t's not All about That!:
Wyclef Jean is fronting in Haiti
Commentary by the Haiti Information Project (HIP)
November 2, 2004
Wyclef Jean has entered the dismal political reality
of Haiti, a direct result of Bush administration
policy in overthrowing a democratically elected
government, by echoing the U.S.-installed government's
position recently that ousted president
Jean-Bertrand-Aristide is responsible for the latest
round of violence. Wyclef is quoted in Reuters, "Those
guys really believe in Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They
are not going to stop unless Aristide says the word".
TRANSLATED: Aristide is behind the violence and all he
has to do is give the word and the violence would end
This is the line of Bush's State Department.
Do we hear an echo or does Wyclef really believe in
With all the aura of a superstar aside, Wyclef's
assertions that he can now play the role of
"peacemaker" in Haiti might conjure illusions of a
Nobel Peace prize in his mind but it does little to
match the current reality on the ground. If he really
wanted to bring to peace to Haiti he would start by
checking the unlicensed hatred his own family bears
towards the majority political party of the ousted
president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Actually, he was
quite lucky that Lavalas militants did not remember
his own statements before he recently entered the
pro-Aristide slum for a photo opportunity. Many in
Lavalas promise this won't happen again.
The History/ UN-Cool MTV
Replete with a photo of Wyclef in a cool and relaxed
pose on a plush sofa, MTV reported on Wyclef's real
political leanings on February 25, 2004 four days
before the coup.
In an article entitled, "Wyclef Jean Voices Support
For Haitian Rebels", 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."
Referring to the gangsters in Gonaives, the killers of
the former military and the former death squads
trained by the CIA, MTV quotes Wyclef as stating, "I
don't consider those people rebels. It's people
standing up for their rights. It's not like these
people just appeared out of nowhere and said, 'Let's
cause some trouble.' I think it's just built up
frustration, anger, hunger, depression."
Wyclef's uncle is Raymond Joseph, the highest-ranking
official abroad representing the U.S.-installed
government in Haiti. He is the un-elected government's
representative in Washington. Wyclef's uncle, who he
has often praised, is responsible for fomenting
outrageous lies about Aristide and members the Lavalas
political party that has contributed to the current
climate of witch-hunts, arbitrary arrests and murders
in Haiti today. Wyclef's uncle is also 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 October 26th Haitan police entered the pro-Aristide
slum of Fort Nationale and summarily executed 13 young
men. Wyclef said nothing. On October 28th 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. There is nothing
substantial in his offer until he proves otherwise.
HIP wishes Wyclef the best for his next concert in
Haiti. We all want peace in Haiti. Most of us want
peace with justice.
The Haiti Information Project (HIP) is a non-profit
alternative news service providing coverage and
analysis of breaking developments in Haiti.