Hillary Clinton and Haiti have been intertwined ever since her marriage to Bill Clinton in 1975. Shortly after their honeymoon, they received an invitation to visit Haiti, and have taken special interest in the country ever since. Hillary traveled there at least four times during her tenure as Secretary of State and her and Bill were instrumental in raising aid for Haiti in 2010 via The Clinton Foundation.
Even today though, Haiti is mired in political turmoil that has been running rampant since the devastating earthquake in 2010 as well as the election of Michel Martelly.
Following the first round of voting in December 2010, Martelly's followers rioted for three days after he was disqualified coming into second against Jude Celestin, who was a close friend of then-president Rene Preval. They accused the president of rigging the election for his personal candidate.
Because of this, it is widely known that Hillary Clinton personally travelled to Haiti in 2010 to ensure that Michel Martelly was put back in the election race. It's even stated that Hillary threatened to pull U.S. foreign aid, if Martelly wasn't allowed to run. Preval caved and Martelly went on to become president in January in 2011 scoring a comfortable victory over his rival partially due to U.S. support.
Hillary was able to easily leverage the aid against Preval due to the widespread destruction resulting from the earthquake only several month prior. The Clinton Foundation was at the forefront of garnering support for Haiti as well as raising millions of dollars, but now many years later there are some disconcerting questions as to how well the foundation delivered.
Some of the complaints registered, according to the New York Times include,
Fewer than half the jobs promised at the industrial park, built after 366 farmers were evicted from their lands, have materialized. Many millions of dollars earmarked for relief efforts have yet to be spent. Mrs. Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham has turned up in business ventures on the island, setting off speculation about insider deals.
The industrial park referenced is the Caracol Industrial Park, a project backed by the Clinton Foundation. Construction of the park caused quite a few farmers to be evicted from their lands, and as the quote says, the project only delivered less than half of the jobs promised to the Haitian people.
Haiti has also plunged into deeper turmoil as Martelly's tenure has been marred again and again by corruption and cronyism in the five years since his election as president. He hasn't initiated a single election during his tenure allowing most of the Haitian Parliament's members' terms to expire. Finally though, amid rising poverty, insecurity, and continued corruption, protestors forced Martelly to step down this past February, but the challenge is far from over.
There was no plan for a successor after Martelly's resignation creating widespread confusion about who would serve next as well as growing worries of corruption in the election process. The voting dates have been postponed a number of times and protests still grip the nation.
Ballots aren't set to be cast until October now, but even with a number changes being enacted into how the election process will now work, political tension grips the nation.