August 6, 2010

Sean Penn 'suspicious' of Wyclef Jean's bid for Haiti president

Posted: 03:00 PM ET


Wyclef Jean has filed papers to run for president of Haiti, and Sean Penn is skeptical.

Interviewed on CNN last night as Wyclef officially announced his bid, Penn said, "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.

Penn, who has been active 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," said Penn, who has been running a 55,000-person tent camp through the J/P Haitian Relief Organization he co-founded. "I've been there. I know what $400,000 could do for these people's lives."

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Filed under: About Last Night • Larry King Live

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Gerald Jolly   August 6th, 2010 3:40 pm ET

Given the choice.

I would take Sean Penn's opinion over Wyclef Jean's any day.

caroline   August 6th, 2010 3:53 pm ET

If he has not been in Haiti, on the ground helping the people. I like Wyclef, but he is not any different than other leaders in the past. He wants to be a Haitian Obama. Sean Penn should run or someone who has their heart into it like he does. That's a genuine care for the people of Haiti. Why hasn't Wyclef been in the tents, getting medication for the sick? I am not being mean, but question, like Penn, what the intentions are. I voted for Obama not because he was black, but because he was going to do the most for me like at least attempt to get healthcare passed. That's what I want for the Haitian people.

Smith in Oregon   August 6th, 2010 3:55 pm ET

Haiti's governmental officials and 'presidents' appear to be as corrupt as those in Pakistan. Money poured into either Haiti or Pakistan appear to end up in the most corrupt and depraved hands as possible.

America's CIA appears to have actively interfered with Haiti's government for at least the past 50 years, certainly while Bush sr. was the Director of the CIA.

With the range and taxpayer funding of Dept. Homeland Security (America's Shadow Government, DHS), it is entirely doubtful if Haiti can even elect a President for their own country that is not hand picked and chosen beforehand by America's CIA and DHS agency's.

Many American's forget or do not realize that Hamid Karzai was on the CIA payroll for 20 years before they hand-picked him to become their puppet Afghanistan 'President'. All the nations around the world claim the most recent Afghanistan Presidential election was so filled with fraud it was nothing but a sham.

Why does America's Shadow Government continue to interfere with Haiti's government? What is so important in Haiti that America's Government would spend hundreds of Millions of American taxpayer dollars in undermining, fomenting unrest and causing social upheaval there? Is it untapped Oil reserves, or something else?

bnj   August 6th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

Can not understand Sean is trying to explain, does he make the comment for red cross, good samaritarian manager who after 7 months still putting people under tent or house is plastic. It don t know Wyclef neither Sean but u should Haitian to understand what Haiti is being through if the actual leader has done their job Sean will not be Haiti helping people how many Foreign NGO were in New Orleans after Katrina, those traditional leader have made everything posible to put Haiti in this situation. Talking ab out big manufacture coporation, Sean was not in Haiti when the actual government did not want the inscrease of the minimun wage now 2 $us. Haitians need a leader that the traditional leader can not be

Joe G. (Illinois)   August 6th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

Righteousness by comparison is a marvelous concept..
Although it’s neither politically correct or religious based.

You can’t differentiate yourself from another person without inciting “Inequality,” "Racism" or "Discrimination."

Ask the White House Administration..!

Made in Alaska   August 6th, 2010 4:08 pm ET

Sean Penn is as much of an oppotunist as any actor w/political aspirations. His production, MILK, the story of Harvey Milk, is an example of Penn building a political base with the GLBT community. This group is pursued by progressives because they have the fianacial means to support a candidate, while many of America's disenfranchised do not. While Penn is carrying the gay banner, he’s doing nothing in the US to address issues like poverty, hunger or discrimination of any other groups. Why? The disenfranchised have no money, therefore they can not help him in his political aspirations. Here’s what was said about Penn in regards to Katrina victims, “In September 2005, Penn traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to aid Hurricane Katrina victims. He was physically involved in rescuing people,although there was criticism that his involvement was a PR stunt as he hired a photographer to come along with his entourage."

Smith in Oregon   August 6th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

America's fortune 500 corporations are up well over 40% this year, and yet are not hiring American citizens because they are largely overseas. America needs to tax the hell out of it's corporations who use oversea's labor to evade paying American taxes. The depraved Republican Potty is the best friend that China could ever have, nothing but Manchurian candidates.

Kathy Robison   August 6th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

I have to say I was quite disappointed in the coverage of the upcoming Haiti presidential campaign that focused on only one of the candidates, simply because that candidate happens to be a famous entertainer. I would expect CNN to dig a little deeper on such an important topic. There are quite a few other, much more qualified, candidates that will be running in this transformational race. As soon as the official list of candidates is released, I hope that you will consider doing a special on the serious candidates. I do commend you for your tough questioning of Wyclef and for allowing Sean Penn to share his thoughts (with which I agree).

Judy   August 6th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

Sean Penn is right. Wyclef Jean is just a poser trying to take advantage of the situation. Haiti doesn't need him making things worse than they are already.

pavlik   August 6th, 2010 7:17 pm ET

I think it incredible that someone could be honest and speak what they really believed and not the romantised version of this whole story. It's great Penn will go where others totally fear. I recall he also inferred that the Catholic church owned a lot of the property in Haiti and could certainly do more in helping.
Good on you Sean for telling it like it is!

Daphnee   August 6th, 2010 8:25 pm ET

Mr Penn, I sincerly appreciate your commitment, devotion and all the help you are giving to those suffering. I can understand that you are well intentioned but, the buck stops there. You've crossed the line. Who died and made you the voice for Haitians? Did you truelly care for haitians before the earthquake? Why all the bad mouthing? Did you want to present your candidature to become the next President of Haiti and Wyclef beat you to it? You've been in Haiti for six months and your an expert on what's best for Haitians, talk about a photo opp. Then again,so typical !

Sean penn makes it sound as if somehow Wyclef needed the money (the guy is loaded), as if he had an alterior motive, like what? (notoriety and power? Please! Unfortunately,like many Americans, some Haitians don't like to see poeple other than themselves succeed. It's precisely why both countries are facing the turmoil they currently are in. Mr Penn with all do respect, we don't need your approval to choose who will run this diamond in a rough, my friend!

Without a doupt, my biggest desappointment are my jaded diaspora compatriotes. The Ones who agree with the notion that one cannot be influencial, resourceful,different, young, BLACK & be intrusted with a large budget.

The ones who say and believe that any Haitian person who presents him and/or herself as a candidate is automaticaly corrupt. The ones who judge before knowing a person, before knowing the facts (Mr Penn).
The ones who enjoy ruining poeples hard earned reputation's.
The ones who say you have to fit in a certain mold to be in a position of power.
Those who say you cannot be ambitious, goal oriented and be President (aren't these requirements anymore)?
Those who say that wanting to meet influencial people in order to help ones own country to progress, means you have an ulterior motive. Since when having passion, goals and ambition make you unfit to be President!
The ones who crusified wyclef after Sean Penn's commentted on CNN, I guess blue eye has spoken therefore, it must be true!
The ones who constantly contribute to our nation's misery.

Let's not let Sean Penn or others dictate who will be running our country, lets never give up on our independance, the one a lot of poeple died and are continuing to die for. It's what makes us strong no matter what! Rather, lets start fallowing our legion "l'union fait la force", let's fight for ourselves and never give up on us! The Poorest country in the Westen Hemispere is at the most, a 5 to 6 hours flight from NY, need I say moore?

When you here poeple triying to demish us, our country, our souls!!!!! We must say no!

We all were presented with the same opportunity as Haitians and did nothing and today we are sitting here judging Wyclef's motive, his lack of expirience and questionning his love for us as a nation. (how dare we?!).

I think it' a great Idea, finally, someone will have to be accountable, the world will be watching is every move! For once, we have a diaspora who as far as I can remember actually was proud to publicaly claim his Haitian pride at a time when lots of us were deniying our heritage (remember the days when you were anything but Haitain)!

For once, someone who has made it, someone different is stepping up for it's poeple and attempting to do something that should have been done a long time ago and first chance we get, we throw him under the bus without even hearing he has to say and what he's capable of. And that's precisely what's wrong with the world today!.

I laugh at these poeple because today they are the ones complaining and in five years from now, those same haters will be the ones trying to go for the position but then, should I question their motives? or should I help them help us? Soo much hypocrisy and waste of energy. In the mean time, I don't know of anyone currently better suited to do the job and certainly not someone who has barely travelled or never even taken a step out of Haiti! (internet alone can't do it). Furthermore, it's not like there's a lineup of potential candidates for the position! (so what's is the debate about)? I'm not willing to waist another five,ten or never years to elect the so called "experienced" candidate Haitians are waiting for. Now is the time, Haiti will not be build from the inside. In order for Haiti to succeed it's going to have to done from the outside (catch my drift poeple!!!!)

There is no such thing as an experienced President unless you're running for a second term! Get off your high horses, stop criticizing instead, say or do constructive things. Ask yourselves between Sean Penn and Wycle Jean which one has more love for Haitians and Haiti, I say 100% wyclef, I'm even going to give him a couple of "get out of prison free passes for the bumps that may occur along the way because emotions may get in the way. Nonetheless,
( Score: Sean Penn: 0 Futur president Wyclef Jean: 1). So long as what needs to get done is done!

I've seen nothing worthy of crusifying him so far. I'll give him a chance. When in the biggining poeple thought of then Senator of Illinois now President Barac Obama as a joke I knew he would be exacly were he is today and I can tell you this feels the same!

Presently the qualities and qualifications we need in our futur Haitian President is diffirerent then the usual criterias. We need someone who will not be faised by money or power (he's own or the one of others), Wyclef has his own. We need someone who's travelled and connected in high places but, mostly we need someone with guts, passion and real love for his country. Too many experienced politicians have left us high and dry. We talk too much and don't do enough. We are haters lets become lovers from this moment foward.

Today we stand naked in front of the world so, I would hate to see this opportunity pass us by because of false pretextes, because of haters with personal agendas who don't know half of the story about our country because it has yet to be told , because of poeple who can't even begin to understand what this opportunity reprents for Haiti.

Stop hating, start supporting, valuating and encouraging goodwill! Let's not add to others constantly trying to bring this nation down every chance they get. Only we are privilidged to really know how beautiful Haiti is and the promess that lives under the rubble!

I hate to brake it to you but he's not in it for the money, the fame,or the perks and anyone who belives that is a complete fool! Hopefully we will give this guy a chance and not throw him under the bus after one mistake because, mistakes will be made. As long as they are not dammaging, they are handled, and they don't repeat themselfs, I'm good!

For the older Haitians who don't think that a misician can also be a serious person well it's time to let go of all these cripplling prenotions of what things and people should be! There is no perfect way, there is no one way. We don't need to all fit in the same mold to do and to be. These are new times, time for change, time for "who cares what others are going to say". Too much of the same!

Anyone hating on wyclef today, is very oblivious to it's countrie's histrory and POSSIBLE futur!

Fas a Fas, Eyes wide shut, Wyclef all the way...and what if ...!

Gerald Jolly   August 6th, 2010 10:38 pm ET

If Haiti was in need of a person that was good at hipping and hopping.

Wyclef would definately be the man for thejob.

Unfortunately Haiti has had too many hippers and too many hoppers even way back to the biggest hipping hopper of all time POPA DOC

I think the whole world knows that what Haiti needs is an honest and stable government that sincerely cares for it's people.


Michinique   August 8th, 2010 1:08 am ET

i am with you 100%, Wyclef thinks politics is a microphone and a guitar, and he thought wrong. Because what need be done in Haiti, a singer cannot do it, Haiti is not Holly Wood, its a country, A country that people need help. And that $400,000, i am Haitian, i also what it could have done for the people. If claims that he doesn't know about it, and he does God will punish him...

LE   August 8th, 2010 11:12 am ET

If Wyclef mishandled funds in Haiti, he is no different from the previous leaders of Haiti.

Jean   August 9th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

It upsets me to see how CNN is only focusing on solely wycleff jean, when there are much more qualified candidates are running the presidential race. Wyclef is an entertainer, i guess he'll continue being one if unfortunately he gets elected. The guy can barely speaks creole and speaks no french, in what language does he plan to communicate with the population. i don't think that wyclef, the entertainer, is any different from the past politicians that Haiti has known. I am Haitian, and i did respect wyclef has being a voice for the Haitians and probably an artist i would say in the hip hop world. But i lost it all from the moment he decided to run for presidency, he has no political experience, what makes him a candidate for such a prestigious position. He might be America's puppet in Haiti, that's the only sense i am able to make out of this. Further, i do think that America needs to dig deeper into the Yele Haiti situation and the taxes situation. Wyclef is an opportunist and i dont like the fact that he's using the innocence of the population to fulfill is interest.

the people l'union   August 10th, 2010 9:41 am ET

he Game Playing of the Master in the Heads of Haitians Continues! AS Usual, the Master Always Knows Best for Haiti!
Who/what the 4uck Shan Penn thinks he is to sticking his stincken nose in the internal affairs of Haiti?

Somebody needs to shut him up quick.

Doing humanitarian work in Haiti is one thing, but to dictate who should or should NOT be running for president in Haiti is stepping over your boundaris entirely.

I know there will be a long list of Uncle Toms and House Slaves out there supporting Shan Penn's stand, the master, in Haiti's affairs anyway.

Until the earthquake, I am wondering if Shan Penn ever knew or heard about Haiti and even knew where Haiti was located on the map?

I doubt it!

Case in point, if he knew there was a Haiti in the western hemisphere and knew there was a pretty large Haitian diaspora in the United States, he would have heard and knew about Wyclef.

The entire world, including high level dignitaries, know of Wyclef except Shan Penn. Go figure!

Imagine for a second Wyclef, who is a 100% Haitian citizen, would speak his suspicious thoughts about McCain's or Obama's motives for running for president of the United States?

I am positively positive Shan Penn would be the first to tell Wyclef to get his nose out of American's affairs, and if he doesn't like the way we (Americans) do things, it would be nice that he gets the 4uck out of our country and go back to his stinken country, Haiti.

Shan Penn gets involved in Haiti for his personal recognition to get the spot light on himself as the big savior of Haiti who will take the Haitian to the promised land. NO wonder why he got his office/headquarters in the suburb of Petion-Ville so he won't have to walk among the poor.

Wyclef, a son of Haiti, has been doing all he can for his country long before the earthquake.

He has been spending more time in Haiti than any other rich popular Haitian celebrities long before the quake.

Master Shan Pen and others like him want Haiti to always remain in poverty and misery so they can continue to give handouts to the Haitian people as their self-esteem booster in order to feel very good about themselves.

Foreigners like Shan Penn believe that Haiti is a SOUP KITCHEN that must always depend on charity for its survival.

Shan Penn needs to just shut the 4uck up and let Haitians decide what's best for them

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