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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Fanmi Lavalas ( FL ) was designed to re - establish direct links between local
branches of the Lavalas mobilization and its parliamentary representation . “
Aristide never wanted to lead a political party , ” explains Yvon Neptune ( FL
... in tandem with the grassroots organization of Fanmi Lavalas . Fanmi Lavalas is
derided by its critics as little more than an ad hoc association of ambitious and
unprincipled schemers , grouped submissively around their charismatic chief .
We engaged in long discussions about what to do , and Fanmi Lavalas grew out
of these discussions . It emerged from the people themselves . And even when it
came to be constituted as a political organization , it never conceived of itself as ...
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