Volume 7 Number 14
For The Week Ending May 5th 1979
7th Year Of Publication -- 212th Issue
MILITARY TRAINING IN CHILE CONFIRMED
An unpublished document of the deposed Gairy Government confirms
that two soldiers of the Grenada Defence Force were sent to Chile
for military training.
This document, "Report on the trip to Chile of Captain Abraham and
Sargeant LaCrette", is undated but, from dates mentioned in it,
appears to have been prepared sometime after September of last year.
The Report is not addressed to anyone but is signed by "Major Fitz-
Albert Abraham, Second-in-Command", and was probably submitted to
Lieutenant Colonel Winston Masanto who commanded the Defence Force.
According to the Report, Fitz-Albert Abraham (then a Captain in the
Defence Force) and Sargeant Ian A LaCrette flew to Chile in
September 1977, arriving at Pudahuel Airport, just outside Santiagp,
at 5.00am on Saturday the 24th of that month. A curfew was in
effect and the soldiers had a 30 minute wait before landing..- By
6.OOam they were through customs and immigration but had another
wait ("in the bitter cold of six degrees above zero (which) was
almost unbearable") as no one was there to meet them, they not
being expected for another week.
Abraham, however, solved the problem by looking through a telephone
directory and finding the number of Lieutenant Colonel Jaime '
Garcia to whom he reported their arrival. This Chilean Army
Produced & Printed by Alister & Cynthia Hughes
PI Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, Westinadiq
"-- -- __ ____ ____ __ i "
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
officer picked up the two Grenadians three hours later and took them
to the Escuela Militar (Military School) which, says the Report, "was
to be our home for the proceeding 34 months"..
Lieutenant Colonel. Gaycia visited Grenada in January 1977 and, at
the ground breaking ceremony for construction of the geodetic dome
to be used as the conference hall of the Organisation of American
States meeting in Grenada that year, presented then Prime Minister
Gairy with a copper platter on behalf of the President and people
At that ceremony, Mr Gairy disclosed
the Chilean Ministry of Defence, and
gift of the copper platter confirmed
Chile could be depended upon for the
assistance he had promised.
that Lieutenant Garcia was of
the Prime Minister said the
that President Pinochet of
economic and military
From October 3rd 1977, the two Grenadian soldiers started Spanish
lessons at the Military Academy. In addition, they had three
classes a week at the "Chilean North America Institute". What
these classes covered is not stated but they continued until 21st
December when there appears to have been a break for Christmas,
military training beginning-on 9th January 1978.
This training was at the "Escuela de Paracaidistas Y Fuerzas
Especiales" (School for Parachutists & Specialist Soldiers) and,
until April 2nd, Abraham and LaCrette received commando training.
"The Chileans fear and respect this course because it is considered
the most trying and daring course in the Chilian Army", Abraham
said, "for three months, one is trained to carry out expeditions
from the land, the sea and the air, precisely, rapidly and
Giving details of this course in an appendix to his Report,
Abraham said that, even when the trainees are not spending the
night in the classroom or taking part in an exercise, it is
impossible to sleep because the instructors have a "surprise"
waiting. Explosives are thrown near the tents, there is a
barrage of rifle fire and the trainees must have all their
Week Ending 5.5.79
Week Ending 5.5.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 3
equipment well prepared "because, immediately, one has to be in a
position of defence surrounding the camp".
Abraham said also that eating is a "luxury". A line is formed to
receive rations but meal time is over not later than when, and
sometimes before the last person in line gets his ration. Explosives
are thrown, there is gunfire and the instructors "shout and make
physical contact with whosoever prefers to eat than to form the
"This is usually the end of the ration",' Abraham says, "the pots are
then turned over and the ration plates scattered all over the place.
Abraham and LaCrette were separated on April 2nd, LaCrette staying
on to do the parachutist course while Abraham had courses in
mountain climbing. The Grenadians saw each other again a month
later when they were taken to the Infantry School, LaCrette being
entered into a course for guides for war dogs while Abraham was
put in a "special combat course which was being held for only the
third time in Chile."
Details of LaCrette's course are not given but Abraham was trained
in patrol night attacks, attacks by helicopter and amphybian
attacks. He also learned to live as a guerrilla and was trained
to fight against and capture guerrillas.
"So ended three months of pure risks and sacrifices", Abraham
said, "three months during which it was instilled in our bones.
For the commando, the word impossible does not exist."
Abraham said he and LaCrette were well received and treated in
Chile but he complained that their visit was not properly planned,
the training schools were not expecting them when they arrived and
"there was absolutely no programme for us". He complained also
that he did not have a Ceremonial Uniform and "was greatly
embarrassed and had to miss functions and ceremonies."
"I tried but in vain to have one sent to me", he said, "one would
only understand the embarrassment if he has to live through it"
Page 4 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 5.5.79
The Report speaks also of financial problems. Abraham and LaCrette
did not have to pay for board and lodging but, during the commando
course, they had, on occasion, to find money for food, shelter and
transportation. In the combat course, Anraham had to take
Anatomy studies at the University and had to find his way there at
his own cost and also buy expensive books.
"Apart from not being prepared for these financial burdens", Abraham
said, "it costed (sic) roughly US$19.00 for every US$100.00 we moved
from Grenada to Chile, and which cost is not inclusive of the loss
incurred to buy these and change it into Chilean pesos."
Abraham and LaCrette returned to Grenada in the latter part of
September 1978 when Abraham was promoted from the rank of Captain
to that of Major. On October 24th, Abraham was paid EC$4029.16
as refund of expenses while in Chile, and, pn 28th December,
LaCrette received a similar refund of EC$2891.42.
In a television interview in Trinidad last year, then Senator Derek
Knight, Minister without Portfolio in the Gairy Government, denied
that any Grenadians had been sent to Chile for military training.
Senator Knight denied also that the Grenada Government had received
arms from Chile. He said then that the cases marked "Medical
Supplies" which were flown into Grenada on 2nd October 1977, contained
life jackets for fishermen.
Both Abraham and LaCrette are now in preventive detention at Richmond
DETAINEES APPEAR BEFORE TRIBUNAL
Sixteen more detainees presented their cases to the Preventive
Detention Tribunal this week, bringing to 24 the total of
political prisoners who have had an opportunity to justify
their claim that they should be released.
I*ZSLETTER for the week ending April 28th gave details of 12
persons whose cases were heard on 26th, 27th and iOth April, and
Week Ending 5.5.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 5
details of the 12 heard this week are as follows :-
Hubert Bassanta Fletcher
Albert Clarke is listed as a member of the "Mongoose Gang" by the
Duffus Commission which inquired into the breakdown of law and order
in Grenada (1973/74). Evidence before the Commissioners was that
on June 9th 1973, together with other members of the "Mongoose Gang",
Clarke attacked and beat Mr Clarence Ferguson, a trade unionist.
Mr Ferguson, who was described by the Commissioners as an "outspoken
critic" of Mr Gairy, was seriously injured and required over 50
In this attack, Mr Ferguson's wife was also injured and his 13 year
old daughter was stripped of her clothes and left naked in the road.
Clarke, who has the alias of "Heads", had 15 convictions between
July 1959 and March 1969, including assault, wounding and damage to
Chrysler Thomas was an elected member of the House of Representative
and a Minister of State in Prime Minister Gairy's Ministry.
Rupert St.Bernard was a Senator in the deposed Government and a
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Housing.
Hubert Bassanta Fletcher was returned unopposed in February 1978 in
a bye-election to fill the vacancy created by the assassination of
Innocent Belmar. Both Fletcher and Belmar were members of
Mr Gairy's Grenada United Labour Party. On becoming a member
of the House, Fletcher was made a Minister of State in the Ministry
of Communications & Works.
NEWSLETTER has no information on the connections of Andrews, Patrick
and Clarke. Raymond DeSousa was an Assistant Superintendent of
Page 6 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 5.5.79
Police and is a brother of Norman DeSousa, Mr Gairy's Labour Attache
in Grenada's High Commission in London. Norman DeSousa is also in
Raymond DeSousa was involved in an exchange of fire with units of
-the People's Revolutionary Army on March 13th, the day of the
No information is available on Baptiste and McBain. George Donovan
was a Senator in Mr Gairy's Government and was Minister of State in
the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Home Affairs, Information
Sand Foreign Affairs.
Albert Abraham was a senior Civil Servant employed in the Ministry
of Education and was also Supervisor of Elections.
There were no hearings scheduled for today (5th), but the following
have been fixed for next week.
SNo information is available on Telesford. Herbert Preudhomme was
an elected member of the House of Representatives, Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for Health & Housing.
Osbert James was Acting Commissioner of Police and Clinty Samuel
was a Sargeant of Police. Samuel was convicted in 1975(in a
civil case) of taking part in the beating of a prisoner.
Abraham Steadman Joseph
Co information is available on Pope and Joseph. Donnelly Patrick
is a member of the General Council of Mr Gairy's Grenada United
.-bour Party and Fitz-Albert Abraham, a member of*the Grenada Defence
Week Ending 5.5.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 7
Force,.spent a year in military training in Chile. Abraham is
the son of Albert Abraham, Supervisor of Elections. (see detainees
for hearings on May 4th).
With the exception of Raeburn, nothing is known of the connections
of this group. Oliver Raeburn was an elected member of the House
of Representatives and Minister of Agriculture, Lands & Fisheries.
Of this group, only the connections of Massanto are known.
Winston Masanto was Commander of the Grenada Defence Force with the
rank of Lieutenant Commander.
The Preventive Detention Tribunal is headed by Dr Adolf Bierzynski,
a medical practicioner, and the two other members are Mr Bryce
Woodroffe, a businessman, and Mrs Alice McIntyre, a housewife who
is President of the Women's Progressive Association. The Tribunal
hears the cases of political prisoners and recommends to the Minister
for Security whether or not they should be released. The Ministel
makes the final decision.
Mr Herbert Blaize, Political Leader of the Grenada National Party,
has criticized the fact that the Tribunal has neither legal training
nor advice, and that the detainees are not represented by Counsel.
To date, no detainees have been released as a result of the hearings
of the Tribunal. NEWSLETTER is reliably informed that there are,
to date, 73 persons in preventive detention.
SUGAR FACTORY REPORTS BETTER SUGAR RETURN
The Grenada Sugar Factory will probably not have as many tons of
sugar to grindethis year as it had in 1978, but, because of the more
Page 8 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 5.5.79
(favourable ratio of tons of cane to one ton of sugar produced, the
total sugar production this year may be no lower than that of 1978.
This'was disclosed to NEWSLETTER today (5th) by Mr D M B Cromwell,
Managing Director of the Company. "The last grinding day for
this crop will be Friday 25th May", Mr Cromwell said, "and my
estimate, based on the better quality of cane coming in and on our
operations to date, is that we may equal last year's production
even though farmers are bringing in less canes than last year."
In the 1978 crop, the factory ground 11,283 tons of cane to produce
583 tons of sugar, the ratio of cane to sugar being 19.353 to 1.
In the 1979 crop, up to yesterday (4th), 7,455.849 tons of cane
had been ground and this produced 3,971 bags or 397.1 tons of sugar.
On the basis of these figures, the ratio of cane to sugar is
18.776 to 1.
The Grenada Sugar Factory Ltd (which is a private Company), grows
no cane but, by arrangement with cane farmers, shares profits with
them after purchasing canes at EC$40 per ton. Profit sharing
is on the basis that, after paying shareholders 10% of the net
profits after tax, 60% of the remainder goes to the farmers.
This arrangement was first introduced for the 1977 crop and, in that
year, cane farmers received EC$8.63 per ton as their share of the
profits. In 1978, this figure dropped to EC$3.77 per ton, but,
after protests by the farmers and intervention by Government, it
was increased to BC$9.31 per ton.
Mr Cromwell said that, under this system of profit sharing, the
farmer did not have an incentive to improve the quality of his
canes as, no matter what the sucrose content of the canes supplied
by the individual farmer, he shared equally in the profit at the
end of the crop. The Managing Director said it is possible
to assess the quality of canes as they are delivered to the
factory with a view to paying for them according to their sucrose
content. This, he thought, would provide an incentive for
:- rrovement of the quality of canes, but he felt it would be
.difficult to get cane farmers to accept this method. *
Week Ending 5.5.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER age 9
FUEL PRICES UP
The cost of fuel continues its steady upward trend and gasolene is
now being sold at BC$3.45 per imperial gallon.
The latest price rise came into effect on April 26th and is the
second increase within one month and the third for the year. In the
last increase, kerosene is also affected and is now being sold at
EC$3.14 per imperial gallon.
At the second most recent increase, that of April 3rd, propane gas
for cooking advanced to EC$59.12 from EC$57.12 per 100 lb cylinder,
but this item was unaffected in the April 26th price increase.
As opposed to gasolene, kerosene and propane gas, diesel oil is not
price controlled by Government. Diesel oil did not have a price
increase on March 1st when kerosene, gasolene and propane gas
advanced in price. Diesel did move up, however, on April 19th
to EC$3.00 per imperial gallon and, in the price change of April
26th, moved up again to EC$3.16 per imperial.gallon.
Further price increases of all fuels are expected.
"TORCHLIGHT'S" POSITION IMPROVES
The financial position of Messrs Grenada Publishers Ltd improved
during the year ended December 31st last, but, as the Company's
books still show a high figure of unrelieved losses, the Directors
have been unable to advise payment of a dividend to shareholders.
This is disclosed in the Report of the Directors of the Company to
the annual general meeting scheduled to be held on Friday 11th May.
Publishers of the twice-weekly "Torchlight" and operators of a job
printing department, the Company has an authorised capital of BC$1
million divided into 200,000 shares of EC$5 each. Of this,
35,108 shares valued at BC$175,540 have been issued and fully paid
Inprovement in the Company's financial position has been made
Page 10 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 5.5.79
through operations of the newspaper department where, in 1978, gross
profit was up by over 50%. The job printing department, however,
showed a decline of nearly 16%, making the overall gross profit to
be up by a little over 23% from the 1977 figure.
Overhead expenses were lower in 1978 than in 1977, notably under the
heads of "Staff Salaries & Bonuses" and "Interest & Bank Charges",
with the result that net profit before tax for the year was up by
178.48% from EC$13,706 in 1977 to EC$38,169 in 1978.
This improvement allowed the Company to reduce its unrelieved losses
by nearly 4%, but the Directors have pointed out that this still
does not permit payment of a dividend. "We regret that our
financial position still does not enable us to recommend the
payment of any dividend for the year under review", the Directors'
Report says. "It is our hope that the time is not far distant
when we shall be able to offer shareholders some return, however
small, on their investment".
The Directors report also that the libel suit brought against the
Company by deposed Prime Minister Eric Gairy was determined last
December with damages and costs of EC$21,235.68 awarded against the
Company. Against this, well-wishers of the Company have
Grenada Publishers Ltd have appealed this decision and the appeal
is expected to be heard shortly.
The "Torchlight" newspaper is the only independent newspaper in
Grenada, the only other newspaper, "The West Indian", being
Government owned. "Torchlight", however, has sometimes been
accused of being partisan. It is pointed out that the
Managing Director, Mr D M B Cromwell, the Editor, Mr Albert
Xavier (now on vacation), and the Circulation Manager, Mr Simeon
Green, are all prominent members of the United People's Party.
(see page 11.for financial statement)
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
Statement of Incc
for the year end
Deduct Overhead Expenses :-
me and Unrelieved Losses
led 31st December 1978
Staff salaries & bonuses 20,795 31,888
Chairman's fees 1,200
Insurance 2,131 3,294
Printing, postages & stationery 1,170 1,670
Telephone 3,617 3,172
Audit & Accountancy Fee 1,800 1,000
Subsistence & Entertainment 2,199 817
Sundries 1,301 4,660
Libel claim 7,500
Interest & Bank Charges 11,593 15,510
Legal fees 2,675 1,000
Repairing premises 1,771 477
Travelling 4,985 2,767
Bad Debts 1,818 1,925
Depreciation 11,944 8,823
Net profit for the year EC$ 38,169 13,706
Less provision for income tax
1979 assessment 9 354 3,051
Deduct prior year adjustment (7) (3,847)j
Unrelieved losses brought forward (175,915) (182 723)
Unrelieved losses carried forward EC$ 147,17 (Z7 915)
WILLIAM O'BRIEN DONOVAN
The death occurred in Grenada on May 1st of William O'Brien Donovan,
91, eldest son of William Galway Donovan, editor of the newspaper,
"Federalist & Grenada People", who played a prominent part in
Grenada's history during the early years of this century.
Week Ending 5.5.79
Page 12 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 5.5.79
William O'Brien Donovan was buried with Roman Catholic rites from
the St.Georges Cathedral on Friday May 4th.
S j (57 words)
CRUISE LINER CALLS
SDuring the week ending April 28th, four cruise liners called at
Grenada. They were
April 24th "Statendam" 640 Passengers
25th "Carla C" 810 do
"Sun Princess" 682 do
26th "Britanis" 1122 do
Cruise liner passengers for the first four months of this year
total 72,115, and this represents an increase of 23,296 or
47.719% over the corresponding period in 1978. Details are :-
January 16,719 G
February 13,353 15,899
March 11,503 21,340
April 7,244 /f I
5th y 1979