In 2005 Canadian mining financier Frank Guistra traveled to Kazakhstan with former President Bill Clinton. Guistra won rights to buy three uranium projects in Kazakhstan, and months after the agreement was finalized Guistra gave $31 million dollars to Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation. Some hackles were raised during the Kazakhstan trip because Bill Clinton made it a point to praise the Kazakh President, dictator, and human rights violator, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This was in direct contradiction with the U.S.’s policy toward Kazakhstan. With the release of the Clinton’s tax statements, some are asking what happened to the $15 million that Bill Clinton received from Ron Burkle over a four-year period.Read more of the above in a recent Daily Kos Post.
At the end of the day, philanthropy, like business, must be globalized. I am proud that I and other leaders in the mining industry have demonstrated that we can do our part to promote worldwide sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation. Likewise, I am proud of my relationship with former President Clinton, which is based solely on our shared global charitable causes - nothing more and nothing less. Demeaning the philanthropic efforts of Bill Clinton does a grave injustice to all of the good works he has undertaken, and in this instance, a disservice to our entire industry.
Frank Giustra, president and CEO
Fiore Financial Corp.
For the record, readers can find details of the programs announced at the March 1 fundraiser in Toronto ("President Clinton Announces Projects of the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative") at www.clintonfoundation.org under Resources/Newsroom/Press Releases.
To read all of Mr. Giustra's composition go here.
January 31, 2008
After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton
By JO BECKER and DON VAN NATTA Jr.Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.
Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.
Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.
Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s 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 in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.
Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.
The above reporting from the New York Times is salient. And there is much more that bears reading. Click and see. A comment on this story provides some context:
This story, which the MSM has largely ignored, raises a lot of important questions.
Are foreign governments using the Clinton foundation as a front to pay off a former president and a (perhaps) future one?
Does this mean that, in unmonitored corners of the world, President Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy will be for sale—or appear to be?
The Saudis are also major donors to the Clinton foundation. What do foreign donors expect in return for their money? Why does the law allow foreign governments and firms (which in Saudi Arabia, and many other places, amounts to the same thing) to donate to a former president’s foundation?
What is Guistra expect for his planned $100 million? Is Bill selling Hillary’s influence before she gets it?
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