It's not All about That! : Wyclef Jean is fronting in Haiti
November 02, 2004
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It'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 tomorrow.

  • This is the line of Bush's State Department.
  • Do we hear an echo or does Wyclef really believe in peace?


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

photo: Columbia
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."

Family Ties

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. Contact:

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