Many Haitians are negatively criticizing the Clintons for their decades of involvement in Haiti’s economy and politics. The critics claim that the Clintons are thieves and that they are not to be trusted. Two, among many others, of the critiques have to do with Haiti’s rice farms, and a Haitian gold mining permit.
The Rice Farms Rumor:
When in office, former U.S President Bill Clinton established a policy that wiped out Haitian rice farms and destroyed Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient. Years after the fact, the former President made a public statement apologizing for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized U.S rice during his time in office. In an interview led by journalist Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté, former U.S President Bill Clinton stated the following: “Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.”
The Gold Mining Rumor:
Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, has been accused of owning one of Haiti’s gold mining permits. That rumor is only partially factual. The truth is that Tony Rodham does not exactly own the gold mining permit in Haiti, but rather is a member on the advisory board of the company (VCS) that does actually own the mine. Tony’s involvement with the mine has heightened a multitude of Haitian’s distrust of the Clintons. While many believe that Tony’s connection to Haiti’s gold mine is all a part of the Clinton’s agenda to capitalize off of Haiti’s resources, Tony Rodham says differently. Here is what he had to say on the topic during an interview which was conducted by the Washington Post: He said that he has never spoken to Hillary or Bill Clinton about the Haiti project and that he does not think the VCS chief executive and President Angelo Viard, a Democratic donor, approached him to join the advisory board because of his family ties. “I’m a very accomplished person in my own right,” Rodham said. He said his work with the company is to try to find investors, which he said has been challenging because of a lack of interest in Haiti. “I raise money for a lot of people,” he said. “That’s what I basically do.”
Having divulged those facts, where do I stand on the topic? Well, my stance is quite simple: Hillary Clinton is running to be the next President of the United Sates, not of Haiti. As a Haitian, I realize that we as a Haitian people have a lot of work to do and that we must fight against those who capitalize off of our resources. The Haitian diaspora need to hold American politicians accountable for their unwarranted involvements in smaller countries like Haiti. As an American, however, my focus is to see to it that the candidate most fit to become the next President of the U.S makes it to office in November 2016. In my opinion, Donald Trump is not fit to be the next President of the United States of America. So while the Clintons may not be good for Haiti, they are certainly better for America.