Fact Checking Wyclef Jean on his Bid for the Presidency
When Wyclef Jean or any other candidate for the Haitian presidency speaks, they owe it to the public to be right on the facts. They owe it to the dignity of the Haitian people to help us put our best foot forward. On declaring his candidacy on CNN, Wyclef sunk into the abyss, vilifying and misrepresenting all former Haitian governments as inept, corrupt, and as having achieved nothing for the past 200 years. Wyclef ought to reach out to his uncle, the former Ambassador Raymond Joseph, and learn about Estime, who presided over an effective Haitian government in the 1940's. He should dig deep and learn about people like Dessalines, Christophe, and Petion who led the nation out of slavery, secured it with fortresses, and built the nation's first schools.
Haitian presidential candidates ought to know the colonial record.Despite 300 years of Spanish, French, and English rule of the island, no schools were built during the tenure of those governments.If Wyclef or any other candidate wants to run a negative campaign, then they should do so without prejudice and speak about the past 500 years and not just the past 200 years.The legacy that shaped Haiti really does go back that far and implicates Haitian as well as international participants.
Although over the past 50 years Haiti has been getting progressively poorer, up until the 1960's, Haiti was on par economically with the Dominican Republic and with the rest of the Caribbean. If truly nothing was achieved in Haiti over the past 200 years, then the earthquake would have found nothing to destroy. Those who want to guide us in picking up the rubble, owe us and the victims a bit of respect.
Our presidential candidates can begin to learn how to buttress the Haitian people by studying words from our national anthem : Pour le pays, pour les Ancetres- Pou peyi a, pou Ansyen yo.They need to be able to articulate that we want to build a better Haiti for the dignity of our fore-parents, for the respect we owe ourselves, and for our duty to succeeding generations.