The Clintons: Viceroys of Haiti

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about her new book "Hard Choices" on Friday, June 20, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Eric Gay / Associated Press

by Joel B. Pollak6 Mar 201598

Conservatives had occasion to mock the dynastic pretensions of the Clintons when Chelsea gave birth to her first child last year, and journalists behaved as if the royal family had produced an heir. The Clintons do seem to acknowledge that they have to fight elections–and occasionally lose them–to maintain their proximity to power in Washington. But there is one place where they let their royal writ run: the Caribbean island of Haiti, the “poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.”

New investigations by Peter Schweizer reveal that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a company that received a rare gold mining permit in Haiti in 2012–“such a sweetheart deal that it outraged the Haitian senate.” That took place in the midst of the Clintons’ intense involvement in rebuilding projects in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed at least tens of thousands of people, and perhaps several hundred thousand, in official estimates.

The Clintons’ official involvement in Haiti began more than twenty years ago (though they honeymooned there in 1975), and has often combined altruism and opportunism.

As Mary O’Grady recalled in the Wall Street Journal last year, after President Bill Clinton reinstalled the ousted Jean-Bertrande Aristide in 1994, “a company called Fusion, run by Democrats—including Joseph P. Kennedy II, Mack McLarty, who had been Clinton White House chief of staff, and Marvin Rosen, a former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee—went into the long-distance telephone business with Haiti Teleco, the government-owned monopoly.”

President Clinton went on to become the UN’s Haiti envoy and to lead the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. Today, O’Grady writes, “Mr. Clinton is persona non grata in much of the country due to the dismal results of his involvement.”

Yet the Clintons’ exploitative ties to Haiti apparently continue. Haitians get the rubble–and Rodham, evidently, gets the gold.


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