Haiti that, in context, I felt was a very obscene demonstration.”
So there. Consider yourself told Mr Jean.