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Notes From the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti Paperback – October 4, 2005
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A compelling mix of reportage, memoir, social criticism...Deibert has a sharp eye for the complicating ironies of history. -- The San Antonio Express-News, February 19, 2006
A compelling mix of reportage, memoir, social criticism...Deibert masterfully recounts...wild swings in the republic's political compass. -- The San Antonio Express-News, February 19, 2006
A powerfully documented exposé. -- The Miami Herald, November 25, 2005
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I am anxiously awaiting Michael Diebert's next Haiti book, "Haiti Will Not Perish."
Haitian Professor Robert Fatton and Michelle Montas - Jean Dominique's widow (two experts that Michael Deibert admires and refers to often) said the following about Aristide during and after the coup:
Montas quote #1- January 5, 2004 Miami Herald
"I did an interview recently and was asked if I thought President [Jean-Bertrand] Aristide was a dictator, and I said, `No.' And after the interview came out, some people in the opposition were angry with me,'' she said. ``But to say Aristide is a dictator is to say he has control over what is happening in Haiti. He doesn't have the tools to be a dictator. Chaos rules Haiti. And that scares me very much.''
Montas quote #2- January 5, 2004 Miami Herald
``There can be something worse than Aristide.'' ''Who
we haven't heard from is the peasantry, which has always been very loyal to Aristide,'' Montas said. If the poor in the country were to abandon Aristide, then
nothing would be able to keep Aristide in power. For now, though, their loyalty appears intact. They legitimately fear a return to the Duvalier-style dictatorship they lived under for so long and are leery of the motives of opposition leaders, such as Andy Apaid. Haiti may well be on the verge of a civil war, but the best course for Haiti would be for all
sides to work toward fair elections."
Fatton quote # 1- March 8, 2004 Counterpunch magazine:
"In spite of all of that, I'm convinced that Aristide is still the most popular individual in Haiti. And that tells you something about the opposition. If you had elections--so-called "free and fair" elections--I'm sure that he would win, in spite of all the corruption and all of the problems that he has, because the opposition, even though they used to support Aristide, have essentially merged with very conservative business groups. I think those are the groups that will ultimately take over now".
"What is clear to me is that Aristide would never have been toppled had it not been for the armed insurgents. I don't think that the civil opposition, although it became larger and broader in its appeal, was in any way capable of forcing Aristide out of power. It's only when you had the armed insurgents that you have the opportunity for the so-called "civil society" to force the issue."
What were the real benefits of the coup? This would be an interesting question to ask to Mr. Deibert and others who share his views. What we know for sure today is that hundreds of innocent haitians died as a result of it. What is so great about that?
People who want to understand Haiti's last 20 years of complex history should read the works of Doctor Paul Farmer (who has lived and worked in Haiti for more than 30 years) or the recent book of brilliant Haitian American historian Hyppolite Pierre.
I am afraid that Deibert has been completely tainted by many elements of a community that I call the francofou/artistic/reactionnary crowd. People who are usually progressive when they live in Canada, Paris and New-York and become reactionary again when they visit Daddy and Mommy
in their fortified villas on the hills of Petionville.
I don't blame him . I almost fell for these "attractive folks" when I first visited Haiti. They all collide with reporters in the charming hotels of POP. Most are very talented in what they do and highly connected in the West. There are just morally completely wrong.
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of little investigative or journalistic value. This
man will wind up somewhere else justified the
beating down of...Read more