In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly lauded a Colombian free trade agreement—the same deal she'd condemned as being bad for labor rights back in 2008. So why the change of heart? According to a report from the International business Times, it could be because the country's largest oil company was dumping millions of dollars straight into the Clinton Foundation.
It wasn't just the oil company Pacific Rubiales itself, though. Its founder, Frank Giustra, has had a long, fruitful friendship with the Clintons—one in which he's reportedly donated over $130 million to their various philanthropies and become a Clinton Foundation board member. Which makes it all the more suspicious that Hillary only slammed the deal while she was still a contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Once out of the race and confirmed as Secretary of State, Clinton was quick to support the deal just two years later.
Though Clinton has never explicitly explained her change of position on the U.S.-Colombia trade pact, she acknowledged “concerns” about Colombian “human rights abuses, violence against labor organizers, targeted assassinations, and the atrocities of right-wing paramilitary groups” in her 2014 book, “Hard Choices.”
But, she asserted, “By the time I visited Bogota in June 2010, violence was down dramatically.” She said that she met up with her husband while he “was traveling through Colombia on Clinton Foundation business” and the couple “went out for dinner with friends and staff at a local steakhouse, and toasted Colombia's progress.”
Of course, none of this is particularly shocking. The Clintons are notorious for selling themselves to the highest bidder, particularly when it comes to their deep ties to Wall Street. But considering the buzz surrounding Hillary's email concerns has barely even died down, Hillary's (maybe probably potential) candidacy is off to a shaky start. [IB Times via The Hill]
Image via AP.