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April 09, 2015

Hillary Clinton Reversed Position on Trade Deal With Colombia After Huge Donation to Clinton Foundation

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Frank Guistra, a mining magnate -- that means oil -- who gave the Clinton Foundation up to fifty fucking million fucking dollars.

Wikipedia shared this tidbit about the Clintons and Guistra.

Mr. Giustra became close with former US President Bill Clinton during fundraising efforts for tsunami relief in 2004. Giustra is a member of the board of trustees of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra provided his corporate jet for Clinton's fundraising campaign in Africa....

In September 2005, Giustra flew Clinton to Kazakhstan as part of a three-country philanthropic tour. Clinton praised the Kazakh autocrat for "this statement you have made about opening up the social and political life [of Kazakhstan]". Within two days of the former President's meeting with Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev, Giustra's fledgling uranium company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by the state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom. "The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers."[14][15] In 2006, in the months after Mr. Clinton's visit helped secure Giustra's company the right to mine uranium in Kazakhstan, Mr. Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.[14] This figure is at variance with the one released by the William J. Clinton Foundation (on the 18 December 2008), as part of an arrangement with President-elect Barack Obama. It reports Frank Giustra as giving between US$10–25 million.[16]

So this guy gives the Clintons fifty fucking million fucking dollars, and lo and behold, he suddenly has government assistance in getting him into sweet mining situations.

The thing with the Clintons, though, is that their crimes are never one-offs.

They are always ongoing criminal enterprises.

The Clinton Foundation reportedly accepted millions of dollars from a Colombian oil company head before then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to support a trade deal with Colombia despite worries of human rights violations.

...

The report centers on donations from Frank Giustra and the oil company that he founded, Pacific Rubiales. In a Wall Street Journal story from 2008, Giustra is described as a "friend and traveling companion" of former President Clinton who donated more than $130 million to Clinton’s philanthropies.

Oh. I guess I lowballed it.

The article now narrates claims that Pacific Rubiales called in the Columbian military to crush a strike against them, in 2011. This generated, obviously, human rights complaints, and this was part of the case against the Columbian Free Trade Agreement.

...

On the campaign trail in 2008, Hillary Clinton, along with then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, opposed the deal as a raw deal for workers, according to IBT. The pair changed their tune after the election and publicly supported the trade agreement. As secretary of State, Clinton’s State Department certified annually that Colombia was "meeting statutory criteria related to human rights."

I'll now turn to the outfit who actually has the scoop, International Business Times.


Yet as union leaders and human rights activists conveyed these harrowing reports of violence to then-Secretary of State Clinton in late 2011, urging her to pressure the Colombian government to protect labor organizers, she responded first with silence, these organizers say. The State Department publicly praised Colombia’s progress on human rights, thereby permitting hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to flow to the same Colombian military that labor activists say helped intimidate workers.

At the same time that Clinton's State Department was lauding Colombia's human rights record, her family was forging a financial relationship with Pacific Rubiales, the sprawling Canadian petroleum company at the center of Colombia's labor strife. The Clintons were also developing commercial ties with the oil giant's founder, Canadian financier Frank Giustra, who now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global philanthropic empire.

The details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation -- supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself -- Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it "strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States." The change of heart by Clinton and other Democratic leaders enabled congressional passage of a Colombia trade deal that experts say delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.


...

The details of her family’s entanglements in Colombia echo talk that the Clintons have blurred the lines between their private business and philanthropic interests and those of the nation. And Hillary Clinton’s connections to Pacific Rubiales and Giustra intensify recent questions about whether big donations influenced her decisions as secretary of state.

I can't quote it all, but if you read down a ways, IBT reports that Hillary, while not explaining her abrupt reversal, claims that while she had "concerns" about Columbia human rights violations, such violations had decreased by the time she visited the country, in 2010.

Human Rights Watch, on the other hand, say such violations had increased since 2007.

So I'm going to trust Hillary Clinton on this. Because, obviously.

Is It Time? With Hillary looking increasingly corrupt, the Democrats may have to turn to some of their the lesser-known candidates for President now politicking up in New Hampshire.






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