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August 6, 2010

Wyclef Jean Responds to Sean Penn

Posted: 07:04 PM ET
"It is unfortunate that Sean Penn is unaware of Wyclef's magnificent commitment to the people of Haiti and his independence.  His campaign has nothing to do with corporate or special interests and everything to do with his calling and belief he can lead and make a difference.  Some of Mr. Penn's comments seemed so out of sorts that those close to Wyclef worried about Mr. Penn, who has also done important, life-saving, inspirational work for the people of Haiti. This is a time to think productively about solutions and long-term strategies to rebuild, not to insult anyone who dares to care.  Haiti needs everyone to collaborate for a 21st century safe, productive nation.."

"It is unfortunate that Sean Penn is unaware of Wyclef's magnificent commitment to the people of Haiti and his independence.  His campaign has nothing to do with corporate or special interests and everything to do with his calling and belief he can lead and make a difference.  Some of Mr. Penn's comments seemed so out of sorts that those close to Wyclef worried about Mr. Penn, who has also done important, life-saving, inspirational work for the people of Haiti. This is a time to think productively about solutions and long-term strategies to rebuild, not to insult anyone who dares to care.  Haiti needs everyone to collaborate for a 21st century safe, productive nation.."

Filed under: Wyclef Jean


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Lucy   August 6th, 2010 7:24 pm ET

Hey Guys - Instead of fighting with each other why not find a way to work together?


caroline   August 6th, 2010 7:59 pm ET

After reading his response, I was still wondering what he has done for Haiti. Wyclef should have listed his accomplishments instead of just reiterating that he cares. I take that simple approach just in dating. It's your actions that prove what type of man you are, not words. Back it up with information Wyclef. Even Sanjay Gupta was at a loss of words when asked what he thought of him running. For Wyclef to say it's the little things means to me that he doesn't get the magnitude of the people hurting. It is not a little situation, a magnanimous one. The people of Haiti are excited to have an entertainer there, not because he's running for President. I hope he doesn't get wrapped up in this attention he is getting from Haitian's and loose sight on why he's running. In all honesty, Wyclef's music career is a dud and has been for years. If I could say anything to Haiti is to choose wisely. They have had too many people looking at what the position of President holds and not in their best interest.


Diane Castle   August 6th, 2010 8:05 pm ET

There are so many issues of importance to the USA going on right now. Another "celebrity" Larry can't stay away from!


Smith in Oregon   August 6th, 2010 8:21 pm ET

Sean Penn and a great many Americans are fully aware of the tremendous amounts of utter corruption from the top down in Haiti's governmental offices and services spanning many decades in length.

Recent reports of rampant graft, bribes indicate the corrupt is as bad in Haiti NOW as it is in Afghanistan and Pakistan, two other black-hole armpits of the world at this time!

In Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and the entire Karzai became some of the richest Clans in the entire world when they were hand selected by the CIA to head Afghanistan. The Karzai's Clan of Opium-Heroin exports skyrocketed along with their bank accounts. Under Bush-Cheney the Opium-Poppy fields were massively planted in all 37 provinces.

Sean Penn's voiced concern that similar depraved and utterly corrupt forces have made similar arrangements with Wyclef Jean, and I share that concern but America's Shadow Government appears to continue to interfere with Haiti's Government and Officials. Why?


Sabine   August 6th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

Mr Wyclef Jean you don't need to be president to make your "magnificient commitment" become real. Leave that job to people that really have qualifications for that, and do what u do best, take the microphone!


Smith in Oregon   August 6th, 2010 8:31 pm ET

The problem facing American taxpayers and Democratic lawmakers with integrity is that giving free American taxpayer dollars to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and Afghanistan under the 'guise' of AID is directly connected to killing people in those countries as well as causing the deaths in their neighboring countries.

When did 'AID' translate to using it as a license to kill?

When did the US State Dept. begin surrounding themselves with such utterly corrupt individuals that giving them 'AID' in no way translates to that money going to the residents of that nation that are obviously suffering? It appears photos and videos of the suffering is portrayed only to garner more funds to those utterly corrupt individuals? Isn't that what Sean Penn is complaining about now?


Smith in Oregon   August 6th, 2010 8:58 pm ET

Wow, America's Pentagon and Shadow Government is warning American's to not visit the Wikileaks website under the direct threat that you could be charged with a national security crime!

Wasn't it several weeks ago that the Pentagon and ex-CIA agents told the world there was nothing new on Wikileaks?

Oh, Wikileaks has wrapped up a load of documents together and encrypted them under the title of 'Insurance', daring the Pentagon and America's Shadow Government to mess with them.

It seems Wikileaks has gotten even more interesting now with a very distinct push back by Wikileaks against The Pentagon and America's Shadow Government which seldom get's the door slammed in their faces after threatening, blackmail and attempts to extort the other party have been routinely made.


Ruby   August 6th, 2010 11:13 pm ET

      Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois is completely incorrect. He said that illegal immigrants cannot use services paid for by the American taxpayers. I work for a government agency in Health Care. I will tell you right now, we have many illegal immigrants on our case load. The reason we know is because they do not speak English, they cannot submit a birth certificate or social security card and they cannot collect SSI because of their illegal status. So the cost of all their medications, psychiatric hospitalizations are all paid for by the American Tax payer!!! In my area, the illegal status is so high, if you want to be hired in this government agency, you ((must speak Spanish))!!!!!


wso1967   August 6th, 2010 11:28 pm ET

I'm not sure he is qualified to lead a country with his credentials of just being a pop star. I think he lacks administrative skills and also i feel he is an opportunist. Penn has lived among the people long after the tragedy has left the front pages, What has he done??


wso1967   August 6th, 2010 11:29 pm ET

also, what was his "magnificent" contribution anyhow?


franky   August 7th, 2010 4:42 am ET

Sean Penn's concerns are legitimate concerns, however, who is he to show such concern. Does he have some alterior motive for helping out.
Keep helping Sean, stop talking. Now, will Wyclef bring the needed help Haiti needs is to be seen. If he just brings sponsorsip banners and mottos on billboards, then Haiti will just be a eye sore with pop ups.

Let us all help Haiti.


Ted   August 7th, 2010 10:27 am ET

To run a country, just like a large corporation, takes a lot of education, skill, experience and the ability to chose the right people and delegate responsibility to them. Not to forget, you must speak the official language fluently and properly.

Jean do not have a proper education, no experience skill to fulfill such a demanding position and his knowledge of the language is just basic, enough to give a concert or speech, but not to act as a top politician.
His tax problems with IRS, we are talking about millions, makes me more than just suspicious of his intentions.
I feel bad for Haiti, they are a lovely people, but the upper class is only interested to have their coffers regularly stuffed. We, the USA, are responsible for that great tragedy, as we wanted that nation poor and uneducated. Why, I do not have the foggiest!!!


Duperval   August 7th, 2010 6:38 pm ET

Yes i would love for Wyclef Jean to be elected the next president of Haiti so many had try and do nothing at all as for wyclef he had been helping is people since then not only because of the earthquake remember before like the disaster the city of Gonaives, so as for now on we need someone that think of haiti as of Wyclef VIVA wyclef


Edison Suero   August 7th, 2010 8:42 pm ET

Does Wyclef know what is a Cabinet? Does he have any experience managing anything? Does he have any political education or background? Does he know anything about law? I don't know Wyclef but he is using his fame and his popularity to use Haiti. For what? we'll soon find out.. I just couldn't believe it. He doesn't even have a clear plan to take his own country in a better direction. Please someone stop him and get him back to reality. Why he didn't run for president of Haiti in pass election? Why now? Why does he want to do it now?


Marjorie   August 7th, 2010 10:11 pm ET

As an Haitian born and raised who came the the us when I was 20, I am shocked and apalled that Wyclef think he can be president, Haiti might be the poorest country, but we are also a proud nation who value education, its time for Wyclef sit down and think and recognize that he doesn't have the qualification to be president. We appreciate everything he did and hopefully will continue to do for Haiti. Why can he take his fame and money and found someone whose capable and qualify to support as a candidate. Wyclef we love you but we love Haiti more


nina1fox   August 7th, 2010 11:13 pm ET

It is nice to see others can see with clarity. I also work for the local government in Mental Health and the exact same situation is occurring here. You must be located in one of the bordering states. Possibly Arizona? If anyone wants to be hired at the local government agency here, you had better know how to speak Spanish.


nina1fox   August 7th, 2010 11:13 pm ET

This situation also affects all the legal immigrants who are working and paying taxes. I see no problem with immigration per se; as the US was built on violence and cultural genocide of the First Nation's people from the European immigrants (those now residing power in Washington). However, the problem becomes everyone's when you have equal or more people (mostly American Citizens) now living off the government through (SSI, SSDI, Welfare, Calworks, Medicaid) just to name a few, than those who pay taxes to support the country. I am in support of those who truly require help due to physical or chemical imbalance and are unable to function in the working society. However, I have seen the aforementioned programs abused to the MAX!!! At this time, I will not even discuss corporate control and how the middle class Americans are being decimated. It truly is a tragedy.


nina1fox   August 7th, 2010 11:14 pm ET

I believe President Obama is doing the very best he can with all that has been shoved on his plate. I admire anyone willing to risk health in order to try and make a change for this country. In years to come, he will go down in history as a great president. Remember, Lincoln and Roosevelt were hated during their presidency.

I stand up and applaud President Obama. Thank you for trying to make a difference. The situation is monumental, even more than you realized!!!


janet   August 8th, 2010 6:07 pm ET

Obviously, some of these comments on Wyclef come from people in the US who were former and/or present residents of Haiti.Those with intelligence are against him running for President for all of the right reasons. He needs to get his own life in order and not do it on the back of the Presidency of Haiti . It is sad that the people of Haiti should be subjected to such a choice at this time.

All I can do it to tell the good people of Haiti to wake up. THIS MAN IS NOT OFFERING TO RUN AS YOUR PRESIDENT BECAUSE HE CAN HELP YOUR COUNTRY. It would be a catastrophe should he be elected. He simply does not have the abilitiy to run your country, and I fear that more graft would run rampant in a short time. I suspect that he is planning on living the good life in Haiti once he can become elected. He may have done something to help after the quake, but this is the first time i have seen his name in connection with same, which is long after it happened. Don't let this man take advantage of you in using his former stardom. He simply does not have the capabilities it requires to lead ANY country.......or even his own affairs.. I am a very senior citizen with no reason to hurt your cause in any way. I just want you to think, especially if you cannot read nor write. I have to trust your common sense to think on t his long and hard.................


janet   August 8th, 2010 6:16 pm ET

With reference to Wyclef's response, the first one at the top, of course he is not going to run himself into the ground. He wants that presidency too badly. Sean Penn has been in Haiti for long spells, and if you watch Larry King, you will be aware of all he has done and contines to do from his great big heart. I doubt that Wyclef can even come close to measuring up to Sean Penn. Penn even gave up two movies so he could be in Haiti due to extreme need. You are no match for Sean Penn, Mr. Wylef Jean. You are only proving what we all suspect by commenting on Penn's statement. He even said that he had not met nor did he know you which was his way of s aying that he only suspected what he said. He is an honorable man, so if he should see you differently, he will again be on Larry King to tell the world.


trace   August 9th, 2010 4:19 am ET

You don't have to be the President to show that you care. You should stay true. There are others candidates who care, and have the credentials who are running, they just don't have your popularity. Why don't you back them up?


sandrina   August 9th, 2010 9:40 am ET

first off my parents are haitian, and while I applaud and recognize Wyclef's humantarian efforts. I don't think that he is qualified. No one can argue that the man is compasionate and pround of his country. H e has given the young Haitian American's a sense of pride where they were once ashamed to say they were Haitian. He's made it cool to be Haitian. In regards to Yele Haitian, I sincerely feel that he attempted to hire the best people to help organize and run his charity , but what happened ? Questions , audit and tears ?? You can't run an entire goverment but hiring the right people, tha't only part of the equation. You can't just have good intentions or a sense of what your doing. Your required to know how to set a plan, how to define the job of all your key players and support as if he was one of them,and finally how to excute the plan. This isn't a 2 million dollar charity, this is a several million to billion dollar budget for an ENTIRE counrty with no room for excuses or apologizes.


Cathy   August 9th, 2010 9:54 am ET

nina1fox,
Corporate control? Why always dragging corporations into everything you say. The nice thing about corporations is that everyone working for them pay their share of taxes and are not living off of everyone else. Most people working for corporations are satisfied with their employers. It's strange that someone who doesn't work for a corporation is always knocking them. Obama has done nothing yet that would compare him to Lincoln or Roosevelt.


Antoine Watson   August 9th, 2010 10:24 am ET

My name is Antoine Watson, I'm 17 years old. I left Haiti two years after our former president "Jean Bertrand Aristide" went to exile. Haiti have been a poor country for a very long period of time. I "myself" have experience a lot.people are living with under a dollar per day and much worse. To me, I think that To have a good functioning country, you need a good leader, and frankly I don't think Haiti have had a good leader since our forefathers were died. All our former leaders had only one thing in mind," it is to fill their pocket and leave". But To me, WYCLEF Jean may be different. I'm not saying he is perfect,that he will not make mistakes,NO,but I think he is worth giving a try because he has shown great interest in his country, he never stops representing his country and to me that is a big gesture. I know that many people are suspicious about him running for president, but what about the others whom you don't know. I believe they will do more harm to Haiti than WYCLEF will.of course,some of them have more qualifications than him but they won't use it in a good way, that I'm sure because they have set example. Like"Aristide"a very smart and qualified who be a good president, but unfortunately he was a dictator, so give the man a chance.


Antoine Watson   August 9th, 2010 10:27 am ET

My name is Antoine Watson, I'm 17 years old. I left Haiti two years after our former president "Jean Bertrand Aristide" went to exile. Haiti have been a poor country for a very long period of time. I "myself" have experience a lot.people are living with under a dollar per day and much worse. To me, I think that To have a good functioning country, you need a good leader, and frankly I don't think Haiti have had a good leader since our forefathers were died. All our former leaders had only one thing in mind," it is to fill their pocket and leave". But To me, WYCLEF Jean may be different. I'm not saying he is perfect,that he will not make mistakes,NO,but I think he is worth giving a try because he has shown great interest in his country, he never stops representing his country and to me that is a big gesture. I know that many people are suspicious about him running for president, but what about the others whom you don't know. I believe they will do more harm to Haiti than WYCLEF will.of course,some of them have more qualifications than him but they won't use it in a good way, that I'm sure because they have set example. Like"Aristide"a very smart and qualified who be a good president, but unfortunately he was a dictator, so give the man a chance.


SoWonderful   August 9th, 2010 11:24 am ET

I think the people can make their choice. They will pick who they feel is best to lead them right now. Wyclef has worked in Haiti even before the earthquake. I think you should look up his accomplishments; he doesn't have to explain himself to Sean Penn. His job is to ask the people for permission to lead them and give them a plan of action.


Shoudell   August 9th, 2010 11:36 am ET

You know, Sean Penn has a lot to say about someone he does not know. And for him to say that Wyclef Jean has not been in Haiti within the last six months is very irresponsible. How does Sean Penn keep track of Wyclef Jean comings and goings or what he is or is not doing? And for him to make unsupported claims that he misused funds without is unacceptable. Wyclef Jean was helping Haiti long before the earthquake, long before it was “popular “ to help Haiti. Why is Sean Penn trying to diminish Wyclef Jean’s efforts to help Haiti? I am sure it would be much easier to hold Wyclef Jean accountable, as President of Haiti, than the type of corrupt politician who have been at the helm for the last fifty years.


Cajazz76:24:8   August 9th, 2010 12:54 pm ET

A complement for work done on behalf of keeping his ass out of jail has turned Sean Penn into a perfect sphincter, biases and all. Who does he think he is "The Ugly American"?


Jane Oliver   August 9th, 2010 2:29 pm ET

While people are arguing what about the people now. Their housing. The red tape. Have any buildings been built for the people. I drew a building and cannot put it on this site and hoped it may give someone an idea, instead of arguing and the red tape.


nina1fox   August 9th, 2010 7:05 pm ET

@ Cathy (or should I call you by your real name?)

President Obama has given us healthcare. If we drop the 2 wars and focus on taking care of Americans, the healthcare would be affordable.

Always bashing President Obama, I see.....So what else is new?


zokot   August 9th, 2010 8:24 pm ET

MR.JEAN,W,
I am sorry,you can not be president of anything nor a country.
To be president is not as easy as you may dream. I would advise you to continue with your education,spend some more years in college and university to learn politic and diplomacy,then you can think about running for prsident.


Big E   August 9th, 2010 10:34 pm ET

We should ask him, how will he answer first his $2.1million back taxes and the $100.000 that he took from the Yele foundation to pay his mistress. He forgot about the people who pledged funds on behalf of the haitian people but just his ambition.That alone shows you how he will run his governement. Haiti really does not have any chances if they get Wyclef " The Mediocre" as President supported by CNN.


drew   September 9th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

Penn is correct. Hollywood celebs, believe they can take their fame and fortune and turn it into a political throne. Wyclef has minimal if any college background, let alone any idea of law and government. So yeah lets put him in charge!!! Im sure he can sing away Haiti's problems when they come to the table. Wyclef is a saint for the work he is doing in Haiti, not to mention a a talented artist. But ultimately that is the last thing a country on the rocks needs.


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