State Dept. cable on Haitian Pres. Rene Preval: The money quote

Is Preval influenced by ideology, and if so, what are the major influences? What motivated him to return to politics? What role do Catholicism, voodoo, and liberation-theology play in his worldview? What is his full educational history and experience working in private industry?

Preval seems profoundly uninfluenced and uninterested in ideology at this stage in his life. Despite his involvement in radical/communist circles as a student in Belgium and his entrance into Haitian politics through a populist movement deeply influenced by liberation theology, Preval’s public and private discourse is practically devoid of any notions reflecting that background. In the context of the developing world, we would most accurately describe him as a neo-liberal, particularly in that he has embraced free markets and foreign investment.

Thomas C. Tighe, US Embassy in Port Au Prince, 01 Mar. 2007

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