Damming the flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the politics of containment
Once the most lucrative European colony in the Caribbean, Haiti has longbeen one of the most divided and impoverished countries in the world. In thelate 1980s a remarkable popular mobilization known as Lavalas, or 'the flood,'sought to liberate the island from decades of US-backed dictatorial rule. Afterwinning a landslide election victory, in 1991 the Lavalas government led byPresident Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a bloody military coup. Dammingthe Flood analyzes how and why Aristide's enemies in Haiti, the US andFrance made 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 perhaps the mostsuccessful act of imperial sabotage since the end of the Cold War. Itsexecution and its impact have much to teach anyone interested in thedevelopment of today's political struggles in Latin America and the rest of thepost-colonial world.