Vol.ue Number 16
For The Week Ending May 19th 1979
7th Year Of Publication - - 214th Issue
BISHOP: HOP .ORTIZ' SUCCESSOR WILL WORK WIJT GRLNAPA
The United States Goveinment indicated its willingness to be helpful
to Grenada before Prime Minister Maurice Bishop asserted that he had
been forced to turn to Cuba for assistance.
This is declared in a cable sent to NEWSLETTER on Monday (14th) from
United States Ambassador to Grenada, Mr 'rank V Ortiz, and the
Ambassador said the US Government had instructed the Embassy in
Barbados to issue this statement.
"The US indicated willingness to be helpful in economic assistance
as well as in the security area", the cable said. "We offered to
send an economic team to Grenada to discuss with the new Government
its economic development priorities and requirements. We ma.e those
offers before Mr Bishop asserted that his Government had to turn to
Cuba for arms, aid and advice because Grenada's traditional friends
were not responsive."
The cable referred also to a charge against the United States made
by Prime Minister Bishop in a national broadcast on May 8th.
Mr Bishop said then that his Government has information that the
United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a plan to
"de-stabilize" the Grenada Government.
Ambassador Ortiz' cable denied this and called Mr Bishop's charges
"unwarranted and without foundation". "Moreover'l, said the
Produced & Printed by Alister & Cynthia Hughes
P 0 Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, W indies
Page 2 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 19.5.79
cable,'"it is not correct that the US has been pressuring Grenada or
The cable said also, "After seizing power on March 13th, Prime Minister
Bishop pledged his Government's commitment to human rights as well as
early and free elections. Noting that pledge, several of Grenada's
neighbours in the Caribbean recognized the new Government, and the US
Government advised that it was continuing the friendly and co-operative
relations the two countries have enjoyed since 1974."
On Tuesday (15th), both the Grenada "Torchlight" newspaper and the local
representative for Associated Press received cables similar to the one
sent NEWSLETTER by Ambassador Ortiz the day before and, also on Tuesday,
the Grenada Government issued a statement relative to these cables.
According to that statement, the cables sent out by Ambassador Ortiz
"can be seen as a desperate effort by a disgraced and discredited
-man who is trying to save his name."
"Regarding the security assistance which the Ambassador states has
been offered to Grenada", the statement says,, 'the People's
Revolutionary Government (PRG) would like to make it clear that at
no time has the United States responded favourably to Grenada's
public appeal for arms to defend our country against mercenaries."
The statement says the only security assistance the US offered wis
to monitor Mr Gairy's movements and US representatives advised the
PRG that this would be difficult as the usual security personnel
assigned to Mr Gairy as Prime Minister had been withdrawn.
"Indeed", says ehe statement, "since that offer was made several
weeks ago, only one phone call relating to security information
has been received by the Grenada Government. Yet we know that,
during the past two weeks, Gairy, presently resident in San Diego,
had visited Miami in an attempt to recruit mercenaries there.
That information was never relayed to us by Ambassador Ortiz."
With respect to the matter of Un;4d States economic aid', Grenada,
the statement says the offer of a US team to expedite the release
of funds from the Caribbean Development Bank t, Grenada came via
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Week Bfdin 19.5.79 THE GRENADA NSJ TR Page 3
Mr Kendrick Radix, Grenada's Ambassador to the United States. This
offer came early in May, the statement says, two weeks after
Mr Bishop, in his Good Friday speech, "revealed the lack of economic
assistance being offered by the United States!', and the offer was
discussed by the PRG with the US Embassy on. May 9th.
"We reiterate that, up until the last two weeks", the statement says,
"there had been no concrete offer of economic assistance from United
States Officials, except, for the US$5,000.00 offers mentioned by the
Prime Minister in his Good Friday speech,."
The statement says the PRG believes that Ambassador Ortiz "can only
discredit himself further by continuing his campaign of foolish ahd
inaccurate statements." "We are aware that Ambassador Ortiz will
shortly be leaving his post", the statement concludes. We sincerel
hope. that his successor will work closely with us towards restoring
and improving relations between our two countries and peoples."
REPORTER'S CAMERA CONFISCATED
A reporter of the Grenada "Torchlight" newspaper has had his
camera seized by the Police. This incident is said to have taken
place yesterday (18th) and a source close to "Torchlight" said today
the cameraa has not yet been. returned.
Investigating an alleged dispute between the Principal of a private
school and the builders of a community centre, the "Torchlight"
reporter, Richard McDonald, went to Fontenoy, some two miles nor
of St.Georges. The school, the Grenada Junior Aca emy, is
located in this area, and the dispute is said to be centered in the
protest of the Principal, Major Fred Cowing,, that the community
centre is being built too close to his establishment.
According to "Torchlight" sources, McDonald was attempting to take
pictures of the school when workers 4.the community centre site
attacked hi, seized his camera an forced him to seek refuge in
the school. These sources say that, shortly after, two armed
members of the Peoples Revolutionary Army (PRAbarruved on the
scene and deandedht Doald give himse u to them. continued
scene and demanded a is r then. (continued)
THE GRBNADA NES Lg TR
Pac 4 eekIndflal9.Cfl
McDonald did not comply with this demand bit summoned Police
assistance. It is alleged that, on arrival, in order to deal
with the situation, the policeman had to assure the PRA members
that, if McDonald had taken any photographs,'they would not be
published. The camera,was taken to Police Headquarters and it
is said that the negatives are being checked.
1 ,:. ,.. f*
The Grenada Junior Acadamy is housed in a building which stands on
the edge of a field. The proposed community centre is a
Government project and NEWSLETTER understands that, originally, it
was proposed to erect the building on the far side of the field
from the school. Residents on that side, however, fearing noise
niusance, objected to this and it was decided to build near to the
A urce close to Government told NEWSLETTER today (10th) that the
two armed men who were on the scene are not members of the People's
Revolutionary Army (PRA) but belonged;to the People's Revolutionary
Militia (PRM), which is a voluntary unit operating in groups
throughout the State. The source said the incident is being
investigated and it was expected that a statement will be made.
PREVENTIVE DETENTION TRIBUNAL CONTINUES HEARINGS
Sixty-one political prisoners have had their cases heard to date (19th),
by the preventive Detention Tribunal, and nine more hearings have been
scheduled for next week.
NEWSLETTER for the week ending May 12th gave details of scheduled
hearings up to Thursday 17th, and subsequent hearings this week are
M cITij k(
1-The connections of these detaine.es are not known.
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Week Snding 19.f.S '...
we. SaWino 19.5.79 THE GRBNAAINHWViSA- Page 5
Hearings before the Tribunal1scheduled :fo next-week are ..e
The connections of these nine detainees are not known.
NEWSLETTER is reliably rinf rmed that, to date,(19th), 74 persons
are being held in preventive'detention.
TRADE UNIONS GET COMPULSORY RECOGNITION
A law passed by the People's Revolutionary Government on May 18th
makes provision for the compulsdry recognition of trade unions by
This law, "People's Law Number 29 of 1979", sets out the procedure
under which recognition is to be granted, and the first step is that
the trade union must apply in writing to the Minister of Labour,
sending a copy of the application to the employer.
Within seven days after receipt of the application, the Minister
must arrange a poll to determine whether the union has as "memb, s
in good standing" a majority of the employees, and this poll must
be conducted by secret ballot and in the presence of all interested
The Minister then has three days to issue his certificate "to the
union gaining the requisite majority as the bargaining agent", and
all other interested parties must be informed. This decision,
however, in not final. If a trad union or an employer is
dissatisfied with the Minister's decision, an appeal may be made to
the High Court within 14 days"
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Page6 THE -GSB3f N=NSf3TBR Week rEnin" i92qg
"The High Court shall hear and determine the matter in a- sLtdary
manner", the law says, "and in determining the matter shall have
the power to affirm or vary the determination of the Minister, or
to order a count or a new count or to make such other order as it
may deem appropriate including dn drder as to costs."
Except in making such an order, the 'High Court has no jurisdiction
in matters relating to the provisions -ofPeople's Law Number 18,
but the order of the High Court in this connection is final.
Penalties for infringement of the provisions of this Act are severe.
Employees who refuse to negotiate with a trade union certified by
the Minister are liable to a fine of BC$5'thousand and/or to two
years imprisonment. In cases such as dismissal or intimidation
because an employee belongs to a trade union, the penalty is EC$3
thousand and/or one year imprison (Ait.
POOR NUTMEG YEAR
Results of the current Nutmeg Year are falling behind those for the
1977/1978 Year, and it is likely that gross revenue will be down by
some 25%. a
Figures are now available for the first eight months of the Nutmeg
Year of July 1978 to June 1979, and sales made by the Grenada
Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) over those eight months (July
to February) total EC$7.4 million. Total sales for the Year
e d e dI : I I I
ended une 1978 were BC$16 million and, while a GCNA source advised
NEWSLETTER that there was an increase in sales during March and
pril, it seems likely that gross sales for the current Year will
not exceed EC$12 million.
The problem facing the industry is that of poor production, and the
present situation was anticipated. In its Report for the July 1976
to June 1977 Year, the Nutmeg Board said that that Year recorded the
highest production in the history the Association. Following
-Is high point, a drop was expected but, in its interim Report in
i;December 1977, the Board expressed concern over the rate of production.
THE GR NADA NEWSeATTER
"While a drop below the very heavy production experienced during the
corresponding period last year was fully anticipated in keeping with
the annual cyclical pattern of recent years", the Report said,
"nevertheless, the volume of the shortfall of 41.8% in Nutmegs and
52.3% in Mace as shown is %ooewhat alarming."
Shipments Nutmegs & Mace
July 1978 to February 1979
Nutmegs 533,496 1,330,165.33
2,581,549 6,535,399.41 308,230
Total value of Nutmegs shipped
Total Sales, Nutmegs & Mace :- EC$
Low production continued into 1978 but, because of a heavy carry
over of stocks, GCNA was able to meet the demand and the low
production had no considerable effect on the July 1977 to June 1978
Year. Since July 1978, however, there have been insufficient
stocks and, with production continuing at a low'level, GCNA has not
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Page 8 THE GRENADA NEWS!LABR Week Ending 9 .liH
been able to meet the demand with the resulting drop in sales as
compared with last year.
Source close to GCNA told NEWSLETTER that there are indications
that production is now on the increase, and it ig expected that
there will be an increase in sales during the July 1979 to June
1980 Nutmeg Year.
JAPAN GIVES FIRE ENGINE
The Grenada Government has received a gift of a fire engine from the
Government of Japan.
During a visit to the State early this month, Mr Katsuhiko Tsunoda,
Councillor in the Japanese Embassy in Caracas, handed the keys of
thip equipment to Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, and the fire
engine was landed at Grenada from the S S "Sun Lina" on May 19th.
Carrying the make of "Hino", this fire engine is a piece of modern
equipment which was brought to the island at a cost of some US$60
thousand. Acquisition of this fire engine is expected to up-
grade the Fire Department considerably, and a technician is to be
sent to Grenada to advise the Department on handling and maintenance.
CUBAN TECHNICIANS VISIT
A Cuban Technical Economic Assistance team is now in Grenada for
discussions with the Government.
Arriving in the island on Thursday (17th), this eight-man team
is led by Senor Octavio M Castilla Ferry, Director of the Cuban
State Committee for Economic Collaboration, and the visit to
Grenada is expected to last eight days.
Among subjects for discussion are Health, Road Construction,
Town Planning, Fisheries ars Water, and another team is expected
to visit the island shortly to discuss Agriculture and Education.
Wdgning 19.5.79. THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 9
PRG: DEVELOPMENT IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT PRIVATE SECIOR
The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) has retognised the need
for considerable private investment by local as Well as foreign
investors, and therefore considers it would be impossible to develop
Grenadais economy properly without the private sector.
This is stated in the 1978/79 Report of the Council of Management
of the Grenada Chamber of Commerce circulated this week. This
policy of the PRG towards the private sector was set out by the
Minister of Finance, Mr Bernard Coard, at a meeting on April 2nd
with a Chamber delegation, the Report said, and it stated also that
Mr Coard said Government has a mixed economy in mind and intends to
adopt a flexible position as it is proposed to proceed on democratic
The Report said the Council of Management continued to give serious'
consideration to "the growing threats to private enterprise with
particular reference to the indiscriminate acquisition of
agricultural land, and was therefore pleased to note the new
Government's pledge to respect the rights of ownership of property."
Figures published in the Chamber's Report show that the deficit
trading position of the Less Developed Caricom Countries (LDC) with
the More Developed Caricom Countries (MDC) continues to be a drain
on the foreign reserves of the East Caribbean Currency Authority
(ECCA). During the year ending March 31st 1978, the total
deficit with Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados was
EC$66.7 million, with the greatest individual deficit being to
Trinidad & Tobago with EC$42.7 million.
East Caribbean Currency Authority
Year Ending March 31st 1978
Sales Purchases Net
To From Position
Bank of Guyana 3,948,000 13,017,000 8,069,000
Central Bank of
Trinidad & Tobago 23,796,000 66,578,000 -42,782,000
Bank of Jamaica 5,208,000 6,904,000 1,696,000
Central Bank of
Barbados 25,511,000 39,741,000 -14,230.000
EC$58,463,000 125,240,000 -66,777,000
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
The Chamber's Report refers also to the island's visible trade
balance and comments that an increase in the money value is
indicated by both the value of exports and imports. The value
of exports in 1978 was up by nearly 20% over the 1977 figure while
the value of imports increased by just under 13%, making thq visible
trade deficit more than 8% higher in 1978 than in 1977.
Visible Balance Of Trade
Total Domestic Exports EC$37,031,000 BC$44,387,632
Total Re-Exports 1.419,000 1,275,407
Total Exports 38,450,000 45,663,039
Total Imports 84,763000. 95,769.531
Visible Trade Deficit BC$46,313,000 EC$50,106,492
"Our visible trade deficit has been offset by our invisible trade
particularlyy tourism), foreign aid and private remittances from
abroad", the Report says, "but the need for rapid economic growth
is still evident".
The Report comments that, if the private enterprise system is to
be preserved, its benefits must continue to outweigh its
disadvantages, it must maintain its superiority over public
enterprise and it must play its part in economic development,
especially in promoting full employment and more equitable
"Public enterprise can encourage waste, inefficiency and
corruption", the Report says, "on the other hand, the profit
motive and competition in private enterprise tend to keep
wastage at a minimum and provide a stimulus to greater efficiency."
Toe Report says, however, that the unscrupulous businessman
smears the image of private enterprise and the business
community must, therefore, maintain a high standard of ethics
and police itself in order to win the respect of consumers and
the cooperation and loyalty of employees. In this i*y, the
Report says, private enterprise will avoid being hedged around
with restrictions, licences and other controls which often are
Week Ending 19.A479
Week 'Bing 19.5.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page il
disincentives to new private investment and can impede economic
The Report of the Council of Management will be presented to the
Annual General Meeting of the Chamber on Thursday 24th May.
Minister of Finance, Mr Bernard Coard, has been invited to address
BANANA WANTING IME IMPORTANT
BANANA PLANTING TIME IMPORTANT
Windward Islands banana farmers have been advised to get ready to
plant next month and in July. This advice comes from the
Windward Islands Banana Association (WINBAN) which states that, with
proper agronomic practices, bananas planted JUne/July will produce a
crop in April/June next year when prices are expected to be at a
According to WINBAN, the dry season in the Windward Islands normally
prevails from February to May and the wet season from July to
December. Bananas should be planted at the end of the dry season
(June/July) WINBAN says, because this ensures sufficient soil
moisture, without water-logging, and the longest period of possible
growth before the onset of the dry season the following year.
WINBAN recommends, in order of preference, the banana varieties of
"Robusta", "Valery" and "Giant Cavendish" and, in areas from sea
level to 1000 feet, planting should be of a density of 800 to 900
"mats" per acre. Above 1000 feet, the density should be reduced
to 700 to 800 "mats" per acre.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending May 19th, only one cruise liner called at
Grenada. This was the "Carla C" on Wednesday 16th with 801
passengers. 4 words)
A is Hughes
~- --. *May "r