Alleged Clinton Influence Peddling in Colombia Examined by Univision

The intersection of multimillion-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundation and the business interests in Colombia of one of the Foundation’s top donors, Frank Giustra, has become the subject of fresh reporting on Univision’s principal national evening newscast, while Spanish-language competitors Telemundo and MundoFox continue to be silent about the matter.

Following up on the network’s previous coverage of the financial and ethical controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation, Noticiero Univision anchor Jorge Ramos introduced a report by correspondent Lourdes Meluzá that focused specifically on the Latin American angle of the story.

JORGE RAMOS: ...as Lourdes Meluzá tells us from Washington, the donations involve various Latin American countries.

LOURDES MELUZA: This time the scandal extends to Colombia. It's another link in a global chain of allegations of conflicts of interest faced by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The reason: donations from abroad to the multimillion-dollar Foundation headed up by former President Clinton, when she was Secretary of State. But it is alleged that in Colombia more than a decade ago, business and humanitarian interests began to be crossed when Bill Clinton boarded the jet of Canadian businessman Frank Giustra, who has donated or promised more than $100 million to the Foundation.

As Meluzá reports, Giustra met Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at a 2005 meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Giustra, who has committed more than $100 million to the Foundation, subsequently started an oil company in the country. In 2010, Giustra and Bill Clinton travelled together to Colombia in advance of an official visit to the country by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. During their time in the country, both Clintons dined with Giustra and then held separate meetings with the Colombian President. 

Univision’s report included former President Clinton’s latest denials of he and his wife doing “anything knowingly inappropriate” in terms of taking money to influence U.S. policy, as well as contrasting perspectives from pro and anti-Clinton observers. In the conclusion of her report, Meluzá notes that “both allies and adversaries of Hillary Clinton say that sooner or later there ought to be more transparency about the Foundation... and the network of multimillion-dollar donors around the world.”

The network of multimillion-dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation includes Univision Executive Chairman Haim Saban, who has publicly pledged “as much as needed” to the election of Hillary Clinton to the presidency of the United States.

So far, neither Univision competitors Telemundo nor MundoFox have covered the emerging series of scandals involving the Clinton Foundation. However, Noticias MundoFox did dedicate last night two minutes to hammer New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over Bridgegate charges facing former associates of the Governor. 

While #ClintonCash has not been covered on Telemundo’s principal evening newscast, Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart has discussed it on his English-language Rundown show over at MSNBC. One has to wonder: is this Clinton scandal somehow adult-rated to his Spanish-speaking audience?

Below are the translated and original portions of the referenced segment of Noticiero Univisión:

English Translation:

JORGE RAMOS: Former President Bill Clinton today defended the donations his philanthropic foundation receives from foreigners, and he did during moments when his wife Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is being questioned about these funds. The fear is that foreigners could influence a future government. And as Lourdes Meluzá tells us from Washington, the donations involve various Latin American countries.

LOURDES MELUZA: This time the scandal extends to Colombia. It's another link in a global chain of allegations of conflicts of interest faced by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The reason: donations from abroad to the multimillion-dollar Foundation headed up by former President Clinton, when she was Secretary of State.

But it is alleged that in Colombia more than a decade ago, business and humanitarian interests began to be crossed when Bill Clinton boarded the jet of Canadian businessman Frank Giustra, who has donated or promised more than $100 million to the Foundation.

During a tour of Foundation projects in Africa, former president Clinton assured in an exclusive interview to NBC: “There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy.”I

In 2005, Giustra met President Alvaro Uribe during a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York. Two years later, Giustra launched an oil company in Colombia, Pacific Rubiales Energy. In June of 2010, Bill Clinton and Giustra arrived in Bogotá the day before the official visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The three of them had dinner in Bogotá. Former President Bill Clinton met the following day with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

ADOLFO FRANCO, REPUBLICAN ANALYST: And then Secretary Clinton, who was opposed to the free trade agreement with Colombia, changed her position. Of course, all this could be coincidence and perceptions.

LOURDES MELUZA: She knows Giustra and doesn’t believe the accusations.

JOHANNA MENDELSON: It seems to me that what Clinton was supporting was in line with Obama’s public policy, and it didn’t have anything to do with that visit.

LOURDES MELUZA: Both allies and adversaries of Hillary Clinton say that sooner or later there ought to be more transparency about the Foundation led by the Clintons, and the network of multimillion-dollar donors around the world.

Español Original: 

JORGE RAMOS: El expresidente estadounidense Bill Clinton defendió hoy las donaciones que recibe su fundación filantrópica por parte de extranjeros, y lo hizo en momentos en que la campaña presidencial de su esposa, Hillary Clinton, sufre cuestionamientos por dicho financiamiento. Temen que extranjeros puedan influir en un futuro gobierno. Y como nos dice Lourdes Meluzá desde Washington, las donaciones alcanzan a varios países de América Latina.

LOURDES MELUZA: Esta vez el escándalo se extendió a Colombia. Es un eslabón más en una cadena global de alegaciones de conflicto de interés que enfrenta la aspirante demócrata a la presidencia, Hillary Clinton. La razón: las contribuciones desde el extranjero a la multimillonaria fundación que encabeza el ex presidente Clinton, cuando ella era secretaria de Estado.

Pero se alega que ya hace una década en Colombia comenzaron a cruzarse intereses humanitarios y empresariales cuando Bill Clinton abordó un jet del empresario canadiense Frank Giustra quien ha donado o prometido más de cien millones de dólares a la fundación.

En una gira de proyectos de su fundación en África el ex presidente Clinton aseguró en exclusiva a la cadena NBC: ‘No me cabe la menor duda de que no hemos hecho algo inapropiado, en términos de aceptar dinero para influir en alguna política del gobierno estadounidense”.

En el 2005 Giustra conoció al presidente Álvaro Uribe en la reunión de la Iniciativa Global Clinton en Nueva York. Dos años más tarde formó en ese país una empresa petrolera, Pacific Rubiales Energy. En junio de 2010 Bill Clinton y Giustra llegaron a Bogotá un día antes de la visita oficial de la secretaria de Estado, Clinton. Los tres cenaron en Bogotá. El ex presidente Clinton se reunió al día siguiente con el entonces presidente colombiano Álvaro Uribe.

ADOLFO FRANCO, ANALISTA REPUBLICANO: Y luego la secretaria Clinton que estaba opuesta a un tratado de libre comercio con Colombia, cambia su postura. Por supuesto todo esto puede ser coincidencia y percepciones.

LOURDES MELUZA: Ella conoce a Giustra y no cree en las acusaciones.

JOHANNA MENDELSON: Me parece que lo que estaba apoyando Clinton fue en la línea de política de Obama y no tenía nada que ver con esta visita.

LOURDES MELUZA:Tanto aliados como críticos de Hillary Clinton dicen que más tarde o más temprano deberá haber mayor transparencia sobre la fundación que los Clinton encabezan y la red de multimillonarios donantes alrededor del mundo.

MRC Latino Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Hispanic Media Mundo Fox Telemundo Univision Jorge Ramos Jose Diaz-Balart Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton

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