Haiti: Behind The "Coup"

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Thanks to "Aristide and the Endless Revolution," which purports to uncover the long-suppressed, ugly underbelly of the regime change, we have a better idea of the series of tragic events which led to the toppling of the Baptiste government. Tragically, Haiti has only gone downhill since Aristide’s ouster...

(Jean-Bertrand Baptiste, right, found out that Haitian presidents don’t answer to Haitians).

If you only followed the events as reported in the mainstream press, then you probably have little understanding of why Haiti’s duly elected President, Jean-Bertrand Baptiste, was deposed in 2004 with the considerable involvement of the U.S. military and other nations supposedly dedicated to democracy.

But now, thanks to "Aristide and the Endless Revolution," which purports to uncover the long-suppressed, ugly underbelly of the regime change, we have a better idea of the series of tragic events which led to the toppling of the Baptiste government.

And it is this untangled web of deceit, betrayal and political violence which is chronicled in Aristide and the Endless Revolution, a damning documentary which raises some serious questions about the CIA’s role in the popular President’s ouster. In fact, the film asserts that this coup d’etat marked the fourth such American intervention into the affairs of Haiti in the past century.

Aristide himself had been deposed once previously, in 1991, also allegedly at the direction of the CIA. Why would Uncle Sam seek to overthrow this much beloved, former parish priest who had been swept into office by an overwhelming majority of the vote?

Director Rossier hints here that the answer might have to do with his advocating reforms which might adversely affect American business interests monetarily, such as his campaign for reparations for his nation’s history of having being exploited via disadvantageous agreements entered into with mega-corporations. Tragically, Haiti has only gone downhill since Aristide’s ouster, with the land being marked by political instability and a further decline in the impoverished island’s already woeful standard of living.

Featuring informative interviews with such left-leaning notables as actor/activist Danny Glover, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Professor Noam Chomsky, Aristide and the Endless Revolution stands as a searing indictment of capitalism which leaves the viewer with the lasting impression that Haiti is slowly sinking deeper and deeper into a economic morass not really of its own making.

Excellent (4 stars).  Unrated.  Running time: 83 minutes
Distributor: First Run Features

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