September 26, 2016
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WikiLeaks Gives Insight Into US Thoughts On Haiti's Pres.

 NEW YORK -  `Isolated` and `less open to ideas and advice,` is how Haitian President Rene Preval was described by a U.S. ambassador in confidential cables, according to the documents made public by Wiki Leaks.

An analysis by CWNN shows that in a June 2009 cable sent by Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson in response to a request by the U.S. State Department, gives an in depth analysis into the Haitian President, in a confidential memo titled simply: `Deconstructing Preval.`

The State Department documents, leaked as part of thousands on the site on Sunday night, November 28th, also cites close friends as saying Preval`s  `overriding goal is to orchestrate the 2011 presidential transition in such a way as to ensure that whoever is elected will allow him to go home unimpeded.`

`Based on our conversations, this is indeed a matter that looms large for Preval,` adds Sanderson in the document. `He has said to me on various occasions that he is worried about his life after the presidency, that he would not survive in exile. His concerns seem real, given Haiti`s history, albeit somewhat overblown at this point in time.`

The documents release came hours after early election in Haiti on November 28th and protests that followed claims of fraud.

The document also calls `dealing with Preval a challenge` but with Sanderson adding that he while `Preval has yet to truly provide the strong, consistent leadership that Haiti`s current circumstances demand,` he  remains  indispensable to Haiti.

As such, noted Sanderson, `We therefore must continue to find creative, consistent ways to reinforce and maintain our engagement – at all levels of the USG - with Preval and to press him to move forward the important agenda of change that remains as yet unrealized here.`

The cable also gives some personal insight into the private persona of Preval, noting that the Haitian President is also `uncomfortable in formal settings such as summits and international conferences.`

According to the Wiki Leaks document, the President reportedly shuns newspapers and radio and has a friend in New York do a daily press summary for him. He uses one or two cell phones but rarely shares the numbers with his colleagues, adds the cable, and he uses his email to communicate with family and close friends, but prefers to talk on the telephone.

The memorandum also said that Preval seldom leaves the palace except to travel to his residence each evening and to the retreat he bought for his fiancée, (At the time) in the mountains above Port au Prince.

Ambassador Sanderson also notes that Preval `is wary of change and suspicious of outsiders, even those who seek his success` and instead seeks personal `relationships of trust` with his interlocutors.

The ambassador also states that Preval is `often unable to articulate exactly what he wants - except in the broadest of terms` and tends to view issues in black and white.  According to the memo, he is also `skeptical about the international community`s commitment to his government`s goals, for instance telling me that he is suspicious of how the Collier report will be used.`

Sanderson also states that Preval measures success with the international community - and the U.S.- in terms of positive response to his priorities, rather than according to some broader international benchmarks of success.

But she added: `Nonetheless, he expects a positive - and prompt response. That is particularly true of his dealings with the international community.`

It is also revealed in the document that President Preval has what the ambassador called a `fixation on drug trafficking.` She noted that this reflects both a growing frustration with the inflow of drugs into the country`s political process and irritation that his government is unable to address something that could indeed pose a personal threat to his future after the presidency.

`Shunning all GOH responsibility for the problem, he looks to hand it over to us,` she wrote. `He has yet to believe that we take his concerns seriously, and that has colored much of his dealings with us beyond the counternarcotics agenda.

It also states that although Preval briefly lived in the U.S., he does not truly understand Americans or the Washington policy environment - and he often ignores advisors who do. An earlier document from 2007 also states that Preval largely relies on his own intuition and experience in formulating policy. The 2007 document also questions what role Catholicism and voodoo plays in his life. To which Sanderson responds, that Preval was raised Catholic with  an exposure to voodoo practices but he is a non-observant Catholic and maintains a respectful and cordial relationship with Voodoo leaders.

There was also interest in his work day, to which Sanderson responds that Preval `appears to be keeping an increasingly busy schedule, working longer hours and seeing more visitors.`

She wrote: `The  Ambassador has taken phone calls from him as early as 6:30 am  and has had meetings as late as 6:30 p.m. Preval told the  Ambassador recently that he has for many years taken a full,  in-pajamas 2-3 hour nap every afternoon, allowing him to  maintain his energy.`

Questions also surrounded his drinking with Sanderson responding that Preval drinks whiskey and smokes in public, including at Embassy functions, `but we have  not observed him inebriated nor seen him take more than one  or two drinks.`

The cable also posits special intelligence as saying that the Haitian President began taking medication after the most recent round of medical examinations in Cuba that indicated a possibility of the  return of prostate cancer.

The United States has strongly condemned the illegal disclosure of classified information.

`It puts people`s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,` U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. `This Administration is advancing a robust foreign policy that is focused on advancing America`s national interests and leading the world in solving the most complex challenges of our time, from fixing the global economy, to thwarting international terrorism, to stopping the spread of catastrophic weapons, to advancing human rights and universal values.`

U.S. authorities, meanwhile, are investigating whether they have grounds to press charges against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder even as Interpol seeks the Australian on a sex charge. For his part, Assange has promised that the next batch of revelations from the whistleblower website will include leaks from private corporations that `could take down a bank or two.`

 


STORY TAGS: BLACK, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, , RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, culture

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