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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18 Lavalas activists were finally in a position to oversee sustained and durable
political change . In May 2000 they won overwhelming and unprecedented
majorities in both houses of parliament and at all levels of government , gaining
Since the dominance of this elite rests in the end on the army or the paramilitary
substitute for an army , the logic of this first position was very simple : the ongoing
mobilization of the people would require the lasting demobilization of the army .
Christian Aid ' s Position on the Current Crisis in Haiti , ” Christian Aid , 3 March
2004 . 24 . Spraos , “ What Now for Haiti ? ” , Christian Aid , 4 March 2004 . 25 .
Charlotte Haines Lyon and Lisane André ( GARR ) , “ The Cost of Radicalism .
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