HAITI – Wyclef is running for the presidency of Haiti, but one actor is skeptical of that decision!
Sean Penn has been incredibly involved and active in the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. He co-founded the J/P HRO organization whose mission is to save lives and bring relief to the Haitian people quickly and effectively. Wyclef Jean is a native of Haiti who recently decided he wanted to run for the presidency of the country. Penn is skeptical – to say the least – of that decision.
“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. For those of us in Haiti, he has been a non-presence,” Penn said.
Wyclef, 37, was born in Haiti but grew up in Brooklyn and New Jersey. The rapper established the Yele Haiti foundation in 2004, providing aid and opportunities to the country’s citizens.
Penn made it a fact to highlight Wyclef’s mishandling of $400,000 donated for the country though the Yele Haiti foundation. “He claims he didn’t do it. That has to be looked into it,” Penn added. “I’ve been there. I know what $400,000 could do for these people.”
Wyclef responded to Penn’s concerns in an interview with the Associated Press: “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.”
Penn put the icing on the cake by saying:
“I haven’t seen or heard anything of Wyclef Jean in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti. I think he’s an important voice. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground,” Penn said. “I want to see someone who’s really, really willing to sacrifice for their country, and not just someone who I personally saw with vulgar entourage of vehicles that demonstrated a wealth in Haiti that, in context, I felt was a very obscene demonstration.”