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(With Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State overseeing the efforts of USAID, the Clintons’ importance to the recovery could not be overstated; Bill’s appointment meant that “at every stage of Haiti’s reconstruction—fundraising, oversight and allocation—a Clinton was now involved.” Despite appearances, the Clinton-Bush fund was not focused on providing traditional relief.As they wrote, “[w]hile other organizations in Haiti are using their resources to deliver immediate humanitarian aid, we are using our resources to focus on long-term development.” While the fund would advertise that “100% of donations go directly to relief efforts,” Clinton and Bush adopted an expansive definition of “relief” efforts, treating luring foreign investment and jobs as a crucial part of earthquake recovery.Bill and Hillary Clinton had long shared a personal interest in Haiti, dating back to the time of their honeymoon, part of which was spent in Port-au-Prince.In his autobiography, Bill says that his understanding of God and human nature were profoundly transformed when they witnessed a voodoo ceremony in which a woman bit the head off a live chicken.discovered, among other things, that the temperature in the shelters reached over 100 degrees, causing children to experience headaches and eye irritations (which may have been compounded by the mold), and that the trailers showed high levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde, linked to asthma and other lung diseases.The Clinton Foundation had subcontracted the building of the shelters to Clayton Homes, a firm that had already been sued in the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for “having provided formaldehyde-laced trailers to Hurricane Katrina victims.” (Clayton Homes was owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and Buffett had been a longstanding major donor to the Clinton Foundation.) ’s investigation reported on children whose classes were being held in Clinton Foundation trailers.Their semester had just been cut short, and the students sent home, because the temperature in the classrooms had grown unbearable.The misery of the students in the Clinton trailers was described: Judith Seide, a student in Lubert’s sixth-grade class [explained that] she and her classmates regularly suffer from painful headaches in their new Clinton Foundation classroom.
So when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009, she consciously made the redevelopment of Haiti one of her top priorities.
For example,…[a] 2011 housing expo that cost more than million, including 0,000 from the Clinton Foundation, was supposed to be a model for thousands of new units but instead has resulted in little more than a few dozen abandoned model homes occupied by squatters.
reported that many Clinton projects “have primarily benefited wealthy foreigners and the island’s ruling elite, who needed little help to begin with.” For example, “the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund invested more than million in the Royal Oasis Hotel, where a sleek suite with hardwood floors costs more than 0 a night and the shops sell 0 designer purses and 0 men’s dress shirts.” Predictably, the Royal Oasis didn’t do an especially roaring trade; reported that “[o]ne recent afternoon, the hotel appeared largely empty, and with tourism hardly booming five years after the quake, locals fear it may be failing.” In a country with a 30-cent minimum wage, investing recovery dollars in a luxury hotel was not just offensive, but economically daft.
At President Obama’s request, Clinton and George W.
Bush created the “Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,” and began aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti in the earthquake’s aftermath.