Tuesday, August 03, 2010

if he was president...

Some of you may have heard that former Fugees-member Wyclef Jean is considering a run for President of Haiti. For those of us who like his music and are moved by his lyrics it is tempting to assume that he would be a wonderful choice.

But some are questioning that assumption by pointing to some of Wyclef's connections to right-wing elements of the Haitian polticial scene.

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.


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.

(For more see: Wyclef Jean for president of Haiti? Look beyond the hype by Charlie Hinton, with editing assistance from Kiilu Nyasha)

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