14:37 GMT30 October 2020
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    The much discussed Caracol Industrial Park project kicked off by the Clintons a year after the 2010 deadly earthquake in Haiti has become yet another shameful page in Hillary Clinton's Haitian saga, Dady Chery, a Haitian-born journalist, told Sputnik.

    It looks as if the fight for the US presidency is not over yet: a petition urging the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton who suffered a defeat in the November election is gaining pace with more than 4.6 million signatures gathered by Friday.

    "Mr. Trump is unfit to serve," the petition claims, "Secretary Clinton won the popular vote and should be President."

    "The Electoral College can actually give the White House to either candidate," the petition continues, "[Electors] can vote however they want and there is no legal means to stop them in most states."

    On another front, Jill Stein, the Green Party's presidential nominee, continues to push ahead with the election recount initiative, prompting some to suggest that she is coordinating her campaign with Hillary Clinton.

    To add to the fire of growing suspicion, Hillary Clinton's campaign said Saturday it would join Jill Stein's effort.

    Needless to say, the idea of Russia's "interference" in the election is back on the table.

    "This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign," Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton's campaign counsel, wrote, as quoted by CNN, adding that "the US government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee [DNC] and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials."

    However, no one presented any evidence to confirm that Russia had a hand in hacking the DNC or Clinton's campaign emails.

    "Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people's choice?" Vladimir Putin asked back in October while addressing the Valdai conference, "America is not some kind of ‘banana republic', after all, but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong."

    White Hillary Clinton's campaign is trying to find out what exactly went wrong, the question arises: What if it was Clinton's own policies and actions that cost the Democratic nominee the White House?

    And that brings us back to a largely neglected story of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation's work in Haiti.

    In her November interview with Sputnik, Haitian-born journalist Dr. Dady Chery shed light on the Clintons' effort to cash in on the US' recovery operation which followed the deadly earthquake in Haiti back in January, 2010.

    "I believe the IHRC [Interim Haiti Recovery Commission] is named after Hillary Rodham Clinton and should really be 'I, HRC'," Chery told Sputnik.

    The so-called Caracol Industrial Park is yet another shameful page in the Clintons' Haitian saga, according to the journalist.

    "As the one-year anniversary of the earthquake approached, the Clintons got heavily criticized by Haitians and the whole world for collecting billions of dollars that they could show nothing for. On the eve of this anniversary, on January 11, 2011, Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with [Haitian President Michel] Martelly to build a big sweatshop complex for textile assembly called Caracol Industrial Park," Chery pointed out.

    A government employee tests translation devices in preparation for a ceremony at the Caracol Industrial Park, in Caracol, Haiti (File)
    © AP Photo / Dieu Nalio Chery
    A government employee tests translation devices in preparation for a ceremony at the Caracol Industrial Park, in Caracol, Haiti (File)

    "The farmers in the area had just planted their crops when the bulldozers came, unannounced, to mow down their homes. The industrial park straddles two rivers that feed into Caracol Bay, an area with coral reefs and mangroves that is so beautiful that it had been slated to become a World Heritage Site and park. Caracol was in northern Haiti and nowhere near the earthquake damage!" the journalist underscored.

    Chery said that the sweatshop project was rushed through an October 22, 2012 inauguration date and, no attention was paid to its environmental impact.

    "The first tenant in the complex was a South Korean company called Sae-A Trading Co Ltd. From an ABC News investigation, we know that Sae-A donated $50,000 to $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. In addition, the company invested in a start up by Clinton aide Cheryl Mills," she stressed.

    "To my knowledge, the Caracol project was funded with $124 million from USAID and $105 million from the Inter-American Development Bank. If you add these sums to the $84 million spent in 2010-11, you'll see that the Clintons spent only 3.3 percent of the $9.5 billion they received for Haiti's reconstruction," Chery elaborated.

    The journalist recalled that two Haitian lawyers brought an action against Bill Clinton in Haiti's Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes back in April 2014 to find out what exactly happened to funds transferred by the international community through the IHRC to the Haitian people after the earthquake.

    When the Haitian court ordered Bill Clinton to present an audit of the IHRC, he responded that he did not have to do so because, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy, he had diplomatic immunity, Chery emphasized.

    "The Clintons have made quite a fuss about Caracol Industrial Park being a great contribution to Haiti," she remarked.

    President Clinton and Secretary Clinton pose for a photo with workers at Caracol Industrial Park
    © Wikipedia / Kendra Helmer/USAID
    President Clinton and Secretary Clinton pose for a photo with workers at Caracol Industrial Park

    "I believe they built that complex for two reasons: first, to force construction of infrastructure, like a new deep-sea port, to accommodate nearby mining; second, to provide cheap Haitian labor to a Friend of Bill: Sae-A Chairman Woong-Ki Kim," the journalist suggested.

    However, the project fell short of the expectations.

    "Far from 100,000 jobs-or even the 60,000 promised within five years of the park's opening-Caracol currently employs just 5,479 people full time," American journalist Jonathan M. Katz wrote for Politico.com in 2015.

    "Interestingly," Chery added, "of the very first cables from WikiLeaks about Haiti exposed the fact that the US State Department had pressured President Preval in August 2009 to keep the wages of assembly workers at 36 cents per hour, even after the Haitian parliament had unanimously voted to raise the wages to 60 cents per hour."

    "In principle, the workers were supposed to get this raise by 2012; in fact, they only got the 60 cents per hour salary in May 2016! The only wages lower than this are those of US prison laborers," she stressed.

    In the course of the presidential race, Trump's campaign jumped at the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the Clintons Foundation's Haitian story.

    "In their biggest project, the Clintons used $400 million in aid and US taxpayer funds to build what amounted to a sweatshop. And guess who set it up? Cheryl Mills, Hillary's Chief of Staff who helped destroy her emails," the campaign's website said.

    "Today, as Haiti's death toll from Hurricane Matthew is on the rise, we should never forget how Bill and Hillary Clinton handled Haiti last time," it added.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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    recovery, fraud, 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Democratic National Committee, United Nations, Valdai Discussion Club, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, US, Haiti, South Korea
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