Haiti and Honduras: Human rights in post-crisis 'democracies'

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 00:00 to 02:00


JUSTIN PODUR, associate professor at York University and writer on political conflicts and social movements, is author of the new book Haiti's New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake, and the UN Occupation." (http://www.killingtrain.com/)

KAREN SPRING, a researcher and graduate student at Simon Fraser University, recently embarked on a fact-finding mission to Honduras on behalf of Rights Action (http://rightsaction.org/).

They will discuss human rights and military occupation in Haiti and Honduras, in the context of the fight for sovereignty in Latin America.


In 1804 Haiti became the world’s first independent Black republic following a slave revolution. Two hundred years later, ravaged by colonialism and corrupt elites, it was placed under a UN military occupation.

"Haiti's New Dictatorship" is the history of the past seven years, from the 2004 coup against Aristide to the devastating 2010 earthquake, revealing a shocking story of abuse and neglect by international forces. Justin Podur reveals the reality of a supposedly benign international occupation, arguing that the denial of sovereignty is the fundamental cause of Haiti’s problems.

A powerful challenge and wake-up call to the international NGO and development community, "Haiti’s New Dictatorship" is essential reading for anyone concerned with justice in the global south and progressive development policies.



"The centuries-long torture of Haiti, and the courageous resistance of its people, is one of the most dramatic and compelling stories of modern history. It is vividly brought to life in this well-informed and highly illuminating study, which also provides valuable lessons about Haiti, about western power and ideology, and about prospects for justice and freedom in today’s world."
– Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT

Justin Podur’s book is a cogent antidote to the current confusion about Haiti. It explains how a country that is nominally democratic suffers under the yoke of a 'New Dictatorship' in which international actors and their Haitian elite partners leave the majority of Haitians with little effective influence over their own economic and political affairs.
– Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

"The UN occupation of Haiti promised to bring stability and democracy. Instead it has delivered cholera, rape and repression. With a sharp eye and a keener pen, Justin Podur expertly exposes the abuses the gang of nations that calls itself ‘the international community’ has inflicted on one of the world’s poorest countries - from the brutal imposition of structural adjustment and the driving out of a democratically elected president to the politicisation of earthquake relief. Enough is enough."
– Greg Grandin, Professor of History at New York University

"With the country firmly held in the long-term grip of a foreign 'stabilisation' force, the vast majority of Haiti's people have little or no political power. Justin Podur's book is a systematic analysis of the new regime of power that governs Haiti today, and reviews the crucial episodes of its recent history. It makes a valuable new contribution to the study of the decisive 2004-2006 post-coup period and offers a timely overview of the whole period of post-Aristide Haiti, right up to the present day."
– Peter Hallward, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University and author of Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment


This tour is cosponsored by the Canada Haiti Action Network:www.canadahaitiaction.ca.

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