Rapper and former Fugees singer Wyclef Jean made the first televised announcement of his bid for the Haitian presidency last night on CNN. After several satellite interview segments between Wyclef and Wolf Blitzer, philanthropist and actor Sean Penn shared harsh words for the Haitian-born rapper, questioning his motives and value as a leader.
“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.
Jean, 37, was born in Haiti but left soon after and was raised in Brooklyn and New Jersey. He established the Yelé Haiti foundation in 2004, providing aid and opportunities to the country’s citizens.
Penn, who has been very active on the ground in Haiti since the earthquake, highlighted allegations that Wyclef mishandled $400,000 donated for the country through his Yele Haiti foundation. “He claims he didn’t do it. That has to be looked into it,” Penn said. “I’ve been there. I know what $400,000 could do for these people’s lives.”
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