Hillary Clinton reportedly supported a Colombian free trade agreement as secretary of state after the founder of the largest independent oil company in Colombia pledged more than $100 million to her family’s foundation.
The International Business Times report raises more questions about whether foreigners were buying influence with Clinton by donating to the Clinton Foundation.
According to the report, Clinton, who had opposed the U.S.-Colombia trade pact when she was running for president in 2008, was silent when workers at Pacific Rubiales, the oil company in question in Colombia, went on strike in 2011 and “the Colombian military rounded them up at gunpoint and threatened violence if they failed to disband.” Human rights activists had urged Clinton to oppose the free trade deal with Colombia because such tactics were commonplace in the nation.
Frank Giustra, the founder of the oil company in question who now is on the board of the Clinton Foundation, at the time pledged to donate more than $100 million to a join initiative between the Clinton Foundation and Pacific Rubiales, according to the report. And a few months after Bill Clinton golfed with Giustra in 2011, Clinton’s State Department praised Colombia’s human rights record, asserting that the “Colombian government continued to make progress on improving respect for human rights, both within the Armed Forces and in Colombia at large.”
The International Business Times pointed out that “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,” saying that the deal was now “strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States.”
The deal permitted “hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to flow to the same Colombian military that labor activists say helped intimidate workers,” and, according to the report, “delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.”
Clinton has come under fire for accepting millions from repressive Middle Eastern regimes with atrocious records on human and women’s rights and been dogged for reportedly breaking her promise to the Obama administration to disclose “any new or increased contributions” to her family’s foundation while she was secretary of state.
A recent Reuters report revealed that during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the agency, the Clinton Foundation reportedly received “millions of dollars in new or increased payments from at least seven foreign governments,” but the State Department confirmed “that none of the seven government donations had been submitted” to the agency for review.