Image Credit: Adriana M. Bar; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.comHe may be fond of his former Fugees bandmate Wyclef, who recently announced his candidacy for Haiti’s presidential race on CNN, but Pras (nee Prakazrel Michel) won’t be killing him softly at the ballot box.
The Brooklyn-born Haitian-American told MTV News (via London’s Guardian), “I love Wyclef to death … We came up together, we grew up together, we basically called each other cousins. But the reality is this, we need a real leader.”
“Not just a regular leader,” he continued, “but a transformative leader. Someone that’s gonna be able to galvanise the Haitians down on the field, the Haitian-Americans, the international community. It’s a collective support—to take this country to the 21st century. And I’m just not convinced Wyclef is the one for that.”
In his “good guy, wrong goal” sentiments, Pras has found an ally of sorts in actor/activist Sean Penn, who is far less gentle in his indictment of Wyclef’s qualifications and intentions—saying, in part, “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,” Penn (who became a celebrity face of sorts for humanitarian aid there following the earthquake) said.
Penn also brought up Wyclef’s alleged mishandling of funds at his Yele Haiti foundation, saying, “He claims he didn’t do it. That has to be looked into it,” Penn said. “I’ve been there. I know what $400,000 could do for these people’s lives.”
“I haven’t seen or heard anything of [Wyclef Jean] in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti,” Penn continued. “I think he’s an important voice. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground,” Penn said. “I want to see someone who’s really, really willing to sacrifice for their country, and not just someone who I personally saw with vulgar entourage of vehicles that demonstrated a wealth in Haiti that, in context, I felt was a very obscene demonstration.”
What do you think, readers—is this all just a hail of pebbles in glass houses? Or do Pras’ and Penn’s concerns have real merit?
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