Little Haiti residents deny claim of Clinton hate

MIAMI (WSVN) - Residents of Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood are denying claims that they dislike Hillary Clinton after Donald Trump made the claim in the final presidential debate.

In the third presidential debate Wednesday, Donald Trump claimed the residents of Little Haiti in Miami do not like the Clintons. “You take a look at the people of Haiti,” he said. “I was in Little Haiti the other day, in Florida, and I want to tell you, they hate the Clintons because what’s happened in Haiti with the Clinton Foundation is a disgrace, and you know it, and they know it, and everybody knows it.”

The Republican nominee is referring to his visit to the Little Haiti Cultural Center in September. The statement came after an exchange where moderator Chris Wallace asked Hillary Clinton about allegations of special favors for donors to the Clinton Foundation when it came to helping Haiti.

“Those seeking grants for Haiti relief were considered separately from non-donors, and some of those donors got contracts — government contracts — taxpayer money,” said Wallace. “Can you really say you kept your pledge to that Senate committee, and why isn’t what happened and what went on between you and the Clinton Foundation, why isn’t it what Mr. Trump calls pay-to-play?”

Clinton defended the foundation, saying it raised $30 million for relief efforts following the 2010 earthquake. “We’ve done things to help small businesses, agriculture, and so much else, and we’re going to keep working to help Haiti because it’s an important part of the American,” Clinton said.

Trump responded with, “They don’t want you to help them anymore.”

But do those who live and work in Little Haiti really hate Hillary Clinton?

Ashlee Thomas, who works in Little Haiti, doesn’t think so. “I just thought it was a very crass comment,” she said. “I can’t say people feel that way. I have not heard that kind of sentiment.”

Business owner Schiller Sanon-Jules said he doesn’t hate her either, but he does have questions for her. “No, I do not hate Mrs. Clinton,” he said. “As far as Mrs. Clinton is concerned, we do have certain problems and certain questions that we need answered because I know that they raised millions and millions of dollars for Haiti, and we have not seen any of that money yet helping the country.”

Marleine Bastien, the Executive Director of the Haitian Women of Miami, said the support for Trump in the community during his visit was small.

“Just because he was in Little Haiti doesn’t mean he was invited by the residents of Little Haiti,” she said.

However, Bastien also said they’re still waiting on the Democratic nominee to visit this election cycle. Thursday, a letter went out on behalf of 50 Florida Haitian-American organizations and leaders, asking Clinton to respond to a number of issues confronting the suffering nation — including requests for more help after Hurricane Matthew left destruction and a surge in cholera cases in its wake.

“She needs to come. She needs to meet with us. She needs to talk to us,” Bastien said. “She needs to come. She needs to come to Little Haiti.”

To read the letter sent to Hillary Clinton, go to: http://ftpcontent2.worldnow.com/wsvn/pdf/Haiti_Clinton.pdf

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