Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti

Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti

by Jeb Sprague
     
 

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In this path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that

Overview

In this path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide’s Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians. Sprague seeks to understand how this occurred, and traces connections between paramilitaries and their elite financial and political backers, in Haiti but also in the United States and the Dominican Republic.   The product of years of original research, this book draws on over fifty interviews—some of which placed the author in severe danger—and more than 11,000 documents secured through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. It makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of Haiti today, and is a vivid reminder of how democratic struggles in poor countries are often met with extreme violence organized at the behest of capital.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is absolutely imperative for Haiti’s history that such a detailed account of the role of paramilitary violence in the country be recorded. . . the marshalling of facts and events and the meticulous references are phenomenal."-Mildred Trouillot-Aristide,former First Lady of Haiti

"A brilliant diagnosis of the history of political violence in Haiti. Here’s a book that I will recommend everyone to read."-Jean Sénat Fleury, Haitian investigating judge of the Raboteau massacre in Gonaïves; author,The Challenges of Judicial Reform in Haiti

"A must-read not only for Haitianists, but also for anyone interested in the processes of political destabilization and popular disempowerment."-Robert Fatton, professor of politics, University of Virginia; author,Haiti’s Predatory Republic

"The most substantial and detailed account yet written of the paramilitary insurgency that contributed to the internationally-sanctioned overthrow of Haiti’s constitutional government in 2004. . . . a thorough and convincing analysis of this scandalously under-studied sequence."-Peter Hallward, professor of philosophy, Kingston University, London; author,Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment

"In this crucial work, based on years of interviews, investigative reporting, and analysis of classified U.S. government documents, veteran journalist and scholar Jeb Sprague provides a shocking account of the role of paramilitaries in subverting the aspirations of the Haitian people for democracy, freedom, and development."-William I. Robinson, professor of sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; author,Latin America and Global Capitalism

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583673034
Publisher:
Monthly Review Press
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
375
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

It is absolutely imperative for Haiti’s history that such a detailed account of the role of paramilitary violence in the country be recorded. . . the marshalling of facts and events and the meticulous references are phenomenal."-Mildred Trouillot-Aristide,former First Lady of Haiti

"The most substantial and detailed account yet written of the paramilitary insurgency that contributed to the internationally-sanctioned overthrow of Haiti’s constitutional government in 2004. . . . a thorough and convincing analysis of this scandalously under-studied sequence."-Peter Hallward, professor of philosophy, Kingston University, London; author,Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment

"In this crucial work, based on years of interviews, investigative reporting, and analysis of classified U.S. government documents, veteran journalist and scholar Jeb Sprague provides a shocking account of the role of paramilitaries in subverting the aspirations of the Haitian people for democracy, freedom, and development."-William I. Robinson, professor of sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara; author,Latin America and Global Capitalism

"A must-read not only for Haitianists, but also for anyone interested in the processes of political destabilization and popular disempowerment."-Robert Fatton, professor of politics, University of Virginia; author,Haiti's Predatory Republic

"A brilliant diagnosis of the history of political violence in Haiti. Here’s a book that I will recommend everyone to read."-Jean Sénat Fleury, Haitian investigating judge of the Raboteau massacre in Gonaïves; author,The Challenges of Judicial Reform in Haiti

Meet the Author

Jeb Sprague is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received a Project Censored Award in 2008 for an article (coauthored with Haitian journalist Wadner Pierre) from Port-au-Prince, and has written for the Inter Press Service, TeleSUR, Al JazeeraZ Magazine, NACLA, Haiti Liberté, Haiti Progrès, among numerous journals. This is his first book.

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