Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment
Verso, 2007 - 442 pages
Once themost lucrative European colony in the Caribbean, Haiti has long beenone of the most divided and impoverished countries in the world. In thelate 1980s a remarkable popular mobilization known as Lavalas, or “theflood,” sought to liberate the island from decades of US-backeddictatorial rule. After winning a landslide election victory, in 1991the Lavalas government led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide wasoverthrown by a bloody military coup. Damming the Floodanalyzes how and why Aristide's enemies in Haiti, the US and Francemade sure that his second government, elected with another overwhelmingmajority in 2000, was toppled by a further coup in 2004.
The elaborate international campaign to contain, discredit and thenoverthrow Lavalas at the start of the twenty-first century was perhapsthe most successful act of imperial sabotage since the end of the ColdWar. Its execution and its impact have much to teach anyone interestedin the development of today's political struggles in Latin America andthe rest of the post-colonial world.
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14 First of all, in 2001 Philippe started collaborating with Louis Jodel Chamblain,
who was in exile in the DR and would later emerge as the operational
commander of the FLRN. It is hard to imagine a more sinister combination. A
Chamblain was Tatoune's erstwhile commander in the FRAPH and one of the
most feared and hated figures of the 1991-94 ... On Saturday 14 February,
Chamblain led a force of around 30 to 40 soldiers over to Gonaives from the
dealt with his most urgent business in Cap-Hai'tien, Chamblain turned himself in
to Latortue's police in order to have his case reconsidered. Latortue's minister of
justice pondered Chamblain's "great services to the nation," and assured him ...
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