After an earthquake struck in 2010, the US pledged to help rebuild the Caribbean country. A decade later, nothing better symbolises the failure of these efforts than the story of a new port that was promised, but never built. By Jacob Kushner
When Bill and Hillary Clinton travelled to the Caribbean nation of Haiti as newlyweds in 1975, they were enchanted. Bill had recently lost a race for Congress back home in Arkansas, but by the time they returned to the US, he had set his mind to running for Arkansas state attorney general, a decision which would put him on the path to the White House. “We have had a deep connection to and with Haiti ever since,” Hillary later said.
Over the next four decades, the Clintons became increasingly involved in Haiti, working to reshape the country in profound ways. As US president in the 1990s, Bill lobbied for sweeping changes to Haiti’s agricultural sector that significantly increased the country’s dependence on American food crops. In 1994, three years after a military coup in Haiti, Bill ordered a US invasion that overthrew the junta and restored the country’s democratically elected president to power. Fifteen years later, Bill was appointed United Nations’ special envoy to Haiti, tasked with helping the country to develop its private sector and invigorate its economy. By 2010, the Clintons were two of Haiti’s largest benefactors. Their personal philanthropic fund, The Clinton Foundation, had 34 projects in the country, focused on things such as creating jobs.
Read More Haiti and the failed promise of US aid