Singer Wyclef Jean announced yesterday that he will indeed be running for President of Haiti in the upcoming November election. Though Jean, who is Haitian born and founded the non-governmental organization Yele Haiti, is pretty confident about his candidacy–and even believes the people of Haiti have “drafted” him to this role–it doesn’t seem everyone is standing beside him.
Fellow celeb dad and outspoken actor Sean Penn, for one, is rather suspicious of Jean’s intentions. “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,” Penn said following Jean’s announcement. “For those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence.”
Penn, who has been helping as much as he can in Haiti since the devastating earthquake struck the country, said that Jean has mishandled hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds meant for the people of the country (raised through Yele Haiti), and that he has not helped as much as people may think he has. In fact, Penn stated he’s concerned that Jean and American corporations who support him are becoming “opportunists on the back of the Haitian people.”
As a response, Jean spoke with the Associated Press, and said, “I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since [I was] a child. He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.”
Do you think Jean’s intentions in running for President of Haiti are pure?