Damming the flood : Haiti, Aristide, and the politics of containment


Damming the flood : Haiti, Aristide, and the politics of containment

Peter Hallward

Verso, 2007

  • : hbk.
  • : pbk.

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [408]-417) and index



: pbk. ISBN 9781844671069


In February 2004, the constitutionally elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a US-France invasion with the blessing of the UN Security Council. This coup, under the guise of "humanitarian intervention," sent an unambiguous message to hemispheric opponents such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. In exploring how Haiti became a laboratory for a new "politics of containment," Peter Hallward sets the current crisis in historical context, examining the rise, rule and collapse of Aristide's administration, and events since he was forced into exile.

: hbk. ISBN 9781844672349


Once the most lucrative European colony in the Caribbean, Haiti has become one of the most divided and impoverished countries in the world. In the late 1980s, a remarkable popular mobilization known as Lavalas, or "the flood," sought to liberate the island from decades of US-backed dictatorial rule. After winning a landslide election victory, in 1991 the Lavalas government, led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown by a bloody military coup. "Damming the Flood" analyzes how and why Aristide's enemies in Haiti, the US and France instigated a second coup in 2004 to remove Aristide and Lavalas for good.The elaborate international campaign to contain, discredit and then overthrow Lavalas at the start of the twenty-first century was perhaps the most successful act of imperial sabotage since the end of the Cold War. Its execution and its impact provide important lessons for those interested in today's political struggles in Latin America and the rest of the post-colonial world.

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