The Clinton Foundation: Questions Remain In Haiti..
The Republic of Haiti, once regarded for her riches as the “Pearl of the Antilles,” has been in no uncertain terms, a scarred landscape fraught with imperial quests of fortune, and a people that have been historically subjected to seismic transitions in power and resources to which the country remains embroiled today.
The island nation was the first ever of its kind to step onto the world stage - an independent black republic by way of a successful coordinated thirteen year armed insurrection against the Napoleonic French that culminated in liberation January 1st 1804. This had never before occurred in a slave colony; such a development in the New World sent shock waves that reverberated deep into the core of western superpowers, as it became a fundamental matter of national security that information surrounding the overthrow remained contained from reaching outlying slave plantation-states.
As centuries and time progressed, their land resources continued to primarily remain slanted in favor of unrelenting outside interests and private-sector exploits.
The Republic of Haiti has endured what has culminated into a perfect poverty storm of intra-political malfeasance from a brutal parade of oligarchs, and unregulated special interests watching from afar to seize upon the resulting carrion.
Special interests of which have historically included American corporate pursuits, and may now include the non-profit Clinton Foundation.
On Tuesday, January 12th 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake tore through the nation of Haiti claiming as many as 316,000 lives, injuring 300,000 more, and impacting another 5 million that were forced to relocate to displacement camps - arguably making it the fifth deadliest natural disaster in human history.
The aftermath of the catastrophe was a country even further in ruin than it had ever been before. With critical infrastructure, communications, water, medicine, and food accessibility at a destructive halt, the global community responded immediately and banded together in support to provide donor aid and contract bids.
To coordinate the magnitude of proposals and financials streaming in, then President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outsourced management of donor funds and private contracts to former President Bill Clinton to head up through The Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.
By general measures and standards society places on others, such a decision would have understandably been questioned as a conflict of interest worthy of discussion.
What has since been uncovered through the Clinton Foundation WikiLeaks emails, is that a sizeable segment of contractors previously associated with the foundation, and those that had recently donated to the foundation at that time, did not undergo routine vetting protocols as determined by relevant U.S. government agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), and the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI).
One WikiLeaks email early into the Haitian aid campaign speaks to this:
“Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC… Most I can probably ID but not all.”
-Caitlin Klevorick (FMR State Dept. Official under Secretary Clinton)
-written to Clinton Foundation Director of Foreign Policy Amitabh Desai three days after cataclysmic event…
The above email references William Jefferson Clinton (Bill Clinton), and could initially in earnest be perceived to illustrate that the State Dept. was in fact exercising due diligence in attempting to intercept and address contractor bids that could otherwise be viewed as conflicts of interest if not properly vetted. The subsequent results however determined something largely different.
In a follow-up email to Desai, Klevorick directly inquires if a newly engaged proposal is “FOB”, stating: “If not, she should go to cidi.org” – the Center for International Disaster Information – the general bidding platform…
FOB is later evidenced to be “Friend of Bill’s”, an inquiry of which should fundamentally bear no question on an equal playing field in a competitive bidding process.
What we now know of the operation is that American taxpayers and worldwide donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative for post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti totaled over 14.3 billion dollars, yet to this date, just over 2 percent of the 14.3 billion actually made its way into the country. That is to say, only 286 million dollars in relief funds were ultimately utilized in the aftermath of the catastrophe, an alleged 98 percent operations cost that ultimately did not fulfill the promises made to worldwide contributors, and more importantly, the Haitian people themselves. A considerable figure of [98 percent] operations costs regarding logistics to serve a nation not on the other side of the globe, but right here in our back yard.
It further appears that a significant segment of monies allocated to contractors were awarded to those directly associated with the Clinton family. Contractors of which to date, began projects and pulled out short of full capacity completion, as was the case in the construction of the Caracol Industrial Park, of which 60 thousand jobs were promised, but contractors ended just short of reaching 4 thousand jobs at the time.
The industrial Park was built on farmland; the farmers and their families were displaced to parts unknown.
Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd. – South Korea’s foremost garment producer and anchor tenant within the industrial park, contributed donations both to The Clinton Foundation and BlackIvy Group, a consulting firm owned by Hillary Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who played an integral role in bringing Sae-A to Haiti..
A final point of distinction, Anthony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s younger brother, now sits on the board of Delaware-based VCS Mining, a company that has recently secured gold mining rights in Haiti. Admittedly, Rodham received his most recent placement after a meeting with the VCS Chief Executive Officer at a Clinton Global Initiative networking event.
In 2013 VCS received one of only two permits in 50 years that were granted by the Haitian government for mineral rights in the gold sector.
Anthony Rodham, at the time of his appointment to chairman on the board of VCS Mining, had no previous experience in the ore industry. He was a former repo man and prison guard.
Haiti, deemed the Pearl of the Antilles by her conquerors – an appellation given to reflect the full breadth of her resources for Europe in the centuries to come, is now repeatedly designated in modern society as “third world’”, and the “poorest nation in the western hemisphere”.
As a whole, we and our leaders continue to buy into and maintain oppressive colonialist language that simply isn’t accurate and couldn’t be further from the truth.
Haiti’s resources have been and continue to be prevalent in her hills, which is why so many have sought vast fortune across the Caribbean nation for so many centuries well into modern day.
The many superpowers to have rendered her the poorest nation in the western hemisphere are the very ones that have and continue to siphon the island nation’s commodities into oblivion.
What is poor, is the way in which those within, and those from afar continue to pull at Haiti’s natural wealth in interest of their own gains, with little to give in return beyond increases in misery..
To date, several million remain in displacement camps contrary to foundation assurances to remedy housing.
Nine years later…
Freelance travel-writer, musician, photographer, philanthropist..