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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158 Since Philippe ' s rebels were apparently ready to advance on Port - au -
Prince , Foley admits that his government shared these fears . “ We feared that in
that confrontation the president would be killed , " and therefore the US resolved
It ' s a violation of our constitution , ” said one resident : “ We had a president who
was elected for five years . ” Now that he is gone , said another , “ We are worried
that we will be killed , and that the guys with the guns will not put them down .
left by Aristide ' s abrupt removal and apparently in keeping with the letter of the
Haitian Constitution , the chief justice of the Supreme Court , Boniface Alexandre
, was sworn in as interim president on Sunday morning 29 February .
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