Wyclef Jean Confirms Candidacy As Haitian Presidential Race Heats Up
August 5, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — It is now certain that pop star Wyclef Jean will run for the Haitian presidency, confirming rumors that have been circulating for weeks.
“My decision was a draft. I’m being drafted by the youth,” Jean told Time Magazine in a video posted to its Web site.
Ex-Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis has also announced he will run. With the support of current President René Préval’s newly formed Unity party, Alexis is expected to be one of the strongest candidates.
Jean also faces competition from his own uncle, Raymond Joseph, the former ambassador to the United States.
The winner of the election, scheduled for Nov. 28, will face some of the most urgent problems of any leader in the hemisphere. The Jan. 12 earthquake leveled Haiti’s capital, killing an estimated 230,000 people and leaving as many as 1.6 million homeless.
The new president will also face the intimidating task of building a strong Haitian state. The devastation caused by the natural disaster was facilitated by Haiti’s poor infrastructure and shoddy construction. At the heart of the problem, many experts say, was a weak Haitian government hobbled by a combination of foreign intervention, corruption and poverty.
Jean’s formal entry into Haitian politics also promises to highlight a growing tension between those who were living on the island when the devastating earthquake struck on Jan. 12 and those who immigrated and have returned to help rebuild the country. Jean was born in Haiti, but raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Jean will formally announce his candidacy tonight in an English-language interview, according to The Miami Herald.
Below is a video of Wycleff Jean Speaking with Time Magazine.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican drug cartels are increasingly using online videos to intimidate rivals, law enforcement and the public by airing violent footage of executions and other crimes.
- Mexicana de Aviación suspended ticket sales Wednesday as the airline faces mounting debts.
- Fidel Castro is expected to address Cuba’s national assembly this weekend about the country’s international affairs.
- Jamaica will celebrate 48 years of independence on Saturday.
- The resident of a town in the Dominican Republic discovered 62 petroglyphs and two prehistoric sculptures in a local cave.
- Panamanian police discovered the bodies of three additional people allegedly murdered by an American couple already implicated in two other killings.
- A former Nicaraguan Contra said he would stage an uprising against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega if he sought another term in next year’s elections.
- Honduran coffee exports are expected to drop this year to the country’s unstable political climate and a series of natural disasters.
- Colombia’s Constitutional Court will determine whether the U.S. military has the right to expanded use of military bases in Colombia. A decision is expected after August 17.
- Ecuador announced that it would not drill for oil in the Yasuni rainforest reserve in the Amazon if the U.N. sets up a $3.6 billion fund in exchange.
- Larry Palmer, President Obama’s nominee as ambassador to Venezuela, has caused a stir among Chávez supporters for suggesting that there is a “clear” link between FARC guerrillas and the Venezuelan government.
- Bolivian merchants protested a new law limiting the sale of contraband goods in La Paz on Wednesday.
- Cuban dissident Jose Ubaldo Izquierdo arrived in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday after the Chilean government agreed to accept him and his family.
- A lack of support from Paraguay’s congress is stalling Venezuela’s ratification as a full member into the Mercosur trade bloc.
- An alleged thief in São Paulo was trapped and killed by a window that slammed down on him as he reportedly attempted to make an escape.
- Argentina’s football association announced it would not make a decision to replace Diego Maradona as head coach until October.
Image: jdlasica @ Flickr.