Not everyone is happy about Wyclef Jean running for president in Haiti.
Wyclef’s own cousin (and former Fugees bandmate) Pras (real name: Prazakrel Michel) is following in actor Sean Penn’s footsteps in making his opposition of Jean running for president known. Pras says that although Jean is “like my brother,” he believes that the “911” singer is an opportunist for wanting to become president in their native Haiti.
In a statement to UsMagazine.com, Pras said:
“I think he brought Haiti a lot of national spotlight and attention where people are concerned and really want to help out. But to be the President of Haiti, I don’t see it because I don’t see what his real plans are. His plans are so general.
“If he really wanted to help Haiti, he should have chosen his influence and champion and go around these countries that have pledged money to Haiti who have not given a single dime yet. You don’t even see 3 percent of what’s been pledged. You need to say, ‘Listen, we need money!’
“At one point, two million people are living in a tent city. These people need water; they need the basic healthcare like band-aids, like alcohol to clean the wounds. Just basic, just the fundamentals. We’re not even going to talk about the fact that there’s not a trauma unit there. I just think he’s exhausting his energy in the wrong places. He’s probably got some corporate people behind him that really want to come in there and exploit the country and basically control it. So my thing is that right there disqualifies him to be the leader of the country.”
Pras says he intends to support Michel Martelly in the upcoming Haiti elections:
“I endorse Michel Martell as the next President of Haiti because he is the most competent candidate for the job. He’s the only guy in Haiti who can unite the bourgeoisie, which is the elite, and the masses, which is the youth. They have such an affinity for this guy. They admire him so much and will do anything for him. A good leader is somebody who can make someone do something, right? A great leader is someone who can make someone say, ‘I need to do this, and I believe I can do this.'”
Earlier this week, shortly after Wyclef Jean announced his run for presidency, actor Sean Penn spoke out on the musician’s intentions, adding that he hasn’t seen him in Haiti in over 6 months:
“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. I’m not accusing Wyclef Jean of being an opportunist; I don’t know the man. One of the reasons I don’t know very much about Wyclef Jean is that I haven’t seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti.”
Wyclef responded to Penn’s statement with his own yesterday (Fri. Aug 6) via The Gayle King show:
“He hasn’t seen me for six months – I have been going to Haiti for more than five years. When the hurricane toppled Haiti, I was the first one there….if I did not create Yele Haiti to start stopping the violence, even him coming to Haiti would not have been possible today.”
What do you think? Is Wyclef running for Haiti because he generally cares about his home country or is this all just a massive publicity stunt [slash] quest for power?