Rapper is No Friend of Haiti -- Wyclef Opposed Aristide

Rapper is No Friend of Haiti -- Wyclef Opposed Aristide

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To cut to the chase, no election in Haiti, and no candidate in those elections, will be considered legitimate by the majority of Haiti’s population, unless it includes the full and fair participation of the Fanmi Lavalas Party of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Fanmi Lavalas is unquestionably the most popular party in the country, yet the “international community,” led by the United States, France and Canada, has done everything possible to undermine Aristide and Lavalas, overthrowing him twice by military coups in 1991 and 2004 and banishing Aristide, who now lives in South Africa with his family, from the Americas.

A United Nations army, led by Brazil, still occupies Haiti six years after the coup. Their unstated mission, under the name of “peacekeeping,” is to suppress the popular movement and prevent the return to power of Aristide’s Lavalas Party. One must understand a Wyclef Jean candidacy, first of all, in this context.

Every election since a 67 percent majority first brought Aristide to power in 1990 has demonstrated the enormous popularity of the Lavalas movement. When Lavalas could run, they won overwhelmingly. In 2006, when security conditions did not permit them to run candidates, they voted and demonstrated to make sure Rene Preval, a former Lavalas president, was re-elected.

Preval, however, turned against those who voted for him. He scheduled elections for 12 Senate seats in 2009 and supported the Electoral Council’s rejection of all Lavalas candidates. Lavalas called for a boycott, and as few as 3 percent of Haitians voted, with fewer than 1 percent voting in the runoff, once again demonstrating the people’s love and respect for President Aristide.

Fanmi Lavalas has already been banned from the next round of elections, so enter Wyclef Jean. Jean comes from a prominent Haitian family that has virulently opposed Lavalas since the 1990 elections. His uncle is Raymond Joseph – also a rumored presidential candidate – who became Haitian ambassador to the United States under the coup government and remains so today. Kevin Pina writes in “It’s not all about that! Wyclef Jean is fronting in Haiti,” Joseph is “the co-publisher of Haiti Observateur, a right-wing rag that has been an apologist for the killers in the Haitian military going back as far as the brutal coup against Aristide in 1991.
“On Oct. 26 [2004] Haitian police entered the pro-Aristide slum of Fort Nationale and summarily executed 13 young men. Wyclef Jean said nothing. On Oct. 28 the Haitian police executed five young men, babies really, in the pro-Aristide slum of Bel Air. Wyclef said nothing. If Wyclef really wants to be part of Haiti’s political dialogue, he would acknowledge these facts. Unfortunately, Wyclef is fronting.”

As if to prove it, the Miami Herald reported on Feb. 28, 2010, “Secret polling by foreign powers in search of a new face to lead Haiti’s reconstruction …” might favor Jean’s candidacy, as someone with sufficient name recognition who could draw enough votes to overcome another Lavalas electoral boycott.

Wyclef Jean supported the 2004 coup. When gun-running former army and death squad members trained by the CIA were overrunning Haiti’s north on Feb. 25, 2004, MTV’s Gideon Yago wrote, “Wyclef Jean voiced his support for Haitian rebels on Wednesday, calling on embattled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to step down and telling his fans in Haiti to ‘keep their head up’ as the country braces itself for possible civil war.”

During the Obama inaugural celebration, Jean famously and perversely serenaded Colin Powell, the Bush administration secretary of state during the U.S. destabilization campaign and eventual coup against Aristide, with Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”

Jean also produced the movie, “The Ghosts of Cite Soleil,” an anti-Aristide and Lavalas hit piece, which tells us that President Aristide left voluntarily, without mention of his kidnapping by the U.S. military, and presents the main coup leaders in a favorable light. It features interviews with sweatshop owners Andy Apaid and Charles Henry Baker without telling us they hate Aristide because he raised the minimum wage and sought to give all Haitians a seat at the table by democratizing Haiti’s economy, a program opposed by the rich in Haiti.

It uncritically interviews coup leader Louis Jodel Chamblain, without telling us he worked with the Duvalier dictatorship’s brutal militia, the Tonton Macoutes, in the 1980s; that following the coup against Aristide in 1991, he was the “operations guy” for the FRAPH paramilitary death squad, accused of murdering uncounted numbers of Aristide supporters and introducing gang rape into Haiti as a military weapon.

It uncritically interviews coup leader Guy Phillipe, without telling us he’s a former Haitian police chief who was trained by U.S. Special Forces in Ecuador in the early 1990s or that the U.S. embassy admitted that Phillipe was involved in the transhipment of narcotics, one of the key sources of funds for paramilitary attacks on the poor in Haiti.

Wyclef runs the Yele Haiti Foundation, which the Washington Post reported on Jan. 16, 2010, is under fiscal scrutiny because “(i)t seems clear that a significant amount of the monies that this charity raises go for costs other than providing benefits to Haitians in need … In 2006, Yele Haiti had about $1 million in revenue, according to tax documents. More than a third of the money went to payments to related parties, said lawyer James Joseph … (T)he charity recorded a payment of $250,000 to Telemax, a TV station and production company in Haiti in which Jean and Jerry Duplessis, both members of Yele Haiti’s board of directors, had a controlling interest. The charity paid about $31,000 in rent to Platinum Sound, a Manhattan recording studio owned by Jean and Duplessis. And it spent an additional $100,000 for Jean’s performance at a benefit concert in Monaco.” A foundation spokesperson “said the group hopes to spend a higher percentage of its budget on services as it gains experience.”

PLEASE SPREAD THE NEWS: “WYCLEF JEAN IS NOT A FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT OF HAITI.” The floating of his candidacy is just one more effort by the international forces, desperate to put a smiley face on a murderous military occupation, to undermine the will of the Haitian majority by making Wyclef Jean the Ronald Reagan of Haiti.

Let us be clear. Jean and his uncle, the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., are both cozy with the self-appointed czar of Haiti, Bill Clinton, whose plans for the Caribbean nation are to make it a neo-colony for a reconstructed tourist industry and a pool of cheap labor for U.S. factories. Wyclef Jean is the perfect front man. The Haitian elite and its U.S./U.N. sponsors are counting on his appeal to the youth to derail the people’s movement for democracy and their call for the return of President Aristide. Most Haitians will not be hoodwinked by the likes of Wyclef Jean.

Charlie Hinton is a member of the Haiti Action Committee and works at Inkworks Press, a worker owned and managed printing company in Berkeley. He may be reached at ch_lifewish@yahoo.com.
 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted Aug 2 2010

ARISTIDE is no friend of Haiti.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 2 2010

Aristide used hired thugs and gangs to intimidate and kill his opposition. Aristide was no friend of Haiti.

Cassa

Posted Aug 2 2010

Aristide was by far one of the worse president Haiti had... Under his regime the "gangs of Cite Soleil" called "Rat pa kaka" ruled and put fear into most Haitians life.. Aristide is nothing but a thug himself by association....... You are right, he is No friend of Haiti.......

Anonymous

Posted Aug 2 2010

Haiti is much better without Aristilde, all he did was promissing without deliver to any of the department,from the day this guy elected he was lying to the people of Haiti.He came to power
with no money, and now is a multi-million $ man,the people who's behide him until now,are the mass from Crois des bosal, cite soleil, Lassaline, and the one who did not have a chance to go to school at all.I feel sorry for them because they can't think any further than that.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

These comments about Aristide just show the level of ignorance of the authors or the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign against him. It was never about Aristide but an ongoing political struggle between the movement of the majority of the poor and Haiti's wealthy elite backed by Washington and the so-called "international community." When lacking in facts they usually drag out the same old tired labels such as "gangs" and "rat pa kaka" intended to demonize the poor while exposing their own self-hatred as Haitians. They would rather be called blan than poor and betray the children of Dessaline for the sake of a golden calf named Wyclef Jean.

Kay koule twompe soley soley men li pa twompe lapil!!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

I am shocked that some people have the nerve to defend Aristide after what he has done to Haiti. I used to believe this demagogue when he was a priest at St Jean Bosco. I tought he was going to be a different leader, but he proved to be equally sanguine as the Duvaliers by distributing weapons to the thugs of Cite Soleil. He stole Millions from Haiti's coffer and opened the country to drug traffickers. HAITI DOES NOT NEED ARISTIDE.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

Why so shocked? Thousands of Haitians lost their lives trying to RUN THEIR OWN COUNTRY!! Lavalas is still the most potent and popular movement in Haiti today despite all the attempts to destroy and demonize it like your comment. Aristide is the symbol of this movement just as Ghandi and Martin Luther King were for theirs. You can throw words like demagogue and thugs but they are meaningless out of context and are just more mindless invectives intended to hide the truth.

If it smells like Stanley Lucas then it must be Stanley Lucas. If you want a mindless, arrogant ego maniac and the CIA running Haiti then vote for that self-hating psycho!!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

Aristide was thieft and a tug. He needs to stay where he is now! ....hell

Anonymous

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

Wyclef is a whack job!! He's a phoney BS artist that has scammed the Haitian people. After every brutal killing by the police and the UN he would come into places like Cite Soleil and Bel Air handing out sacks of rice to cover their crimes. Wyclef is a poser and fake!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2010

Posters here should be careful and aware of the fact that the U.S. government hire "professional posters" in support of its positions whether on local, national, or international issues. Such impostors were discovered & exposed in New Orleans. They would challenge our allegations in the media at every opportunity, when we charged that the levee failures, subsequent to hurricane Katrina, was due to the Army Corp of Engineers inadequate, substandard, and shoddy construction. It was ultimately discovered that twenty employees on the government payroll on government time were writing these so called opposition letters of "dissent" to the media. When they were caught red handed doing so, the head of the Corp made a public apology. Most recently, the Army Corp of Engineers formally admitted that they indeed had built weak levees in order to cut expenses & expedite the original levees' construction. Be careful, be suspicious, & aware, as there are strong possibilities of impostors (paid or unpaid) posting the government line in various media "citizen" comment sections.
Sakura Kone'
New Orleans, La

Anonymous

Posted Aug 4 2010

I wonder if these blatanlty uninformed ad homenim attacks on Aristide are made by people who actually believe them or are just following orders or simply repeating what they heard at the barbershop. the fact that there's not one word in these simplistic comments refuting the arguments laid out in the piece says a lot.

I think the author gets a wee-bit dramatic in presenting his opinions at points, but I agree with his underlying sentiments. anyone who does not acknowledge that Aristide was removed from power by the US government is either too lazy/ignorant to do the most simple amount of research or just not a friend of the truth.

any Wyclef's politics have never been much more than vaguely revolutionary catchphrases delivered via a messiah complex.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 4 2010

Aristide was the best president Haiti has ever had!! All the brainwashed makak might not think so but if you look at the record beyond the propaganda it is true.

Viv Titid!! Viv Lavalas!!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 4 2010

SORRY MY FRIEND, WE ARE GOING TO LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE THIS ELECTION....ALL OF THESE PROPAGANDA ABOUT CLEF IS NOT FOR THE HAITIANS.....YOU ALL CAN SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT ANYTHING BUT I SEE MANY RUNNING SCARED RIGHT NOW!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 5 2010

obviously the hatians are not as brainwashed as the developed world. I mean, who would seriously want this goon anywhere near their country.....stick to making awful awful tunes, and selling lies to the kids of your own country ok

Esery Mondesir

Posted Aug 5 2010

Thank you, Charlie, for this interesting article and your well known interest in Haiti. I like your "cutting to the chase" style.

So let's cut to the chase, Wycleff is no "friend of Haiti". He is Haitian. So is Aristide and so am I.

The "Friends of Haiti", in my opinion, usually fall in two categories. In the first category we find those who have always profited from Haiti's wealth and/or misery. In this group we can put the colonizers, the occupiers, and the likes.

Another category of "Friends of Haiti" encompasses the self-righteous/good-conscience-seeking people to whom Haiti offers some type of "raison d'être". In this category I would put the missionaries, the NGO's and my well-intentioned-progressive-hero-seeking north american friends, no offense.

So tell me Charlie: what friend of Haiti are you?

You don't have to answer this. Because really, it's not about you.... or Aristide, or Wyclef Jean.

The debate about Aristide is over. It has been over for a while except for you guys. But I'm glad you mentioned it again because there are lessons to remember as we get closer to the election period in Haiti.

In 1991 Aristide had the right rhetoric, but he wasn't a politician; he had a vision but no strategy; he could have built a competent team to assist him but he chose "militance [read loyalty] over competence". And when he faced oppositions (legitimate or not), his messianic pretentions turned him into a mad man. Charlie's assertion that Wyclef is no friend of Haiti because he opposed Aristide gives us a clear idea of the Lavalas mentality.

I'm no objective analyst, but this is the story as I remember it. Me, a young Aristide's supporter in 1990. That was then!

Out of Wyclef Jean or anyone else, the 2010 election in Haiti will draw an Aristide-like president and regime if the Haitian people - not their friends - don't remember the lessons from the recent past and ask the hard questions of the candidates, regardless of their popularity.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 5 2010

Wyclef was also silent about the unjust imprisonment of Father Gerard Jean-Juste. Father Jean-Juste was declared a "prisoner of conscience" by Amnesty International and released after an intenational campaign to demand his release.
Ironically Father Jean-Juste was imprisoned precisely because the Haitian elite feared he... would run for the presidency in the last election and win. Father Jean-Juste became ill as a result of the harsh treatment he recieved while in prison and passed away last year. If Father Jean-Juste were alive today there is no doubt that he would be the front runner for the presidency if he chose to run.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

everyone should remember that g.w. bush's last act in office was to pardon john forte. if you dont know who that is look it up.

wyclef on the take.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

Im not sure about these facts regarding Lavalas and Aristide but I went there and Arisitide is from the poorest part of the country. His aim was to help those people. The Jasporas like me and Arabs who own the stores in the country refuse to pay taxes to help the economy and when Aristide introduce a new tax build for the rich in Haiti he was ousted. Vive Lavalas and get te facts.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

Excellent!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

Viva Aristilde! Viva Lavalas! Viva Haiti!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

This article is unsourced, and therefore dubious to me.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 6 2010

I've studied Haiti's political and military history all the way back from Toussaint L'ouverture, through Papa and Baby Doc, to Aristide and Preval. The fact is that Lavalas is not just a popular political faction. It also has an important history as a brutal military regime. I liken it to Hamas in Palestine, who also won the favor of a populist movement through its pro-poor rhetoric but also conducted brutal military operations. Both have legitimate and dangerous elements. I think this article portrays Lavalas and Aristide (yes, he stole lots of money from the Haitian people) in too positive a light. "What we are saying, is give peace a chance." Haiti needs a good fundraiser without a history of corruption and militarism. Wyclef has put his life on the line here. I say let the people decide and give the guy a chance.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 9 2010

stop hating on Wyclef Jean, he is the best candidate so far ? show me the other Crooks ?

Anonymous

Posted Aug 9 2010

Wow!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 11 2010

You pplz are so blinded if u are against aristide. Can somone tell me if a man who supposely is a murder and supports thugs is still popular in haiti pplz still march for some pplz will die for him read the article again he is the one the haitian pplz want fuck wyclef and those who are taking the voices of the haitian pplz away from cuz as long as there is somone like clef in power he going to be a puppet for the US canda & france who dont want haiti to grow into a real nation ARISITIDE is the man for the job becuz thats excalty what is not going to be VIVE ARISITIDE!!!!!

Anonymous

Posted Aug 12 2010

Aristide was the best president that could have.
I urge all haitians especially fanmi Lavallas to oppose wycliff.
Wycliffi s an opportunistic candidat.

Nou bité mais nou pas tombé.

Bina

Anonymous

Posted Aug 19 2010

This piece is so biased, it is almost nauseating. Neither Aristide nor this gentleman writing this piece is a friend to Haiti and its people. This glossy picture about the "achievments" of Aristide is an exercise in history revision. The Aristide that got elected with 65% of the electorate unfortunately was not the same that willingly stepped down under pressure primarily from his own base after the death of one of his thug leaders (ordered by him, according to that leader's brother) and the population at large. Please leave Aristide out of Haiti's affairs. His regime is still in power, as was seen in Preval's election. It's just that, his violent and reactionnary movement was so divided that it rejected its own head.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 25 2010

Whoever wrote this obviously has no ties to Haiti. The nation is better off without Aristide. Mr. Hinton keep your ideas in hippie land aka Berkeley. Probably never even shook hands with a Haitian. WYCLEF 4 PRESIDENT

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Posted Nov 2 2010

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Anonymous

Posted Dec 28 2010

I think everyone who really have a brain,can just take out the factand question themselves that why Aristide left haiti? not only that,why the big 3 is againts Aristide: La France,Canada,U SC.Then why the richest people in haiti are againts him.The truth is no one can prouved nothing againts the son of God,but plenty wanna say what they heard from others.We all know that Aristide's sin is loveeeeeeee.

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