Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Back Cover


Caribbean Review
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095576/00042
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean Review
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Publisher: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
Place of Publication: Miami, FL
Publication Date: 1983
Copyright Date: 1980
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 1553369
System ID: UF00095576:00042

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

Vol. XII, No. 4
Three Dollars

Grenada in the Context of History; The Alienation of Leninist Group Therapy; A Survivor
Discusses the Killings; What the Invasion Uncovered; The Caribbean Reaction; Did Suriname
Switch?; The Grenada Complex and Central America; Options for the Future.

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In this issue....

Grenada Explodes
Crossing Swords
The Danger of Rescue Operations
By Errol Barrow
Responses and Replies
From van Eeuwen and Rosenberg
Grenada in the Context of History
Between Neocolonialism and Independence
By Michael Manley
Chronology of Events
Dramatis Personae
The Alienation of Leninist Group Therapy
Extraordinary General Meeting
of Full Members of the NJM
Minutes Recorded by Unidentified Notetaker
Introduction by Barry B. Levine
Interviewing George Louison
A PRG Minister Discusses the Killings
By Bernard Diederich
What Was Uncovered in Grenada
The Weapons and Documents
By Nestor D. Sanchez







Options for Grenada 24
The Need To Be Cautious
By Anthony R Maingot
Did Suriname Switch? 29
Dialectics a la Dante
By Edward Dew
The Jamaican Reaction 31
Grenada and the Political Stalemate
By Carl Stone
Foreign Press Reaction 33

The Grenada Complex and Central America 34
Action and Negotiation in US Foreign Policy
By Wayne S. Smith

Was Bishop A Social Democrat? 37
The Speeches of Maurice Bishop
Reviewed by Carl Henry Feuer

Background to Grenada 40
When the Social Scientists Invaded
Reviewed by Aaron Segal

US Press Coverage of Events 66
Articles in The New York Times, October 1983
By Marian Goslinga

Page 6

"The people on the inde-
pendence path frankly
mucked up the whole
thing in an act of total
folly and madness in an
enormous self-destruc-
tion of their own

Page 29

Suriname's relations
with Cuba had now be-
come 'Ir re -i.rngl; un-
manageable, a result
both of the turbulent de-
velopment of these rela-
tions. .and more es-
pecially of the somewhat
individual style of the
Cuban ambassador."

Page 40

"The political parties are
in disarray: ex-Prime
Minister Gairy, a 61-year-
old discredited exile
seeking to try his hand
again, and other leaders
or erstwhile leaders fled,
dead, arrested, or

On the Cover:

Caribe Toro by artist
Reinaldo Lbpez (water-
color and ink, 24 by 36
inches). L6pez, 48,
paints murals depicting
a CaPrbbean menagerie
of his own creation. The
painting is in the collec-
tion of the editor.

Grenada Explodes

Two bombs, persistently ticking away, finally
exploded this October in Grenada. One pro-
duced the fatal dismantling of the People's Rev-
olutionary Government, a regime that refused to
legitimate its existence by electoral processes,
belittling those processes as five-minute exer-
cises. By refusing to acknowledge that without
tradition or charismatic grace, legitimacy needs
to be based on procedure, the young "revolu-
tionaries" of the New Jewel Movement sub-
jected themselves to rule by gun. The biggest
bully became king of the raft. One positive les-
son of the events of October, hopefully, may be a
reassessment of the importance and worth of
democracy even for the heroic elites of the Third
But another bomb hit the beaches of the Ca-
ribbean: the invasion of Grenada by US and Ca-
ribbean forces, ostensibly to restore order to
that beleaguered island, but certainly an idea
nurtured in the minds of some long before the
internal unrest of October. And while the inva-
sion may indeed restore rule by democratic pro-
cedure on Grenada, it may also encourage
"hard-liners" to turn on the repression when
state power is taken by extraprocedural meth-
ods elsewhere in the region, thus leaving no
room for moderate influences on such regimes.
Only time will reveal which of these two "les-
sons" will become the historical legacy of Octo-
ber in Grenada. For now, it is imperative that we
try to sort out the problems. Thus, this special-
topic issue of Caribbean Review.
Readers will seek to understand the nature of
the so-called Grenadian revolution, will ques-
tion what happened-and at whose instiga-
tion-to cause the downfall of Maurice Bishop,
will reflect on the various reactions to the
events, and will ponder their effects on the fu-
ture not only of troubled Grenada, but of the rest
of the region and, indeed, of the Third World as
well. A main concern is what effect the change of
government and the invasion will have on the
ideological geopolitics being played throughout
the Caribbean.
As always, Caribbean Review follows the edi-
torial policy that we like to call "crossed
swords." We prefer cutting issues to reenforc-
ing beliefs. This is no time for dogma, as this
issue reveals.

FALL 1983
Barry B. Levine
Associate Editors
Anthony R Maingot
Mark B. Rosenberg
Managing Editor
June S. Belkin
Assistant Editor
Judith C. Faerron
Book Review Editor
Forrest D. Colburn
Marian Goslinga
Linda M. Marston
Contributing Editors
Henry S. Gill
Eneid Routte G6mez
Aaron L. Segal
Andr6s Serbin
Olga J. Wagenheim

Vol. XII, No. 4

Contributing Artists
Josh M. Nadal
Ernesto Pereira
Advertising Manager
A. D. Austin
Circulation Manager
Natalia M. Chirino
Project Manager
Maria J. Gonzalez
Project Assistant
Marlene Gago
Marketing Assistant
Francisco Franquiz

Three Dollars
Board of Editors
Reinaldo Arenas
Ricardo Arias Calder6n
Errol Barrow
German Carrera Damas
Yves Daudet
Edouard Glissant
Harmannus Hoetink
Gordon K. Lewis
Vaughan A. Lewis
Leslie Manigat
James A. Mau
Carmelo Mesa-Lago
Carlos Alberto Montaner
Daniel Oduber
Robert A. Pastor
Selwyn Ryan
Carl Stone
Edelberto Torres Rivas
Jose Villamil
Gregory B. Wolfe

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the Caribbean, Latin America, and
their emigrant groups, is published by Caribbean Review, Inc., a corporation not for profit
organized under the laws of the State of Florida (Barry B. Levine, President; Andrew R.
Banks, Vice President; Kenneth M. Bloom, Secretary). Caribbean Review is published at
the Latin American and Caribbean Center of FIU (Mark B. Rosenberg, Director) and
receives supporting funds from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida International
University (Steven Altman, Provost; Paul Gallagher, Associate Vice President for Aca-
demic Affairs) and the State of Florida. This public document was promulgated at a
quarterly cost of $6,659 or $1.21 per copy to promote international education with a
primary emphasis on creating greater mutual understanding among the Americas, by
articulating the culture and ideals of the Caribbean and Latin America, and emigrating
groups originating therefrom.
Editorial policy: Caribbean Review does not accept responsibility for any of the views
expressed in its pages. Rather, we accept responsibility for giving such views the oppor-
tunity to be expressed herein. Our articles do not represent a consensus of opinion-
some articles are in open disagreement with others and no reader should be able to agree
with all of them.
Mailing address: Caribbean Review. Florida International University, Tamiami Trail, Miami,
Florida 33199. Telephone (305) 554-2246. Unsolicited manuscripts (articles, essays,
reprints, excerpts, translations, book reviews, poetry, etc.) are welcome, but should be
accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Copyright: Contents Copyright @ 1983 by Caribbean Review, Inc. The reproduction of
any artwork, editorial or other material is expressly prohibited without written permission
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Photocopying: Permission tc photocopy for internal or personal use or the internal or
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requests should be addressed to Caribbean Review, Inc.
Syndication: Caribbean Review articles have appeared in other media in English, Span-
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Index: Articles appearing in this journal are annotated and indexed in America: History
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ical Abstracts; international Bibliography of Book Reviews; International Bibliography of
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lic Affairs Information Service Bulletin (PAIS); United States Political Science Docu-
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VII, No. 2; an index to volumes seven and eight, in Vol. IX, No. 2; to volumes nine and ten,
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Number: 079.7295.




The Danger of Rescue


By Errol Barrow

On 9 April 1898 the government of
Spain, which had for four years
been waging battle against Cuban
independence in the face of growing threats
from the United States, agreed to an imme-
diate cease-fire in the campaign against the
insurgents, freed all US citizens held in
prison, and permitted American relief units
and supplies to enter Cuba. The withdrawal
of Spain from Cuba and Puerto Rico-the
last vestiges of her imperial domination of
the New World-was thus only a formality.
On 11 April President McKinley proposed
to Congress "the forcible intervention of the
United States as a neutral to stop the war...
to end the barbarities, bloodshed, starva-
tion and horrible miseries, and to protect
American life and property in Cuba."
The Spanish American war spread from
the Caribbean to the Pacific and lasted for
three months. The assistant secretary of the
Navy, Teddy Roosevelt, astride his horse,
Little Texas, achieved some undeserved his-
torical immortality by leading a band of vol-
unteer adventurers known as the "Rough
Riders" at snail's pace up San Juan Hill in
the wrong direction after it was all over bar
the shouting. In the mythology of United
States military exploits this became
glorified as the "charge at San Juan Hill."
Spain withdrew from Cuba just as she had
declared she would before the US invasion
or "rescue operation."
The US remained, and still has a base, at
Guanthnamo, by virtue of the treaty signed
by the new Cuban government granting
leases to the liberating government. And so
"democracy" came to the Cuban people
along with the reservations of the Platt
amendment, stipulating that the govern-
ment of Cuba consents that the United
States may exercise the right to intervene
for the preservation of Cuban indepen-
dence and the maintenance of a govern-
ment adequate for the protection of life,
property and individual liberty. The first
American intervention took place a short
five years later in 1906 under the order of
Theodore Roosevelt, by then president of
the United States. In 1912 and 1917, the US
troops were back again to protect American
lives and property.
A debt is owed by all students of Carib-
bean and American political history to the
late Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois who,
in June 1969, entered into the Congres-
sional Record a formidable list of more than
150 military adventures and interven-

tions-all in the name of freedom and pro-
tection of life and liberty. No wars have been
waged on the soil of the continental United
States during the past 100 years by any
foreign power.
In December 1823 President Monroe, in
his message to Congress, declared "The
American Continents, by the free and inde-
pendent condition which they have as-
sumed and maintain, are henceforth not to
be considered as subjects for further col-
onization by any European powers." De-
signed originally in London by British
Foreign Secretary George Canning as a
joint Anglo-American warning to France
and Spain, the Monroe Doctrine developed
into a battle cry for US intervention in the
affairs of Western Hemisphere countries.
From Havana to Panama to Honduras to
Guatemala to the Dominican Republic to
Chile-the Congressional Record is replete.
And now, on to Grenada.

Darkness at Dawn
Around four dclock on the morning of Tues-
day, 25 October 1983, those of us who live
within sight or sound of the runway of the
Barbados airport were roused from our
slumbers by the thunder of multiengined
aircraft and helicopters warming up and
taking off in what turned out, in the next
three days, to be an almost endless
If one lives by the sea, the sound of waves
crashing against the shore or cliff does not
impinge on the conscious mind or even
keep one awake. Similarly one grows ac-
customed to the roar of jet engines during
normal traffic hours. Four o'clock in the
morning, however, is not normal. The inva-
sion was on. No one taking an intelligent
interest in the sad events of the previous six
days in Grenada looked forward to military
intervention in a situation which was now
not dissimilar from that in Cuba in 1898
after the Spanish government had already
capitulated to the demands of both the
Cuban nationalists and the United States.
"The war is over, Honey Bun."
On Saturday, 22 October, representatives
of the US government and the deputy Brit-
ish high commissioner had gone into St.
George's, the capital of Grenada, had spo-
ken with the leaders of the so-called provi-
sional military government, and had been
given the assurance both by General Hud-
son Austin and by the administration of the

medical school that there was no threat to
American citizens in the island and that they
could be evacuated if it was so desired. The
shooting appeared to be at an end; an an-
nouncement was made that the curfew
which had been imposed was being lifted.
It is alleged that Mr. Montgomery, the dep-
uty British high commissioner, saw the gov-
ernor general of Grenada, Sir Paul Scoon,
but no suggestion has been made public
that the governor general took advantage of
the visit of Her Majesty's representative to
solicit the help of the US, Caribbean or even
Her Majesty's governments in carrying out a
rescue operation in his territory.
Meetings of some Caribbean heads of
government were held on that Friday in Bar-
bados and in Trinidad on Saturday and Sun-
day, 22-23 October. The prime minister of
Trinidad and Tobago did not attend the first
and the prime minister of Barbados did not
attend the second. The delegates from the
Lesser Antilles must have remained numb
at the meeting in Port-of-Spain, since the
government of Trinidad and Tobago was
unaware that an agreement had been en-
tered into between Barbados, Jamaica and
members of the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States invoking an unregistered
treaty of mutual assistance to carry out pre-
cisely what the treaty was designed to pro-
tect against.
When the Japanese forces attacked the
United States fleet lying at anchor in Pearl
Harbor on 7 December 1941, the US gov-
ernment and media described it as an act of
treachery since the Japanese government
had not issued a declaration of war against
the United States of America before the at-
tack. The British prime minister on 2 Sep-
tember 1939 demonstrated his respect for
these formalities by informing the House of
Commons that he had summoned the Ger-
man ambassador and had informed him
that the British government, as of then, con-

Crossing Swords is a
regular feature of Carib-
bean Review. The views
expressed herein are
the sole opinion of the
authors. Editorial board
member Errol Barrow
was prime minister of
Barbados from 1966-
1976. He is leader of the
opposition and a practicing attorney.


sidered a state of war to exist between Her
Majesty's government and the Third Reich.
Who were the US forces and their camp
followers fighting? Who were they rescuing
and from whom? No rescue operation was
attempted before the assassination of
Bishop and his ministers except by the peo-
ple of Grenada themselves.
Even if one is tempted to believe the be-
lated excuse that Sir Paul Scoon invited the
intervention-a story that not even the
most uncritical follower of the events is
tempted to entertain-it must not be forgot-
ten that Sir Paul, like the famous Vicar of
Bray, had been appointed by dictator Sir
Eric Gairy and maintained his office under
an alleged left-wing Marxist regime which
seized power only five days after his acces-
sion to the largely ceremonial post. He re-
mained in residence, although not in power,
for more than four years unheralded, un-
sung and unknown to the world. It should
not have been difficult for Sir Paul to adjust
himself to a third authoritarian regime
which had not, up to that stage, either de-
clared nor displayed any intention to re-
move or replace him.
The government of Canada, which had a
representative in St. George's throughout,
leased a plane to evacuate its nationals on
Monday 24 October. According to Prime
Minister Trudeau, the Grenada au-
thorities-whoever they were for the time
being-had given permission, but the US
government interdicted the landing on that
day and the satellite governments obe-
diently ordered the withdrawal of the lease

of the Leeward Islands Air Transport
H.S.748. Ownership of LIAT is also shared
with the governments of Guyana and Trin-
idad and Tobago. Not only was the govern-
ment of Canada treated with disdain, but the
prime minister of Great Britain, America's
traditional and staunchest ally, was only told
on the Monday 24 October of "options,"
and she strongly advised against military
But Reagan's mind was made up; like a
sheriff whose posse was ready to mount,
some of them on donkeys, he rode into
town with guns ablaze looking for an
The US ambassador to Paris claimed that
he knew of the plan two weeks before the
event. He subsequently retracted. The
prime minister of Barbados claimed that he
was aware of a plot to kill Prime Minister
Bishop two weeks before the events. He also
said that he offered political asylum to Gren-
adian Foreign Minister Unison Whiteman
because he had reason to believe that Mr.
Whiteman's life was in danger.
Ms. Eugenia Charles is an ingenious po-
litical neophyte, in no way a pejorative de-
scription of an academically well-qualifed,
highly intelligent member of the legal pro-
fession from a sound godfearing upper
middle-class background who faute de
mieux found herself drafted into the
maelstrom of Dominica politics at a late
stage in life and struggled to create some
kind of order out of that ungovernable situa-
tion-very much le roi malgre lui. Ms.
Charles is a "no-nonsense" person. She is

neither power-hungry nor power-drunk.
The same cannot be said for some of her
fellow politicians in the area; that is why it
was so sad to see her being conscripted by
the US to give credibility to the decaying
political image of the American president.
Whether his motivation was to send mes-
sages to Nicaragua, Cuba and El Salvador
or to other left-leaning forces in the West, or
whether it was to bolster his chances for
reelection, he has left a lot of dead bodies in
the Caribbean, bereaved families in the
United States, Cuba and Grenada, and dis-
unity in the Commonwealth Caribbean
whose governments now deeply distrust
one another.
He has nearly succeeded in destroying
the inner strengths of the Commonwealth
as was evident from the bitter exchanges
which characterized the daily deliberations
in November in New Delhi. The prime min-
ister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, expressed
his disappointment by saying that the bland
press releases did not reflect the true senti-
ments of the governments.
It would take a master with the stature of
Sophocles to properly dramatize the trag-
edyto the people of Grenada, or to illustrate
the inevitable damage to Caribbean sov-
ereignty and self-respect, not to speak of
the systematic dismantling of the Carib-
bean Community.
"By avenging blood for blood so that this
storm-tossed city may once again emerge."
"Oedipus Turranos!" Sophocles.
Thebes did not emerge. The Caribbean
will never be the same again. O


and Integration

in Urban Argentina

By Mark D. Szuchman
Between the 1870s, when the great influx of Euro-
pean immigrants began, and the start of World War
I, Argentina underwent a radical alteration of its
social composition and patterns of economic pro-
ductivity. Mark Szuchman, in this groundbreaking
study, examines the occupational, residential, edu-
cational, and economic patterns of mobility of
some four thousand men, women, and children
who resided in Cordoba, Argentina's most impor-
tant interior city, during this changeful era. The use
of record linkage as the essential research method
makes this work the first book on Argentina to fol-
low this very successful research methodology
employed by modern historians. 290 pages, $19.95

University of Texas Press 083

Ole A


SJournal of


Editor: Anthony R. de Souza
Department of Geography,
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI 54701, USA
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Responses and Replies
Van Eeuwen and Rosenberg

The Real Cause

Dear Colleagues:
The recent Crossing Swords editorial by
Mark B. Rosenberg (Caribbean Review,
Vol. XII, No. 2) to the effect that we are wit-
nessing the devastation of Central America
is, unfortunately for its people, extremely
accurate. However, the vision a large num-
ber of European researchers, especially the
French, have of the crisis in Central Amer-
ica leads me to express reservation about
his analysis.
The economic growth of the 1960s con-
tributed to economic and social diversifica-
tion characterized by the appearance of an
urban proletariat comprised of important
sectors of the middle class and industrial
and commercial segments of the bour-
geoisie. But any political pluralism did not
correspond to this new configuration of po-
litical and social forces. The new actors
were excluded from the political game and
conflict was not institutionalized. On the
contrary, with the exception of Costa Rica,
the regimes were deprived of legitimacy
and had to resort to violent repression
which created an increase in the conscious-
ness and organization of urban and peasant
It is in this sequence of facts that we
should look for one of the essential causes
of the intemal destabilization of the Central
American societies. We should add to Rosen-
berg's observation about corruption the fact
that its extensiveness made it an instrument
for diverting the national wealth and a new
kind of primitive accumulation of capital to
profit particularly the military.
But it is essentially in analyzing the
causes of the militarization and regionaliza-
tion of Central American conflicts that we
differ. The author overestimates the respon-
sibility of the left when he views North Amer-
ican politics. Central America is a
vulnerable area, open to diverse cultural in-
fluences and characterized by multiple eco-
nomic, military and political strategies. The
oligarchies developed a bond beyond na-
tional boundaries. As for the United States,
the imperial power, its part is determinative
and constitutes the principal obstacle to
change in Central America.
Thus, while we can maintain that the ex-
ternal politics of the Sandinista regime, ini-
tially Third World-oriented and proclaiming
itself nonaligned, have contributed to the
regionalization of conflict, we cannot deny
that Washington's attitude, repeating the

historical error committed in the first years
of the Cuban revolution, pushed Managua
into the arms of Moscow. The Socialist
International seems to understand that
despite its reticence, Washington is main-
taining support intended to avoid the
sovietizationn" of Nicaragua. The support
provided by the United States to the con-
tras constitutes the essential factor in the
destabilization of Central America.
The militarization of Central America is,
essentially, the result of Washington politics.
First of all, strategies aiming to structure
political life around the "center," hypo-
thetically joining the middle classes and
progressive sectors of the national bour-
geoisie, have been defeated since the end
of the Carter administration. The United
States then chose to deal only with the
army: witness the militarization of Honduras
where the civil power is no more than a
theater setting; the emphasis on military aid
to El Salvador; and the renewal of aid to
The Reagan administration, placing Cen-
tral America and the Caribbean in the US
"backyard," first regionalized the crisis and
then internationalized it by putting it in the
context of the East-West confrontation. The
Caribbean Basin Initiative will not have sig-
nificant results on the Central American
economy. At the same time that negotia-
tions have been hinted at, we all await the
results of the demonstration of military
might off Nicaragua's coasts.
We share the anxiety of the author about
the continuation of the crisis which will
surely lead to the destruction of Central
America, even if our analysis of El Sal-
vador's reality differs from his. The people
of El Salvador put their hope in dialogue but
cannot wait for the oligarchy to grant them
participation in the leadership of the coun-
try. In the absence of significant political
forces occupying the space between the
army and guerrillas, and lack of sincere
elections, the FMLN will not abandon the
struggle and its offensive will resume next
October. Without a decisive victory of one of
the parties, the military deadlock may ex-
tend for years.
Finally, it seems fundamental to articu-
late the real cause of the crisis. For us, as for
a number of observers, the actual conflicts
do not have their origins in the Soviet
Union's politics. In fact, the Soviet Union
only recognizes the existence of zones of
influence-starting with its own-and can-
not support the high political, military and

economic costs of another Cuba in the re-
gion. The present situation is a result of the
profound inequalities, resulting from the
unjust socioeconomic structures and politi-
cal repression which go along with eco-
nomic exploitation. The geopolitical situa-
tion of Central America puts it at the mercy
of its big northern neighbor, which advo-
cates democracy to those it considers its
enemies (Nicaragua) but doesn't require it
from its friends (Guatemala).
As long as we do not recognize the fact
that the Central American peoples fight for
social justice; as long as we deny the right
for all the Central American peoples to
freely choose their rulers and their way of
life, Central America will be devastated.
Aix-en-Provence, France
[Translated by Michelle Lamar]

Mark B. Rosenberg Replies:
Mr. van Eeuwen wishes that the United
States would go away so that Central Amer-
ica could have its revolutions without the
threat of external intervention. Unmistaka-
bly the region's history would be quite differ-
ent if it were located in Antarctica. Since it is
not, and since the US offers a rather clear
and predictable track record in the region, it
is time that those who want to effect signifi-
cant change in Central America learn how
to coexist with the "giant of the North."
The essential task of enlightened refor-
mist and revolutionary leaders in Central
America is to bring about sociopolitical and
economic change while ensuring both their
own political survival and some measure of
national autonomy. It is true that US support
for the contras is an essential element in
the further destabilization of Central Amer-
ica. It is equally true that the US has done
much to militarize the region's struggle. But
it is precisely such a situation which ensures
Central America's devastation and not its
autonomy. What is ultimately at stake are
the conditions under which Central Ameri-
can peoples will live in the year 2000. Pyr-
rhic victories may be preferred by the heroic
martyrs of the region, but the nonheroic are
the ones who will ultimately pay the costs of
their martyrs' miscalculations. Unfortu-
nately, US policy is less sensitive to the
needs of Central America than it should be.
This is clear to almost everyone. Why can't
strategies be developed which at once take
into account this reality and minimize the
human suffering of so many in Central
America? [



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Grenada in the Context of


Between Neocolonialism and Independence

By Michael Manley

I don't think that it is particularly useful to
state that I agree, or don't agree, with the
invasion of Grenada, state my reasons,
and then leave it at that. The truth is that one
must place Grenada within a context; it
must be considered part of a group of broad
historical forces. Nothing happens in isola-
tion or by accident; everything in life is part
of a larger set of forces that are at work.
In a sense, two streams of history meet in
the tragic events of Grenada. One stream
has to do with the Third World itself, of
which Grenada was a part, and in many
ways a typical part; the other has to do with
United States foreign policy and particularly
that policy in this hemisphere as it has un-
folded within the context of the Monroe
Insofar as the Third World experience is
concerned, one has to remember one or
two basic facts about the few groups of
countries that now make up approximately
two-thirds of mankind. The Third World is a
product of that very important period of
world history between the 15th and the 20th
centuries which we associate with modem
imperialism. This was an extraordinary phe-
nomenon in history. European imperialism
involved a greater proportion of mankind
than had ever been the case before. Imperi-
alism was unique and unusual because
never before had the business of conquest
been followed by the sort of systematic eco-
nomic development which was associated
with imperialism. If we go back to the time
of Roman history, the Romans would con-
quer the Middle East or parts of North
Africa, but it really was a very simple opera-
tion. They would conquer an area and ex-
tract a tax which helped support the

This article is a transcription of a speech
Michael Manley gave at the University of Cen-
tral Florida, 14 November 1983, edited for the
printed page. Michael Manley is the author of
three books; he has had 20 years of experi-
ence as a trade unionist; he served for two
terms as the prime minister of Jamaica, and is
recipient of the United Nations' gold medal for
his work against racial discrimination. He is
currently opposition leader in the Jamaican
parliament, and is a vice president of the So-
cialist International.

standard of living of Rome. But they didn't
particularly interfere with the natural eco-
nomic development of the places that they
conquered. What was unusual about mod-
em imperialism, and important because of
the effect it has had on current world eco-
nomic history, is that for the first time large
areas of the world were developed in a man-
ner that took them out of their natural evolu-
tion. They were developed as suppliers of
either raw materials or basic commodities
which were important to the growing indus-
trial revolution of Europe. The twist in the
natural economic development is the sec-
ond feature that is important.
The third feature that is important is the
consequences of that peculiar economic
history. It created a situation in which a few
areas of the world became condemned, so
to speak, to the bottom end of the eco-
nomic process and became the suppliers of
material that had certain beneficial implica-
tions for Europe and later for North Amer-
ica. This also had the effect of building a set
of economies all around the world that were
entirely dependent on the European eco-
nomic structures, particularly the European
industrial superstructures. These conse-
quences of twisted economic development
led to structural dependence so that there
was no capacity to carry out normal eco-
nomic experimentation and development
in these areas which had been conquered
and were now politically controlled by the
powers in Europe. When we found in due
course that poverty was inevitably a part of
this, as well as the lack of a sense of nation-
hood, of national personality, this led to the
great independence movement after the
Second World War. During the period from
1947, beginning with India, right through
the 1970s, when Grenada became inde-
pendent, more than 100 countries in the
world decided to demand their political
freedom, to demand their independence in
the hope that this would open new doors of
opportunity for them-emotionally, politi-
cally, psychologically, and economically.
Their experience was similar, because all
of them learned that the fact that you now
had hoisted your own flag and sung your
own national anthem and could send your

own ambassador to the United Nations in
New York did not change or affect any of the
economic structures and realities that had
been put in place by hundreds of years of
history. And that has led to the increasing
struggle in the Third World to look at that
world economic structure that was left be-
hind to try to find a way to deal with poverty
and underdevelopment One has only to
look to the facts that right now there are
millions of people that are actually starving,
and Third World debt is now in the region of
$600 billion and getting worse as interest
rates remain high and loan money remains
hard to get, to realize that the Third World is
in the grip of a tremendous crisis-a crisis
which was really conditioned by the hun-
dreds of years of history.

Two Views
History and the present experience have led
to a situation in which Third World leader-
ship and political processes divide into two
categories. Some people think that the cat-
egories are to do with communism or anti-
communism, or socialism versus capital-
ism. What really is fundamental to the Third
World is that there are two sets of views
about how to handle the difficulties.
One we sometimes call the neocolonial-
ist view which says: "Look, we're small,
poor, we lack capital, we lack know-how, we
lack technology." Therefore, the only thing
to do is to find some nearby power, attach
yourself to that power, and hope to get a
tremendous amount of technology, know-
how, support and help, and somehow that
will see them through the crisis. This is a
very rational point of view; it is a very logical
point of view and it's one that is held by
many Third World thinkers and leaders.
But there is another point of view, the view
of what you might call the independence-
minded people, the people who are the
heirs of the independence struggle, the pa-
triots-call them what you will-that says,
in effect, if you tryto solve the problems that
way, history will repeat itself. You cannot, in
fact, develop a really viable society in that
way. What you have to do is to strike out
from your political independence to try to
find the means through self-reliance,


US President Ronald Reagan and Dominica Prime Minister Eugenia Charles at White House press conference. Observing are National Security Adviser
Robert McFarlane, Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

through cooperation among Third World
countries, to lay out conditions for your eco-
nomic development that are not absolutely
dependent on your formal external
At the moment Grenada comes into the
picture, it, as everywhere else in the Third
World, had one set of people who might be
called the neocolonialists and another set of
people who worked more to try to make
independence work.
Where US policy is concerned, what is
important to remember is that if you look at
the Monroe Doctrine in terms of all the
thinking that went behind it, you notice that
it was conceived as an economic doctrine,
although it is often understood as meaning
that no foreign power may have troops near
mainland America. That is part of it. But the
real rationale behind the doctrine was to
protect the then-young, growing economic
interests of the United States. Although it is
expressed in political terms, the economic
idea is really the root of the Monroe Doc-
trine. In the name of that doctrine, on count-
less occasions in the last 100 years or so, US
troops have been used in various parts of
Latin America to intervene, invade, and
conquer areas where it was felt that some
economic interest of the Unites States was
threatened. Places like Nicaragua were in-
vaded four, five times over the years; Hon-
duras was invaded; Panama, Cuba,
Guatemala as recently as 1947, the Domin-
ican Republic in 1965. And there have been
scores of occasions when US troops have
entered a country, always under the argu-
ment that some US interest, mainly multi-
national corporation interest, was threat-

ened, and therefore they moved in to
protect their economic interests.
Now, let us turn to Grenada. What is this
tiny speck on the world map that has led to
the mightiest nation on earth dispatching,
at one stage, over 6,000 troops to deal with
a problem? It has a population of 110,000. It
is famous for the production of nutmeg (it
may be the biggest producer of nutmeg in
the world), for sugar, of course, and for ba-
nanas. It is a completely typical example of a
Third World country that was used to pro-
duce these things for Europe and devel-
oped a wholly dependent economy. It has
lived and died by sugar prices, banana
prices, or whether or not a hurricane
knocked down the bananas. Back in the
1940s, a young man called Eric Gairy
emerged. He was a sometime-political
leader, sometime-trade union leader in a
very typically Caribbean sort of way. He was
a charismatic personality and became a
great force in Grenadian politics, forming a
political party called the Grenada Labor
Party. In 1974 Grenada finally became an
independent nation and took its place in the
UN. Now Gairy is not the figure in Carib-
bean political history of whom we are most
proud. He ran what is universally accepted
as a profoundly corrupt government; he
maintained a sort of private little strong-
arm army called the Mongoose Gang,
which was really fashioned after the Tonton
Macoutes of Duvalier's Haiti. From time to
time he regaled the United Natons with
speeches in which he insisted that we
needed an international commission of in-
quiry into unidentified flying objects. All
these are historical facts; he was a figure

strangely compounded of the instinct of
tyranny, the practice of corruption, and a
sort of romantic predilection for the
strange. It was not surprising that, in due
course, a certain degree of discontent arose
in Grenada from the lack of focus in his
Thus a new movement started, called the
New Jewel Movement, of which the leader
was a young man fresh out of college
named Maurice Bishop. They fought for
election and lost. That election was not the
most fair that had ever been held in the
Caribbean. They had been locked up a
number of times; Bishop's father was shot to
death in the course of a peaceful march;
they all were beaten up by the Mongoose
Gang. It really was a rather sordid spectacle
of tyranny. So tyranny does not depend
upon large areas of land for its practice;
tyranny occurs in large and small countries.
In 1979, Bishop and his group received
news that they were aboutto be detained on
some sort of bogus charge by Gairy, and
rightly or wrongly decided to stage a coup.
They staged a coup in which a group of
these romantic and rather idealistic young
men went charging into the various small
barracks of the army, not the Tonton Ma-
coutes part but the official, supposedly
constitutional army, and found that nobody
resisted them. Without the firing of a single
shot the army virtuallyjoined them and they
became the government of Grenada. This
was, of course, a major crisis, because there
had never been a coup in the English-
speaking Caribbean before. We are very
much a part of the British Commonwealth,
very much a part of the traditions of the



Westminster model and of the very, thank
God, polite tradition of British politics in
which we really do solve problems by bal-
lots rather than bullets. (Long may that
last!-let me make my position very clear
on that point.) But they were in an extraordi-
nary situation because the Westminster
model of democracy really can't survive a
Gairy. The Westminster model survives not
only by the restraint of those who are out of
power, the opposition, but even more so by
the restraint of those who are in power. The
essence of democracy lies in the restraint of
power by those who hold it either by a con-
stitution, as in the US case, or by self-im-
posed discipline, as in the British case. So
Gairy really blew democracy aside and
made it irrelevant, leaving Bishop little
choice but to act as he did.

What Bishop Did
Let me summarize exactly what Bishop
stood for and what he did. In terms of inter-
nal policy, I give Bishop's regime, in the four
years that it was there, very high marks. For
one thing, the World Bank held, in a major
document in 1983, that the Grenadian
economy was the best managed in the Eng-
lish-speaking Caribbean and pointed to the
fact that it was the only economy in the
English-speaking Caribbean that achieved
significant growth, around 5 percent in
1982. In the light of experience in the United
States, any growth in an economy in 1982
was a triumph. Secondly, they did excellent
work in the field of social development: they
worked very hard on education; they had a
massive literacy drive which made real in-
roads into the chronic problem of illiteracy;
and they did good work in legislation for
women's rights, in protecting trade union
rights, and matters of that sort. The internal
performance was good.
In terms of foreign policy, of course, it is
highly controversial. When they first came
to office, they declared themselves not
aligned, part of the nonaligned movement,
and that they did not wish to become in-
volved in superpower politics and confron-
tations. And, in fact, they went and asked
everybody for assistance. It is a matter of
record that the US looked at them askance
at first and wouldn't offer help of any sort.
Then came one of those curious things that
happen in Latin American history. Grenada
asks everybody for help. Western Europe
comes in with quite a lot of help: France and
Sweden and Norway-countries of that
sort. The minute Cuban help starts to arrive,
the US policymakers say, "Ah, but you are
getting Cuban help so now we will not give
you any help." At that stage, their foreign
policy became partly conditioned by their
perception of US hostility toward them. VENEZUELA
In fact, there was a rather sorry series of
events in which the US actually used Its o. ._ ._ WO o Km
power in bodies like the IMF and the World 6o 0 Io 0 3o
Bank to block proposals for economic as- Copyright Lindo Marston, 1983
Continued on page 45


Chronology of Events

1498 The island is sighted by Christopher
Columbus during his third voyage to
the New World; he named it
1650 The French settle the island and
name it Grenada.
1783 The French cede Grenada to Britain.
Most of the local Carib Indians have
been killed off, and Africans have
been imported as slaves to work large
sugarcane plantations.
1833 Grenada is made part of the Wind-
ward Island Administration.
1949 Eric Gairy returns to Grenada after
seven years working in the oil fields of
Trinidad and Aruba.
1951 Universal suffrage is introduced;
Gairy wins election.
1958 Windward Island Administration is
dissolved. Grenada subsequently be-
comes member of the Federation of
the West Indies, which collapses in
1962 The colonial administration suspends
constitution of Grenada, charging
Gairy with misuse of funds.
1967 Grenada joins the West Indies Asso-
ciated States and is granted full au-
tonomy over its internal affairs. It
becomes the first associated state to
seek full independence.
1974 Grenada gains independence from
Great Britain, becoming the smallest
independent nation in the Western
Hemisphere. Eric Gairy is elected
prime minister.
1979-March 13. Gairy's government is top-
pled by Maurice Bishop and the New
Jewel Movement while Gairy is at-
tending a United Nations session in
New York. The constitution is sus-
pended. Bishop becomes prime
November 22. Cuba increases aid to
Grenada (including materiel for the
construction of a new airport at Point
Salines) "in response" to US president
Jimmy Carter's new political offensive
and military surveillance in the
1980-May. Deputy Prime Minister Bernard
Coard signs treaty in Moscow permit-
ting Soviet long-range reconnais-
sance planes to land at new airport.
June 21. An apparent assassination at-
tempt against Bishop fails.

1981-January 1. Bishop charges, in a
speech before meeting of the Com-
monwealth Caribbean foreign min-
isters, that the US is trying to
overthrow his government; he cites a
"three-stage CIA plot."
August 26. Bishop charges that recent
US and NATO military exercises in the
Caribbean were a "practice run" for an
invasion of the island.
1982-July. During a trip to Moscow, Bishop
obtains from the USSR long-term fi-
nancial credits for the construction of
a land station linked to a Soviet com-
munications satellite.
October. Plenary meeting of the Central
Committee criticizes Bishop's "weak
leadership." Bernard Coard "resigns"
from the Central Committee.
1983-March 23. In a televised speech, pres-
ident Reagan suggests a possible mil-
itary threat to the US from the
international airport under construc-
tion with Cuban assistance.
March 28. Grenada Foreign Minister Uni-
son Whiteman says a US "attack" on
Grenada "could come within a few
May 31. During an unofficial visit to
Washington, Bishop is unable to set
up a meeting with Reagan to "im-
prove relations between the two coun-
tries." He meets with US National
Security Advisor William Clark.
September. Central Committee meet-
ings repeatedly criticize Bishop and
propose he share "joint leadership"
with Coard.
October 12. Meeting of the Central
Committee accuses Bishop of
spreading false rumors of a plot by
Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard
to kill him. Central Committee de-
cides to place Bishop under house
October 13. Bishop is placed under
house arrest.
October 14. Coard denies any plot to
assassinate Bishop and announces
his resignation as deputy prime min-
ister. Speculation is that he continues
to run the country from behind the
October 15-17. Negotiations between
Coard and Bishop supporters,
George Louison and Unison White-

man, to release Bishop fail.
October 18. Ministers Bain, Creft, G.
Louison, Rhamdhany and Whiteman
October 19. Thousands of Bishop sup-
porters free him and lead him through
the streets of St. George's to Fort
Rupert; there Army troops capture
and execute Bishop, three cabinet
members and two labor leaders.
Army commander General Hudson
Austin claims they were killed after
opening fire on the soldiers; witnesses
say they surrendered peaceably. Aus-
tin decrees round-the-clock curfew
for four days. The airport is closed,
foreign journalists are prohibited from
entering, and a local journalist is ar-
rested. The day becomes known as
"Bloody Wednesday."
October 20. General Austin announces
that a 16-man revolutionary military
council (RMC) is to rule Grenada un-
der his chairmanship. The RMC never
meets. He promises that all foreign
residents will be permitted to leave
when the airport reopens the follow-
ing Monday. President Reagan re-
quests meeting of Special Situations
Group to study safety of 1,000 Ameri-
cans on Grenada. Orders issued for
diversion to Grenada of naval task
force headed for Lebanon.
October 21. OECS leaders from
Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St.
Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent
and the Grenadines, plus leaders of
Jamaica and Barbados, meet in Bar-
bados to discuss the situation. They
vote unanimously to request US as-
sistance. Cuba deplores the "savage"
killing of Bishop, indicating that it will
have to reassess its relations with the
new government Austin lifts curfew
for four hours so residents can buy
October 22. US, Canadian and British
diplomats fly to Grenada to check on
their citizens. Reagan issues order to
proceed with plans for invasion.
October 22 & 23. An emergency
CARICOM meeting called in Trinidad
imposes diplomatic and trade sanc-
tions against Grenada. The new Gre-
nadian government is suspicious of
US-Caribbean invasion.
October 24. Prime Minister Margaret


Thatcher, speaking with President
Reagan about other matters, strongly
objects to invasion plan. The curfew is
lifted, but only a few foreigners are
able to leave the island leading to fears
that the RMC might take hostages.
Barbados and other neighboring is-
lands cut off air links to Grenada. US
White House press aides deny any
plans for an invasion.
October 25. Grenada is invaded by US
Marines and Army Rangers along with
troops from six Caribbean nations.
October 26. US says the invasion is suc-
cessful, claiming that it forestalled a
Cuban arms buildup and announcing
the capture of 600 Cubans. The first
71 US evacuees arrive in Charleston,
October 27. President Reagan defends
his action on US TV calling Grenada a
"Soviet-Cuban colony being readied
as a major military bastion to export
terrorism and undermine
October 29. Bernard and Phyllis Coard
are captured in St George's and taken
to US helicopter carrier.
October 30. Hudson Austin is arrested
and taken to carrier. The US opens its
first diplomatic mission in Grenada.
November 1. Electricity and some phone
service are restored on the island.
Schools are reopened.
November 3. US officials prepare to
evacuate Libyan, Soviet and Cuban
diplomats expelled by Governor Gen-
eral Paul Scoon, who became the act-
ing civilian leader following the
November 5. Group of 100 prisoners are
retumed to Havana.
November 6. The Coards and General
Austin are retumed to Grenada.
November 9. A common grave site, be-
lieved to contain Bishop's body, is dis-
covered. Identities of bodies not made
November 15. An apolitical interim gov-
emment of nine technocrats is ap-
pointed to guide Grenada from US
occupation to free elections within
one year.
-Judith C. Faerron

Prime Minister Tom Adams watches Caribbean troops prepare to leave Barbados.


Jacqueline Creft

Maurice Bishop

Bernard Coard

Victor Noel



The New Jewel Movement
Central Committee
General Hudson Austin-Austin, 45, met
Bishop in 1973 while a guard at the prison
where Bishop was a political detainee. He
later joined the NJM and participated in the
coup which deposed Prime Minister Sir Eric
Gairy in 1979. He served as Minister of
Communication and Works and Army
Commander under Bishop. Political Bu-
reau Member. Fitzroy Bain-A union
leader; he was executed by the Revolution-
ary Military Council (RMC) 19 October
1983. Tan Bartholomew. Maurice
Bishop-Prime Minister and Minister of

Defense and Interior, Information, Health
and Carriacau Affairs. Political Bureau
member. He founded the NJM in 1973 after
obtaining a law degree at London Univer-
sity. Bishop, 39, governed by decree for four
years after overthrowing Gairy. He was ex-
ecuted by the RMC 19 October 1983. Ber-
nard Coard-Deputy Prime Minister under
Bishop, Coard, 39, also served as Minister
of Finance, Trade, Industry and Planning.
He studied economics under a full scholar-
ship at Brandeis University in Boston. He
resigned from the CC in October 1982 but
continued to have extraordinary influence
over its members, even chairing its meet-
ings. Controlled a semi-secret group known
as the Organization for Educational Ad-
vancement and Research. A more hard-line
Marxist than Bishop, he resigned as deputy
prime minister 14 October 1983 to quell
rumors of an assassination plot against

Bishop. Again, he continued to exert power
from behind the scenes. Phyllis Coard-
Wife of Bernard Coard; head of National
Woman's Organization. Leon Cornwall-
Served as Grenada's ambassador to Cuba.
Member of the semi-secret Organization for
Educational Advancement and Research.
Chris De Riggs. Liam James-Political
Bureau member. Ewart Layne-Political
Bureau member. George Louison-A
founding member of the NJM and Bishop's
Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development
and Cooperative. Political Bureau member.
Kamau McBarnette. lan St. Bernard. Sel-
wyn Strachan-Minister of National Mobi-
lization. Political Bureau member. John
Chalkie Ventour-Political Bureau mem-
ber. Unison Whiteman-Minister of For-
eign Affairs and Civil Aviation; Political
Bureau member. He was executed by the
RMC 19 October 1983.




7 E

Hudson Austin

Unison Whiteman

People's Revolutionary
Government-The Cabinet
Maurice Bishop. Bernard Coard. Unison
Whiteman. Kenrick Radix-Minister of
Legal Affairs, Agro-Industries and Fisheries.
Hudson Austin. George Louison. Jac-
queline Creft-Minister of Education,
Youth and Social Affairs and Bishop's live-in
companion. The two had a four-year-old
son, Vladimir. She was executed bythe RMC
19 October. Selwyn Strachan. Norris
Bain-H6using Minister; executed by the
RMC 19 October. Lyden Rhamdhany-
Minister of Tourism.
Sir Paul Scoon-Appointed Governor Gen-
eral by the Queen of England at the recom-
mendation of then-Prime Minister Eric
Gairy. His ceremonial post, which repre-
sents the island's connection to the British
Commonwealth, was largely ignored by the
Bishop government.

Also executed on 19 October by the RMC
was Victor Noel, a trade union leader.
The Interim
Nicholas Brathwaite-Chairman; he is an
educator who heads the Commonwealth
Youth Center in Guyana. Patrick Em-
manuel-Foreign affairs; University of the
West Indies professor. Arnold M.
Cruickshank-Agricultural resources and
industrial development. James Deverre
Pitt-Construction, housing, environ-
mental matters, science and technology. Al-
len Kirton-Civil service and council
secretariat. Joan M. Purcell-Labor, em-
ployment and women's affairs. Christopher
Williams-No portfolio. Raymond
Smith-Telecommunications, information
and postal services. Anthony R. Rush-
ford-Ex-oficio member without voting
powers, he is a former member of the Brit-

ish foreign office and wrote the 1974 con-
stitution. He has already resigned.
Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS)
Antigua-Vere Bird, Sr., Prime Minister.
Dominica-Mary Eugenia Charles, Prime
Minister since 1980. Charles, a 64-year-old
lawyer, heads the OECS. She was the first
woman to ever lead a Caribbean govern-
ment, and stood beside Reagan as he an-
nounced the US invasion of Grenada.
Grenada. Montserrat-David Kenneth
Hay Dale, Governor. St. Kitts-Nevis-
Kennedy Simmonds, Prime Minister. St.
Lucia-John Compton, Prime Minister.
St. Vincent-Robert Milton Cato, Prime
Also participating in the joint invasion were:
Barbados-Tom Adams, Prime Minister.
Jamaica-Edward Seaga, Prime Minister.
-Judith C. Faerron



Fitzroy Bain

The Alienation of Leninist

Group Therapy

Extraordinary General Meeting of Full Members of the NJM

Minutes Recorded by Unidentified Notetaker
Introduction by Barry B. Levine

The invasion of Grenada is proving to be
a gold mine for those who want to study
the workings of Third World elites, those
groups who take state power with
heroic claims of plans to relieve the
sufferings of the poor by representing
them in government, a kind of trickle-
down theory of power power subject
only to the "correct" elite exercising it.
But it is a sad mine that one explores as
the frailty and frivolity of these middle-
class-bred chest-beating heroes are
exposed to scrutiny, a scrutiny not
tolerated by their own style of
Minutes of the meetings of the Central
Committee of the New Jewel Movement
that were found in Grenada have been
distributed to the press by the US
Department of State. Like the minutes
reprinted here (which we received from
other sources and which apparently, to
this date, have not been distributed by
the US), they portray a dismal picture of
unimaginative leaders chained to an
alien vocabulary. Their words mouthed
in puppet-like cadence, lockstepped to
the passions of political rivals pursuing
personal power, have a strangely hollow
aura about them. One has equal pity for
those who believe the vocabulary as
well as for those who mouth the words
to camouflage hidden goals.
The People's Revolutionary
Government of Grenada, as well as the
New Jewel Party that ran the
government, witnessed increasing
factionalism as the turf of Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop was challenged by
Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard.
The struggle took the form of a proposal
that Bishop share power with Coard in
something called joint leadership"-
Bishop was to run the government and
Coard, the party. The idea was approved
by the Central Committee first and
subsequently brought to the full
membership in the meeting whose
minutes are reproduced here. The reader
of these minutes cannot help but feel
the pressure put on Bishop, who in this
meeting relents and accedes to the
demand for joint leadership," only to

reject it later on, thereby precipitating the
violent clash that led to his murder.
Despite claims by participants that
meetings such as these represent some
kind of "science," to the less-committed
observer they look more like group
therapy. Some time ago, sociologist W .
Thomas noted that "if people define
something as real then it is real in its
consequences." We see here the
consequences of using Leninist
definitions of reality. Having a "low
ideological level," being a "right
opportunist," being "petit bourgeois," etc.,
are no-nos that disqualify one from
legitimately contributing to the goals of
the group. The actors in these meetings
sound more like Bob Newhart trying to
treat a wayward patient than they do
liKe Karl Marx trying to understand a
complicated world. And it is apparently
only with the support of such a group
that one can be comforted that the
oxymorons of group-speak such as
"democratic centralism" are really not
contradictory after all.
It would be funny if it were not
so deadly.
There are other sadnesses about this
wholesale importation of alien
vocabulary into a society. On the one
hand, it demonstrates a distrust of the
indigenous, a peculiar distrust for an
elite that governs in the name of "the
people." Some iron law of oligarchy
seems to structure these situations
where the party knows better, governing
for the people, as the party versus the
people. On the other hand, this blind
brokering of the alien puts actors in the
strange circumstance of recent
immigrants, having to take the words
more seriously than do those from
where they originated. One winces
before scenes where people do their best
to see themselves through foreign eyes.
But then Creole Leninism and Creole
Stalinism suffer not only because they
necessarily need be imported, but in
their own right as well. The first charge
against the sadistic left disdainful of the
very people they profess to save, must
be, after all, that they are sadistic.

Sunday, September 25th, 1983
he meeting began at 9:00 am
chaired by Cde. Liam James, mem-
ber of Political Bureau [PB] of New
Jewel Movement [ NJM] Central Committee

1. Distribution of documents
2. Chairman's remarks
3. Central Committee report to GM
4. Discussion
5. Workshops for individual study
and discussion
6. Plenary discussion
The documents distributed to the mem-
bers were: a. Minutes of Extraordinary
Meeting of the Central Committee of
NJM-Tues. 12th-Fri. 15th October 1982;
b. Extraordinary Meeting of the Central
Committee NJM 14-16th Sept. 1983; c.
Central Committee report to membership.
Cde. Liam James as chairman made
brief remarks pointing out that this General
Meeting [GM] is a very serious one and
every member must approach the delibera-
tions of the meeting in a spirit of frankness,
since it has been called resulting from the
comments picked up from the party's
membership regarding the problems faced
by the party and revolution and their dis-
agreement with the conclusions of the reg-
ular plenary session of the Central
Committee held from July 18-23rd, 1983.
He further emphasized and stressed that
all comrades must show a high level of
security consciousness with the docu-
ments and their contents, emphasizing that
this is an internal party matter and must not
be discussed outside of party bounds.

Central Committee Report
The Central Committee report to the mem-
bership was presented by Cde. Ewart
Layne, member of the Political Bureau of
NJM Central Committee. The report was
characterized with a spirit of frankness,
straightforwardness, criticism and self-criti-
cism. It pointed out that the present crisis
faced by the Party and revolution is the
worst ever in four-and-one-half years since


we are faced with the reality of the degenera-
tion of the party, its possible disintegration
in six months, and the resulting overthrow
of the revolution that can come in one
year's time if we don't take effective mea-
sures to remedy the situation. The report
gave concrete evidence which testified to
the fact that this process is already in train.
It is a spirit of criticism and self-criticism
[that] ascertained the reasons for the crisis
facing the party and revolution, pointing
squarely at the Central Committee as the
source of the problem. In so doing the views
held which stated that the Organising Com-
mittee (OC) and Disciplinary Committee
(DC) were dispelled since, as the report
pointed out, the problems of these commit-
tees are symptomatic to the real problem,
that of the Central Committee.
The report analysed that the Central
Committee's main problem is that of the
weak quality of leadership provided by Cde.
Maurice Bishop, Chairman of the Central
Committee and leader of the party. It frankly
pointed out that Cde. Maurice Bishop has
tremendous strengths that are necessary
for the process, but these by themselves
cannot carry the party out of its present
crisis. The qualities that are also needed,
those of: 1. A Leninist level of organisation
and discipline; 2. Great depth in ideological
clarity; 3. Brilliance in strategy and tactics;
4. The capacity to exercise Leninist supervi-
sion, control and guidance of all areas of
party work are today not present in the
Then the Central Committee has been
making errors for the last 12 months vac-
illating and taking a right opportunistic
The report also pointed out that the weak
functioning of the Central Committee, its
vacillatory positions, the unwillingness of its
members to study, think, take hard deci-
sions and struggle for their implementation
have led Cde. Bemard Coard to resign from
the Central Committee September 1982.
Continuing in the same spirit of open
self-criticism, the Central Committee report
criticised the CC for not giving policy guide-
lines on the different areas of party work.
It is based on the above that the Central
Committee reported to the GM its decision
to establish a model of joint leadership of
the party by marrying together the
strengths of Cdes. Maurice Bishop and Ber-
nard Coard with the areas of work spelt out
for each Cde. As was stated this model of
joint leadership is an acknowledgement of
a reality existing in our party for the last ten
years, and authority is now being given
commensurate with responsibility so as to
improve and make more efficient the party's
The Central Committee also made six
other conclusions and decisions, and de-
manded of every party member that they
display, uphold and struggle at all times for

These Hoodlums

are in custody already.

( Preacher )

( Poggie ) HUSBAND

-'. *-

(Goat ) ( Butcher )


nine principles which, together with the
model of joint leadership, are decisive for
overcoming this grave crisis and putting the
party on a Marxist-Leninist path. These nine
principles enunciated are: 1. Iron discipline;
2. Firmly uphold and apply the principle of
democratic centralism, emphasising criti-
cism and self-criticism and collective lead-
ership; 3. Leninist level of organisation; 4.
Open warmth and selflessness in dealing
with the masses; 5. Sink but don't drown
amongst the masses; 6. Kill all arrogance;
7. Greater scientific thought and reflection
on the problems and difficulties of the party
and revolution; 8. An endto all vacillation; 9.
Bold, firm and a creative style of thought
and action.

The Central Committee in its report
warned the members against the illusion
that the crisis that we are now in can be
quickly and easily solved. It instead called
on them to wage a long and persistent
struggle as the only guarantee to a solution
to these ever-recurring problems.

Bishop and Coard Absent
After the Central Committee's report, Cde.
Liam James called on the members to be
frank, open, cold blooded and objective in
their deliberations and overcome the ten-
dency to be timid. He then pointed out to
the members the reason for Cde. Maurice
Bishop's absence, stating that since the CC
Continued on page 48


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Interviewing George Louison

A PRG Minister Talks About the Killings

By Bernard Diederich

George Louison was minister of ag-
riculture under Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop's People's Re-
public of Grenada. During the internecine
fighting between Bishop and Deputy
Prime Minister Bernard Coard, Louison al-
lied himself with Bishop. Luckier than
other Bishop supporters, Louison sur-
vived "Bloody Wednesday" when Coard's
allies in the military executed Bishop,
three of his ministers, two labor leaders,
and up to 90 of those in the crowd of
Bishop supporters who marched with
"we leader" to Fort Rupert. Having freed
Bishop from the house arrest imposed
upon him by the Central Committee of the
New Jewel movement, now under
Coard's control, the heady crowd, in a
euphoric mood, sought to reestablish
Bishop's authority; instead they marched
with him to disaster Louison escaped a
similar fate because he himself was under
arrest at the time of the murders.
Bernard Diederich talked with George
Louison at his mother's home in Concord,
Grenada, on 12 November 1983. His inter-
view focuses on the events leading up to
and following "Bloody Wednesday." Died-
erich, Time magazine's Caribbean corres-
pondent, has covered Grenada for over a
decade, including the rise of the New
Jewel Movement, the killing of Bishop's
father during anti-Gairy demonstrations,
independence in 1974, the 1979 coup,
and the recent events.
Bernard Diederich: What did the Central
Committee plan to do with Bishop once
they had him under house arrest? Do you
think they actually planned to eliminate
Maurice? I thought at one stage there was a
Ben Bella idea of just removing him from
George Louison: I got the distinct im-
pression from Selwyn Strachan, and one or
two other members to whom I spoke during
the period between Maurice's house arrest
and death, that they wanted a military solu-
tion. A couple of times people said, "Look, a
military solution is not possible in this
thing." As a matter of fact Ben Bella came
up in the discussion. Somebody said,
"You're making a fundamental mistake.

Soviet-made tank approaches Fort Rupert just
prior to Bishop's execution, 19 Oct.

The Algerian army was the best army in
Africa at that time, had just defeated the
French, and could not remove Ben Bella
completely. They had to bring Ben Bella out
to see the masses when the masses de-
manded." They eventually got rid of him,
but when the people asked for him they had
to bring him. He was deposed but not with-
out a very strong intervention from the
They did not respond to that. In fact, Ber-
nard said at one stage that the best proposal
he had heard, the least offensive one, was by
somebody who said: "Maurice, take about
five years in Cuba and just leave the island,
take five years in a kind of exile." He said that
there were many other proposals: people
had said court martial; people had said jail;
people had said keep him under house ar-
rest in Grenada.
BD: Were they still interested in "joint
GL: I had opposed the issue of joint lead-
ership from the day it came up. On the 16th
of September I had opposed it pointing out
that it couldn't work. Theoretically it was
wrong; it was immature; practically it could
not be operationalized. The situation had

reached a point where what I saw was an
ultraleft mistake, voluntarist; it did not con-
sider the stage of things and did not con-
sider the masses and the people. It was a
half-baked idea. When it was presented on
the first day it was not even complete; they
did not have a complete position.
Unison Whiteman had also opposed it,
pointing out that the things that people
were saying Coard could do could be done
easily as a deputy leader. There was no rea-
son why leadership had to be jointly held.
When the voting came on that particular
day, Unison abstained but I voted against. I
was the only one who voted against the joint
leadership at the time.
By the time the house arrest took place
and I started negotiations with Bernard, 1
must say that I saw him in the best mood I
had ever seen him. Good mood, sure. Dur-
ing the negotiation, he was bouyant. He felt
that regardless of what would happen, it was
possible to carry out the removal of Maurice
from power because the party had so much
popularity among the people. Once it was
sold as a party decision and demonstrated
that Maurice was resistant, they thought the
masses of the people would say, "Well look,
you cannot have somebody resisting the
majority in that way." That is why they
coined the term, "principle is principle,"
and went about spending a long time trying
to explain to the people: "If you have an
organization and a majority agrees to some-
thing, one person cannot hold it back."
BD: What about this long negotiation. It
was just you and Unison Whiteman and
GL: Coard attempted to convince us
ideologically that joint leadership had a
strong basis and Maurice should have tried
it. We went over all the ideological argu-
ments. I pointed out to him that it wouldn't
work now, that on the very first day he'd
follow that path it would destroy the party
and destroy the revolution. They had al-
ready destroyed the party because once the
step was taken to put Maurice under house
arrest, the party members could not face
the masses. They were becoming more and
more discredited, and the more they be-
came discredited, the more difficult it would


be for them to work among the people ever
again. They had already destroyed the
party, and if we did not find a solution
quickly, they would destroy the revolution.
Since at the time they were the ones who
were holding the power, I said that if there
was to be any compromise at all they were
the ones who would have to make it. I was
saying that they had to release Maurice
from house arrest, and they had to restore
him as leader of the revolution. The masses
would accept no less than that.
It was very clear that Bernard and com-
pany no longer cared about the masses of
the people. We pointed out that the situation
could easily develop into a civil war because
the people were so incensed they would do
anything to get back their leader, and there-
fore the party had a responsibility to ensure
that no violence took place in the country.
Bernard said that he didn't buy that
scenario because the situation was that he
could permit the people to demonstrate for
any amount of weeks, that they could dem-
onstrate over and over. To use his exact
words, "They could stay in the streets for
weeks, after a while they are bound to get
tired and hungry and want peace." He said
"Williams did it in 1970 and survived, Gairy
did it in '73 to us in St. George's and it could
be done again." So 1 said, "Of course, if you
are sufficiently Machiavellian. Then, I sup-
pose that could be an option."
On Saturday [15 Oct.], Coard's attempt
was to try to win us on ideological grounds.
We met on Saturday for about 21/2 hours, on
Sunday for about 31/2 to 4 hours, and then
we met on Monday for another 4 hours, all
the time discussing the crisis. We were
pointing out to them that there was the ele-
ment of this thing smashing. They had al-
ready smashed the party, and there was
every possibility of smashing the revolution
if they continued as they were going be-
cause by that time the people were losing
patience. We were holding the people back
by saying to them, "Look, we shall have one
possibility of finding a solution."
On the Monday [17 Oct.] when the dis-
cussion ended sometime around five in the
afternoon, Bernard said to us that he will get
the Central Committee to meet that night or
very early next morning to come up with a
concrete proposal, a final position solving
the thing.
During the time we were meeting with
him he was saying that the Central Commit-
tee was not meeting, but they were putting
on the radio that the Central Committee was
meeting regularly. I think the Central Com-
mittee was meeting but they were stalling
us for time. We called on Tuesday morning
and he asked that we call back at noon.
When we called back then, he said the CC
had not completed what they had to but
would complete by two, so call back at two.
When we called him back again, he said
they were still not completed and to call
back at four. When I called back at four,

maybe about 4:20, 1 spoke to him and said:
"What is the situation?" He said the CC was
still meeting and that he could not give an
answer until 2:00 p.m. on the following day,
Wednesday [19 Oct.].
I said that was completely unacceptable
to me because we had been talking for four
days now-we spoke of three days: Satur-
day [15 Oct.], Sunday [16 Oct.] and Mon-
day [17 Oct.]-during which they had
enough time to consult the CC and to brief
them of the progress at the negotiations.
The people had run out of patience;
everyone was asking us why we were hold-
ing them back from coming out on the
streets and protesting. We told Coard to
take a decision that afternoon, thatwe could
not wait until 2:00 p.m. on the following day.
We could not hold back the people any
longer. He said: "At 2:00 p.m.; take it or leave
I said that as far as I knew the CC took only
one day to discuss joint leadership and
agree on it; the reason the CC had hurried it
through was because they said it was so
fundamental. Now, there is a more funda-
mental question of the making or breaking
of the revolution. He said: "2:00 p.m. tomor-
row is it," and we got into a little tangle on
the phone and he broke off the negotiations
by slamming the phone down on me-that
was on Tuesday afternoon [18 Oct.].
Immediately we went out and handed in
our resignations as ministers; that was four
of us: Rhamdhany, Norris Bain, Unison
Whiteman and myself. We started to mobi-
lize people. I got up here where I live just
about six o'clock. The soldiers who nor-
mally guard the house put me under house
BD: What can you tell us of the events of
"Bloody Wednesday," the 19th of October?
GL: They had put a proposal to Bishop
the night before. He said that before he
could reply to them he must see me and
Unison. They took me to him and I had
breakfast with him. I was still under arrest,
so by 9:00 a.m. they came and took me
away. Although I was under arrest, Unison
was not. He must have got to St. George's
after 9:30. By 10:30 they had freed Bishop,
but I didn't witness it.
They took me, maybe a little before 11:00
a.m., to Richmond Hill, put me into a special
cell along with Kenrick Radex and two other
people. It was a special cell, not in the main
prison. In that cell we were looking straight
at St. George's.
At one dclock we saw something hap-
pening at the fort. We saw explosions. It was
1:00 p.m. We thought we saw an accident
because there was a small ammunition
dump very close to where the explosion had
gone up. There was a crowd of people. I
thought maybe somebody had by accident
thrown a cigar butt under the door and the
ammunition had blown up. We said to each
other, "Let's see how long it takes the fire
brigade to get up to the fort." It took 35

minutes before the fire brigade moved up,
and we complained how slow it was.
We had seen a white flare that went up
into the air. Subsequently I understood, by
speaking to a soldier, that the white flare
was the signal that the Central Committee
orders had been carried out. Immediately
that white flare went up, one of the mem-
bers of the Central Committee-it was
Layne, a Lt. Colonel-called and told us to
get to Fort Frederick and chanted "Central
Committee orders given, Central Commit-
tee orders obeyed."
BD: The decision to physically eliminate
Bishop must have been made when Unison
went to Fort Rupert and freed Bishop, don't
you agree?
GL: Yeah, I think so; I think the Central
Committee did that. The reports I have-
including one from a driver of one of the
armored cars-say that Ewart Layne had
said that the masses have taken Maurice
from his house; they didn't know what they
were into then, but this was a very serious
matter and something would have to be
done about it. That was about eleven
clock. By that time the entire CC had
moved to Fort Frederick and was in session.
By around 12:00, three armored cars were
put on standby, told to get their crews ready
and be ready for anything. Forty-five min-
utes later they were told there was a mission.
They left Fort Frederick straight for Fort
Rupert. When they arrived they immediately
started firing; the soldiers jumped out from
the armored car, and the armored car itself
started to fire on the people.
BD: What do you think is going to hap-
pen to Bernard Coard and the others?
GL: My position is that they should be
tried for murder. I think the evidence is very
clear; certainly the evidence that I have been
able to piece together is that the Central
Committee gave the orders. Also, knowing
how the party works, it is absolutely and
completely impossible for the military to
carry out such an act alone.
Liam James and Ewart Layne wielded
the real power in the army; Austin never
held the extent of their power. Layne was the
political bureau person in the army. James
was in charge of the interior: police, intel-
ligence. They wanted to wield military might
rather than wanting to build an army of the
highest professional standards. Their mili-
tarism was a militarism bent on political
I think that it has already been established
who did the shooting on the fort. I think the
execution squad has already been identi-
fied. As far as I know, four people did the
execution, possibly five, but I know four
names. Two are officers and two are ordi-
nary soldiers. One officer was Captain Les-
ter Redhead, and the other officer was First
Lieutenant Iman Abdulah. There is another
soldier called Andy Mitchell, and another
one that I know only by a nickname; they call
him "Inculcate." u







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Library collection rich in area-related materials, particularly for
the Caribbean. Latin American and Caribbean Reading Room
housing special collections, bibliographic and reference materials,
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What Was Uncovered in


The Weapons and Documents

By Nestor D. Sanchez

he OECS-US operation on Grenada
speedily brought a halt to the state of
terror caused by the murders of 19
October and the events surrounding them.
It also gave a windfall to analysts: several
tons of documents, thousands of crated
weapons and millions of rounds of am-
munition, an absurd arsenal for a peaceful
island in the Caribbean.
When the Caribbean states and the
United States hurriedly organized our joint
action which began on 25 October, we
knew nothing of these documents or the
amount of military hardware on the island.
So before reviewing what we found, I think it
worthwhile to sketch an outline of events
from 12 to 25 October in order to give a
historical context to our discoveries.

The Events of October
Dissention within the New Jewel Movement
had been increasing for some time, but
became evident only with the attempt by the
deputy prime minister, Bemard Coard, to
replace Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
Bishop refused to accede to Coard's ambi-
tions, and after a heated discussion at the
12 October 1983 party meeting, Coard re-
signed his post and rallied support for a
showdown. Prime Minister Bishop was
placed under house arrest and the Cuban-
supplied transmitter of Radio Free Grenada,
operated by Phyllis Coard, reported the de-
tention of three cabinet ministers. Mobiliza-
tion Minister Selwyn Strachan announced
that Bernard Coard was the new prime
Five ministers resigned on 18 October:
Jacqueline Creft, Education; Norris Bain,
Housing; George Louison, Agriculture;
Lyden Rhamdhany, Tourism: Unison White-
man, Foreign Minister.
On 19 October, Maurice Bishop was
freed by a crowd of several thousand fol-
lowers. However, he, Jacqueline Creft,
Whiteman, Bain and two union leaders
were murdered at Fort Rupert. Many others
also were killed. Radio Free Grenada an-

Nestor D. Sanchez is US Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Inter-American

nounced an around-the-clock, shoot-on-
sight curfew called by a "Revolutionary Mili-
tary Council" led by General Hudson
Reporting from the island was fragmen-
tary. Alistair Hughes, AFP and CANA corres-
pondent and director of the Grenada weekly
Newsletter, was detained on the night of
19 October and there was fear for his life. He
had been the only independent news link
between Grenada and the rest of the world.
The neighboring Caribbean states im-
mediately called an emergency meeting of
the Organization of Eastern Caribbean
States (OECS), plus Jamaica and Bar-
bados, for 21 October. At that meeting, they
formally resolved to intervene in the situa-
tion if the United States would assist. The
United States shared the concem of the
island states. In addition, we were worried
about the safety of the thousand US citizens
on Grenada.
When it became apparent that some
form of regionally sponsored action was
taking shape, the Cubans moved to consol-
idate their defenses on the island. On 24
October, a Cuban AN-26 transport aircraft
arrived at Pearls Airport with several high-
level military personnel. Fidel Castro later
announced that the group was led by Colo-
nel Tortolo Comas and had the purpose of
"taking charge" of Cuban construction
workers and collaborators on the island. All
evidence indicates that the entire Point Sali-
nes facility was controlled by Cuba and
sealed off to Grenadians.
Before dawn on 25 October, US Rangers
and Marines, many of whom were diverted
from their original mission of relieving our
forces in Lebanon, arrived on the island.
They quickly secured their objectives, de-
spite organized resistance from the small
but experienced Cuban forces. The limited
reaction by Grenadian forces illustrates the
political disarray into which they had fallen.
The Cubans and others of their persua-
sion have called our concern for the safety
of US citizens "a pretext for invasion." Such
a charge does not stand up, and I dismiss it
with the words of Edward P Boland, chair-
man of the House Permanent Select Com-
mittee on Intelligence: "I believe ... that it

was reasonable to consider the Americans
on Grenada in danger after the assassina-
tion of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop ...
conditions on the island were deteriorating
.... There was no prospect for a safe evac-
uation, and there were no guarantees for the
safety of those Americans who might re-
main ... In such a climate, US citizens ...
were in danger, and it was essential to act to
protect them. To require 'hard evidence' of a
threat to US lives in such conditions strikes
me as overly legalistic. Such a requirement
is simply not a practical test when lives
could hang in the balance ...." (New York
Times, 17 November 1983).
Anyone who believes thatwe seized upon
the predicament of our citizens as a pretext
does not understand how Washington
functions. It is our duty to protect United
States citizens from unlawful and dan-
gerous activity to the best of our ability, and
we take this duty seriously.

Grenada's Weapons
If we were somewhat surprised by the reac-
tion of the Cuban "construction workers,"
we were amazed by the size of the weapon
and ammunition stockpiles we uncovered.
Atthe Point Salines depots, these stockpiles
filled several large warehouses and would
have been sufficient to equip two Cuban
infantry batallions for 30 to 45 days of com-
bat Some of the munitions crates were la-
beled, ironically, "Oficina Econ6mica
The following is a preliminary list of the
Soviet weaponry we found on Grenada. It is
reasonably accurate as of this writing, but
changes will be made to the totals when an
item-by-item count is completed.
Rifles and Machine Guns
1,600 AK-47 assault rifle
1,100 Model 52 (Czech)
4,100 KS Rifle (SKS)
3 MK-3
2,400 Mosin Nagent (7.62mm
Soviet rifle)
180 M-1945 submachine gun
600 Miscellaneous sidearms and
Individual infantry weapons and light
machine guns total approximately 9,400.


F ........

Crew Served Weapons
9 PKM 7.62mm machine gun
8 SPG-9 73mm recoilless gun
12 ZU-23 anti-aircraft gun
1 DSHQ 12.7mm machine gun
10 82mm mortar
Ammunition (Rounds or Units)
5,500,000 7.62mm
162 73mm
9,000 82mm mortar
2,320 14.5mm
29,000 12.7mm
86,000 23mm anti-aircraft
366 57mm rocket propelled
940 75mm
24,500 flares
6 RPG 7 rocket propelled
46 RPG 2 rocket propelled
1,800 hand grenades
2 armored fighting vehicles
various military utility vehicles

These weapons form part of a standard
Soviet-supplied arsenal. In addition, we
found small quantities of weapons of a cate-
gory harder to trace. Some of these, like the
Enfield rifles in the list below, probably are
left over from the pre-independence period.
We can only speculate about the source and
purposes of the others, since they would
not be of general military utility in the small
quantities found.

Assorted Weapons
of Various Manufacture
58 Enfield rifle
2 Bren rifle
6 M-16 (US standard infantry

32 M-3 A 1 submachine gun
7 Sterling machine gun
17 Sten MK 2
various Side and small arms
It also is interesting that the hardware
found on the island does not tally with, and
is only a portion of, the weaponry promised
in the agreements the Bishop government
made with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and
North Korea. In many cases, items offered
(such as patrol boats and BTR-60 PB and
BRDM-2 armored vehicles) had not been
delivered, or had been delivered in only
small quantities. Further, we also find weap-
ons delivered which apparently were not
covered under the agreements discovered
so far.

The Documents
The weapons caches, impressive as they
were, were not our most interesting find.
The documents were the true windfall, and
should provide a subject for research for
years to come. They enter more or less into
three categories: international agreements;
intemal party and government documents
and papers; and miscellaneous items such
as letters from disgruntled soldiers, Cuban
training manuals, and Hudson Austin's
briefcase, complete with airline tickets, an
envelope stuffed with $900, and passports.
The original materials either are returned
to the government of Grenada, as in the
cases of the international agreements,
other rightful owners, or held for further
study. In any event, these materials are
being made available for public scrutiny. So
far, three sets of documents have been re-
produced and distributed.
International agreements
To date, the most interesting of these
have been the arms and training agree-
ments, of which we so far have uncovered
five, and have found evidence of a sixth:

The First Grenada-Soviet Agreement
The first "Agreement between the Gov-
emment of Grenada and the Government
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
..." was signed on 27 October 1980, "for
and on behalf of the Govemment of Gre-
nada" by Hudson Austin. It provided that the
Soviet Union "shall ensure in 1980-1981
free of charge the delivery to the Govern-
ment of Grenada of special and other
equipment in nomenclature and quantity
... to the amount of 4.400.000 Roubles...
by sea, at the port of the Republic of Cuba
... shall ensure rendering technical as-
sistance in mastering of the equipment de-
livered under the present Agreement by
receiving Grenadian servicemen for train-
ing in the USSR ... The Government of
Grenada and the Government of the Union
of SSR shall take all the necessary mea-
sures to ensure keeping in secret the terms
and conditions of the deliveries, all the cor-
respondence and information connected
with the implementation of the present
Agreement." (Full texts of all of the agree-
ments are available for study. In the interest
of saving space, I am retaining their exact
wording, but in highly condensed form. The
nomenclature of the "special and other
equipment" is as given, but condensed.
Wording within quotes is in the original
spelling and grammar.)
The agreement called for the transfer of a
long list of items including these:

12 82mm mortars, used
24 RPG-7V antitank hand
grenade launchers
54 6,72mm PKM machine guns
1000 AK submachine guns, used
1000 7,62mm carbines, model
1944, used reconditioned


Page 20: Caribbean troops display Soviet weaponry. Page 22: Stacked Soviet/Cuban ammunition found at Point Salines; Dead
soldier at Fort Rupert. Page 23: Standing guard over Cuban prisoners at Point Salines; Detention cells at Point Salines; Grenadian

18 23mm ZU-23 anti-aircraft
28 GAZ-66-05 vehicles
5 UAZ-469B jeeps

In addition, the agreement listed ammuni-
tion of various types totalling 1,936,100
rounds, and 20 "soldiers' camp tents for 10
men." Since a listing of the very large
amount of support and communication
equipment also called for in these agree-
ments would be extremely tedious, I refer
only to the weapons and munitions offered.
9 February 1981, Protocol
The 1981 protocol to the first agreement
called for the delivery of a further quantity of
equipment, "to the amount of 5.000.000
Roubles." This protocol listed the following
arms, as well as another large lot of

8 BTR60PB armored personnel
2 BRDM-2 armored
reconnaissance and patrol
1000 7,62mm AK submachine
guns, used, reconditioned
300 9mm pistols

More interesting than these is the detailed
listing of other equipment, ranging from
bulldozers to "commander's periscopes...
radiostations ... telephone sets ...
APM-90M automobile light-beacon sta-
tions for landing" and the other parapher-
nalia used by the standard Soviet-equipped
But the most interesting items listed are
the uniforms, some 12,600 complete sets
from underwear to bedding and helmets.
These appear to have been destined for a

force of 6,300 men, since the list includes
that number of blankets, shelter halves, pil-
lows, pots and mattresses.
27 July 1982, Agreement
This agreement calls for the delivery of
"special and civil equipment ... to the
amount of 10.000.000 Roubles," an
amount slightly higher than the sum of the
first two accords. Deliveries, as in all of the
agreements, is to be made through Cuba.
Training in the USSR is provided for. Soviet
specialists will be sent to Grenada to super-
vise maintenance shops, etc.
In the nine-page list of "special equip-
ment to be delivered to the Army of Gre-
nada from the Soviet Union in 1983-1985,"
we find more infantry weapons, and a great
amount and variety of ammunition, includ-
ing 37,500 "B-32 armour-piercing-incen-
diary bullet and steel case" ... 100,000
"7,62mm rifle cartridges," 13,000 hand
grenades, and so forth. We also encounter
the following:

30 76mm ZIS-3 guns, repaired
30 57mm ZIS-2 anti-tank guns,
used, repaired
50 "Grad-P"/90132/ portable
60 82mm BM mortars, used,
50 BTR-152V1 armored
personnel carriers, used,

But there is a second list, this one for
"special material and civilian equipment to
be supplied for the Ministry of the Interior of
Grenada from the Soviet Union in
1982-1985." This appears to be destined
for use by a para-military force independent
of the army, perhaps serving both secret

police functions and as a check on the
armed forces. Again we find large quantities
of ammunition of various calibers, as well as
the following weapons:

20 Light anti-tank rocket
launchers RPG-7V
25 7,62mm machine guns PKM
50 7,62mm submachine guns
13 7,62mm sniper's rifles SVD
600 9mm pistols PM

From the clothing listed, we can surmise
that a policing force of some 600 men was
projected at the time of the agreement. A
quantity of items such as cameras, infrared
viewers, and "PTU-47" television systems
suggests an internal security, surveillance
and repression role.
A Possible Fourth Agreement
There may exist a fourth agreement,
signed in 1983. It appears to call for still
more "special and other equipment valued
at 5.400.000 roubles" and included two pa-
trol gunboats, more ammunition, and
some 3,000 complete uniforms, presum-
ably for 1,500 more men, bringing the total
Soviet provision for Grenadian armed
forces to 7,800 men. As we shall see from
the North Korean agreement, this does not
Continued on page 59


Options for Grenada

The Need To Be Cautious

By Anthony P Maingot

he Eastern Caribbean people are es-
sentially peace loving and demo-
cratic. Violent explosions are not
excluded from that picture but these are
acts of political elites, not mass-based so-
cial or revolutionary movements.
It is clear that not all the facts are in and
"contemporary history" is a field replete
with risks. When all the facts are not known,
it is wise to analyze events such as those still
unfolding in Grenada in terms of what rea-
son and experience tell us about the actors.
To the invading US Marines, this is but
another in a long series of Caribbean land-
ings that, if they had made permanent
holes, would have left the area looking
something like a tropical Swiss cheese. To
be sure, they have always intervened for
The activities of Cuban "workers" are
rapidly catching up to the record of the Ma-
rines. One can well imagine that building
airports in Grenada is far preferable to fight-
ing in Angola or Ethiopia but, in any case, as
Radio Havana kept repeating, Cubans there
were really dying for Cuba. They intervene
for "internationalism."
How honorable that these modern gladi-
ators, like so many medieval armies, oblige
their own political constituencies by fight-
ing in other people's lands. The post-
warfare ceremonies in Washington and
Havana alike were for local consumption.
But what about the Eastern Caribbean
states as actors? Survivors of hundreds of
years of slavery and colonialism, they have
emerged into independence as shining ex-
amples of decency, civility and the will to
develop against all academic theories, theo-
ries that say they cannot: They are too small,
too isolated, without resources and, as one
misinformed reporter after the other keeps
asserting, without any experience with
democratic institutions. The fact is that
there have been 57 elections in the area
since 1951, and, as Table No. 1 illustrates,
the voter turnout has been very high; that
this has been done without taking political
Associate Editor Anthony R Maingot directs
the Graduate Program in International Studies
at FlU. He is past president of the Caribbean
Studies Association.

prisoners or resorting to death squads or
torture makes little impression.
The sad truth is that we live in an age
when even those privileged elites who bene-
fit from the freedoms of democratic sys-
tems tend to ridicule these as "five-minute-
democracies." Everything that is "revolu-
tionary" on the other hand is put beyond the
pale of critical analysis. In a world where the
majority of regimes are not only dictatorial
and repressive but also administratively in-
competent, what the democracies of the
Eastern Caribbean have achieved is the true
revolution, not the revolution of rhetoric.
And yet, these states-without navies or
air force and troops counted in multiples of
ten-have entered a brave new world. They
are in their first rite of passage into man-
hood in a world where 35 cents out of every
dollar is spent on armaments. The area will
never be the same again, though one can
still be optimistic about the future.
How sad it is, indeed, that it was precisely
one of their own "family" that brought about
this watershed and how tragic that it should
have all begun with a dream, a utopia
turned inferno for Grenadians and death to
the dreamers.
The clearest evidence that the beautiful
vision of those who took over Grenada on
13 March 1979, had jumped its tracks came
in June 1981. A group of 26 Grenadians-
including Alistair Hughes, who had bitterly
attacked the previous regime-put out a
mimeographed newspaper called The Gre-
nadian Voice. In the absence of any op-
position parties, they editorialized, it was
important to have an independent source
that would praise or criticize the revolution-
ary regime as need be.
That was the last issue of The Voice. Peo-
ple's Law No. 18 of 19 June 1980, made
sure of that. It prohibited the publishing of
any "newspaper or other paper, pamphlet or
publication containing any public news, in-
telligence or report..." The army and po-
lice were authorized to "arrest without
warrant any person whom he suspects of
committing, having committed or being
about to commit any offense under this
law." The law was signed by Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop.

Cuban detainees on Grenada.

A paid advertisement in the government
newspaper, Free West Indian, on 18 July
1981, indicated that there was a guilt-by-
association atmosphere already present. In
the ad, one of the 26 editors disclaimed any
connection with The Voice and vowed that
he was no counterrevolutionary and cer-
tainly not a CIA agent. Both the law and the
intellectual climate made it clear that
Bishop and the People's Revolutionary Gov-
ernment (PRG) had traveled a long way
from the early days of heady intellectualiz-
ing, of utopian thinking about a Grenada
free from any form of oppression. What,
then, was the origin of those ideas and who
were the people who held them?

The movement was called the New Jewel
Movement and was created in 1973 by the
merger of two very small groups of urban
middle-class Grenadians opposed to the
rule of Eric Gairy, whose party, the Grena-
dian United Labour Party (GULP), had won
six elections since 1951. The first group was
composed of four young men (Unison
Whiteman, Selwyn Strachan, Sebastian
Thomas and T Victor) who had tried their




hand in electoral politics, participating in
the 1972 election under the banner of the
anti-Gairy Grenadian National Party (GNP).
They all lost.
Gairy was still a hero to the black peas-
antry, still popular in a land where class and
color conflicts were played out in ram-
bunctious elections that invariably pitted a
black messiah (Gairy) against the
brownskin professionals and their urban al-
lies in the GNR
And here is where a seldom-told truth
about Grenada has to be told: it was Gairy
who presided over the first major social and
economic revolution in Grenada. With a
major assist from world economic realities,
he forced the capitulation of what remained
of the old plantocracy; Grenada had be-
come a nation of small, medium and a few
large farms, nutmeg and cacao inter-
spersed with bananas and food crops-all
largely for export. Even Gairy's increasingly
bizarre behavior failed to totally undermine
his support in the black peasantry.
The intelligentsia knew that something
had to be done to break this pattern. The
four defeated young men decided to create
a movement they called "The Jewel," for

Joint Effort for Welfare, Education and Lib-
eration. There was much of Tanzania's
Nyrere doctrine of Christian Socialism in
their goal of educating the peasantry in self-
sufficiency and self-pride.
Fate would have it that more or less at the
same time two lawyers in the capital of St.
George's, Maurice Bishop and Kenrick
Radix, were leading a "discussion group" of
some 30 people called the Movement of
Assemblies (MAP). While Radix would al-
ways say that they were nationalists not in-
terested in dogmas, it would later be
revealed that Bishop had already made a
fundamental decision in life: He would be a
revolutionary. Born in Aruba of a prominent
Grenadian family, educated in Britain, he
was a six-foot-three picture of good looks,
intelligence and captivating charm. So was
George Oldum of St. Lucia, a Rhodes
scholar, Oxford graduate and local sports
hero. These two had met a year earlier on
Rat Island off St. Lucia to plan a strategy for
the "liberation" of the Eastern Caribbean.
They remained allies to the end, representa-
tives of a whole generation of Eastern Ca-
ribbean radical intellectuals who sought
power during the 1970s.

By this time Gairy's Grenada had be-
come a West Indian aberration, the laugh-
ingstock of the region, represented in the
United Nations by a defrocked Colombian
priest who spoke no English, a haven for the
Mafia and fugitives of every ilk. Increasingly
indignant and ashamed, the leaders of The
Jewel and MAP were merged into the New
Jewel Movement in March 1973 with
Bishop and Whiteman becoming the "joint
coordinating secretaries."
They issued a manifesto that is an impor-
tant piece of West Indian utopian thinking.
Their goal was to "replace the present politi-
cal system," destroy "the whole class rela-
tionship" and, in general, generate "a
dynamic process of developing self-re-
liance and attaining self-sufficiency in all
areas of our lives-economic, cultural, po-
litical and spiritual." The expectations of
self-sufficiency were based on the ancient
and universal hope of an active peasantry
producing enough surplus. That old aspira-
tion was now tied to the modern idea of the
small-island agro-industry.
The document reflected the level of so-
phistication and modernity that had already
made the societies of the English-speaking


Caribbean stand out in the Third World:
They were educated and traveled, they had
intellectualized ideas and development
plans as varied as classical Marxism-Leni-
nism, Tanzanian Christian Socialism, West
India "New World" grassroots developmen-
talism and American Black Power

Revolutionary Utopianism
But what do you do when the peasantry is
caught in the grips of Gairy's primitive poli-
tics? The New Jewel Movement could not
have been more clear: "To all of us," they
said, "the fundamental, urgent and crucial
question is the taking of political power by
the organized people so as to clear up this
mess and to set the island back on course."
But even as the political goal was clear, the
second part of the sentence indicated an
understanding of what the middle class
yearned for: Cleaning out Prime Minister
Gairy's closets and stables meant a return to
simpler, more honest, peaceful and decent
The pitch was utopian revolutionary
aspiration and conservative nostalgia for re-
demption and spiritual regeneration rolled
into one package. But, then, so it had been
in Cuba in 1958-59 and Nicaragua in
1979-both mass movements that carried
revolutionary elites to power on a wave of
collective moral indignation. If this were all
there was to the New Jewel Movement, it
would hardly warrant further discussion.

There was much more.
There was the full outline of a totally dif-
ferent political system that intended to re-
place political parties, trade unions and
other established institutions. It was predi-
cated on two ideas with influences of a per-
ceived African past: First was to give the
grassroots direct power; at any time the
Village Assemblies could replace the people
at any level including the National Council.
This was direct democracy, power flowed
up rather than trickling down. Second was
the idea of collective leadership: "All impor-
tant decisions will be made by the whole
group. There will be no premier."
Whatever else it was, this was not a Marx-
ist-Leninist blueprint: There was no role for
a "vanguard" party, and it did not project
ongoing class conflict and the eventual dic-
tatorship of the proletariat. Because they
emphasized agriculture, they opposed the
typical Third World emphasis on what they
called "prestige dream" projects. Most im-
portant of these was the old idea of a new
airport. Both the conservative GNP and
Gairy's GULP had advocated building it but
the NJM's Manifesto was categorically op-
posed: "We are not in favour of building an
international airport at this time. The pre-
sent airport is more than adequate for our
needs." This was in keeping with the 1978
report to the World Bank that warned
against overly ambitious airport construc-
tion projects in the smaller islands (The
Commonwealth Caribbean. Sidney E.

Cherwick, Chief of Mission).
As with the rest of their utopian blueprint,
the airport was never a campaign issue. In
the only elections in which they ever partici-
pated (1976), they were part of the People's
Alliance, a coalition of three parties that in-
cluded the much longer established Gren-
adian National Party. Therefore, one can
only make a rough guess as to the move-
ment's popularity. In 1976, 40,782 or 65
percent of the electorate voted and the Al-
liance received 48 percent of the votes cast
and won six of the 15 seats in Parliament. Of
these six, three were New Jewel Movement
candidates (Bishop and Whiteman and a
relatively new member, Bernard Coard)
who together gathered 25 percent of the
voting electorate.
This figure is only adequate to make one
point: The New Jewel Movement was by no
stretch of the imagination a national mass
movement. And yet, in 1976, the NJM had
found its natural constituency: The new 18-
year-old voters with plenty of time on their
hands, unemployed but literate and, per-
haps fundamental, with little or no attach-
ment to the parliamentary system. They
wanted action now.
On 13 March 1979, a swift and virtually
bloodless coup put the New Jewel Move-
ment in position to implement its utopia.
Gairy's excesses made the coup popular
and his 65-man defense force and 50-man
"mongoose gang" collapsed like a house of
cards. There was no immediate internal


Table No 1

(% of Electorate Voting)
St. Kitts- Nevis-
Year B'dos Antigua Montserrat Anguilla Dominica Grenada St. Lucia St. Vincent

1951 64.6 70.3 n.a. n.a. 75.9 70.6 51.1 69.2
1954 n.a. n.a. 70.3 67.4 49.4 59.8
1956 60.3 57.0 n.a. n.a. -
1957 n.a. n.a. 75.6 68.5 56.8 70.9
1960 40.0 68 61
1961 61.3 76.9 55.5 77.1
1965 n.a. 51.9
1966 79.3* 53.6 70.3 80.3 (1964) 84.1
1970 83.0 81.6 77.1 53.2 82.6
1971 81.6 56.4 87.9 (1967) (1969) (1967)
1973 70.3 83.5* 84.1 75.6
1975 72.0 77.3 (1972) (1974) (1972)
1976 74.1 95.0* 65.3
1978 78.2 68.0 63.2
(1979) (1974)

Average 70.2 63.7 69.2 74.1 76.8 70.1 60.4 72.9

Source: Patrick A.M. Emmanuel, General Elections in the Eastern Caribbean; A Handbook (Barbados: ISER, 1979)

armed threat to an NJM initiative.

Party Command
When that initiative came, however, it
looked quite different from the 1979 utopia:
There was a hierarchy of command, and
power trickled down. The party's central
committee, not any people's assemblies,
provided the leadership of what was now
called the People's Revolutionary Govern-
ment (PRG). Rather than a people's police
force, the people's revolutionary armed
forces (with former sergeant Hudson Austin
now its commanding general) was trained
and equipped by the Cubans. The East Ger-
mans trained the secret police.
Rather than the Village Assemblies,
mass organizations" were led by the inner
circle. Rather than grassroots agricultural
development, the PRG's energies were
taken up by a major airport that became the
centerpiece of the nations' development
plan. It would serve, they argued, a major
new initiative in tourism--rejected in 1973
as encouraging "national-cultural pros-
A new blueprint was revealing itself, a
new description of Grenadian reality. They
were, said Bernard Coard, using language
straight from Moscow's "Internationalist"
vocabulary, in the "national democratic"
stage. This stage had three distinct charac-
teristics: (1) A continual enhancement of the
state sector; (2) a stimulation of production
in the private sector (the "Nationalist bour-
geoisie"), and (3) a socialist-oriented, "inter-
nationalist" foreign policy.
Because these are not "stages" in the
Marxian sense of development, but more
Leninist party-directed objectives, it is no-
torious that the fly in the ointment of this
plan is objective No. 2. Not surprisingly, the
regime split into "scientific" and "pragma-
tic" wings over the appropriate role of the
private sector. Once Bishop admitted (as he
did to Cuba's Gramma in July 1981) that
"the state sector alone cannot develop the
economy" and once the state-directed "co-
operative sector" produced little more than
subsistence and minor cash crops, this pri-
vate sector necessarily took on importance.
Theoretical discussions over "develop-
ment strategies" were reported by sym-
pathetic allies (and later revealed in
captured documents) to have become an-
gry battles over day-to-day decisions. For
example, should Grenada participate in the
then upcoming November 1983 Caribbean
Conference in Miami, tilted as it would be
toward private-sector initiatives?
The first sign that the typical succession
battle in authoritarian socialist states was in
full gear was Bernard Coard's call for a re-
turn to collective leadership. Coard was
known to control a semi-secret "cell" within
the New Jewel Movement, the military-civil-
ian Marxist discussion group called the
Organization for Educational Advancement

and Research. His military man in that
group was Grenada's ambassador to Cuba,
Major Leon Cornwall, who returned to Gren-
ada just in time to play a key role in the
events that ended tragically in the shooting
of Bishop and four of his closest NJM asso-
ciates. It was Cornwall who emerged on 15
October to announce that while "the Party"
recognized Bishop's contributions during
the past 10 years, "our process as it devel-
ops is becoming more complex" and that
changes were required, fundamentally
"strengthening the work of the party and the
Revolution." (Reported by Foreign Broad-
cast Information Service, 17 October
1983). In the struggle for power such argu-
ments about entering "new stages" are
mere ideological rationalizations.
What, then, triggered the bloody denoue-
ment? Bishop's trip to the United States and
his search for a rapprochement with the
Reagan administration? His hint to West In-
dian leaders that a "constitutional process"
would start in Grenada? Was the utopian
beacon still calling? Reason tells us that
were it only Bishop who was assassinated,
that could be seen as a personal matter
between competing leaders. But since it
was virtually the whole group of original
1973 utopians who were eliminated, it be-
came what Machiavelli called an "act of
We will never read Bishop's memoirs. We
will never fully understand these four years
of revolution. Another chance of knowing
ourselves better has been buried with the

And, yet, there are some lessons that can
be drawn from the West Indian tragedy.
First, despite its imperfections, parlia-
mentary democracy does what au-
thoritarian systems can never do: solve the
problem of succession. It is disheartening to
know that what took place in Grenada was
akin to the Stalin vs. Trotsky battle of the
1920s. In both cases the totalitarian state
was still in its infancy. The one that will
inevitably come in Cuba will probably be
more akin to the Krushchev vs. Malenkov
vs. Beria struggle simply because of the
consolidation of state control in both cases.
Second, precisely because the problem
of succession often presents opportunities
to influence events in authoritarian states,
their diplomatic isolation is conterproduc-
tive. In this regard, the Organization of East-
ern Caribbean States, by refusing to isolate
Bishop during the nearly five years of his
rule behaved more rationally than the
United States; they, not the United States,
should be fully in charge of helping Gren-
ada return to the democratic fold.
As this is written, there is no evidence that
the intervention was legal. The United
States claims humanitarian reasons that, if
true, would justify a rescue operation, but
not the overthrow of the regime. The
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
claims a preemptive strike that has no legal
grounds in the OECS, UN or OAS charters.
And yet, in these deeply law-abiding states,
which for nearly five years respected Gren-
ada's right to shape its own destiny, the
intervention enjoyed wide support. (In


Table No 2
Experience of Being Overseas
Longer than 3 Months
Barbados St. Kitts Nevis St. Vincent St. Lucia
Total with this
experience (%) 23.1 50.0 42.3 32.0 33.9
USA* 36.8 41.8 36.3 8.5 18.9
U.K. 13.0 9.0 18.2 19.1 13.5
Canada 9.6 1.8 -0- 2.1 4.5
English-Sp. Carib. 21.5 14.5 27.3 36.2 26.1
Received 45.8 59.3 67.3 56.0 40.5
Choice of
USA* 61.6 40.9 69.3 39.4 41.6
U.K. 11.0 9.1 15.4 10.6 11.5
Canada 21.9 18.2 15.4 15.4 13.3
English-Sp. Carib. 2.8 15.9 -0- 24.1 8.0
Source: Institute of Social and Economic Research, UWI (Barbados), "Four
Country Questionnaire Survey, 1980" (February 1980).
'Mainland, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands

Jamaica, public opinion was divided by po-
litical party loyalties: Seaga's JLP support-
ers were 76 percent in favor, Manley's PNP
38 percent and the communist party, the
Workers Party of Jamaica, 0 percent.
Among those unaffiliated the support was
58 percent, 24 percent against-see the
Carl Stone poll,Jamaica Weekly Gleaner,
7 November 1983. In Trinidad the invasion
was supported by 63 percent while 56 per-
cent felt that Trinidad should have joined the
Caribbean forces (The Express, 6 Novem-
ber 1983).
The people's reasons are a complex
blend of revulsion at the brutal murders and
a sense of communal solidarity with those
believed to be oppressed. There are an esti-
mated 120,000 Grenadians living in Trin-
idad; is it any surprise that their concerns
were also the concerns of the rest of the

The Future
The fundamental question for Grenada
now, however, is not whether the peoples of
the Eastern Caribbean support the invasion
but whether that island nation has the re-
sources (constitutional, political and psy-
chological) to build a democratic state. The
constitutional question is crucial.
S.A. de Smith, the British constitutional
authority, voiced a widely-held belief when
he noted that "in developing countries, con-
stitutional factors will seldom play a domi-
nant role in the shaping of political history"
(in The New Commonwealth and its
Constitutions, 1964). Whether Grenada
will provide an exception to de Smith's gen-
eral rule depends on how some fundamen-
tal questions are answered.
First did the New Jewel Movement's 1979
coup d'etat destroy the entire constitutional
framework of Grenada, as established in its
independence constitution of 1974? Did
Grenada stop being a constitutional mon-
archy in the British Commonwealth?
If the answers to these questions are yes,
there is nothing further to discuss; de
Smith's observation will stand confirmed,
and there is nothing left to do other than to
start the rebuilding process from scratch.
If the answers are no, a second set of
questions are crucial: What was, or were, the
elements of that system that remained in-
tact, and what (if any) was the scope of their
power before the invasion and their conti-
nuity of power to the present?
The last five years of the people's revolu-
tionary government in Grenada would indi-
cate that the 1979 coup leaders did not seek
to destroy the constitutional system in its
entirety-at least not immediately. Grenada
remained within the British Common-
wealth, and the new prime minister, Maurice
Bishop, regularly attended the common-
wealth head of state meetings presided over
by Queen Elizabeth II. Promises to restore a
"purified parliamentary system," while

never strongly asserted, were occasionally
heard, most recently and clearly from
Bishop himself, just before he was
But, more important, the post of Gover-
nor General was kept, and the occupant
since 1978, Sir Paul Scoon, was retained.
The constitutional provision that the execu-
tive authority of Grenada "may be exercised
on behalf of Her Majesty by the governor
general" was still operational.
One of the intriguing questions about
those five years of authoritarian rule is why
the People's Revolutionary Government

In the struggle for power,
arguments about entering
"new stages" are mere
ideological rationalizations.

considered it desirable to retain the post of
Governor General.
One answer could be that, given the basi-
cally conservative nature of Grenadian soci-
ety, the traditional respect for the post, plus
the prestige of the occupants, persuaded
the Marxist-Leninist government elite that
the governor general was useful in a period
of transition. From all appearances the post
carried little authority, especially during pe-
riods of full parliamentary governments,
which might have further convinced them
that it was a cheap and unthreatening link to
less-than-revolutionary sectors of society
and to traditional respectability.
As it turns out, the post of governor gen-
eral-typical of the split executive in the
British system-was geared not really to-
ward handling extra-constitutional acts
such as a coup d'etat butto handling excep-
tional constitutional situations such as
death or the absence of one or another
branch of the executive. This is done by
providing for the governor general to "act
on his own deliberate judgment" when ex-
ceptional circumstances arise.
On the basis of Grenada's constitutional
provisions for peacetime exceptions, the
case can be made that there was a function-
ing governor general after the 1979 coup.
The argument is as follows:
First, since Parliament had not met since
March 1979, and since by law there should
be no interval longer than six months be-
tween sittings, Parliament can be consid-
ered to have been legally dissolved. Second,
on dissolution the governor general "shall
act in his own deliberate judgment" to ap-
point as prime minister anyone who was a
member of the House of Representatives
"immediately before dissolution." It would

appear therefore, that the governor gen-
eral's constitutional authority in this rebuild-
ing phase is clear.
But what about Grenada's political in-
frastructure? Was there sufficient constitu-
tional history to have created the experi-
ence, manpower and political culture
necessary for independent action? The an-
swer here has to be yes. Between the aboli-
tion of outright colonial status in 1951 and
the coup of 1979, there have been eight
elections in Grenada under universal suf-
frage, and a fairly stable two-party system
had emerged. In 1972 for instance, 83.5
percent of the electorate voted. During that
period Grenadian legal and political elites
had participated in processes as varied and
complex as the creation of a West Indies
federation, an attempted unitary statehood
relationship with Trinidad and Tobago, total
political independence, failed association
with Guyana and the other Eastern Carib-
bean states, and successful memberships
in the Caribbean Common Market and the
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
The people with experience and patriot-
ism are there, and the Governor General has
the authority to work with them. The provi-
sional government he has established is
proof of the available talent. No spurious
challenges by those whose whole philo-
sophy and behavior attest to their rejection
of parliamentary systems should be allowed
to obstruct their vital mission.
Nor should the US occupying forces en-
gage in that obstruction which could most
easily occur if they attempt some sort of
"guardianship," or worse, "protectorate," on
the island.
Such efforts in Cuba, the Phillipines and
Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American
War should warn Americans about the dire
consequences of anything except total po-
litical independence in the post- "libera-
tion" stage.
That total independence will take place in
the context of a very "special relationship"
between the United States and the Carib-
bean, the Eastern Caribbean in specific.
Table No. 2 illustrates one of the most vital
aspects of that relationship: migration.
Table No. 2 shows that not only have West
Indians been in the USA in large numbers
but, if given their choice, would preferably
reside there. They know this country and
they purposefully chose it over others. This
is an integral part of that special relationship
and should be given the importance it de-
serves. Once this is done we then realize that
these democratic societies of the Caribbean
form more than a "backyard," a "sphere of
influence," a "vital strategic region." Given
the way the world is organized, they may or
may not be all that. What cannot be in doubt
is that they are allies, committed to pluralis-
tic democracy and human rights and it is to
that fold that they all want Grenada back.
Surely the USA will want no less. O


Did Suriname Switch?

Dialectics a la Dante

By Edward Dew

News of the US invasion of Grenada
was hardly out when it was reported
that up to 100 Cubans-including
the ambassador-had been expelled from
Suriname. It looked as if President Reagan
had killed two revolutionary birds with one
stone. But was there really a link between
the two cases? Not if we can believe official
Surinamese accounts alleging that the ous-
ter decision had been reached two days
before the invasion. Nevertheless, the ear-
lier execution of Maurice Bishop must have
shaken Desi Bouterse, Suriname's military
strongman, who had found in Bishop not
only a brilliant role model but an intimate
friend as well. Both leaders had been edg-
ing politically to their right, risking the wrath
of their more doctrinaire Marxist allies, both
domestic and foreign. A successful coup
coming about in previously tranquil Gren-
ada rather than in volatile Suriname could
very likely have triggered the decision on
the Cubans, as many reported.
But it is also possible that the move was a
more calculated and opportunistic gesture
to woo, or at least disarm, Brazil, the United
States and The Netherlands. Suriname's
rightward move was not coordinated with
Grenada's. Both developed independently
as responses to growing economic difficul-
ties-difficulties that in Suriname's case
were especially severe, owing to the loss of a
billion-dollar Dutch foreign-aid program
following Bouterse's execution of fifteen
prominent critics of his regime in Decem-
ber 1982.
Throughout the first half of 1983, Sur-
iname had careened internationally and
ideologically between the Cubans, Bra-
zilians, and the Bolivia-Colombia-Amster-
dam drug underworld. If this last group was
the only power with anything really lucrative
to offer the desperate dictator, florid
allegations in the Dutch press may have
scuttled any deal. As for the others, the
Brazilians seemed more than able to offset
any Cuban offers with deals (and threats) of
their own. Yet neither Cuba nor Brazil was

Edward Dew chairs the politics department at
Fairfield University. He is the author of The
Difficult Flowering of Surinam: Ethnicity and
Politics in a Plural Society.

Desi Bouterse. Illustration by Ernesto Pereira
offering more than modest training pro-
grams, technical assistance, military credits
and barter deals. With foreign reserves
dropping 50 percent or more in the first six
months of 1983, the end was clearly in sight
for the regime's most ambitious develop-
ment projects.
Because the killings had driven off all but
his most radical supporters, Bouterse had
great difficulty fashioning a civilian cabinet
to govem the country. Within three months
of its presentation, in March 1983, Bouterse
had purged it of one of its most pro-Cuban
members, Sgt. Maj. Badressein Sital, Minis-
ter of Culture and People's Mobilization.
Subsequently arrested and later allowed to
go into exile to Cuba, Sital had opposed any
dealings with Brazil or rapprochement with
the Dutch. A cluster of radicals around Sital
were similarly removed from power.
The approach of the blacks' principal
secular holiday on 1 July, "Keti Koti," or
Abolition Day, prompted Bouterse to
launch a new political initiative in an effort to
preempt any countermoves, such as com-
paring the old and new slaveries. Holding a
mass rally on 30 June, which he labeled the
"day of national unity," Bouterse attacked
both the Dutch and the United States-the
latter for having contemplated an invasion


of Suriname by the CIA in January, a fact
revealed in the US press only a few weeks
before. Bouterse went on to announce
plans for a new umbrella political move-
ment, uniting all the revolution's support-
ers. The new organization would be called
the 25th of February Unity Movement, after
the 1980 date of the original coup. He an-
nounced other institutional changes, in-
cluding the planned tripling of the army to
10,000 men, doubling the police to 10,000,
and forming Cuban-style youth brigades,
with up to 50,000 members.
A crowd estimated at close to 10,000 saw
demonstrators march through Paramaribo
carrying enormous placards with the pho-
tographs of Bouterse, Che Guevara and An-
ton de Kom, a communist school teacher
and political organizer of the 1930s who
died in a Nazi concentration camp. Linking
himself with these near-mythical figures,
Bouterse seemed intent upon building a
personality cult that made lavish use of the
radicals' language and techniques, while
holding them at arm's length. The PALU
(Progressive Union of Workers and Farm-
ers) and the RVP (Revolutionary People's
Party) had moved in and out of Bouterse's
inner circle over the preceding four years,
but neither had a large following nor the
likelihood of ever acquiring one. Moreover,
their long-standing rivalry did little to ad-
vance the cause of revolutionary unity.
PALU was fearful of too close a tie with
Cuba, opting instead for the Brazilian con-
nection. The RVP, for its part, was intimately
tied to the Cuban line, and its leaders were
known to be in constant touch with Oscar
Osvaldo Chrdenas, the Cuban ambassador.
Ironically, the RVP was also reported to favor
rapprochement with The Netherlands
(Cuban pragmatism at work?), while the
PALU was virulently anti-Dutch. Perhaps it
was inevitable that Bouterse should have to
rise above this melee, if only to keep his
options open. Dutch papers, for example,
reported that even as Suriname was expel-
ling Chrdenas, Bouterse had dispatched
Ambassador Henk Herrenberg from The
Hague to Havana to explain the action and
to speed up preparations for the as-yet-un-
opened Surinamese Embassy in Havana.
Was a switch really on?

To The Right
On the day Bouterse was holding forth in
Paramaribo, I had the opportunity to inter-
view former president Henk Chin A Sen and
former speaker of parliament Emile Wijn-
tuin at a meeting in Caracas. They told me
that Bouterse had invited a number of his
enemies among the democratic parties to
meet with him that morning in the name of
political reconciliation. Most, like Wijntuin
and Chin A Sen, rejected the overture. Yet a
number did respond, especially from the
Suriname National Party (NPS), the party
Bouterse drove from power in 1980.
Virtually ignoring the cabinet and leftist
parties, Bouterse held a number of meet-
ings with theseNPSers, and in late Septem-
ber sent a two-man delegation to The
Hague to explore grounds for talks with the
motherland. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minis-
ter Erroll Alibux (PALU) visited Washington
for talks at the State Department and, ac-
cording to Latin American Weekly Re-
port, for a presidential reception as well. On
11 October, two weeks before the Grena-
dian invasion, Bouterse joined Alibux in the
United Nations, giving a speech to the Gen-
eral Assembly that curiously omitted any
reference to Cuba or Grenada but called for
the removal of all foreign troops from
Afghanistan. Ten days later, a mission of
highly respected NPS leaders was on its
way to The Hague to try to negotiate re-
institution of Dutch aid. As these most re-
cent events show, Bouterse's political
resourcefulness seemed endless. The push
to the right, whatever its significance, was at
least four months in the making.
The irony in all this is that right, left, or
straight ahead, Bouterse remains dead-end
bound. If Cuban, Brazilian and other aid
only amounted to marginal amounts of
manpower and materiel, the financial aid of
the United States, canceled in the wake of
the December killings, had itself amounted
to only about one percent of the annual
Dutch disbursements. Moreover, Wash-
ington's pleasure at the apparent success of
Brazilian overtures is unlikely to signify the
resumption of aid. Getting cruise missiles
into The Netherlands takes priority, and
mounting public protests in The Hague
mean that anything could happen in the
two years before deployment. A Sur-
inamese request for $100 million in IMF
assistance will be decided sometime early
in 1984; and with the new leverage the
Dutch possess over the votes of their NATO
allies, they may be able to control that deci-
sion too.
In any event, the path to The Hague taken
by Bouterse's NPS envoys seems the only,
even marginally, hopeful one. In early
November, a spokesman for the Dutch
minister for development assistance said
that nothing had changed in their condi-
tions for the unfreezing of economic aid:
there must be a retum to democracy, in-
cluding the restoration of an independent

judiciary, a free press and freedom of
speech. Moreover, there must be "an ac-
ceptable explanation" for the December
killings. Although the NPS envoys claimed
to be bringing concessions on every point,
their talks with the Dutch apparently found-
ered. Bouterse had not put his head on the
NPS trading block after all; the Dutch would
settle for nothing less.
So, what has changed? Most of the
Cubans-amounting to a hundred or so
technicians, teachers, medical personnel,
half the embassy staff and some depen-
dents are gone. Over 100 Surinamese
youth studying in Cuba were summoned
home, along with Suriname's distinguished
poet, Dobru (Robin Ravales), who was re-
ceiving medical care there. (Within two
weeks of his retum, Dobru was dead-pos-
sibly another name to be inscribed on Bou-
terse's ruthless account). Don Bohning, of
The Miami Herald, speculates that the
Cubans had seriously planned to install
Sital-once considered the ideologue of
the revolution-in Bouterse's place. In any
case, Suriname's relations with Cuba, Bou-
terse told a television audience 25 October,
had become "increasingly unmanageable"
in recent months, "a result both of the tur-
bulent development of these relations ...
and more especially of the somewhat indi-
vidual style of the Cuban ambassador....

A month later, on the eighth anniversary of
Suriname's independence, Bouterse again
summoned an assemblage of roughly
10,000 to the main square to announce
formation of the "Stanvaste Unity Move-
ment." (Apparently, the date of the military's
coup was now felt to hold insufficient emo-
tive power. Thus, a local flower, the stan-
vaste, took its place.) "Stanvaste is not a
political party," he told a press conference
afterwards, "so if PALU and RVP recognize
a sufficient unity of purpose with the move-
ment, they will be permitted to join it. Any-
one may apply."
Those formally running the movement
were Bouterse, Capt. Etienne Boereveen,
head of People's Mobilization, and Paul
Bhagwandas, the latter identified as princi-
pal executioner in the 8 December killings.
Nevertheless, Peter Schumacher of Rotter-
dam's NRC-Handelsblad identifies ex-for-
eign minister Harvey Naarendorp, now
Bouterse's closest advisor, as the brains be-
hind the whole operation. Naarendorp,
identified with the RVP faction, was report-
edly engaged in his own running rivalry with
Prime Minister Alibux, and rumors about
this latest struggle circulated widely in the
news-starved country. This, too, enhanced
Bouterse's ultimate control.
What were the principles of Stanoaste?
"Anti-imperialism and anticolonialism."
"Revolution." "Real democracy." Such
terms, remaining undefined, peppered the
conceptbasisprogramma presented by

Bouterse. Dutch aid, he said, had been too
sizeable, crippling the country's self-re-
liance. American aid, if it was to resume,
must be given under conditions of mutual
respect. More threatening was his curious
public reassurance that a repeat of the
events of 8 and 9 December would never
occur as long as the revolutionary path were
not blocked by force.
The Christian Council of Churches as-
sailed the conceptbasisprogramma as
showing "insufficient recognition of the
people's worth and intelligence, thus lack-
ing the means to inspire them." In particu-
lar, it ran the risk of abandoning much of the
old constitutional and social structures of
the pre-1980 period for no good reason.
Meanwhile, the government was de-
manding that time be set aside in all places
of employment for propaganda meetings
between workers and government spokes-
men and "motivational meetings" of the
workers themselves. With informers al-
legedly everywhere, life became in-
creasingly grey and fearful. Illustrative was
the NRC-Handelsblad story of an insur-
ance executive who made the mistake of
firing an employee married to a member of
the People's Militia. The executive, formerly
a minister in an earlier revolutionary gov-
ernment, found himself the target of anony-
mous personal threats. Later his office was
broken into by militiamen apparently
searching for incriminating evidence of his
political disloyalty.
Political criteria replaced more objective
standards in all fields. Bouterse loyalists
were placed on the board of directors of the
Central Bank regardless of their economic
qualifications. Real estate was purchased,
and improvements made, at state ex-
pense-the profiteering military having evi-
dently learned some lessons from Somoza.
Foreign travel, too, was extended in reward
for loyalty. Ironically, however, the landing
rights for KLM were withdrawn without first
securing an alternative carrier to make the
long Amsterdam-Paramaribo route. After
two months of searching, none had been
found at all-heightening the sense of iso-
lation of the 350,000 Surinamers from the
200,000 or more of their kin in The Nether-
lands and elsewhere.
On the eve of the independence anniver-
sary, fires broke out in the government radio
station, an office building, and a warehouse.
A week later a number of people were ar-
rested, accused of sowing discontent to
prepare the way for an invasion of mercen-
aries from The Netherlands. Suriname en-
ters 1984 much as it entered 1983, moving
inexorably through yet another round in the
familiar dialectic of repression/
relaxation/unrest/repression. It's a down-
ward dialectic, however, one that is probably
more familiar to Dante than to Marx. But it
leaves Suriname as unpredictable as ever.
Sorry, Washington! The more Bouterse
switches, the more he stays the same. O


The Jamaican Reaction

Grenada and the Political Stalemate

By Carl Stone

ne of the important developments
in Jamaican politics over the past
decade has been the insertion and
impact of international issues in domestic
politics and the consequent effects on polit-
ical alignments and voting behavior. The
assassination of Grenada's Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop and the subsequent inva-
sion of that country by the United States,
represent international events which have
had a major impact on domestic politics in
Jamaica. Because of the close involvement
of the two major parties and political leaders
in Jamaica with events in Grenada, the po-
litical crisis in that country and the US-led
counterrevolution redefined the agenda of
issues in Jamaican politics to a degree that
influenced partisan leanings, election strat-
egies, and the calling of elections by the
governing Jamaica Labour Party.

Jamaica and Grenada
Since the 1979 coup which brought the
Bishop-led People's Revolutionary Govern-
ment to power, Grenada has been an issue
of considerable salience in Jamaican poli-
tics. The Bishop regime had developed
close ties with Michael Manley's democratic
socialist People's National Party. After Man-
ley lost power in 1980, a number of persons
affiliated to the PNP and active in the Manley
government were recruited by Grenada to
serve in technocratic, administrative and
political educational roles. Party-to-party
contacts between the PNP and the New
Jewel Movement were very close, as were
the relations between Bishop and Manley.
Both had close ties to Cuba and shared a
common dislike for the foreign policies of
US President Ronald Reagan, who, in turn,
regarded both leaders and their parties as
agents of international communism.
In the course of several visits to Jamaica,
Maurice Bishop had left a lasting and sharp
image as a radical leftist leader with a deep
commitment to the interests of the poorer
classes and a strong belief in the socialist
Carl Stone is professor of government at Uni-
versity of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and
a leading pollster and newspaper columnist.
He is the author of several books on Caribbean
politics .

path to Caribbean development. His charis-
matic political style endeared him to PNP
supporters, and the image he projected was
that of being a leader in the mold of Michael
Manley. The New Jewel Movement and
Bishop were seen in Jamaica as a Grena-
dian extension of the People's National
Party. Perceptions of Grenada were, there-
fore, extremely partisan in that PNP sup-
porters favored the Grenadian regime quite
strongly, while supporters of Edward
Seaga's JLP were often critical of Bishop
and the role of Grenada as an ally of Cuba,
communist parties and Michael Manley's
socialist PNP
Beyond these partisan dimensions, the
Jamaican people were broadly sympathetic
to the Bishop regime and the circum-
stances in which it emerged. A public opin-
ion poll carried out by the author in March
1979 established that 37 percent of the Ja-
maican electorate supported the Jamaican
government in extending recognition to the
Bishop regime after the coup which re-
moved former Prime Minister Eric Gairy
from power. Eleven percent of the Jamaican
electorate opposed recognition. Six percent
had no views, and 46 percent were unaware
of political events in Grenada.
Thus more than 50 percent of the Jamai-
can citizens interviewed in March 1979 had
some knowledge of events in Grenada, and
most had clear views for or against recog-
nizing the new regime. Although both JLP
and PNP supporters endorsed the recogni-
tion of Grenada's new government, most of
the opposition was voiced by JLP support-

ers. The most popular reason for support-
ing recognition was that the overthrow of
Gairy had been justified because the Gairy-
led regime was oppressive. Others sup-
ported recognition since the Bishop regime
was in effective control of the government.
Many PNP supporters took an ideological
view, justifying recognition on the basis of
the socialist character of the new regime.
Ironically, some JLP supporters drew a par-
allel between Gairy and Manley by portray-
ing both as oppressive regimes, and
thereby empathizing with Gairy's overthrow,
notwithstanding the socialist character of
the new Bishop-led regime.
The issue of human rights in Grenada
has also had considerable discussion in Ja-
maica, although there was not a significant
public reaction in terms of either awareness
of the issue or willingness to take a view on
what was happening. Because of its close
identification with the Torchlight news-
paper, which was harassed and finally
closed down by Bishop's regime for criticiz-
ing the revolution, the Jamaican news-
paper, the Daily Gleaner, maintained a
strong campaign against what it defined as
human rights' violations in Grenada. Reac-
tions to the issue in Jamaica were weak. A
poll conducted in July 1981 found that 77
percent of the Jamaican electorate had no
views on the subject. Activist minority opin-
ion tended to divide along party lines, with
16 percent supporting the Gleaner's view
and representing mainly JLP supporters,
and 6 percent, strong PNP supporters, tak-
ing the opposite view.
The JLR like the Daily Gleaner, strongly
criticized Bishop's Grenada both in the
broad area of human rights and failure to
conduct free elections, and in relation to the
close ties between Grenada and Cuba. As a
party opposed to socialism and one-party
states, the JLP under Seaga led the regional
Caribbean attacks on Bishop's Grenada, at-
tempting, as far as possible, to isolate Gre-
nada politically within the community.
Relations between Bishop and Seaga, after
the latter came to power in October 1980,
were very strained, antagonistic and based
on mutual feelings of distrust and hostility.
The Seaga and JLP view of Grenada was


similar to that emerging from Washington.
It was colored heavily by the JLP's anti-com-
munist political stance, its hostility to all
links with Cuba in the Caribbean, and its
tendency to view Bishop as being just an-
other PNP-type populist-socialist leader
being used by hard-line communists in
much the same way as the JLP portrays
Manley as a pawn of Cuba and international
communism. In short, Seaga and the JLP
saw Grenada as a subversive force in the
The Cuba-Grenada-Manley connection
in Jamaican politics assumed special
meaning because in the 1980 elections
won bytheJLP anti-communism was a ma-
jor issue which increased its support. In that
election, the anti-communist issue centered
very much around fears about Cuba's role in
Jamaican politics. A poll I conducted in
November 1979 found that 57 percent of
the electorate shared the JLP's view that
Cubans had become too involved in Jamai-
can politics. That poll also established that
52 percent of the electorate shared the view
that the Cuban ambassador should have
been sent home because of statements he
made criticizing the JLP and the Daily
Gleaner. The PNP lost public support by
coming out strongly in favor of the Cuban
ambassador and the Cuban role and pres-
ence in Jamaica.
Another poll I took in June 1980 revealed
that 45 percent of the Jamaican electorate
felt that Jamaicans had something to fear


We are pleased to accept nominations for
the fifth annual Caribbean Review Award,
an annual presentation to honor an indi-
vidual who has contributed to the advance-
ment of Caribbean intellectual life.
The award recognizes individual effort ir-
respective of field, ideology, national origin,
or place of residence.
The Award Committee consists of:
Lambros Comitas (Chairman), Columbia
University, New York; Fuat Andic, Univer-
sidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto
Rico; Wendell Bell, Yale University, New
Haven, Connecticut; Locksley Edmondson,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Ja-
maica; Anthony P. Maingot, Florida Interna-
tional University, Miami, Florida.
Nominations are to be sent to the Editor,
Caribbean Review, Florida International
University, Miami, Florida 33199. Nomina-
tions must be received by 15 March 1984.
The Third Annual Award will be an-
nounced at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the
Caribbean Studies Association to be held
in St. Kitts, 30 May-2 June 1984. In addition
to a plaque the recipient receives an hono-
rarium of $250, donated by the International
Affairs Center of Florida International

from Cuba, while only 13 percent held a
similar view of the Americans. Fear of com-
munism was riding high in Jamaica in the
period leading up to the 1980 elections.
That poll found that as much as 60 percent
of the Jamaican electorate feared commu-
nism and communists, and 43 percent felt
that Manley and the PNP were leading Ja-
maica towards communism.
After the PNP lost power and the fear of a
communist threat disappeared, the mood
of the country changed. As a result, the
subsequent action of the JLP government
in breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba
failed to elicit majority mass support, as
citizens no longer felt threatened by Cuba or
communists once Manley was removed
from office. The implication, of course, is
that the prospect of Manley returning to
power has the potential to restore those

The Jamaican Electorate
Beginning in the 1970s and continuing in
the 1980s, there have been some important
patterns of change in Jamaican voting be-
havior and the underlying public opinion
formation. The Jamaican public has be-
come more sensitive to public-opinion is-
sues, less inclined to vote according to blind
partisan loyalties, and more questioning
and skeptical about political leaders. The
1970s witnessed the emergence of a very
active segment of the public which became
deeply involved in public-issue debates, re-
sponded to and articulated views on a wide
range of policy and ideological issues, and
shaped their assessments of the political
parties according to the drift of public-opin-
ion debates on the central issues discussed
in the media and in face-to-face groupings.
The polarization between the PNP and
the JLP on a large number of domestic and
foreign policy issues, and the effort by both
parties to place these issues on the agenda
of public debate, had the effect since 1974
of both raising information and awareness
levels within the electorate as well as in-
creasing the impact of political-issue de-
bates on partisan leanings and voter choice.
The mass media has facilitated these trends
by carrying more political messages and in
sharpening political debate. An important
feature of the politicization of the mass me-
dia has been the development of popular
"phone-in" programs on both national ra-
dio stations which enable a wide cross sec-
tion of citizens to debate and express views
every day on an increasingly heavily loaded
agenda of public concerns and issues.
Between 1980, when the JLP came to
power, and 1983, two major issues have
dominated political debates in Jamaica: the
economy and party ideology. The debate
over ideology took place against a back-
ground in which the competing demo-
cratic-socialist and capitalist ideologies of
the PNP and the JLP have been given spe-

cific meaning and significance by the Ja-
maican public. Democratic socialism and
the PNP are associated with a tendency to
favor poor people's interests, to promote
high levels of public spending, and to be in
alignment with leftists, both international
and local.The capitalist ideology of the JLP
has been associated with managerial com-
petence, a priority concern with finance and
good money management, and a strong
link with local and US big money interests.
The debate on the economy has rapidly
eroded support for the JLP over the period
between 1980 and 1983. This has been
reinforced by the ideological debate, which
has also been unfavorable to Seaga's JLP
Here the major problems have been high
levels of unemployment, high rentals,
layoffs of public-sector workers, cutbacks in
public spending and labor-intensive public
sector projects, liberal import policies
which have undermined the markets of
both small farmers and small manufactur-
ers, the absence of social policies and social
programs which give voters a sense that
government is acting to ease their burdens in
hard times, and the continued high cost of
living, notwithstanding the significant re-
duction in the rate of inflation. In contrast to
the belt-tightening and economic pressures
on the small peasantry, the working class
and the lower middle class, upper middle-
class affluence has visibly increased in the
form of rapid growth of luxury housing,
consumption of luxury goods, and large-
scale importation of luxury cars. This has
generated a sense of the government favor-
ing the rich and squeezing the poor.
As faith in the JLP's promise of economic
recovery has rapidly declined, memories of
the Manley period have become more posi-
tive, thereby redefining the ideological is-
sue. The anti-communism issue lost its
appeal as it became dormant and the eco-
nomic issue dominated public attention.
The association of Manley and the PNP with
concern for the poor, social policies and
big-spending public-sector projects, and
economic policies that have an explicit so-
cial redistributive content, have restored
and revived the image of the opposition
party. Whereas in 1980 socialism was asso-
ciated with a Cuban-communist threat, vio-
lence, public disorder and mismanage-
ment, the policy failures of Seaga's JLP were
now convincing a majority of the electorate
that they were better off under Manley and
that socialism with its priority concern for
the poor offered more hope than what the
JLP could apparently offer. Bitter resent-
ment against the visible affluence of the few
sharpened the sense of class deprivation
among the majority classes of workers,
peasants, petty commodity producers and
traders, and the vast army of unemployed
youth. PNP credibility as an alternative party
was rapidly restored between 1980 and late
Continued on page 60


Press Reaction to the Invasion

Jamaica Daily Gleaner, Kingston (mod-
erate): We trust that this drastic step... will
be swift and successful in restoring free-
dom and democracy to the ill-fated island
.... The fact that most of the resistance...
has come from Cubans confirms the suspi-
cion that Grenada's Marxist coup was being
actively run by Cuba. (Oct. 27)
Trinidad and Tobago Express, Port of
Spain (independent): We are not overly
concerned with the pious protests about
"territorial integrity." .. Any liberation force
[is] welcomed by the cowed and oppressed
population of Grenada. (Oct. 26)
Venezuela El Nacional, Caracas (inde-
pendent): The invasion... is one more epi-
sode in the long history of interventionism
and aggression that the US has practiced
on our continent. Just as grotesque as the
invasion was the justification for it that the
US president proclaimed to the world.
Carlos Blanco (Oct. 31)
Colombia El Espectador, Bogota (liberal):
The first victim in ... the invasion is the
principle of self-determination of nations
.... Grenada had become an abcess, but
invasion was not the indicated remedy....
This painful event, which should be totally
repudiated, is one of the most atrocious
blows ... to ... seemingly impossible
peace. (Oct. 26)
Colombia El Tiempo, Bogota (indepen-
dent): Problems cannot be solved by force
... The invasion of Grenada is not only an
open violation of the sacred principle of
nonintervention but also a terrible prece-
dent for the explosive region of Central
America. (Oct. 26)
Panama La Prensa, Panama City (inde-
pendent): The intervention... is a joint op-
eration that aims to implant democracy
among a people who do not know what
democracy is.
Mario J. De Obaldia (Oct. 26)
Mexico El Universal, Mexico City (conser-
vative): With what sort of moral authority
can the US government condemn the So-
viet invasion of Afghanistan if it acts the
same way in its own hemisphere?... This
return to the "big-stick" [policy] ... will have
serious repercussions in hemispheric rela-
tions. (Oct. 26)
Argentina Clarin, Buenos Aires (indepen-
dent): Washington has again taken up the
"big stick" on the soil of the Americas.... It
is probable that the invasion will have a
calming effect on the most conservative
forces in the government and on US public
opinion, indignant at the price of US inter-
vention in other countries [such as

Lebanon] .... The invasion had a purpose:
to ... provide a test run for intervening in
another country-say, Nicaragua?
Mario Stilman (Oct. 26)

Canada Globe and Mail, Toronto (inde-
pendent): Uncle Sam now has made clear
to friend and foe alike that he is not to be
trifled with .... But the flip side is what
disturbs. America has yielded to an atavistic
impulse to wield its power for the purpose of
reordering the world in its own image and to
its own liking. Once indulged, that impulse
may be whetted. (Oct. 26)

Britain The Times, London (independent):
The US and its Caribbean allies are in
breach of international law and the Charter
of the UN. Mr. Reagan has produced no
evidence to show that Soviet influence was
reaching a level at which Grenada was in
danger of becoming a full-fledged satellite
.... Yet some good can still be salvaged
from the enterprise if Grenada is quickly
retumed to constitutional government.
(Oct. 26)
Britain Financial Times, London (inde-
pendent): The US-led invasion of Grenada
[raises] profound questions about the con-
fidence that the European allies can have in
the responsibility of the Reagan administra-
tion. The more the US indulges in ill-con-
sidered unilateral actions, the more
essential it is that the European allies
should concert their own policies. The pri-
mary aim should be to exert a sobering
influence on Washington. (Oct. 27)

Britain Daily Telegraph, London (conser-
vative): Of course there are military and po-
litical dangers. But... if the operations are
successful it will mark a setback to Cuban
and Soviet expansionist aims. That is
something we should all welcome.
(Oct. 26)
France Le Monde, Paris (liberal): The rea-
sons invoked [for the invasion] are un-
acceptable .... President Reagan has
seriously slipped.
Andre Laurens (Oct. 27)
Germany Handelsblatt, Disseldorf (fi-
nancial): President Reagan has marched
into a broadside of critical international dis-
cussion .... One question is the credibility
of the claim that the landing is the result of a
call for assistance. Eastem actions of a sim-
ilar nature are invariably cloaked in that jus-
tification. Gerd Janssen (Oct. 26)
USSR Izvestia, Moscow (government
daily): A crime has been committed ....
Free Grenada does not exist any longer.
Instead, there is another territory occupied
by the US, where US marines act out every
role in a foul show that used to be called
gunboat diplomacy ... and now is being
passed off as a "program of democracy."
Valentin Falin (Oct. 29)
South Africa Financial Mail, Johan-
nesburg (economic weekly): It is difficult
not to see the invasion of Grenada as an
attempt to reassert the American will
through the traditional methods of military
might .... Gunboat diplomacy rules.
(Oct. 28)
India Indian Express, New Delhi (indepen-
dent): The world will condemn the US ac-
tion .... Failure to do so would have
serious implications. It might encourage
the trigger-happy Reagan administration to
take similar action in Nicaragua and
elsewhere. (Oct. 27)

South Korea Korea Herald, Seoul (inde-
pendent): The invasion of Grenada marked
a turning point in the security of the Western
hemisphere. This strong initiative by Wash-
ington serves notice that the US will not
tolerate threats to the democracy and free-
dom of its vital backyard region. (Oct. 27)

China China Daily, Peking (pro-govern-
ment): The armed invasion... has demon-
strated once again to the Third World and
other peaceloving countries that both the
US and the other superpower practice
hegemonism and are a real threat to world
peace. (Oct. 27)
World Press Review


The Grenada Complex in

Central America

Action and Negotiation in US Foreign Policy

By Wayne S. Smith

he congressional fact-finding mis-
sion is home from Grenada. Rep.
Michael Barnes, among others, has
concluded that the invasion of that island
was justified. Rep. Don Bonker, among oth-
ers, says it was not. Doubtless the argument
will rage on inconclusively. But to focus en-
tirely on justification may be to miss the
broader point: Whether the President did or
did not have sufficient cause to set aside
international norms and invade another na-
tion, the invasion hardly represented a for-
eign policy victory for the United States.
On the contrary, more than anything else
Grenada was a monument to the mis-
management of foreign policy. It pointed up
again the Reagan administration's in-
comprehension of the uses of diplomacy.
For at least two years the Bishop govern-
ment had been signaling its interest in
reaching accommodation with the US:
Bishop had pleaded for talks. Had the ad-
ministration begun a negotiating process
aimed at bringing our own influence and
economic leverage to bear, the situation
might have developed very differently. But
the administration rebuffed Bishop. It had
no more interest in a diplomatic process
with the Grenadians than it has in one with
the Nicaraguans and Cubans.
One can only hope that the administra-
tion does not now conclude it can handle
Nicaragua, Cuba, and El Salvador the same
way it took care of Grenada. Landing Ma-
rines worked in Grenada, a tiny island de-
fended by a handful of Cubans and
demoralized Grenadian soldiers. It has not
worked and will not work in Lebanon, nor
will it in Central America. Yet, that is the
direction in which the administration seems
to be moving.
In the wake of the invasion of Grenada, no
one should have any illusions that the War
Powers Act would restrain this president
from sending US forces into combat with-
out so much as a by your leave to the Con-
gress. However one may feel about the
president's justification for invading---even

Wayne S. Smith is senior associate at the Car-
negie Endowment for International Peace. He
served as chief of the US Interests Section in
Havana from 1979 to 1982.

if one believes he had sufficient cause-the
way he went about it is profoundly
The image that emerges from the han-
dling of the Grenada crisis is one of an
administration which was perfectly willing
to set aside US law as well as international
norms, which ignored the Congress, failed
to consult with our allies, and, worst of all,
had no qualms about misinforming the
American people. It was not a reassuring
performance. Against that background,
one cannot have much confidence that the
administration will handle the worsening
crisis in Central America with prudence and

Administration Policies
Spokesmen for the administration charge
that those who oppose the president's pol-
icies simply don't understand how nearby
and thus important this area is to us-that
critics wish to ignore our responsibilities
and abandon Central America to its fate. Yet
most of us have been aware for some time
that Central America and the Caribbean are
indeed close and that what happens there
has long been of more than usual impor-
tance to us. We have legitimate security
concerns and responsibilities on which we
cannot tum our backs. No one is suggest-
ing that we should. Mr. Reagan's critics, by
and large, are not suggesting that we aban-
don Central America. I certainly am not.
Quite the contrary.
The US must defend its vital interests. In
this dog-eat-dog world in which we live, it
may sometimes be necessary to use force
to do so. But a great power has many instru-
ments through which to achieve its objec-
tives-economic leverage, diplomacy, etc.
Force should be a last resort, but it is impor-
tant that the other side know you are willing
to use it if they press you too far or ignore
your legitimate security concerns. That is a
constructive use of force-as a deterrent, or
as an inducement to the other side to be-
have reasonably.
We are a superpower with security con-
cems we cannot ignore. In Central America,
an area close on to our flank, the param-
eters of the tolerable are established by
those concerns and by the power we have

to back them up. The Cubans and Nic-
araguans, whatever else they are, are not
fools. They understand that. I'm sure one
reason they have been willing to negotiate
was to avoid a situation in which the US
might take direct military action against
them. So far, so good. If the threat of force is
used to induce the other side to come to the
negotiating table and to negotiate reasona-
bly, then power has been used in a responsi-
ble, constructive way.
But what can be said about a situation in
which the other side agrees to come to the
bargaining table, but, in fact, there is no
negotiating process to join because your
own side refuses to negotiate? I would say
then that power had been used in that case
in a sterile and irresponsible way. And that is
certainly true of this administration's con-
duct of affairs in Central America.
The president's policies are not working:
they seem to lead only to conflict without
accomplishing our goals. Other options are
available-options which might more ef-
fectively advance US interests and objec-
tives at less cost and with fewer risks. Yet
those options have not been seriously
A perfect illustration was the administra-
tion's claim back in July that it was our
dispatch of the fleet which frightened the
Cubans and Nicaraguans into making their
negotiating proposals. The claim itself was
silly since the Cubans and Nicaraguans had
long been signaling their willingness to ne-
gotiate. It was not the fleet which brought
them around. But even had it been, what
then? The administration claimed its show
of force had induced the other side to come
to the table. And what did the administration
do? It refused to sit down. Where, then, is
the sense to its position?
The policies are failing. If they were work-
ing, then three years after they were imple-
mented we should see some progress,
some sign of improvement in the situation.
Rather than that, we see that the situation
obviously has worsened. The war is going
badly in El Salvador. Tensions in the whole
region are at an all-time high. And rather
than getting rid of the Sandinistas, our "se-
cret" war, while harassing them, has helped
them rally popular support. On balance, it


may have helped them more than it has
harmed them. In any event, it has accom-
plished nothing in terms of US goals.
The administration's policy failures can-
not be blamed on the Congress. Despite the
Boland-Zablocki amendment, the admin-
istration has pursued its "secret" war
against Nicaragua without restraints. The
Congress has given it funds to do just about
anything it wanted. It has provided as many
arms to the contras, sent as many CIA ad-
visors to organize and train them, and
organized as many air raids and acts of
sabotage as it wished. To what avail? And
while many congressmen-indeed, many
Americans-expressed concern over the
dispatch of thousands of troops and major
fleet units to Central America for "maneu-
vers," this in no way prevented the White
House from doing it
Nor is Congress to blame for the lack of
progress in El Salvador. It has pared back
appropriations requests; that is a normal
part of the budgetary process. It has also-
to little avail-tried to get the administration
to use the leverage this assistance should
give us to move the Salvadoran govern-
ment toward cleaning up its human rights
record and making other needed reforms.
But the Congress has by no means denied
needed assistance. The war is certainly not
going badly in El Salvador because of any
shortage of arms and ammunition. One
might almost make the opposite case, that
the more assistance we give the Sal-
vadorans, the less effectively they seem to
fight. It will be recalled that in January of
1981, they turned back what was to have
been the final guerrilla offensive-the all-
out assault that supposedly was going to
carry them to power. At the time of this
victory, El Salvador was receiving no mili-
tary aid at all from the US. Now, almost three
years later, with millions of dollars in aid,
military advisors and other forms of sup-
port, the Salvadoran armed forces are
barely holding their own, if they are. I would
not draw from that the conclusion that the
way to insure the defeat of the Salvadoran
armed forces is to give them unlimited as-
sistance. On the other hand, I cannot resist
the observation that the more arms we give
them, the more formidable become their



-l---- ------

A US Marine patrols street in Grenville, Grenada.

adversaries, for a significant percentage of
these arms are either captured by the guer-
rillas or sold to them by venal Salvadoran
officers. It is no exaggeration to say-and
one must keep one's sense of humor in
saying it--that we, not the Cubans, are the
guerrillas' principal arms supplier.
Now, let me be clear. lam not suggesting
here that we should cut off all military as-
sistance to the government of El Salvador. I
agree, and I think most Americans agree,
that it may be necessary to continue pru-
dent levels of support while we search for
sensible solutions there. But military as-


distance by itself will solve nothing, and I
would submit that the administration has
not really explored the other avenues to a
solution. Nor has it used our assistance as
an incentive to the Salvadoran government
to do so. Hence, in the context of our pres-
ent approach, military assistance is simply
leading us into a blind alley. We are

East-West Conflict?
It has been stated that the Reagan admin-
istration has been unjustly accused of
introducing an East-West element to the


conflict in Central America, and that as the
Soviets are giving military assistance to
Cuba and to Nicaragua, the East is already
there. There is an element of truth in that,
but it misses the central point which is that
to portray the conflict in Central America
essentially as a matter of East-West strug-
gle, and the violence there as a matter of
Soviet/Cuban aggression, is to take it out of
context. A more realistic appraisal suggests
that the conflict is essentially indigenous. It
emerges from decades of fiercely repres-
sive governments, grinding social injustice
and economic underdevelopment. The
challenge we face in Central America is far
more complex and requires subtleties of
approach beyond the unsophisticated
"good-guys-versus-the-commies" attitude
of the administration.
For one thing, such an attitude dis-
courages negotiations (which are the key to
reducing tensions). It also makes it ex-
tremely difficult to appeal to the many non-
communist components of the opposition
in either El Salvador or in Guatemala. After
all, if the United States treats the situation as
a case of Soviet/Cuban aggression, it will
tend to view as Soviet/Cuban allies all those
who oppose US-backed regimes. This
serves to cut the United States off from the
moderate, democratic elements that are its
natural partners. On the other side of the
coin, addressing the situation in an East-
West context encourages a skewed percep-
tion of the repressive governments that
have encouraged revolutionary turmoil by
neglecting the welfare of their people.
Rather than seeing them as the agents of
instability, the Reagan administration tends
to view them as valued allies in a common
struggle against the "Red Hordes."
In a soon-to-be released book, Professor
Cole Blasier has very astutely noted that the
most harm to US interests resulting from
Soviet efforts in Latin America has come
precisely from US overreaction to them. So
it may be here. The Reagan administration
speaks of one Soviet blueprint, but what if
the real Soviet strategy is to get us to bog
ourselves down in a new Vietnam and to
become so identified with the status quo
and with murderous right-wing regimes
that we undermine our moral position in the
world at large and divide our own house? If
that is the Soviet aim, the administration is
cooperating with it fully.
Now, I am not suggesting that there are
no East-West implications to what is going
on in Central America. There are such im-
plications in virtually every conflict around
the world. Nor am I suggesting that, to the
extent that such an external factor exists, it
should be ignored. The Cubans and Soviets
have more influence in Nicaragua than we
can be comfortable with; we should aim to
reduce it. Cuban and Nicaraguan support
to the Salvadoran guerrillas has been
grossly exaggerated by the administration,
but both have given them some degree of

help. That we, of course, want to stop. And
we must make it perfectly clear that we will
not tolerate the implacement of any Soviet
bases in Central America.
But the point is that nothing the admin-
istration has done so far has advanced any
of these aims. The administration cannot,
for example, point to a single rifle or bullet
that has been interdicted during the "se-
cret" war. Nor has the war reduced So-
viet/Cuban influence in Nicaragua. Quite
the opposite. Other, more sophisticated,
policy instruments are available. We could
have accomplished far more, for example,
by trying to bring into being a series of

To openly reject diplomacy
would be like openly
rejecting the concept
of brotherhood.

security conventions to halt cross-border
activities, place limits on armies and arma-
ments, and reduce foreign military pres-
ence-conventions which were verifiable
and which took US security concems fully
into account. The administration simply
hasn't chosen to try that option.
Again, let me emphasize, the turmoil in
Central America is caused by real problems
on the ground, not by imaginary Soviet
blueprints. It is those real problems we
should be addressing. One need only look
at the civil war in El Salvador, however, to
see that we are not addressing them. While
acknowledging that there are internal fac-
tors, the administration has sought to give
the impression that, basically, the civil war
was started by communist guerrillas who
wished to block progress toward demo-
cracy and social reforms. Nothing could be
further from the truth. The war got started in
earnest only after senior military officers
had blocked all efforts at change within the
existing system. They had blatantly stolen
the elections of 1972 and 1977, and then in
late 1979, when a group of "Young Turk"
officers installed a progressive junta, the se-
nior officers refused to recognize its author-
ity or obey its instructions to curb the
massive excesses of the security forces. On
the contrary, the activities of the death
squads increased. Convinced that nothing
further could be done through legal pro-
cesses, democratic politicians such as
Guillermo Ungo and Ruben Zamora went
over to armed struggle.

Confused Objectives?
Now how does the Reagan administration
expect to end the civil war (short of military
victory) without addressing its principal
causes? How, for example, can it expect the
opposition to lay down its arms and partici-

pate in a political process so long as the
death squads continue to operate with im-
punity and there are massive violations of
human rights? And there are. There has
been no improvement in that area at all.
Over 30,000 Salvadorans have been tor-
tured and murdered by these right-wing
death squads. Not a single person has even
been convicted for these crimes, nor has
the administration done what it could to
bring about improvement When late last
year our ambassador in San Salvador pub-
licly warned the right against repeated vio-
lations of human rights, the White House, in
effect, immediately disavowed his speech
(and eventually had the ambassador trans-
fered). What other conclusion could the
death squads draw but that the White
House was not serious about the need to
curb their excesses, that indeed they could
commit as many atrocities as they wished.
Is it any wonder assassinations and other
human rights violations increased, as in-
deed they have since last year.
In El Salvador, we tolerate death squads.
In Guatemala, we have become identified
with a series of the most murderous re-
gimes on the face of the earth-regimes
which have slaughtered tens of thousands
of their own citizens, which have committed
atrocities that make the Sabra and Shatila
massacres in Lebanon look like child's play.
When President Reagan said Rios Montt,
the then-president of Guatemala, was a
man of integrity who had simply been given
a bum rap by the US media, and when the
president now seeks military assistance for
the new military regime in Guatemala, he
makes a mockery of his claim that we are
defending "freedom and democracy" in
Central America. If our policies and state-
ments are to be credible, they must be con-
sistent. Our approach should reflect as
much concern for human rights in
Guatemala and El Salvador as in Nicaragua
and Cuba. We cannot demand that the Nic-
araguans stop assisting the Salvadoran
guerrillas while we continue our own sup-
port to the ex-Somoza guardsmen attempt-
ing to overthrow the Sandinistas. By
applying such a transparent double stan-
dard, the Reagan administration deprives
its policies of any moral foundation.
Indeed, few of our high-sounding claims
in Central America will bear close scrutiny.
Until recently, for example, the administra-
tion had spoken glowingly of an agrarian
reform program in El Salvador, even claim-
ing that some 500,000 Salvadorans had
benefitted from it. That is nonsense. The
agrarian reform is virtually dead, especially
its land-to-the-tiller concept, and the ad-
ministration knows it. Only some 2,000 ti-
tles were ever passed out.
If the administration is not promoting de-
mocracy and reforms, if it is not advancing
the cause of human rights in Central Amer-
ica, then what is it doing? What are its real
Continued on page 64


Was Bishop A Social


The Speeches of Maurice Bishop

Reviewed by Carl Henry Feuer

People of Grenada, this revolution is for
work, for food, for decent housing and
health services, and for a bright future
for our children and great-grandchildren.
Maurice Bishop, March 13, 1979

... The solutions we are going to have to
propose... are going to have to be
radical solutions; are going to have to be
solutions that are far-reaching; are going
to have to be solutions that will deal
with the real problems that we have in
our country and not the problems we
would like to imagine exist, but with the
real problems that in fact face us.
Maurice Bishop, July 2, 1979
... Certainly the major problem in the
region today, on the economic as on the
political front, is the question of United
States imperialism and the exploitation
that imperialism continues to impose on
the people of this region. The blatant,
the vulgar the crude attempts to try to
stop the peaceful and progressive
development of the region can certainly
be laid firmly and squarely at the door
of imperialism.
Maurice Bishop, July 23, 1982

Forward Ever: Three Years of
the Grenadian Revolution,
Speeches of Maurice Bishop.
287 pp. Pathfinder Press,
Sydney, 1982. $6.95 pb.

Bishop stated his three points for pro-
gress. First, honesty and openness in
all dealings with the people; full dis-
closure of all relevant information. Above
all, "never lull the people into a false sense
of security ... that by some miracle sud-
denly things are going to improve without
greater efforts and greater sacrifice and
greater production on our part." Second,
always put the people at the center of all
government activities. Everything done
should be for them, by them and through
them. Third, he emphasized a development
strategy focusing on the basic needs of the

Carl Henry Feuer teaches political science at
SUNY Cortland.

Maurice Bishop.
people-jobs, health care, housing, educa-
tion and so forth.
Bishop's words were certainly not new. A
basic-needs strategy, for example, was "in"
with such establishment development in-
stitutions as the World Bank in the 1970s.
And his concerns for honesty and demo-
cratic government are mouthed by all but
the most irretrievably authoritarian rulers.
What was new, and what in the end defined
Bishop as a revolutionary, was the recogni-
tion that in a country like Grenada, with a
colonial heritage going back centuries and
with a stratified class structure based on
individual gain and exploitation, only a
single-minded commitment and will
to achieve necessary changes was
What was new, also, was the recognition
that only the unity, participation, mobiliza-
tion and commitment of the Grenadian
people themselves could overcome the
horrors of underdevelopment. That reliance
on and closeness to the people themselves,
and resolute opposition to all that disturbed
national unity and mobilization, also de-
fined Bishop as a radical. New were the
words "we are not for sale." Bishop's Gren-
ada had to achieve some measure of inde-
pendence from "imperialism," the US and
that whole panoply of international institu-

tions and ties that, it was felt, would forever
thwart any development effort. He recog-
nized the implications, and felt the results,
as a whole series of efforts at destabilization
were marshalled against his regime by the
US. Convinced of the historic battle he was
waging-not only for Grenada but for the
Caribbean as a whole-he persevered.
One key area the new Grenada tackled
was education. The system of education in
Grenada was a microcosm both of what
ailed Grenada and what had to be done. It
discriminated between classes. It was
starved for funds. It inculcated class-based
attitudes. It was divorced from production
and the real needs of Grenada. This had to
change. "Education is the right of all our
people, the responsibility of our revolution,
and a key to the development of our coun-
try.... Only a united and conscious people
can move forward. Only an educated and
productive people can build a new and just
society. Only a literate people can create the
new man and woman." Education needed
to become a real national commitment. It
had to be "politicized." It had to become
closely integrated to the massive develop-
ment effort that Grenada was embarking
on, and consciously aimed at serving the
masses of Grenadians.
But where would the money come from?
Bishop tells us that the process for invig-
orating education, like the proposed goal,
had to be based on the masses. First, the
schools themselves would have to begin to
contribute, through the adoption of a
work/study approach. Second, commu-
nities would begin to link closely with the
schools, and to contribute voluntary labor
toward refurbishing the infrastructure.
Third, the national literacy drive would use
volunteers. Fourth, teacher training had to
be stepped up. To free teachers for this the
community would have to take responsi-
bility for schooling one day each week.

Democracy is the dominant theme that
Bishop comes back to time and time again
in his discussions of the new Grenada.
Bishop's notion of democracy, however, will


be unfamiliar to those who have come to
identify democracy only with the occur-
rence of periodic elections. "There are
those (some of them our friends) who be-
lieve that you cannot have a democracy
unless there is a situation where every five
years, and for five seconds in those five
years, a people are allowed to put an 'X' next
to some candidate's name, and for those
five seconds in those five years they be-
come democrats, and for the remainder of
the time, four years and 364 days, they re-
turn to being non-people without any right
to say anything to their government, with-
out any right to be involved in running their
country." It was this involvement in the run-
ning of the country-participation in the
classical sense-that provided the real lit-
rAus test of democracy for Bishop. It was
this "people's power" that Bishop and the
New Jewel Movement attempted to institu-
tionalize in Grenada, a country whose small
size made such an attempt feasible.
For Bishop, the building up of such a
democratic process in Grenada was the
most important task of the revolution. "Our
democratic process is our strongest
weapon for change, for development, for
the improvement of life in our country."
Bishop saw democracy as a mechanism
which would free-up the energies and re-
sources of the Grenadian people them-
selves. If the people were actively involved in
political decision-making, then the output
of that process had to be accepted by them.
And if they accepted the decisions, how
could they fail to carry them out? How could
they fail to work as hard as possible in the
economic sphere as well? The continuation
of the social and economic revolution in
Grenada hinged on democratization.
Second, to move the Grenadian people
in such a direction, the impediments to par-
ticipation which were part and parcel of
Grenada's colonial and neocolonial
heritage had to be removed. Such con-
straints to democratic participation were
manifold. One of these that Bishop identi-
fied, which stands out in my mind, was sex-
ual oppression. "There can be no talk of real
democracy if half of a nation's population is
either disqualified from participation or can
only participate in a very limited sense. And
there can be no talk of women's participa-
tion if the conditions for this participation do
not exist." Women, held down by chauvinist
attitudes in the society, by a 70 percent un-
employment rate, by the prevalence of sex-
ual exploitation and victimization, could not
be expected to involve themselves in the
democratic processes being instituted
without some concrete changes in their
lives, and this Bishop pledged.
Education was also critical to the demo-
cratization process. "Popular democracy
does not stand on the same ground as ig-
norance, myth and superstition. Genuine
democracy-the ability to participate, and

the exercise of that right-implies the right
to information and the critical mastery of
knowledge. That is why one of the slogans
of the revolution has been: 'Only an edu-
cated and productive people can be truly
In order to participate, people must have
the resources and confidence to participate.
Whether this meant land for the landless,
literacy for the uneducated, trade union
rights for workers, the end of discrimination
for women, or just a sense that the govern-
ment in power was a "people's govern-
ment," these changes in Grenadian society
had to be initiated.

"This is a revolution...
there is a revolutionary
legality.... When the
revolution speaks it must
be heard, listened to."

Neither the political will to carry forward a
process of democratization nor the elimina-
tion of important impediments to that pro-
cess is enough if the institutional
mechanisms to facilitate that participation
are not in place. "When decisions have to be
taken that are going to affect the lives of the
people, are there institutions and organisa-
tions that allow for the people to participate
and to express their views? Are there
organizations on the ground that give the
people a real opportunity of expressing how
they feel and on a daily basis of being in-
volved in taking decisions about their
In an effort to fulfill the ideals for the build-
ing of a "real democracy," Bishop's People's
Revolutionary Government (PRG) restruc-
tured the policy-making process in Gren-
ada. A system of parish and zonal councils
was established with regular and open
meetings attended by government officials.
Sectoral parish council (farmers, workers,
women, youth) meetings were also held.
These were channels of popular participa-
tion as well as mechanisms for holding offi-
cials accountable. Voluntary mass organ-
izations of women, youth, farmers, workers,
among others were also established, and
grew rapidly.

Imperialism and Bishop
Washington was hostile to the Grenadian
revolution from the first. There were threats
against establishing ties with Cuba and,
when these were rejected, actions aimed at
crippling the fragile Grenadian economy.
The IMF and World Bank were pressured
successfully to deny assistance, and there
were attempts to sabotage Western Euro-
pean co-financing plans for the new airport.
There were reported CIA activities and

efforts aimed at crippling tourism. The list
of hostile actions was long indeed.
Not surprisingly, with Reagan in power
and the screws around Grenada tightening,
one notes a hardening of Bishop's position.
By mid-1981, Grenada is perceived as a
country fully at war. What was a war for
economic and social development, starting
in 1979, grew also into a political war.
Bishop responded to Washington's hostility
by exposing US interventionism every
chance he got; by emphasizing the need for
Grenadians to prepare themselves to de-
fend their land; and by ever more urgently
insisting on internal unity against the for-
eign enemy. In this context, domestic op-
position became identified with this external
threat. A bomb attack in 1980, meant for
the leadership, instead killed 3 others and
wounded 97. At this point, it appeared, local
opposition forces lost any shred of legit-
imacy they may have had. The hardening of
the battle lines provoked in Bishop a tune
not heard before. The domestic opposition
was vilified. Opponents were counter-revo-
lutionaries: "stooges ... parasites ... who
would sell their mother's soul for a shilling
... the reactionary bourgeoisie as the big-
gest bloodsuckers in the country." US ac-
tion polarized domestic politics, and
sensitized Bishop to the need for a harder
line. "This is a revolution ... there is a revo-
lutionary legality .... When the revolution
speaks it must be heard, listened to."
Two basic tenets that Bishop held fast to
were the primacy and urgency of the social
and economic development of his people
and the absolute inviolability of Grenada's
sovereignty. Both were called into question
by US destabilization efforts and invasion
threats. Not surprisingly, this became his
dominant theme.
Bishop identified four facets to this exter-
nal threat. Propaganda destabilization was
the use of the media to spread misinforma-
tion about Grenada. Economic destabiliza-
tion was reflected in Washington's attempts
to block the flow of aid to Grenada. Then
there was the threat of invasion, either by
mercenaries or by the Marines themselves.
Finally, political destabilization, working
with and through domestic opponents to
weaken and overthrow the regime. "The
time has now come, in our view, when inter-
national public opinion must be so mobi-
lized that not only when the marines land in
somebody else's territory, but also when
there is evidence of a systematic and con-
certed plan of propaganda destabilization,
of economic aggression, or of political and
industrial destabilization, or of mercenary
threat, there must also be a great outcry....
Given the realities of today's world, it is not
as easy for aggressive warlike forces to send
their marines directly. Now they can no
longer use overt action as much, but more
and more they are forced to use covert or
more hidden action in the form of one or


the other of their various techniques and
tactics of destabilization and aggression."
There is no evidence that Bishop would
have been caught by surprise by the ex-
tremes to which Washington, or his Carib-
bean neighbors, went. He understood well,
for example, how the social and economic
progress he was helping achieve in Gren-
ada frightened the ruling classes of the
other Caribbean islands. "Our revolution is
an attempt to build a new socio-economic
development model .... It is the boldest
attempt, in the history of the English-speak-
ing Caribbean, to tackle the dire problems
of underdevelopment.... It is an approach
which rejects some of the manifestly inade-
quate strategies which the ruling class in
most of our sister islands are still clinging
to, because these strategies guarantee to
safeguard their own position and to yield
nothing but the barest minimum of political
power and material benefits to the majority
of the people."
Do these speeches help us to identify the
"real" Maurice Bishop? Was he a Com-
munist? He certainly initiated contacts with
and expressed support for Communist-
bloc countries, especially Cuba. He recog-
nized, moreover, that the process of anti-
imperialist change initiated in countries like
Grenada was significantly aided by the "as-
sertive role of the socialist world under the
leadership of the USSR." But his speeches
contain little of the rhetoric or class analysis
usually associated with Marxism-Leninism;
there seems more emphasis on the youth,
women and small farmers than the working
class. Nor was he readily prepared to sub-
sume the energy and power of the masses
to a party elite.
Was he a socialist? He certainly led his
party into the Socialist International, and
established close ties with socialist parties
such as Jamaica's People's National Party.
But unlike many in the Socialist Intema-
tional he was not overawed by the majesty
of the electoral game, and was stronger in
his denunciation of imperialism.
Was he a democrat? He was clearly com-
mitted to a mass-based participatory dem-
ocracy, and to close relations between
government officials and the people. But
pluralism and press freedom, as well as
elections, were all de-emphasized in his
Was he a radical? He surely was, until one
closely analyzes the agrarian reform and
other programs of economic development
adopted in Grenada. They were modest re-
forms, when viewed in comparative
Maurice Bishop's primary concern was
national sovereignty and the social and eco-
nomic development of his country and the
Grenadian people. So there is little talk of
socialism, or Marxism, or of the working
class, or of the bourgeoisie as a class. There
is considerable emphasis on Cuba, and the

importance of Cuba. But Cuba was im-
portant mainly because of its performance
in health, in education, in providing jobs, in
ending poverty and in eliminating prostitu-
tion. "It is now," he stated in 1979, "the best
example in the world of what a small coun-
try under socialism can achieve. This is
what socialism is all about."

Whether this meant land
for the landless, literacy for
the uneducated, trade
union rights for workers,
the end of discrimination
for women, or just a sense
that the government in
power was a "people's
government," these
changes in Grenadian
society had to be initiated.

True, Maurice Bishop, in these speeches,
begins to sound more like an ideologue
around mid-1981. But should we be sur-
prised? Did we not see Michael Manley, for a
time, move in the same direction around
1974-1975, and before him, Fidel Castro
between 1959 and 1961? The day-to-day
experience of the colossus of US imperial-
ism attempting with all its power to quash
every effort to bring benefits to the poor of
one's country must be an education; it must
be radicalizing. In these speeches we see
the economic and social war against pov-
erty and underdevelopment tum into a poli-
tical war-both hot and cold-with the
enemy of the Grenadian people being the
US and, secondarily, local opponents of the
It is here, of course, that we begin to see
the development of the tensions that
erupted so horribly in October. Differences
between more dogmatic and ideologically-
orientated revolutionaries, such as Bernard
Coard, and more pragmatic revolutionaries
like Bishop, apparently worsened over time.
The split between the leadership of the New
Jewel Movement and the Cabinet paralleled
and reinforced this conflict.
In coming to grips with Maurice Bishop,
we cannot rest with his words alone. The
words have been spoken before by others.
What was significant about Bishop was his
commitment to follow through, even under
the immense threat of US hostility and re-
percussions, even if it meant conflict with
powerful defenders of the status quo in
Grenada. O

' Barry B. Levine shatters
the myth of the victimized


A Picaresque Tale
of Emigration and Return
Using the first-person technique pioneered
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Background to Grenada

When the Social Scientists Invaded

Reviewed by Aaron Segal


hC S-

- -



r '

Grenadian graffiti.

The Hero and the Crowd in a
Colonial Polity, Archie Singham.
389 pp. Yale University Press, New
Haven, 1968.

Stratification in Grenada, M. G.
Smith. 271 pp. University of
California Press, Berkeley, 1965.
M ore than two decades before US
troops invaded Grenada, social sci-
entists had landed armed with
questionnaires and the techniques of sur-
vey research, statistical correlation, and par-
ticipant observation. They too eventually
withdrew, leaving behind two books that
constitute the definitive studies of Grenada.
These books merit renewed examination
for what they tell us about an earlier Gre-
nada, for their projections and predictive
powers about Grenada during the period
Aaron Segal is professor of political science at
the University of Texas, El Paso, and coauthor
of a forthcoming book on Haiti.

subsequent to their publication, and finally
for their insights into the fundamental char-
acteristics of Grenada and other Caribbean
Archie Singham, then a political scientist
at the University of the West Indies, led a
faculty-student team to Grenada in 1962
after the confrontation and constitutional
crisis between the colonial government and
the leading politician, Eric Gairy. The Hero
and the Crowd in a Colonial Polity is a
case study of Grenadian politics in the tur-
bulent 1951-1962 period; it utilizes several
hundred random elite and folk interviews,
analysis of five elections, and other research
techniques. Although Singham is the sole
author, one faculty member of the research
team was Grenadian-bom economist Al-
istair Mclntyre, who was nominated in 1983
to be head of the interim post-invasion gov-
ernment, after a distinguished career with
the UN, but had to decline.
M. G. Smith, then a sociologist at the
University of the West Indies, conducted his
field research in 1952-53, using Grenada as
a case study to test the thesis of a plural

society in which elites and folk did not share
common values. His book, Stratification
in Grenada, is a methodologically sophisti-
cated study of the Grenadian elite and an
important contribution to sociological the-
ory and Caribbean empirical research.
Drawing on genealogical, kinship, race and
color, income, property, mating cliques and
clubs, religion and other data, he came up
with one of the most thorough studies of
elites in a small society ever undertaken.
Primarily concerned with Grenadian elite
structure, Smith also tumed his attention to
the political crisis of 1951 precipitated by
the introduction of universal suffrage, the
spectacular rise to prominence of Gairy as a
party and trade-union leader, and the break-
down of the symbiotic relationships be-
tween the white and brown planters and the
rural black peasantry and casual laborers.
Smith's The Plural Society in the British
West Indies (University of California Press,
1965) has a chapter, "Structure and Crisis
in Grenada, 1950-1954," and another on
land rights in Carriacou, Grenada's tiny sis-
ter island of 10,000 people living in a mostly




black, rural, folk society. It was this "purer"
folk society that provided the research for
Smith's Kinship and Community in Car-
riacou (Yale University Press, 1962).
What do these complementary works tell
us about Grenada on the eve of its reluctant
independence? Singham and Smith agree
in emphasizing the small size and popula-
tion, the geographical and cultural isolation,
and the fragility and poverty of an economy
based on estate and smallholder produc-
tion of cocoa, nutmegs, and bananas for
export, inadequate food crops, intermittent
fishing and tourism, and erratic agricultural
processing industries. Both note the enor-
mous language, cultural, religious, family
structure, education, mating and other dif-
ferences between the elite, estimated at 5
percent of the total population, and the folk.
Both deplore the thinness and skewed dis-
tribution of public services and what Smith
calls the "laissez faire" policy of neglect by
the colonial authorities. Both recognize that
by organizing the folk to vote, Gairy had
altered the political balance in a society
where a traditional and largely ascriptive
elite controlled economic power and social

A Stratified Society
M. G. Smith meticulously profiled a Grena-
dian elite which he estimated at about 3,000
persons, or 5 percent of the population. "In
Grenada elite and folk are sharply dis-
tinguished by their behavior, ideas, speech,
associations, appearance, color, housing,
occupation, status, access to resources,
and in other ways. Folk differ from elite in
their use of the French Creole patois, in
modes of mating, domestic organization,
child-rearing, socialization, and kinship; in
their social institutions... and in cneir local
organization as dispersed communities."
The folk "differ in technology, occupational
skills and expectations, in standards of liv-
ing, education, school attendance, income,
type of house, dress and so on. Their
modes of celebrating childbirth, baptism
and marriage are also distinctive. They
place special weight on ritual and have aspi-
rations, beliefs, and values that contrast
sharply with those of the elite." Grenada was
a plural society par excellence "in which
sharp differences of culture, status, social
organization, and often race also, character-
ize the different population categories
which compose it," with the majority subor-
dinate to a culturally distinct minority.
Yet Smith identified four distinct strata in
a heterogeneous elite which diverged in
composition and values. At the top was a
white and near-white group of planters and
others mostly educated in Britain or Bar-
bados and closely tied by intermarriage and
social associations. Immediately below
them was a mostly light brown strata with a
"well-defined network of cliques, agnatic
descent groups, and affinal connections in-

cluding a high incidence of first-cousin
marriages." This was the "colored executive
class" which modeled its behavior after the
top elites and distanced itself from the folk.
Next came the medium brown and mulatto
strata, mostly locally educated middle-level
executives and professionals. Here there
was much less association and more social
isolation and many persons tracing illegiti-
mate descent to British immigrants. "The
lowest-ranking elite spectrum has pre-
vailingly dark pigmentation, prevailingly il-
legitimate ancestry; purely local education,
mainly in secondary schools; a high pro-
portion of Roman Catholics; very little inter-

Eric airy.
marriage between kin, and rather irregular
mating patterns." This bottom strata often
retained folk practices, had individualistic
and achievement-oriented values as op-
posed to the ascriptive values of the top
elite, and played an important role in chal-
lenging the system in 1951.
The strength of M. G. Smith's work is its
rigorous use of several variables to test the
congruence of status, pigmentation, and
culture, all of which were mutually reinforc-
ing and served to keep the elite-folk bound-
aries intact. Some social mobility occurred,
but it was "limited in volume and restricted
in range." Status was primarily determined
on an ascriptive basis, with marriage and
kinship outweighing occupation or owner-
ship of land. In a society where 70 percent of
births are out of wedlock, the elite prided
itself on legal marriage while encouraging
males, but not females, to engage in extra-
marital mating with folk Grenadians. The
illegitimate offspring of these unions were
sometimes aided by their elite fathers and
managed to enter the bottom elite strata.
The paucity of acceptable mates for top
elite women resulted in a high incidence of
childless spinsters who played a special role
in defending traditional values. "Individuals
at the top level either avoid marriage, marry
one another, or marry abroad. Those at the
bottom may do as they please; but the inter-

mediate population can only marry one an-
other, although its men may also mate
hypergamously with folk women."
In spite of this rigid stratification, the
study found Grenada to be neither static nor
historically closed. Most of the top elite were
the descendants of British or other Euro-
pean 19th-century immigrants. The sec-
ond colored strata had benefitted from the
abandonment of sugar and other estates in
the late 19th century to acquire land, and,
later, status. "Specially favored bastards ...
most easily cross the gulf between folk and
elite and enter the latter section in adult life."
A few members of the folk managed to pass
competitive public exams or do sufficiently
well in small business to enter the elite.
Other folk Grenadians emigrated to work or
study abroad and to return on the bottom
rung of the elite, as Gairy did in 1949 after
seven years in the Trinidad and Aruba oil
Color and status correlated closely but
were not synonymous in Grenada. There
were a few communities of poor whites and
a few dark elite families. However, essen-
tially Smith found three distinct popula-
tions: "a white elite, the colored or Creole
elite below them, and the folk, between
each of which mobility is at best a marginal
possibility." He also found in each popula-
tion a "distinctive set of common values." It
was these differences in political values that
were explored by Singham.

The Gairy Mystique
The Hero in the Crowd focuses on the
running conflict between Gairy, the black
folk politician with his personalist rather
than structured party, and a series of colo-
nial administrators, often West Indian ca-
reer civil servants. It is also a conflict of
values. Gairy propagandizes the rural folk to
win 40-60 percent of the vote in the five
elections between 1951 and 1962, but the
administrators insist on retaining ultimate
power and running the country according
to their rules. Gairy chips away at the bud-
get, patronage, and other chinks in the bu-
reaucratic armor. The administration
disenfranchises him in 1957 for disrupting
an opposition political meeting with a steel
band, and suspends the constitution in
1962 charging him with misuse of funds
and other abuses. It is a familiar version of a
conflict experienced in many ex-British
colonies prior to independence, but there is
a difference in the case of Grenada.
The Grenadians don't want indepen-
dence or at least they don't act as if they do.
Political self-esteem is low, confidence poor,
and the sense of boundaries weak, al-
though a person from neighboring Car-
riacou is looked down on as "a small-island
man." The demise of the short-lived West
Indian Federation (1958-1962) leaves Gre-
nadians unwilling to associate with the
other Eastern Caribbean islands of its size,


and unwanted by wealthier Trinidad and To-
bago to the south. Gairy himself is am-
bivalent about a possible union with
Trinidad and loses the 1962 election on that
issue, according to Singham. It looks as if
the British might have to stay indefinitely,
with "the size of these islands precluding
independence for each island on any ra-
tional grounds" in the words of the author.
Yet without independence, Singham argues
that the conflict between colonial institu-
tional legitimacy and the hero-crowd legit-
imacy of the rising political elites cannot be
While there is much informative detail on
politician-civil service attitudes and clashes,
this study is more revealing about the na-
ture of the new politics and the challenge to
the traditional elite. Gairy organizes the es-
tate laborers, but his union erodes with the
rise and fall of crop prices for most of these
"workers" are also small farmers. Carriacou
remains a bastion of the opposition, mid-
dle-class Grenada National Party whose
leader is a favorite son. Urban workers have
their own unions and higher wages, and
score Gairy's Grenada Labor Party. The four
strata of the elite all snub Gairy, who learns
to play tennis at his own club, and the busi-
ness and civil service elites seek to oppose
or sabotage his economic policies. What
remains is a loyal peasant following, es-
pecially women, who outnumber the men
leaving in droves for Britain, prior to its
change of immigration laws in 1962, and
anywhere else they can go.
What is Gairy's appeal to the folk? He is
one of them, by skin color, speech, beliefs
and practices, and he articulates their
deeply felt grievances against the elite. He is
a "hero in the crowd" who revels in open-air
meetings, marches, rural fetes, and con-
stant touching, holding, dancing with the
women, sharing of meals, and minor pat-
ronage. He also monopolizes party power,
refuses to give his subordinates responsibil-
ity, neglects organization, and seeks sup-
port as "Uncle Gairy" rather than on issues.
Singham has given us an empirical portrait
of a West Indian politician whose prototype
is found in V S. Naipauls novel, The Mimic
Man, and many other literary works. Be-
cause he is attracted by Gairy's humble ori-
gins and retention of folk roots, Singham
treads lightly on his demagogic and corrupt
Although Gairy's electoral support fluctu-
ates and is always weak in St. George's, the
capital and one "urban" center, the opposi-
tion throughout the 1951-1962 period re-
mains a captive of Grenadian stratification.
It is mostly urban, colored, and middle-
class; it plays by the colonial rules and wants
Gairy to do likewise. During its brief periods
in power it has neither bread nor circuses to
offer. When it seeks to out-demagogue
Gairy, the master demagogue, it alienates
its elite supporters and fails to convince the

folk. Except for union with Trinidad, which
the Trinidad government opposes, it has no
formula for easing Grenadian real fears of
going alone into a world of predators.
Some of this book's most lasting insights
have to do with the hero-crowd relationship,
especially in small societies. Using Grenada
and Gairy as a case study, Singham main-
tains that "the hero does not have a genuine
mass party; he has supporters who are per-
sonally committed to following him but
who are not controlled by him." These sup-
porters participate "as members of a crowd
rather than a movement." The hero is able

The political parties are in
disarray: ex-Prime Minister
Gairy, a 61-year-old
discredited exile seeking to
try his hand again, and
other leaders or erstwhile
leaders fled, dead,
arrested, or abroad.

to propagandize but not to politicize the
masses. Individuals and the society remain
marginal and the flimsy party relies on a
strategy of crises to retain support.
The formation of a political community
based on shared values between folk and
elite seems virtually impossible. The partici-
pant-observers in each election districtt re-
port that "Gairy's followers attributed
supernatural qualities to him." One brown,
middle-class male responds to the ques-
tionnaire on colonialism: "I hate the bas-
tards, they raped us, then made us like them
and now we don't know who the hell we are.
I wish sometimes that I could leave and find
a small farm and live with my people, but
they probably hate my guts too."
However, tumout in elections averaged
around 70 percent, and Singham reports
that in 1962 on the basis of random inter-
views "the electorate was surprisingly well
informed." Grenadianswere fiercely divided
about the outcome but seemed to agree on
the rules, although a few elites wistfully re-
called the pre-1951 elections with a limited
franchise and a few thousand voters.

These were both distinguished and useful
studies of Grenada at a moment in time:
accurate social science snapshots with
some historical detail. What do they tell us
about later events and trends in Grenada?
What is their predictive and projective
power keeping in mind that they were not
written as guides to the future but as analy-
ses of the present?

Singham and Smith agreed fully on Gre-
nada's bleak economic prospects. Sing-
ham asserts that "the economy of Grenada
in the 1950s had changed very little since
the latter half of the 1800s," and "Grenada
may prove lucky in this decade to maintain
present levels of living." Economic growth
since 1960 has in fact barely kept up with
population increase. The economic base
has not expanded or diversified except that
emigration and remittances have grown
more important.
Smith is careful to distinguish between
the projection of trends and the empirically
verifiable prediction of events. He notes how
for several generations the elite has incor-
porated new immigrants from outside the
society and adjusted to emigration. He ob-
serves "the gradual disappearance of white
or near-white Grenadian planter families
from the local scene," a trend which con-
tinues to the present. Meanwhile "in each
generation a number of illegitimate males,
born of folk mothers, have entered the
elite," a trend which may have increased
since his study.
He foresees the maintenance of elite-folk
boundaries except in tiny Carriacou where
"the cleavage between folk and elite is com-
pletely absent" and a common folk culture
exists. In Grenada itself the elite limits the
award of social status on the basis of oc-
cupational achievements alone, "since
such individual placements must be con-
sistent with the basic principles of kinship,
affinity, descent, and color on which their
status structure rests."
Neither education nor merit are consid-
ered likely to crack the ascriptive elite. The
elite "enjoy a virtual monopoly of requisite
training and background" for executive
roles, and "have done very little to extend
these educational opportunities to other
strata." Merit criteria make few inroads. "De-
spite recent adoption of impersonal criteria
for entry into government service, it is un-
likely that these traditional methods of elite
recruitment will either lose their importance
or change their form."
What has changed though, according to
Smith, is the symbiotic patron-client rela-
tionship between planters and peasants
who are also casual laborers, what Singham
calls "agro-proletarians." "As this symbiotic
relation decayed progressively after 1930,
discord increased to the point of violence."
Gairy was able to organize enough of the
folk politically to wrest political power, but
his demand for "recognition by his enemies
as their equal or superior" was rejected,
"not only by the elite, but also by some of his
own followers, who interpreted these de-
sires for high personal status as involving
disassociation from themselves."
Singham is stronger than Smith on pre-
dictions but weaker in identifying and pro-
jecting trends in the society. His book is
conceived of as applied research and the


author reiterates his desire that it be of use
to policy makers in developing countries.
Based on the experience of other newly
independent countries, there is a prediction
that after independence the politicians will
wrest power from the bureaucracy, once the
restraining hand of the Colonial Office is
removed. Thus did Gairy move from the
1967 Constitution and Associated Status
with the United Kingdom to full indepen-
dence in 1974 and the dismantling of any
remaining civil service constraints on his
power. The 1979 coup by Maurice Bishop
and his New Jewel Movement suspended
the constitution and never introduced a new
one. Ironically it was the brown, middle-
class, London-educated lawyer, Bishop,
and his mostly well-educated brown elite
associates, who terminated the rule of law
in Grenada in favor of "people's justice."
Singham was highly critical of the pre-
independence electoral system which lent
itself to demagoguery, simplification and
manipulation. He called it a "pantomime,
which in a peasant society serves a very
useful entertainment function," charged it
with having a "fundamental inadequacy,"
and noted "the overthrow of so many gov-
emments with this type of electoral system
in the Third World." Gairy, before and after
independence, manipulated elections and
intimidated what was left of the opposition
and the unkept press. Bishop simply re-
pudiated elections as "five-second democ-
racy" and relied on mass meetings, his
considerable personal support, and intim-
idation. Now Grenada is to return to elec-
tions or at least to try again with outside
Singham 20 years ago identified the
trends and political alternatives: "Whether
the hero-crowd type of political relationship
will continue after independence and
eventually turn into a caesarist-type
dictatorship, ... or whether personal
government will gradually be replaced by
party and institutional government." He
suspected that Grenada and other ex-colo-
nial societies "such as exist in the Carib-
bean are condemned to perpetual personal
rule, irrespective of the types of regimes left
behind by the colonial powers."
Gairy did of course move swiftly after in-
dependence to consolidate and extend his
power and to become a dictator with con-
siderable popular support. He continued to
be opposed by many elements of the elite,
including the Grenada Chamber of Com-
merce, some civil servants, urban unions,
the traditional middle-class parties, some
professionals, and a large number of unem-
ployed and underemployed youth attracted
to the New Jewel Movement and its radical
ideas. It was this coalition of convenience
and a mostly nonviolent coup with Gairy off
the island that brought a regime unforeseen
and unforeseeable by Singham or Smith. A
regime that was finally destroyed by intemal

dissent turned into violence against its
If Singham could not predict Bishop, he
came uncannily close. He posited a "mid-
dle-class hero" type who stresses education
as a qualification for leadership, adopts the
posture of savior sacrificing his career, and
a populist ideology with "the rhetoric if not
the content of Marxism or radical socialism"
playing a useful role. The middle-class hero
denounces electoral politics and both the
political and the civil service elites. He calls
for "personal revolutionary government" as
opposed to the "personal nonrevolutionary

Redistribution can level the
elite or force many of its
members abroad, but a
new elite will quickly spring
up in its place.

government" of the caesarist dictator. Writ-
ing in 1968 when Maurice Bishop was a 23-
year-old student in London, Singham finds
that "in Grenada no middle-class hero of
the type sketched here was prominent dur-
ing the period with which we were con-
cerned, as in certain other West Indian
Singham also had striking insights into
the political alternatives. He doubted the ca-
pacity of the political system imposed on
Grenada to handle the tasks of indepen-
dence. He thought that "the lack of alterna-
tive and independent elites and of
alternative institutions not controlled by
government" made a personal dictatorship
likely and representative government un-
likely. He predicted that dependency would
remain the basis of the society and that the
"American connection" would replace that
of Britain. There is no mention of Cuba or
the Soviet Union.

What do these two important books imply
about post-invasion Grenada and the post-
invasion Caribbean? Here are my own pro-
jections and predictions. The propositions
and conclusions are mine; much of the evi-
dence, but not the inferences, comes from
M. G. Smith and Singham.
We should not be dazzled by events. Gre-
nada is a profoundly conservative society
which has experienced little structural
change in this century in spite of political
crises in 1951, 1962,1974,1979 and 1983.
Two coups, an external invasion, and the
introduction of universal suffrage and politi-
cal independence have changed the politi-
cal order but not the society. The economy
remains stagnant, population steadily in-

creases and emigration remains the desired
outlet; the elite is still largely ascriptive, elite-
folk distinctions persist, and Grenada re-
mains a plural society. While it requires up-
dating of the earlier studies to fully test these
assertions, there is abundant fragmentary
evidence. It includes the captured minutes
of the last meetings of the Central Commit-
tee of the New Jewel Movement which criti-
cized the personalist leadership of Bishop,
and called for a Leninist Party "given the
objectively based backwardness and petty
bourgeois nature of the society."
While the Grenadian population has
been growing at about one percent a year
since 1960, the economy has not grown at
all, battered by world oil prices, fluctuating
export crop prices, and other external fac-
tors. M. G. Smith observed that "since 1900
population has constantly tended to out-
strip local land resources and labor de-
mands." Although at least 30,000 Grena-
dians have emigrated in recent years to
Trinidad, Aruba, Curacao, Venezuela, Can-
ada, the US, and Britain, emigration is un-
certain, personal, and hard on those left
behind. Gairy discouraged family planning
for political and personal reasons, and
Bishop was uninterested. Grenada's future
is forfeit unless a much more serious effort
is made to reduce fertility so that emigration
is no longer the principal population
The key to economic growth lies in pro-
moting smallholder agriculture. Grena-
dians with two-to-three acre plots on
rugged slopes need credit and a workable
technological package in order to earn a
modest living. No Grenadian government
has ever been able to do much to help, and
no off-the-shelf workable technological
package for tropical rain-fed agriculture ex-
ists. The other economic options: more
tourism, agricultural processing, light in-
dustry, offshore banks, private medical
schools, etc. are capital-intensive and will
make little dent in chronic unemployment.
Neither the Gairy nor the Bishop govern-
ments could get the limp economy mov-
ing. State and collective farms and
government-run industries tended to serve
elite rather than folk interests, as did earlier
marketing boards and cooperatives. The
government depends on the export econ-
omy for its own income and persistently
neglects subsistence agriculture.
Foreign aid from a multitude of sources
has benefited some individual projects but
not started the economy moving. The
Cubans, Soviets and Eastern Europeans
were unwilling to pay foreign exchange for
Grenadian exports, but had few goods to
trade that anyone wanted other than weap-
ons. One lesson of the Grenadian experi-
ence is that there is only one world
economy for small developing countries
since the communist countries are eco-
nomically unwilling to shelter more Cubas.


More graffiti in Grenada.

Grenada cannot rely on unreliable foreign
aid from any quarter.
Grenada's political boundaries remain
vexed although the context has changed.
Political independence is a fact, and there is
little external support for replacing one flag
with another. Yet it was Grenada's weak,
poor, and vulnerable neighbors in the
Organization of Eastem Caribbean States
who requested US intervention and sent
their own forces together with those of Bar-
bados and Jamaica. Surely the Grenadas of
this world need public and firm mutual de-
fense agreements to reassure themselves
and their neighbors? These should come
from within the region and the subregion.
The alternative is not the toothless princi-
ples of nonintervention and the gummy UN
and OAS, but defense pacts with extraregio-
nal powers.
Singham and Smith were convinced that
political independence for islands like Gre-
nada was a mistake. They were right, but it is

Scholarly INI
multidisciplinary IUBI
journal CHAIN
devoted entirely III
to Cuba ST 1 IIE

probably too late to reverse course. Instead
the functional integration provided bythe
Caribbean Community and the Caribbean
Development Bank need be strengthened.
It was Grenada's participation in the Univer-
sity of the West Indies that made this re-
search possible and which has made higher
education accessible to many Grenadians.
Grenada has been promised an interim
government of appointed technocrats, an
external peacekeeping force, a reorganiza-
tion of its politicized and corrupt police, and
new elections under the restored 1973 con-
stitution. The political parties are in disarray:
ex-Prime Minister Gairy, a 61-year-old dis-
credited exile seeking to try his hand again,
and other leaders or erstwhile leaders fled,
dead, arrested, or abroad. It is hard to see
how any coherent government can result
from elections, unless it be another hero in
the crowd. Institutionalized two-party com-
petitive electoral politics have never done
well in Grenada. At best the elections may

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be reasonably honest and produce a leader
with enough support to rule but not enough
support to intimidate.
The fundamental plural character of the
society remains. Gairy was a black populist
who won some concessions for the folk but
who relied on the elites to run the country.
Bishop and most of his associates were
brown, middle-class intellectuals, in the
words of sociologist Anthony Maingot,
"with no mass base, without even signifi-
cant labor union support." They were as
quick to repress potential folk dissent, as in
the Rastafarian Movement or the Obeah
cult, as they were to intimidate elite opposi-
tion. Bishop hesitated to nationalize since
there was so little to redistribute, and the
private sector remained the core of the fee-
ble economy. Moreover, nationalization and
redistribution often involved reshuffling the
colored executive class managing state en-
terprises with folk labor. Only by creating a
rag-tag army and militia was Bishop able to
deliver jobs and some form of status to his
urban unemployed followers, much as
Gairy had created special police aid jobs for
his rural clients.
Without economic growth and diversifi-
cation, the ascriptive elite cannot be peace-
fully and gradually opened up and new
criteria introduced. Redistribution can level
the elite or force many of its members
abroad, but a new elite will quickly spring up
in its place. The murderers of Bishop clearly
had this in mind with their desire to replace
the middle-class hero with a loyal cadre of
party hacks. Their new elite based on pure
force and repression might have been
darker in color but no less hostile to the folk.
Another direction for Grenada lies in the
example of Carriacou. Here everyone
shares in a common folk culture; custom-
ary land tenure has de facto spread land
ownership, and the tiny economy does not
permit an elite to form. At least symbolically
Grenada could move towards a shared na-
tional culture by legitimizing folk speech,
oral history, religious practices, and even
dark pigmentation. The elites in societies as
different as Haiti and the Dominican Re-
public have taken some tentative steps to-
wards recognizing and asserting their folk
heritage. Since kinship, legal marriage, and
descent are the elite maintenance bound-
aries in Grenada, the sharing of a common
culture has its limits in fostering social
The contribution of Singham and Smith
to our understanding of Grenada and other
similar Caribbean societies was a major
one. It has taken an internal crisis to prompt
a rereading of these books, but it is a worth-
while endeavor. The roots of the events of
1983 lie in the features of Grenadian society
that were detected 20 years earlier and
have not basically changed. The invasion
of Grenada was decided in Washington,
but the crisis which prompted the invasion
is internal and will not go away. [


Continued from page 9

distance to Grenada. There was one very
bad example when a hurricane had virtually
wiped out the whole of that region of islands
including Grenada, in offering hurricane re-
covery help, the US declared that Grenada
could get no help. It became quite a scandal
in the region. So what you had there was the
foundation of a sort of growing hostility and
animosity in which both sides could argue
exactly why they were right, and did so.
Bound up in all of this now arose two
questions. One was a constitutional ques-
tion in that there was naturally great anxiety
to know, having won by a coup, when they
would proceed to legitimize the process by
having an election; that became a great
burning question. Their reply was that they
wanted to have a fundamental inquiry into
their constitution, and when agreeing on
some new form of constitution, they would
put that to the people by a referendum and
then hold elections. A lot of the countries in
the world accepted that in good faith and
said "Well, give them time; let's see what
happens." But to some countries this was a
great problem, a great bone of contention.
The other issue was, of course, the airport at
Point Salines. The president of the United
States more than once appeared on coast-
to-coast television to express the view that
this airport was part of a Soviet military
design to build a staging ground for Soviet
bombers to attack the mainland United
States. The Grenadian government repeat-
edly said that this is nonsense; that it is a
tourist project important to their tourist in-
dustry because without it wide-body jets
cannot fly into Grenada, and without the
wide-body jets, there could never be a real
take-off in tourism.
In 1983 there began a set of internal diffi-
culties in Grenada-difficulties between a
faction in the New Jewel Movement and
Prime Minister Bishop. The faction was
contending that Bishop was ignoring the
development of the political party, accusing
him of running a sort of charismatic one-
man show (they used the phrase "one man-
ism" as a charge against him). This began
to develop tremendous internal tensions in
the movement. And just before the events of
which you are conscious, there came a
showdown inside the New Jewel Movement
in which the faction, led by Bernard Coard,
won a majority vote in the committee to say
that Bishop must relinquish the leadership
of the party, concentrate only on the leader-
ship of the government, and that Coard was
to take over the running of the party. This is
what set the stage for the quarrel.
Bishop apparently temporized and
seemed to agree at first, and then said he

didn't agree, and I dare say there is a little
doubt as to justwhat happened at that point.
Suddenly the news came that the majority
in the committee had ordered Bishop dis-
missed from all leadership positions for
noncooperation and ordered the army to
detain him. While winning the majority on
the committee of the New Jewel Movement,
Coard's faction had also won the majority in
control of the army; hence they had the
power to have Bishop detained. Then the
real source of the crisis came to light: the
people who ordered Bishop detained really
only had control of the party, which was very
small in membership. Bishop himself was
enormously popular with the population at
large. He was a very loved figure, seen as
symbolic of Grenadian pride and courage,
literacy and education; they were proud that
he had been able to get their airport built.
After he had been detained for about four
days, the people literally just rose up one
day-a crowd estimated to be in excess of
10,000 which in a population of 110,000, is
a vast crowd of people. This huge crowd
came, overran the guards who were watch-
ing Bishop, sprung him free from the house
where he was detained and, again there is a
little bit of grey area about what happened
next, but it appears that they marched along
to a fort where some of his followers had
been detained for supporting him. They
went there for the purpose of releasing
them. Army units arrived in three armored
cars and started to fire at the crowd with a
machine gun. Bishop was wounded in the
leg and taken into the fort, surrendering
with his hands in the air, and about an hour
later, the best evidence we have is that he
was then very brutally executed-in what is
a very shocking and terrible chapter in Ca-
ribbean history. Then a curfew of very cruel
force was imposed. Quite a number of peo-
ple were killed when the army fired on the
Bishop crowd. At that stage you have a very
clear case of a terrible wrong having been
done. Our own party in Jamaica was
among the first in the world to denounce
this in the most condemnatory terms, be-
cause it was shocking. That set in motion
the events of which you are aware-the

Bishop's Execution
First of all, some question marks. A very real,
question mark hangs over just what hap-
pened from the time Bishop was detained
to the moment when he was executed. One
theory is that the military under Hudson
Austin just took charge of the situation and
acted in this brutal and repressive manner.
Another theory is that Coard, who had re-
signed from the government the day of the
detention on the ground that he was being
accused of plotting Bishop's assassination,
used his resignation to say, "Look, I'm not in
it; I'm out." There is the view that this was a
blind and that he was really manipulating
and master-minding the thing all along. An-

other view, the one that I suspect--tenta-
tively, because I really do not know-but
there are a lot of reasons why my sense of
logic tells me that what probably happened
was that the whole situation got out of
control from the moment of Bishop's deten-
tion and the whole thing just became chaos.
At the moment that Bishop was executed,
it may well have been sort of middle-rank
hot-headed army people who ordered it
done; it may not, in fact, have come from
the top. We may find out one day, but I don't
think anybody is really sure of what hap-
pened up to that point. Whatwe know is that
after Bishop was executed, there emerged
what was called the Revolutionary Military
Council, which imposed the curfew and
took charge.
There is controversy about what hap-
pened next. We know that immediately after
Bishop's death, the group of small islands
called the Organization of Eastern Carib-
bean States, of which Grenada was one (Do-
minica, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Antigua, St.
Kitts), had a meeting in Barbados. This was
unusual because they had never met out-
side of one of their countries. They met in
Barbados, which is not a part of the OECS.
The meeting expressed itself as concerned,
frightened and shocked, communicated
with the prime ministers of Barbados and
Jamaica, and all seemed to have made the
immediate decision to invade Grenada and
to invite President Reagan to do the invad-
ing, since they certainly would not have the
capacity to do it themselves. It was a deci-
sion to invade, but to invade through some-
body else's muscle. President Reagan
obviously would not have been reluctant
granted his view of Grenada as publicly ex-
pressed. But he obviously sought to cover
himself by having a letter drafted in Wash-
ington (all this is officially announced)
which was sent back to Barbados for the
OECS countries to sign, saying that "If you
want me to invade put it in writing." They
duly signed it and couriers quickly whisked
it this way and back up that way; it all hap-
pened in a great hurry.
Then there was a meeting of CARICOM,
the Caribbean Community, which consists
of all those little countries together with Bar-
bados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guayana, Ja-
maica, Belize and the Bahamas. They met
on the Saturday before the invasion on
Tuesday. There was a discussion that went
until three dclock in the morning, atthe end
of which it was the impression of the chair-
man of the meeting, the prime minister of
Trinidad, that there was a consensus against
using any outside forces to invade. He has
said publicly, that this was his impression.
The next day they met again, Sunday morn-
ing, all the people having just come from
sending the letter to President Reagan. And
they have another meeting of CARICOM at
the end of which there is an inconclusive
discussion, but in which it is again claimed
by the prime minister of Trinidad that there


still was no mention of the use of forces
external to the region, of the US forces, for
invasion purposes. By lunch time on Sun-
day all these prime ministers and others
were hurrying off to their various home
bases. At that stage, Trinidad and Tobago
certainly was under the impression that
there was going to be an attempt to resolve
the crisis by negotiation, had started to put
out feelers and, in fact, had received word
that this military council was worried, fright-
ened by their isolation, and anxious to try to
negotiate, obviously because there was fear
of invasion, fear of isolation, and because
they are so small in the face of a very large
world out there. That was their impression; it
was also our impression. They made a
statement that they wanted better relations
with the US, that they had called the private
sector to meet them and discuss forming a
civilian government, etc. In the middle of all
these discussions, which one part of the
Caribbean thought were going to lead to the
disbanding of the military government, the
setting up of a civilian government, and an
inquiry into Bishops death--and, hopefully,
the punishment of whoever was responsi-
ble-suddenly, early on Tuesday morning,
the invasion began.

On the Invasion
What is my view of the invasion? I have no
doubt that in the US it would be a minority
view, as indeed it is in the Caribbean. That
does not make me ashamed of it; my posi-
tion is very clear. I wantto begin at the outset
by stating that I do not think the invasion
was justified and I do not agree with it. Does
the evidence indicate anything about the
possibility of resolving the crisis without re-
sorting to the action that took place?
The evidence is very clear on two scores,
both of which are important. First, as al-
ready stated, there is evidence that feelers
were coming from certain people who were
obviously frightened by what they had got-
ten themselves into. Secondly, there is the
very important fact that though the army
was in control, it was surrounded by a totally
hostile population. Naturally everybody
who was against what Bishop stood for
would have been hostile to begin with. The
great majority who, in fact, adored Bishop
were horrified and angered by Bishop's
death, so they did not have even a substan-
tial part of the urban population. They were
isolated externally and internally. The sec-
ond important factor is that they had ap-
pealed to Cuba, hoping, perhaps believing,
that Cuba would rush to their defense. In
fact, they were spurned by Cuba, who told
them in no uncertain terms that they would
not commit any Cuban resources to rein-
force or help them because, in the words of
the Cuban government, "We would not find
it possible politically or morally to come to
the defense of your regime because we to-
tally disagree with what you have done."
That's the official message that was sent. So

they were isolated even from the source that
they believed would come to their rescue.
The invasion of sovereign territory of an-
other country is the most profound step that
can be taken, and the most dangerous-
dangerous for its precedence, dangerous
for what it implies for international law, dan-
gerous for what it implies for international
relations. I think that anybody who does not
realize that either does not really con-
sciously live in this world or has no moral
perceptions of it. Thus, if you are going to
invade a country, there must be a tremen-
dously clear justification-not just an ordi-
nary justification.

Tyranny does not depend
upon large areas of land for
its practice; tyranny occurs
in large and small

My objective here is not to criticize what
the US administration has done. President
Reagan had a letter, and he acted on that
letter. He has always made it clear that he
absolutely disagreed with the presence of
the New Jewel Movement and that govern-
ment; that position was clearly stated from
the start. My concern is with the Caribbean
leaders who issued the invitation. Ijust don't
agree with them. And looking at it from
various points of view, one justification has
been that it was to restore democracy. And I
think it was Mrs. Thatcher herself who said
in Britain that it is very difficult to know how
to establish democracy out of the barrel of a
gun. If the objective is to restore democracy,
it would have to be very clear that you are in
an absolutely extreme situation, with no al-
ternatives at all, before you could act in that
way. A second contention was that it was to
protect the students in the southern part of
Grenada at the medical school. This, of
course, is a matter that occasioned deep
emotions of sympathy and concern, be-
cause this is a very profound question. I
make two comments on it. It is not for me to
judge, but one notices that in the original
declarations up to the Monday before the
invasion, the authorities in the medical
school said that they did not think they were
in danger and that they had received as-
surances that they would not be interfered
with in any way from this military conflict.
But you might say to me that as a matter of
policy you would feel that you could not take
a chance on that, with the terrible memory
of the Iran hostages, and as a human being,
I understand that in a very profound way.
There is a certain principle in international
law that when a country is concerned for the
safety of its nationals, military intervention
is justified but should be restricted to the

securing of the safety of these nationals. In
other words, if an invasion had to take place,
just put the marines around the students
and say, "Look, nobody touch these people
here or feel the might of US power." But, in
fact, it is hard to convince me that the justifi-
cation was the students, who were secured
in due course, where the thrust of the inva-
sion was to establish complete control of the
island. Thus, the safety of the students can
justify only that part of the full military ac-
tion which related to the students. Ob-
viously there is no question that once the
fighting began the students were clearly in
danger, and everyone generally is relieved
and happy that none were actually hurt.
We move now to the question of the basis
of the appeal to the US. Was itjustified? The
appeal was made under the treaty of the
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. If
you look at it as a matter of international law,
I suggest that there really is no justification
for the appeal because the treaty speaks of
mutual defense against an external threat,
and here the threat was internal to one of the
countries, not external; it was the threat of a
local army that had imposed power. The
treaty also calls for rule of unanimity and, of
course, there could not have been unan-
imity because Grenada was not at the meet-
ing by definition.
Since then we have heard that the gover-
nor general, Sir Paul Scoon, is supposed to
have wanted to issue an invitation to the US
to invade. Again, I cannot agree or disagree
with this. I note that we heard this very late in
the day and note that it is surprising since
that invitation from a governor general
would normally go to the British govern-
ment, as he is the constitutional and legal
representative of the queen. There is no evi-
dence of any request in that direction except
the claim that there was an unsigned letter
waiting to be sent to appeal for US troops.
That is now the basis of the argument for a
legal justification. I do not think there was
any legal justification, and I don't even think
that that is particularly relevant. One was
watching a political act carried out for politi-
cal reasons. That is the reality of the
In the carrying out of the political act,
naturally there was the justification of what
is now called a rescue mission. But I think
that behind the rescue mission, the genuine
political agenda has got to be traced back to
the Monroe Doctrine; has got to be traced
back to perceptions of US foreign policy
and what it ought to do in this hemisphere;
and has got to be traced back to what
Bishop and his movement stood for as dis-
tinct from what another view of Grenada's
future would stand for. In other words, Gre-
nada was now back to the question of
whether it was going to walk in your colonial
path or try to continue the independence
path, where the people on the indepen-
dence path frankly mucked up the whole
thing in an act of total folly and madness in

46/CAI?BBEAN I1view

an enormous self-destruction of their own
process. That provided an opportunity to
move in with the intention of cleaning up
any attempt at that kind of political process,
and, incidentally, cleaning up a country that
had friendly relations with the Soviet Union
and close relations with Cuba, which natu-
rally is anathema to the US, granted the
configuration of hemispheric politics at this
One notes in passing that there has been
an awful lot of confusion about the role of
Cuba in Grenada because as the whole
story began to unfold, we first heard that
there were 700 or so Cubans: 600 workers at
the airport and some 43 military advisors,
44 children, and some teachers and nurses.
But as the invasion unfolded, and the first
600 Cubans were either killed or captured,
we suddenly heard that there were another
1,000 Cubans that had materialized out of
nowhere and were fighting up in the hills. I
gather that some lieutenant colonel had
made that remark and it was picked up by
an alert member of the fourth estate and so
disseminated to mankind-which might
not have been done if the press had been
allowed to land with the invasion in the first
place. But after all that confusion had gone
on around the world, it was finally admitted,
when nobody was listening, that there had
never been those extra 1,000 Cubans but
only those who had been there from the
There was also the question of the plan by
Cuba to take over Grenada and again it
must be said that this came from the claim
by Admiral MacDonald that they had dis-
covered a document referring to some
4,136 Cuban troops that were to be sta-
tioned in Grenada. A letter turned up just a
couple of days ago, indicating that delight-
ful euphemism which is now enjoying a
common currency in world politics, that the
admiral had misspokenn" and that it wasn't
4,100 Cuban troops but that in fact it was
4,100 Grenadian troops who were part of
the Bishop plan to develop his own militia,
argued by him to be necessary because of
his fear of a US invasion. Again, I make no
comment, but that is the justification of that
regime; it was all part of a Grenadian ar-
rangement, not a Cuban arrangement.
One last comment. Looking at the inva-
sion, 1 see two things. I see firstly that the
invasion is immensely popular in Grenada,
for very good understandable reasons.
Everybody who was of a more conservative
bent would be thrilled to see all this radical-
ism put in its place once and for all. The
people who loved Bishop-and that really
was the great majority--of course were very
pleased because they felt it avenged him in
what was a terrible, terrible act. And a lot of
people were just frightened to death, and
therefore, understandably, were very re-
lieved to see that phase of fear come to an
I am opposed to the invasion because I

feel that there was not either a legal, moral or
genuine political basis for doing to the Eng-
lish-speaking Caribbean something that
had never been a part of our experience.
There is a tremendous history of US inva-
sions of Latin American countries, but be-
cause of the peculiar history of the English-
speaking Caribbean, as a part of the Eng-
lish Commonwealth, this had never really
happened in an English-speaking country
before. Now, by the act of our own leaders, I
fear that we have opened a new possibility
because there is now a very important pre-
cedent that has been set and has been set
out of our own mouths and by our own

The Westminster model of
democracy really can't
survive a Gairy.

invitation. But history will judge what the
consequences of that will be.

The Future
Looking at the future, there is obviously
now going to be an election. I myself take a
very serious view of that. I would have
thought it wise, prudent, before rushing im-
mediately into an election at a time of great
hysteria and trauma and confusion, to
spend a few months starting a serious dis-
cussion in a little country like that, about the
kind of constitution under which the people
really want to live.
One thing that has always impressed me
about American society and American po-
litical causes is the deep consciousness of
Americans as a whole of their constitution,
of its meaning and its significance. They are
tremendously conscious, not just of the fact
that you have elections every four years, and
every six years in the Senate, etc., but that
there are a set of principles that are en-
shrined in that constitution which express
fundamental American ideals and which
give people a point of reference in every-
thing having to do with public life, public
activity and the political process itself. It
therefore gives the political process a root in
thought and understanding which stems
from the fact that I think the United States
paid tremendous attention to its constitu-
tion in those great discussions in Phila-
delphia in the 18th century. The way that
American society has evolved has been
around the consciousness of the funda-
mental principles and rules. Some may dis-
agree with them, but the great majority
supports and understands them, and every-
body has to deal with them.
One of the misfortunes of Caribbean his-
tory is that our people came not out of your
great struggle in the 18th century to win
independence and then somehow to weld
this complex group of states into something

that could work. We all came as various
small countries to our independence; with-
out anybody thinking very much about it,
they said, "Well, whatever was the model in
Westminster, let's just have it." Nobody re-
ally stopped to think about what it means,
what it implies, what are its deep structural
roots, what are its challenges to responsibil-
ity and public conduct. That has been a
great weakness about the Caribbean. The
Grenadian tragedy could be redeemed in
one serious way if somebody would say,
"Well here is one thing that's been a mess;
now let's see if we can make something
constructive out of that mess and start a
serious constitutional inquiry." Let them sit
down and consider the way the US constitu-
tion works, or the way France's constitution
works, or the way Sweden's works, or what
they had under Gairy in 1975. I believe that
if they spent about six months in serious
public discussion of that, maybe the people
would vote in a referendum and say "We
liked what was there." Fine. Then they would
have become conscious of it and possibly
committed to it and to the understanding of
it. And if they wanted changes, it could be by
popular decision, again rooting the process
in understanding. After that, I think if you
had elections, people would really under-
stand what elections were about, what the
choices were that they would seriously be
I fear if you have an election right now
people really won't have a clear word, under
what constitution, why they do it. They've
been frightened; somebody's going to
make some nice speeches, maybe, and win
more votes than anybody else. You have the
danger of what could be a very superficial
process as a result.
What about the future of the Caribbean?
What has happened has had a tremendous
effect in the Caribbean. A majority is clearly
for the invasion at this moment, but I think
already the signs are emerging that people
are deeply concerned as if they too are sud-
denly beginning to realize, "My God, what
have we done? What is this whole new thing
that we may have opened up?" I think it's
going to tend to lead to a new definition of
political forces in the Caribbean between
liberator independence people and the new
colonialists. The quicker the US leaves the
scene the better for it-not in terms of
power because obviously you are so power-
ful and they are so small that it doesn't affect
your power. The quicker the US disengages
from the situation, the more would be the
credibility that it is responding to an invita-
tion and not acting under a hidden political
agenda to wipe out any progressive pros-
pects in that island.
So, there you have it a sad case, a sad
story; but like everything else in life, it opens
up the unending dialectics of history, new
things that emerge, new possibilities even
as we grieve over the tragedies of the mo-
ment. D


Group Therapy...
Continued from page 15

meeting on Friday 17th Sept., Cde. Bishop
said he needed time to think and reflect on
the Central Committee's conclusions and
would be able to meet on Friday 24th Sept.
in the CC plenary to put forward his posi-
tion. However, Cde. Bishop did not turn up
on the appointed date and gave the same
reasons for his absence at the General
Cde. James then read a note from Ber-
nard Coard which stated that he understood
that Cde. Bishop would be absent from the
GM and as such he felt it was not fitting for
him to be present since this may inhibit free
and frank discussion. However Cde. Coard
pointed out if the GM requests his presence
he would be willing to comply.
Cde. Marie Francois in response called
for both Cdes. Bishop and Coard to be pres-
ent at the GM. Cde. Maureen St. Bernard
proposed that both Cdes. be sent for. Cde.
Lester Redhead pointed to the nature of the
crisis we are facing and reaffirmed that both
Cdes. must be present. Cde. Tessa Stroude
joined the other Comrades in stating that
both Cdes. must be here at the GM; this also
was the position of Cde. Wayne Sandiford.
Cde. Liam James then asked-do you
think that both Cdes. should be sent for? In
reply Cde. Chester Louison said that Cde.
Maurice Bishop should be given more time
to reflect. In response to Cde. C. Louison, six
comrades reiterated the position that both
Cdes. must be here. Cde. Nelson Louison
said that both should be here while Cde.
Anslem Debourg pointed out that if both
Comrades accept that we are faced with a
serious crisis, then they must be here. Cde.
Valdon Boldeau agreed with Cde. Debourg
and further stated that this GM would assist
Cde. Bishop's reflection. Cde. Keith Ventour
stated that he is shocked that both Cdes. are
not here and that they must hear the posi-
tion of the GM. Cde. Chester Humphrey
reasoned that it is not possible to resolve the
questions put forward by the CC if both
Cdes. are not present; in so doing he re-
jected the position taken by Cde. Louison.
Cde. Lex McBain called for their presence
and further stated that it was unprincipled
for Cde. Bishop to absent himself from the
CC meeting. Cde. Gordon Ralburn en-
dorsed the views of the above Cdes. that
both must be present; Cde. Claudette Patt
also endorsed that position, stated that the
CC had not been hearing from the mem-
bership and she further questioned the ab-
sence of other CC members.
Cde. Liam James explained that Cdes.
Kojo De Riggs and George Louison were at
present out of the country.
Continuing in the same manner Cde.

Chris Stroude said it was important that
both Cdes. be present. Cde. Rudolph
Ogilvie stated that if Cde. Bishop is given
more time to reflect in isolation he would
sink. Cde. Keith Roberts stated his firm
agreement with Cde. R. Ogilvie and called
for the presence of both Cdes. Cde. Re-
ginald Fleming stated that the call for both
Cdes. to come to the GM is to uphold dem-
ocratic centralism (applause). Cde. Peter
David stated that Cde. Bishop already had a
week to reflect and that views of the mem-
bers are critical for him to move forward.
Cde. Einstein Louison stated that the high-

Will we practice criticism
and self-criticism frankly
and openly as demanded
by Cde. Lenin or will the
CC be intimidated by one

est level in the party is here; there is at this
time no higher level and if the situation is so
terrible, he is wondering why both com-
rades are not here. He called for both to be
sent for. Cde. Ronnie Spooner stated his
agreement with everyone except Cde. C.
Louison. He further stated that if the CC and
membership accept that the crisis is so bad,
then both Cdes. must be present so that
collectively we can analyse the crisis. He
called for the GM to use whatever necessary
means to get the Cdes. here (applause).
Cde. Faye Thompson asked whether
Cde. Bishop would come; she suggested
that a letter demanding his presence should
be sent signed by all members. Cde. Peter
David suggested that a delegation [go] to
get Cde. Bishop to come to the GM. Cde.
Chester Humphrey asked for the CC's view
on the matter. Cde. Rudolph Ogilvie stated
that Cde. Coard is willing to come, therefore
we must ensure that Cde. Bishop is coming
before requesting Cde. Coard's presence.
Cde. Rita Joseph stated her disagreement
with Cde. R. Ogilvie and stated that if Cde.
Bishop does not come Cde. Coard should
still be present. Cde. K. Ventour stated his
agreement with Cde. R. Joseph.
Cde. Ewart Layne said that Cde. Bishop's
attitude to the criticism by the CC and its
decision was petit bourgeois in character.
He pointed out that the CC wamed Cde.
Bishop that if he responds in this way to
criticism, this could only discourage Cdes.
from openly criticising him and would only
guarantee that we don't come out of the
crisis and thus the disintegration of the
party and the eventual loss of state power.
Cde. Layne informed the GM that Cde.
Bishop asked for time to reflect, which was

given to him up until Friday 23rd.
He also said he needed] to know Cde.
Coard's views. This he knew by Monday
19th based on the records of the meeting
held by the CC with Cde. Coard. In addition
Cde. Coard held a direct personal talk with
Cde. Bishop and reiterated his position on
the matter, namely, that emotionally his
preference is to remain outside of the CC,
but given the dangers of the revolution at
this time he is willing to retum to the CC and
PB at whatever level determined by the CC.
Cde. Layne went on to state that, however,
the CC has no communication from Cde.
Bishop on his position although he con-
tinues to do his state work normally, operat-
ing from his residence while failing to attend
the CC meeting on Friday 23rd. This, Cde.
Layne pointed out, could only be seen as
contempt for the CC, contempt for demo-
cratic centralism on the part of Cde. Bishop.
On this score Cde. Layne stated that the
issue we face today is what path would the
party take. Will we build a Marxist-Leninist
party as voted for by the general member-
ship in 1982 when the Line of March was
presented? Will we institute democratic
centralism for all? Will the Minority submit
to the Majority? Will there be one discipline
binding on all or will it be for everyone ex-
cept the leader? Will we practice criticism
and self-criticism frankly and openly as de-
manded by Cde. Lenin or will the CC be
intimidated by one man? Are we going to
build a petit bourgeois social democratic
party with one man above everyone, where
people fulfill decisions they like and do not
fulfill those they do not like, where there is
one discipline for some and a next set for
others, where some can be criticised and
others are above criticism?
This is the first and most fundamental
issue the party membership faces today;
whichever decision is taken will determine
the future of the party and revolution, Cde.
Layne stated. He went on to point out that it
is either the building of a Marxist-Leninist
party and the struggle to build socialism, or
a petit bourgeois social democratic party
and ultimately the degeneration of the party
and revolution like in Egypt and Somalia.
What faces us is the road of opportunism or
Leninist principles.
If the road of opportunism is chosen, he
said he cannot see any aspiring Commu-
nist, any aspiring Marxist-Leninist, any
Comrade who stands for principle remain-
ing a member of the CC. He informed the
GM that he had spoken to all CC members
who voted for the Majority position, includ-
ing Cde. Hudson Austin who, although late
for the CC plenary but who is a principle
comrade, and that all these CC members
have agreed that if the road of opportunism
is chosen, they would have no alternative
but to resign from the CC on the ground of
principle. The membership is then free to
choose a new Central Committee but none


of the Cdes. would be standing for reelec-
tion. However, they are willing to continue
functioning as ordinary party members,
and in order to remove any suspicion or
grounds for rumour that they are working to
undermine the new CC, they are all pre-
pared to serve and defend the revolution
overseas. Thus the membership must
choose which road, whether it is opportu-
nism or Marxism-Leninism. Cde. Layne
then quoted a passage from the material.
Cde. Unison Whiteman, on a point of order,
informed the GM that Cde. Bishop turned
up on Saturday 24th for a CC meeting at
1:30 pm, but the meeting did not take place.
Cde. Liam James explained to the GM that
the meeting was specifically to discuss and
agree on the Central Committee report to
the GM but the document was not yet rolled
off. Thus it was not possible for the meeting
to be held.
Cde. T. Stroude asked whether Cde.
Bishop sent an excuse for his nonatten-
dance to the Friday 23rd CC meeting.
Cde. Selwyn Strachan said that Cde.
Bishop informed him that he had not
finished reflecting and he had nothing new
to say. Thus he wanted more time to reflect.
He also said that he went to bed late on
Thursday night. Cde. Strachan stated his
firm endorsement of the points made by
Cde. Layne. He stated that the issue is one
of democratic centralism. We have ana-
lysed the problems, got to the root of the
problems and came up with a solution. And
this is the first time that the CC has been so
frank and principled. The CC has to be
blamed for covering up and for its right
opportunist positions. We have contributed
to the crisis. This right opportunism of the
CC is seen in the covering up of Cde.
Coard's resignation and Cde. Kenrick Radix
removal from the CC. And he was part of the
covering up and trampling on these issues.
But now a clear majority in the CC has taken
decisions and they must be upheld on the
principles of democratic centralism.
Cde. Leon Cornwall said that the be-
haviour and attitude of Cde. Maurice
Bishop to the frank, open and comradely
criticisms and the CC decision based on the
criticism was petit bourgeois in retum. Cde.
Bishop during the CC Extraordinary Plen-
ary accepted, and this is recorded, that the
party and revolution face their most dan-
gerous crisis, and if things continue we can
lose state power. Cde. Bishop also agreed to
the fact that the source of the crisis is with
the Central Committee; Cde. Cornwall in-
formed the GM. In fact no CC member dis-
agreed with this. When Cde. Bishop was
criticised, everyone including himself
spoke in agreement with the criticism. How-
ever on the question of action, what is to be
done, vacillations begun. Despite this Cde.
Bishop said he had no problem with joint
leadership and that his conception of his
role in the revolution accorded with those

spelt out in the proposal. Comrades, but
Cde. Bishop has not shown that consis-
tency in action as his verbal expressions
may indicate. Instead he has been in prac-
tice resisting the criticism and the majority
position. Cde. Comwall pointed out that this
action violates the fundamental principle of
a Marxist-Leninist party, that of democratic
centralism which is the soul of a Marxist-
Leninist party and those aspiring to build
such a party. That failure to uphold demo-
cratic centralism in this case would lead to
serious problems in the future and the in-
ability of the CC to apply this to other party
Comrades and committees in the future.
Cde. Comwall stated that on Tuesday 20th
Cde. Strachan, James, Layne, Austin and
himself spoke with Cde. Bishop; at the end
Cde. Bishop said "I will definitely come to
the CC meeting on Friday but not before."
He also said in the same positive manner
words to this effect to Cde. Layne on Thurs-
day 10:30 pm. However he failed to turn up
to the CC meeting and thus he joined with
Cde. Layne in saying that Cde. Bishop
showed contempt to the CC decision and
democratic centralism. He also reminded
the GM that many party Cdes., members,
candidates and applicants, even Cdes. who
are not even potential applicants, have been
seriously criticised by the party; however
they continued to work and struggle for the
interests of the revolution. He went on to say
that we must decide on what type of party
we are building. If it is a Marxist-Leninist
party, then all, not some, of the Leninist
principles must be applied. But if it is a
social democratic party then we must leave
the "people's books" alone. He finally en-

dorsed the position that no aspiring Leni-
nist can remain on the CC if the party fails to
apply this CC decision on the way forward
and therefore is prepared to resign.
Cde. Basil Gahagan called on the GM to
take a decision to call for Cde. Bishop. A
vote was taken: 46 Cdes. for, one against
and one abstained. A delegation headed by
Cde. lan St. Bernard, member of NJM Cen-
tral Committee, and consisting of Cdes.
Basil Gahagen, Marie Francois, Keith Ven-
tour, Chester Humphrey and Wayne Sand-
iford left to convey to Cde. Bishop the will of
the GM.

Coard Arrives
At 11:10 am Cde. B. Coard arrived; at 12:42
Cde. lan St. Bernard reported to the GM on
behalf of the delegation. Cde. St. Bernard
pointed out that the delegation met Cde.
Bishop and explained the position of the
GM after they had heard the CC report. Cde.
Bishop said he preferred for the delegation
to carry to the GM his position. He said he
read the CC report and had not yet formu-
lated his position on it. He outlined his posi-
tion on joint leadership saying he has
always accepted this and referred to the
Joint Coordinating Secretaries established
in March 1973 when NJM was formed. He
stated that as leader of the party and revolu-
tion he accepts the blame for the weakness
of the CC. When asked to come to the GM
to explain his position he was not favoura-
ble to this; however after some insisting by
the delegation he said he would reach at
12:30. Cde. St. Bemard said that in his opin-
ion Cde. Bishop would come.
Cde. K. Ventour added that the atmos-


phere in the meeting with Cde. Bishop was
emotional. He pointed out that Cde. Bishop
said that he got the CC report late and didn't
agree with certain aspects in it. Cde. C.
Humphrey added that Cde. Bishop said that
there were many things he was trying to
think of and as such can't contribute to the
meeting. Cde. W. Sandiford added that Cde.
Bishop said that there were some concerns
he had and wants to raise but does not think
it is wise to raise them in the GM. Cde. Layne
interpreted all these as manifestations of
violation of democratic centralism by Cde.

Bishop Arrives
At 12:52 Cde. Bishop arrives.
Cde. Fitzroy Bain said that one member
of the delegation said Cde. Bishop said that
there were things in the CC report he was
not in agreement with, what were they?
Cde. Marie Francois asked Cde. U. White-
man for an explanation about his absten-
tion in the voting. Cde. Whiteman said that
Cde. Bishop had some concerns some of
which have not been addressed, thus de-
manding that he comes here is not correct.
Cde. Spooner asked- "What were those
concerns?" Cde. Whiteman responded that
one concem is that he needs to adjust psy-
chologically, and secondly there were cer-
tain important points not reflected in the
minutes. Cde. P David said that the GM was
concerned about Cde. Bishop's absence

and thus he should explain.
Cde. Bishop in response said that he as-
sumed that the CC would explain his posi-
tion to the GM. He added that the
discussions in the CC plenary has raised
concerns to him. When stripped bare and
until he has completed his reflections then
he can face the GM with a clean conscience.
He is now relatively confused and emo-
tional. There are several things that concern
him and thus require a lot of mature reflec-
tion. He said that he shared the basic CC
conclusion on the crisis in the country and
party and that the source of the crisis lies in
the CC. He added that he firmly believes that
the more authority and power one had then
the greater the responsibility and duty to
accept criticism and that the overall respon-
sibility for failures belongs to that person.
He pointed out that the concept of joint
leadership does not bother him because of
his history of struggle especially from the
1973 merger which gave rise to NJM. He
said that many comrades had criticised him
in relation to his acceptance of joint leader-
ship in the past in the form of Joint Coordi-
nating Secretaries. However the masses
have their own conception and perception
that may not be necessarily like ours who
study the science. Our history shows that
the masses build up a personality cult
around a single individual. He admitted that
his style of leadership has led to vacillation,
indecisiveness in many cases. He con-

fessed that maybe his conception of leader-
ship is idealistic because of the historical
abuse of power and one-man leadership.
He and his contemporaries have distaste for
one-man leadership and he has a strong
position on this. He further pointed out that
his style of leadership is in error since it calls
for consensus, unity at all cost and this
causes] vacillation. And he is not sure that
he has overcome this.
Secondly he said that he feels strongly
that the party must have a clear position on
areas of demarcation of responsibility and
systems of accountability. He is of the view
that some Cdes. held strong reservations
and they should have raised them in an
open and principled way. He said that if they
held them for long and then suddenly]
spring them then there must be need for
He informed the GM that in the July CC
plenary there was assessment held and that
many points that are now being made
about him were not made then. He stated
that he is always open to criticism but he
should have been approached first before
the meeting so he would be able to workout
a clear and cogent response. He went on to
say that there is a fine line separating a petit
bourgeois and a scientific response. He felt
that if he had those conclusions on a mem-
ber he would have checked them before
although this may not be a scientific


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He also said that he is concerned] about
the minutes being given to the GM. If min-
utes are given which show what each mem-
ber of the CC has said it can develop ideas
of groupings and fractions and vacillations
in the CC. He is afraid that it would even-
tually reach the masses and reaction and
would thus undermine the revolution and
give rise to suspicions that there is a power
struggle in the CC. He said that if we are to
rebuild links with the masses, then by solv-
ing the problem by being frank it would
undermine the confidence of the leader-
ship. He sees this clearly and does not un-
derstand why other CC members cannot
see this. He pointed out that in the past the
CC has decided on not communicating
sensitive matters, e.g. on defence. He said
that at the emergency CC meeting a large
part of that meeting was spent discussing
whether Cde. Valdon Boldeau, the CC re-
cording secretary, should be present at the
Extraordinary CC Plenary. At the emer-
gency CC meeting some Cdes. had ap-
prehension but now, two weeks later, they
have no apprehension in giving the min-
utes to the GM.
He then said that he is concerned about
what is the real meaning of the CC's posi-
tion. He is having horrors. If it is what he is
thinking of then he does not see himself as
being on the CC or on the CC as a leader. He
said that the CC pointed out that his
strengths were the ability to agitate the
masses, to articulate the position of the
party and governmenttothe masses, and to
hold high the banner of the revolution in the
region and internationally, and his weak-
nesses were lack of Leninist level of
organisation and discipline, brilliance in
strategy and tactics, and all that have been
said. But the CC said that precisely those
qualities he lacks are those required to carry
the revolution forward because those he
has can't take it further. Thus the strengths
of two Comrades are to be married to-
gether. He is suspicious that comrades have
concluded that the party must be trans-
formed into a Marxist-Leninist party and
thus he is the wrong person for the leader.
He can't accept this compromise; it is un-
principled. He explained that for him to put
out his strengths it must be as a result of a
deep conviction, love for the poor and
working people, and out of a feeling of con-
fidence from the CC. He is not satisfied be-
cause the totality of points made is pointing
him in a direction he is trying to run from It
is not joint leadership but a compromise in
the interim. "What is the genuine substan-
tial preference of the comrades," he asked?
Cde. Bishop went on to say that only he
can solve the problem he is now facing
because any assistance and talk about this
not being a case of no confidence will be
seen by him as tactical. He further said that
he is considering the option of withdrawing
from the PB and CC but has not yet resolved

this. Therefore the CC as the Vanguard of
the Vanguard has a duty to meet in his ab-
sence and come up with clear conclusions
on how to come out of the crisis. He stated
that the CC should not wait for him because
supposing after his reflection he decides to
withdraw, then many vital weeks would have
been lost. His only concern, he stated, is
about certain areas in the report that con-
cems him about his role in the future, but
the CC should go ahead and meet and
whatever line is taken can be communi-
cated to him.

What faces us is the road
of opportunism or Leninist

Bishop Criticised
Cde. James stated that in his view Cde.
Bishop must remain in the GM and hear
from the members. He went on to say that
we must distinguish between emotional
and psychological reactions from decisions
of the CC. The CC is the highest body and
its decisions are binding on all--this is a
fundamental Leninist principle. It must not
be for some but for all. He stated that what is
at stake given the depth of the crisis is the
future of the revolution. The number one
priority for everyone must be the interest of
the party and revolution. Our whole ap-
proach to this question must always be to-
tally cold blooded, honest and objective. We
must ask ourselves what is the correct solu-
tion, what is the way forward.
In the question of raising it with him be-
fore Cde. L. James [said] that there is no
Leninist rule that demands this, that no
party rule requires this. If a comrade
chooses to do this it is out of that comrade's
own liking. Cde. James informed the GM
that the CC has removed Comrades from
the PB and CC before, and no such ap-
proach as Cde. Bishop desired in his case
was used.
On the question of the minutes going to
the GM Cde. James said that the heart, the
essence of the minutes is the position taken
on joint leadership and the criticism of Cde.
Bishop. The CC can't lie anymore unless we
decide we are not building a Marxist-Leni-
nist party. It is therefore critical that the GM
see the positions taken by everyone since
it would help in them] assessing CC
Cde. Francis Gill stated that [it] is neces-
sary for Cde. Bishop to be here and stay at
the GM. He needs] to hear the discussions
of all the members. Cde. Gill said that the
emotionalism does not surprise him be-
cause of the petit bourgeois nature of the

party. He further stated that the criticisms he
has read in the minutes have been frank
and he does not see any petit bourgeois
manifestations in them. The main issue is
that of settling the leadership question. He
agrees that Cde. Bishop does not have the
ideological clarity. At first many members
thought that problem rested with the
Organising Committee but now he has real-
ised that the Organising Committee cannot
have problems if the CC does not have.
Cde. Gill stated that all of us have the weak-
ness of not frankly raising criticisms, and
Cde. Bishop should appreciate that now
comrades are willing to do so. This is a sign
of the growing maturity of the CC and GM.
Cde. Gill said that he appreciates Cde.
Bishop's concern on the minutes going to
the GM but failure to give information holds
back the party. For too long the majority of
the party has been operating in ignorance.
Cde. Gill said that he has always seen lead-
ership in the party as being joint. He had
serious concerns when Cde. Coard re-
signed. He further stated that it is necessary
for Cde. Bishop to have bilateral and collec-
tive discussions with the membership. He
said that in his view there is no other way
forward except a qualitative change taking
place in the CC. Cde. Gill then read out a
quotation from Karl Marx, "We have chosen
a path in which we can accomplish the
most for mankind, then nobody can bow us
because they are only sacrifice for every-
one. Then we enjoy no poor limited egoistic
joy for our happiness belongs to thousands.
Our deeds will live on working eternally."
Cde. Anslem Debourg said there is a
crisis in the party. The CC is the highest
organ, once it is split then no party and no
revolution. He said that the question of col-
lective leadership is a fundamental princi-
ple of Marxism-Leninism. That collective
leadership could only advance and push
the revolution forward. He referred to Cde.
Bishop's statement on page 10 in the min-
utes where Cde. Bishop said "he is struck by
the levels of thought and preparation of
Cdes. as evident in their various contribu-
tions." Cde. Debourg said that this is a hint
to there being a conspiracy in the CC. Cde.
Debourg said that he does not think that
Cde. Coard's resignation was correct and
criticised him for this.
Cde. Lorianne Lewis said that in the past
the CC has not been frankly criticising each
other; now out of the blues it has been done
with Cde. Bishop and if we are to put the
party on a Marxist-Leninist footing we must
not suddenly jump to criticise. She also
asked how would we bring the question of
joint leadership to the masses since there
are many people who would not like to see
Cde. Coard as leader?
Cde. L. James answered that joint leader-
ship is an internal party matter and is not to
be brought to the masses. Cde. Bishop
would remain as Prime Minister and Com-




February 9-10, 1984. IESCARIBE
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February 10-11, 1984. Second An-
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February 28-March 2, 1984. The Ca-
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mander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He
said that the key to defeating rumour
mongering is the proletarian acceptance,
attitude and disposition of the two com-
rades. In the past imperialism and reaction
spread rumours about power struggles] in
the party but this made no headway be-
cause of the closeness of the two
Cde. E. Layne said that if we strip things
of personal feelings and ground them on
the organisational principles of a pro-
letarian party and the concrete situation in
our country, then the CC conclusions are

The masses have their
own conception and
perception that may not be
necessarily like ours who
study the science.

correct. He said that no Marxist-Leninist
principle says that you must first privately
raise criticism. Cde. Layne referred to the
resolution of the CC plenary of April 1981
when there was a unanimous call for tight
chairmanship. He also said that came up in
December 1981, October 1982 and July
1983 all being critical of Cde. Bishop's lead-
ership. He also said that the CC resolution of
October 1982 said that there was nothing
wrong with Cdes. holding bilaterals and
consultations on party matters; however
these matters must then be eventually
brought before the party CC. In the minutes
Cde. Layne said that we are not fooling any-
one. The members know what is going on.
We must be frank and honest. He then
quoted a passage from the material "Dem-
ocracy and Centralism" which all members
studied a few weeks ago. "Lenin considered
the development of criticism and self-criti-
cism in everyway among the indispensable
conditions for strengthening the party and
for improving its work. The party of com-
munists criticised itself, and by criticising
inevitably strengthens itself. Principled,
open criticism was considered by Lenin to
be the duty of a revolutionary. He pointed
out that it had a place in the arsenal of every
party organisation. Lenin warned that the
party must critically examine the results of
its activity, and should not hide from the
party members and the people the short-
comings in its work.
"The Party cannot fulfill its role of leader
of the working class and all working people
if it fails to notice its own shortcomings; if it
is unable to expose the negative aspects in
its work, if it is afraid to openly and honestly
acknowledge mistakes and cannot correct
them in time.

"Lenin wrote in this connection: 'A politi-
cal party's attitude towards its own mistakes
is one of the most important and surest
ways ofjudging how eamestthe party is and
how it fulfils in practice its obligations to-
wards its class and the working people.
Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascer-
taining the reason for it, analysing the con-
ditions that have led up to it, and thrashing
out the means of its rectification-that is the
hallmark of a serious party; that is how it
should perform its duties; and how it should
educate and train its class and then the
"Open criticism of its own defects is not a
sign of the weakness but of the great
strength of a Marxist party, and or means of
strengthening it further. Lenin insisted that a
party could learn to win and succeed only
when it could face the truth, even the worst,
Cde. Layne further stated that Cde.
Bishop is of the opinion that there is a plot
and conspiracy to remove him but at this
time for tactical reasons we are going half
way. This Cde. Layne considers to be gross
contempt for the intelligence of the CC. For
him to feel that under every chair, in every
window there is a conspiracy going on is
nothing but contempt.
Cde. Lex McBain said that since April
1981 the resolutions of the CC has been
pointing to weak leadership given the CC,
but nothing was being done. Therefore if we
met and take another such resolution and
do nothing, then soon the party would dis-
integrate and the revolution [be] over-
thrown. Cde. R. Spooner said that since
April 81 with all the resolutions it can be said
that the CC has been a talk shop. Informa-
tion was not being sent down. The CC was
not taking firm measures. He said that at a
weekend seminar the party membership
identified 19 features of a Social Demo-
cratic Party [and] it is clear that they all are
applicable to our own party. The failure of
the CC to pass on information to the mem-
bership shows that the CC was operating as
a clique and did not trust the membership.
He stated that Cde. Bishop as the leader of
the party should be the first person to abide
by and uphold democratic centralism. His
failure to do so is nothing but a petit bour-
geois manifestation. He further pointed out
that Marxism-Leninism is not a dogma but
a guide to creative action and in this regard
cited the nine-man joint leadership in Nic-
aragua. He firmly stated that he supports
joint leadership in the party, and further
went on to say that it is because of the CC
and party's vacillation we are in this situa-
tion. As the old people say, "What happens
in the dark must come to light." He, how-
ever, confidently said that today shows that
the party is prepared to come forward. Re-
ferring to Cde. Bishop he said that one
never knows his strengths if he does not
know his weaknesses.


Cde. N. Louison endorsed Cdes. Layne
and Gill's position. He said that this is the
first time that the CC is telling the member-
ship the truth. He noted that many com-
rades have been seeing the problem and
not saying anything. We must decide
whether we are building a Marxist-Leninist
party or a social democratic one. He noted
that many National Liberation Movements
have failed because of their failure to build a
Marxist-Leninist party. He pointed out his
disagreement with Cde. Bishop's position
when he earlier said that the opinions of the
members can not help him and that he
alone can help himself. This Cde. N. Loui-
son said is a petit bourgeois position. He
then quoted from the document "Supreme
Principles of Party Leadership" which was
recently studied by the whole party. "Lenin
severely condemned any attempt to ignore
the opinions of ordinary party members, to
look upon them as merely the executors of
the will of leading personalities. For him, a
party member was an active, conscientious,
political fighter, a master of his party, pre-
pared to bear complete responsibility for its
Cde. Wayne Sandiford said that he criti-
cises Cde. B. Coard for resigning from the
CC and that he is worried how Cde. Bishop
is seeing the criticisms of the CC and GM as
some kind of conspiracy He said that he
does not want to be part of any conspiracy.
He then pointed out that many comrades
have been moved from their original areas
of work and placed in others. He gave him-
self as an example of this saying that one
morning he was told that he is moved from
the Ministry of Trade and is now a full-time
Worker Education tutor. This change,
although abrupt, he tried to take in a pro-
letarian way and has been making his best
efforts. He further stated that in Cde.
Bishop's speech he cited four concerns,
namely a wrong approach, the minutes
going to the membership, he needs time to
reflect and that this may be a conspiracy.
Cde. Sandiford said that these four con-
cerns are not concerns of principle, they
instead reflect Cde. Bishop's petit bour-
geois side.
Cde. L. James then suggested that the
workshops should begin. Cde. Mikey Prime
then said that the GM must decide whether
Cde. Bishop leaves the GM or not.
Avote was taken on the matter: 51 Cdes.
were for Cde. Bishop staying and one ab-
stained (C. Louison).

Workshop Reports
Then workshops begun.
At 4 pm the plenary session of the GM
begun with workshops reports. Please see
the appendix for the composition and
reports of workshops. [Not included.]
After the workshops reports Cde. L.
James said that the workshops in their
reports cited three areas which need clarifi-

cation. They are Cde. George Louison's atti-
tude at the CC plenary; what is Cde. Hudson
Austin's role in the Armed Forces, and what
problems Cde. Leon Cornwall experienced
as Ambassador to Cuba.
Cde. L James informed the GM that Cde.
G. Louison's behaviour and positions at the
CC plenary was right opportunism. He was
vulgar and referred to the position taken by
one comrade as "a load of shit." He also
tried to disrupt the meeting when the major-
ity of the Central Committee was not sup-
portive of his position by taking up his bag
and threatening to walk out of the meeting.

Since April 81 with all the
resolutions it can be said
that the CC has been a
talk shop.

Cde. James, however said that Cde. G.
Louison should further explain his be-
haviour to the GM when he returns from
abroad. He then called Cde. L. Comwall to
explain the problems he experienced.
Cde. Cornwall said that when the issue of
all CC members being based in Grenada
came up at the CC plenary there were some
Cdes. who did not favour this especially on
the question of Cde. Layne and himself re-
maining. Thus he informed the CC that
there were some problems he experienced
in Cuba mainly caused by the way in which
the party was operating that made it unnec-
essary for a CC member to be based in
Cuba as ambassador since a lot of informa-
tion was being channelled from Grenada to
Cuba by our party and government without
his knowledge.
He said that this was drawn to the CC's
attention several times both in terms of per-
sonal talks he had with CC members,
reports to Grenada and a long letter he
wrote to the CC on these matters. And
failure to take corrective action was in fact
amounting to a waste of his time as a CC
member and a lowering of the image of the
party's Central Committee since basic infor-
mation that any ambassador should know
was not being provided to him. He cited the
continuous failure for the newspapers to be
sent to the embassy and the fact that other
embassies were providing him with their
newspapers and always asking him for cop-
ies of Grenada's. This became a source of
personal embarrassment. Also he was not
informed except one hour before the plane
landed in Cuba when Cde. Bishop was
coming to Cuba in March on his wayto New
Delhi and this information was given him
not by Grenada but by the Cuban com-
rades. This he said is unheard of. Also on
several occasions when other leaders of the



April 12-14, 1984. Annual Meeting of
South Eastern Council of Latin
American Studies (SECOLAS).
Auburn, Alabama. Theme: "The
Many Cultures of Latin America."
Contact: Professor Cooney, History
Department, University of
Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292:
(502) 588-6817.
April 27-29, 1984. VIII Simposio So-
bre Dialectologia del Caribe His-
panico. Boca Raton, Florida Atlan-
tic University. Contact: John
Jensen, Department of Modern
Languages. Florida International
University, Miami. FL 33199; (305)

May 29-31,1984. Eighth Annual Con-
ference of the Society for Carib-
bean Studies. Hoddeston, Hert-
fordshire, England, High Leigh Con-
ference Centre. Contact: Donald
Wood, School of African and Asian
Studies, Arts Building C. University
of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1
90N, England.

May 30-June 2, 1984. Ninth Annual
Meeting of the Caribbean Studies
Association. St. Kitts, The Royal
St. Kilts Hotel. Theme: "Strategies
for Progress in the Post-Indepen-
dence Caribbean." Contact: Frank
L. Mills, Program Chair CSA84, So-
cial Sciences Division. College of
the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas,
U.S.V.I. 00802.

May 31-June 1, 1984. Conference on
Technology Transfer in the Mod-
ern World. Atlanta, Georgia.
Theme: Issues and dimensions of
international technology transfer.
Contact: John R. Mclntyre, School
of Social Sciences, Georgia Institute
of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332;
(404) 894-3195.

July 30-August 19, 1984. Interna-
tional Musical Workshop. Basse-
Terre, Guadeloupe. Theme: Crea-
tion of a hymn for peace..Contact:
Francoise Lancreot, Artistic Man-
ager, Comite de Jumelage de la Ville
de Basse-Terre, 2, Allee du Mont-
Carmel, 97100 Basse-Terre,
Guadeloupe; (596) 81-18-91.


revolution traveled] to Cuba the same oc-
curred. He said that on other matters in-
stead of he as Ambassador to Cuba and a
CC member informing the Cuban Com-
rades they instead were informing him.
This, he said, can only be interpreted as if he
was not a confidential person of the Gre-
nada revolution and NJM, and could only
serve to lower the prestige of the CC as well
as waste his time since things were going
ahead in spite of his presence in Cuba. He
also cited an example of when he was asked
by Grenada to pass on some information to
Cuba and was experiencing difficulties to
get that meeting, but instead a Cuban Com-
rade-not a member of the CC of the
Cuban Communist Party-was able to fly


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into Grenada and immediately get a meet-
ing with four members of our political bu-
reau, including Cde. Bishop, and deal with
the same matter that he was supposed to
deal with. Thus he reasoned because of
how we were operating, it was not useful for
a CC member to be wasting his time.
Cde. Hudson Austin pointed out that for
more than a year he had been concentrat-
ing all of his efforts as Minister of Construc-
tion on the many construction projects that
have been taking place; as such very little of
his time has been given to the Armed
Forces. He explained that in the Ministry of
Construction he works closely with Cde.
Mikey Prime, the permanent secretary, who
is the only permanent secretary that is a
party member. He said that there is a clear
division of labour between himself and Cde.
M. Prime and that his Ministry has good
relations with the Union which unionises the
workers. However, he said all this has been
to the expense of the Armed Forces and he
is very concerned about this. He said that he
proposed in the July plenary of the CC 17
points for building and strengthening the
Armed Forces, and later he wrote a letter to
Cde. Bishop outlining how the Armed
Forces can be strengthened. He said that
his concern is great because the lesson of
Poland showed that when the revolution
was in danger and there was chaos in the
party and society, it was only the Armed
Forces that was able to rescue the situation.
Cde. Unison Whiteman explained to the
GM that he had a number of reservations on
the question of joint leadership for theoreti-
cal and practical reasons. He said he never
read about such a situation. He has heard of
a leader and a deputy leader with the latter
having specific responsibilities. He said that
wherever a leader is missing qualities, col-
lective leadership and not joint leadership
solves the problem. On the question of the
minutes going to the membership, he felt
that instead of this a comprehensive report
highlighting all the arguments should have
been given.
Cde. Chester Louison said he abstained
from the voting this morning because he
was concerned about Cde. Bishop's emo-
tional state.

Further Criticism
Cde. Fitzroy Bain said that there is a split in
views in the CC on the proposals and that
whatever the results it must be for the party's
survival. He said that he had strong feelings
and he had problems with the report read by
Cde. Layne. He said that we have to be
careful that we don't move from right op-
portunism to left opportunism. He asked
how can the resignation of the Comrades
help the CC? He said that this is to intimi-
date the meeting and that he strongly criti-
cises this. He went on to say that Cde.
George Louison is absent from this meet-
ing and that Cde. G. Louison has strong

feelings on the matters being discussed;
however we have gone ahead and held the
GM in Cde. G. Louison's absence instead of
waiting until he is back. He said that this is
not just a case of majority and minority,
since in the past the minority has held views
and the CC has not gone ahead with the
position that was held by majority. He said
he is unhappy about labeling comrades
and that more ideologically developed
comrades put forward positions and others
like himself, who are of a lower ideological
level, feel timid in the face of these. He said
that Cde. Coard's resignation last year ex-
posed the weaknesses of the party, and
when Cde. Coard resigned he had openly
called such a resignation as counterrevolu-
tionary. He said that there has been caucus-
ing in the CC, that comrades are always
talking to each other and that he has no
problems with joint leadership, but this can
mash up the party since there was caucus-
ing. He went on to say that he does not know
if this is a plot, he is not sure on the caucus-
ing and what comrades said to each other
but if there is a plot we have to crush it. He
admitted that the criticisms of Cde. Bishop
are correct and just and that Cde. Bishop's
style of handling the situation and criticisms
was petit bourgeois. He said that he knows
that his ideological level is low and the other
comrades have a higher ideological level
but he does not like these things. He ended
by saying he knows that the comrades had
well thought-out positions and were frank
but he must say what is on his mind.
Cde. Peter David replying to Cde. F Bain
said that the latter is coming up in a subtle
way with some conspiracy theory. He said
that we must struggle to be always frank
and call a spade a spade. He said the Cde. F
Bain cannot seek to blame other comrades
who have been struggling to raise their
ideological level, that he must not feel intim-
idated but should make all efforts to raise
his. He went on to say that we have always
been good at making quick decisions on
small issues but vacillate on taking deci-
sions on fundamental issues. He reminded
Cde. F Bain that he himself said that the CC
comrades who voted for joint leadership
had well thought-out positions, yet he is
hinting that there is a conspiracy and this
decision can mash up the revolution. Cde. R
David said that if there were a conspiracy, it
was a conspiracy to build the party and
Cde. L Cornwall said that he was happy
to see the level of discussion of the mem-
bers and it is being carried out at a high
ideological level grounded in the theory of
Marxism-Leninism. He said that this shows
that the party is maturing. In relation to the
position taken by Cde. E Bain he said that
Cde. Bain pointed out that he had problems
with the report given by Cde. Layne; how-
ever, when the CC met to consider the re-
port before it was presented to the GM, Cde.


Bain voted in favour of the report being
presented as is to the GM. However if Cde.
Bain is referring to the points made by Cde.
Layne, in relation to the decision that the
majority of CC members would resign from
the CC if the party membership fails to de-
mand that the Leninist principle of demo-
cratic centralism be upheld and adhered to,
Cde. Cornwall said that the decision of the
majority is one of principle. He said that for
too long our CC has been] vacillating and
failing to take decisions when one or two
CC members oppose such. This, he said,
has made the party work weak and ineffec-
tive and is responsible for the deep crisis we
now face. He pointed out that failure to take
this decision and uphold democratic cen-
tralism has grave consequences for the
party and revolution. That if we fail to apply
democratic centralism, which is the heart
and soul of a Marxist-Leninist party, or any
party aspiring to be transformed into such,
on this issue that we now face, then on other
matters ordinary party members would re-
ject CC decisions that they do not like. This
he claims would mash up the party. He went
on to say that we have always spoken about
the importance of democratic centralism in
the party; that on the morning of March
13th, 1979, if democratic centralism was
not upheld when the political bureaus took
the decision for the attack on True Blue
barracks, if at that critical moment the party
members said that they needed time to re-
flect, then there would have been no revolu-
tion and the party leadership would have
been wipe[d] out since Gairy left orders to
exterminate the entire leadership. This is
why if we fail to stand by principles but bend

them for one man, it would be unprincipled
for CC members who have any respect for
principles to remain on the CC.
He went on to say that he finds it very
strange that Cde. Bain never raised the is-
sue of postponing the GM before because
Cde. G. Louison is out of the country. He
stated that the CC took this decision to hold
the GM since Saturday 17th, but between
that time and today Cde. Bain never even
raised the matter of postponing the GM, in
fact he did not raise it this morning and now
it is almost 10:00 pm. Why is he now raising
this? He also said that no one must feel

This would mash up

the party.

intimidated because of differences in ideo-
logical level; instead it is the duty of every
CC member, every party member to strug-
gle hard and study hard so that the ideologi-
cal level of the entire CC and party can be
raised in order to work out the correct solu-
tions to problems we face now and the even
more complex ones we would face in the
He went on to say that when the CC criti-
cised Cde. Bishop it was not done from a
position of self-righteousness. We all have
weaknesses, but it was the opinion of every
single one of the CC that the weaknesses of
Cde. Bishop as leader of the CC and party
were persisting for a long time and causing
vacillations in the CC, thus seriously affect-

ing the party work. He then stated that on
Cde. B. Coard's resignation, the CC pointed
out in October that given the problems in
the CC it was correct to do so. He informed
the GM that a great dependency syndrome
had developed in the CC because every-
body was expecting Cde. Coard to do all the
thinking and preparations for CC meetings
and to ensure that whatever decisions were
implemented. This, he said, only held back
the development of the CC and jeopardised
collective leadership. Since Cde. Coard's
resignation, many CC members have real-
ised that they must take on their responsi-
bility as a CC member to think and prepare
for meetings. It is this long struggle to take
on their responsibilities since Cde. Coard's
resignation that has made it possible for the
ordinary party members themselves to be
now boldly speaking up. In the past this
never happened, but now everyone has
sensed that they must now shoulder their
responsibilities. This is the positive effect of
Cde. Coard's resignation.
Cde. F Bain then spoke repeating his
position on the statement made by the ma-
jority of CC members to resign if the CC
decision is not carried through. He further
said that he got the CC report late, and that
he did not see any conspiracy by the CC.
Cde. F Gill said he does not see any con-
spiracy but instead we are breaking new
grounds. He said that we all have petit bour-
geois weaknesses which can be seen in our
style of work. He called for the party to em-
bark on serious ideological training and
said that Cde. E Bain's position reflects a
low ideological level and understanding. He
said that this issue is one of principle-will


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we stand by principles we speak of or would
we cast them aside for Cde. Bishop's sake?
He further said that what was in the minutes
were already known by most party mem-
bers and that the bringing of the minutes to
the membership was forced on the CC be-
cause the members would not have ac-
cepted anything without seeing the
Cde. Einstein Louison said that some
comrades are trying to justify a serious kind
of complacency that frightens him. This
matter is one of life or death of the revolu-
tion. It was the members who forced this on
announces the publication of its
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Occasional Paper 1: Financial Con-
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to the CC. In Cde. Bishop's concerns he
said that what is clear is that Cde. Bishop
lost touch with the reality around him. He
also said that this is true for Cde. F Bain. He
pointed out that Cde. Bishop had been fail-
ing to supervise the work and thus he criti-
cises him for this slackness. He said that we
are at a point when we must struggle hard to
build a Marxist-Leninist party which is the
only guarantee that we will build socialism.
He said that the matters raised concerning
Cde. George Louison's position is not a per-
sonal attack on him, his position at the CC
meeting was definitely right opportunist. He
went on to say that the CC comrades who
did not vote for the decision but instead
previously agreed to all the analyses of the
crisis and problems reminds him of what
Karl Marx said about some philosophers.
He quoted, "The philosophers have only
interpreted the world, in various ways; the
point, however is to change it."
Cde. U. Whiteman said that his position is
clear that Cde. B. Coard should be on the
CC and PB but he has never heard or read
about joint leadership. He said that maybe
he is not being creative but this is his posi-
tion. He said that someone told him that the
General Hospital is having problems be-
cause there is no clearly defined head of the
Cde. Keith Roberts said he is surprised]
to hear of the positions of certain CC mem-
bers especially those of Cde. Bishop and
Bain who hint that this is a conspiracy. He
said that Cde. Bishop must truly accept the
criticism in a principled way. He quoted
from another document studied by the en-
tire party "Communist-a title of honour"
which said, "Lenin considered the
conscientious carrying out of collectively
taken decisions to be the highest man-
ifestations of unity. He wrote: 'Discussing
the problem, expressing and hearing differ-
ent opinions ascertaining the views of the
majority of the organised Marxists, express-
ing these views in the form of decisions
adopted by delegates and carrying them
out conscientiously--this is what reason-
able people all over the world call unity.'
"After a decision has been taken by the
relevant bodies, Lenin pointed out, all party
members must act as one man. A commu-
nist's devotion to the party is tested by his
ability to uphold the common cause and
the way he implements party decisions. To
be a communist means, above all, to merge
one's own desires and actions with the de-
sires and actions of the party."
Cde. K. Roberts went on to say that Cde.
Bishop has by his words and action shown
great mistrust in the comrades around him,
a high and unbelievable level of individual-
ism. Cde. Roberts stated that we all get
wisdom from the collective wisdom of the
party and we must all struggle to raise our
ideological level in the interest of the

Cde. Valdon Boldeau said that he is
happy with the CC discussions and conclu-
sions. For some time now he has been un-
happy with how the party was operating. He
is now happy to see the CC openly and
frankly discussing its problems and is pre-
pared to solve them. He further stated that
the criticism of Cde. Bishop at the CC plen-
ary was honest and made from the stand-
point of genuine respect and to pull the
party out of the crisis. He said that he sup-
ports the model of joint leadership. He re-
minded Cde. Bishop that CC decisions are
binding on every party member and as
leader he must be more willing to stand firm
with the CC decision. Cde. Boldeau stated
that if Cde. Bishop does not fulfil the deci-
sion this would lead to disrespect for the CC
and for himself.
Cde. Chris Stroude said that since the
formation of NJM, the party's policy was
one of taking state power and to build so-
cialism and communism even if we our-
selves would not be around to see
communism. Therefore we can't afford to
reach part of the way and mark time. He
pointed out that we have to deeply study
Marxism-Leninism and Lenin's teachings
on democratic centralism. He said he was
shocked] to read about and to personally
hear Cde. Bishop's position. He reminded
Cde. Bishop that at the first weekend semi-
nar of the party a few weeks ago, he himself
addressed the party and explained the Leni-
nist principles of party building and called
on all to always uphold them. Cde. Stroude
pointed out that he agrees with joint leader-
ship and that this is a reality in the party that
must be recognized. He said that if the revo-
lution is turned back it would have regional
and intemaitonal implications. He said that
he is surprised that Cde. Bishop is trying to
hide the truth from the members by with-
holding the minutes. He said that there is
nothing wrong in calling the position taken
by someone as being opportunist. When
someone is taking a counterrevolutionary
position we say it is a counterrevolutionary
position. He said that if opportunism is not
struggled against, it would stifle the party.
Cde. Basil Gahagan said that we must be
critical of positions that are opportunist. He
said that he is shocked with Cde. Bishop's
position. It reveals a low ideological level
and understanding. He further went on to
say that the party has lost contact with the
masses and the CC has lost contact with the
party membership. It is this loss of contact
that is now causing this paranoia of power
struggle and conspiracy.
Cde. Lester Redhead commended the
CC for its frankness and stated that he is
dissatisfied with Cde. Bishop's position. He
said that the comrade lacks these leader-
ship qualities which Cde. Coard has, there-
fore he supports joint leadership. He said
that over the last year many committees
bound away because of lack of CC guid-


ance. He said that the party members were
not fooled. He further stated that Cde.
Bishop has not taken the criticism in a
frank, wholehearted manner, and if we are
to build a Marxist-Leninist party, it must be
based on all the Leninist principles of party
building. He further stated that many party
members are developing because they
have a positive and proletarian attitude to
the criticisms that the CC always give them.
Thus Cde. Bishop must see these criticisms
for his own good and the party.
Cde. Chester Humphrey said that what is
taking place reminds him of what Cde.
Coard said when the party celebrated
Lenin's birthday. What Cde. Coard said re-
ferred to how different comrades respond
to criticism, i.e. either in a proletarian or a
petit bourgeois way. He said that Cde. Coard
said on that day that: a. There are those who
accept criticism and attempt to correct their
way; b. There are those who refuse criticism
and make no attempt to change; c. There
are those who accept or say they accept but
don't do anything to change. The latter cat-
egory he said was by far the most dan-
gerous. He said that Cde. Bishop pointed
out both to the CC and GM that these two
bodies can't do anything to help him and
only he himself can help himself. This Cde.
Humphrey criticised as petit bourgeois indi-
vidualism and attempts to find solution for
"his problem" outside of the party. Cde.
Humphrey asked what is the main issue? He
answered we are trying to rescue a dan-
gerous situation. He asked what is neces-
sary to rescue the situation? He answered
that one necessary ingredient is that of
strengthening the CC and party leadership
and this is why he firmly supports joint lead-
ership of the party between Cdes. Bishop
and Coard, the two most outstanding com-
rades of the party with different necessary
strengths. He further stated that no textbook
on Marxism would give you this. We must
be creative and always take into account
our reality.
Cde. Keith Ventour stated that he firmly
agrees with joint leadership. He said that
both Cdes. Bishop and Coard must act in a
proletarian way always in the interest of the
party. He said however in his view the prob-
lem is with Cde. Bishop and his petit bour-
geois attitude to the solution. He said that
the only way to solve this is for Cde. Bishop
to genuinely accept the criticism. He further
stated that no one is president for life. He
then quoted at length from the document
studied by the whole party, "Supreme Prin-
ciple of Party Leadership," which said, "The
Leninist way of presenting the question of
the relation between the masses and their
leaders, between the leaders and the led
deserves attention. Lenin stressed that it is
the masses themselves who throw up
worthy leaders from their ranks. The
masses follow their leaders, but at the same
time they guide the latter and correct them

whenever necessary. Genuine leaders of
the people not only teach the masses but
leam from them, too.
"And for that very reason," Lenin wrote,
"the whole party must constantly, steadily
and systematically train suitable persons for
the central bodies, must see clearly as in the
palm of its hand, all the activities of every
candidate for these high posts, must come
to know even their personal characteristics,
their strong and weak points, their victories
and defeats. In this way, and in this way
alone, shall we enable the whole body of
influential party workers (and not the
chance assortment of persons in a circle or
grouplets) to know their leaders and to put
each of them in his proper category.
"Drawing in large circles of people in the
elaboration and implementation of deci-
sions, assessing the opinion of the majority
and expressing its will, these are the Leninist
principles of party life. They guarantee the
all-sidedness and correctness of party deci-
sions. Forgetting or violating these princi-
ples inevitably brings with it the isolation of
the leaders from the masses, and the adop-
tion of thoughtless, erroneous decisions.
"A genuinely scientific, Marxist-Leninist
approach to the problem of collective lead-
ership presupposes a correct solution of the
question of the authority of the leaders of
the revolutionary working-class movement.
"Marxism-Leninism does not deny the
important role of the leaders of the working
class. While acknowledging the decisive
role of the people in the development of
society, Marx, Engels and Lenin considered
that a leading personality, although he can-
not change the course of history to his
liking, does nevertheless play an important
role in it. A leader can, by his activity, accel-
erate the pace of events, indicate a less
difficult path towards a goal, or, on the con-
trary, slow down the movement forward and
make it more difficult. Leading personalities
are those who have understood, earlier,
more clearly and more deeply than others, a
new situation and the needs of social devel-
opment, and have headed a mass

Bishop Begins to Relent
Cde. K. Ventour went on to say that the CC
must manners all form of opportunism. He
then stated that Cde. Bishop now seems
more relaxed than this morning (applause).
He said that this morning Cde. Bishop
seemed to be confused, contemptuous and
mistrustful of the party membership. Now
he has a more relaxed look and he hopes
that it is a good sign that shows his willing-
ness to genuinely accept the CC and GM
criticisms and the decision of the CC
Cde. Moses Jeffrey stated his firm agree-
ment with the CC analysis and resolution.
He said that this is the most glorious day in
the life of the party because of the frankness

and honesty with which the vast majority of
Comrades are carrying on the discussion.
As a result his confidence in the party is
growing and the CC is showing maturity He
said that Cde. Bishop's position is based on
deep jolted emotions, lack of confidence in
the ability of the party to assist him, nonac-
ceptance of the practical application of
democratic centralism. He said that there
has been for too long a broken link between
the CC and the members. That the continu-
ous failure of the CC to give the members
accurate information has not prepared
them to struggle with deep conviction. He
said that many members were not con-
vinced of the many lines the CC gave as to
the problems of the party work; thus he
asked-how can we convince the masses
when we ourselves are not convinced? If the
CC has no confidence in the party mem-
bers how can we effectively work among the
masses. He said that the only conspiracy
that exists in the party is the conspiracy of
the CC against democratic centralism and
against the party rank and file members. He
noted that now the members are maturing
and understanding in a betterway Marxism-
Leninism and that the foetus of a Marxist-
Leninist party is developing. He said that he
hopes that Cde. Bishop has leamt the les-
son that there are no untouchables in the
Cde. Ruggles Ferguson said he endorses
the views of other comrades. He said that
we must not lose sight of imperialism as our
main enemy. That imperialism is becoming
more dangerous in several parts of the
world-peace is at stake in the world be-
cause of imperialism. Therefore we must
build a Marxist-Leninist party. He said he is
surprised with Cde. Bishop's position. That
frankness and openness must remain a
main feature in party life. He therefore ap-
peals to the reason and proletarian instincts
of Cde. Bishop.
Cde. Gillineau James stated that this is a
historic meeting and it shows that the party
is developing and maturing along a Marx-
ist-Leninist path. He said that he is dis-
turbed by Cdes. Bishop, Bain and G.
Louison's positions. He then referred to the
day when he was removed from the party's
Central Committee; he said that he had to
wage a stout struggle with himself to accept
the CC decision in a proletarian manner. He
promised to send a letter to the CC which he
wrote on that day to show what was his
attitude to the CC decision. He also referred
to the early days of the revolution when he
was removed as commander of a militia
unit but again made all efforts to accept this
in the best spirit. He therefore said that Cde.
Bishop has no other alternative than to
show he is capable of accepting criticism
and moving forward.
Cde. Bertie Lessey said that he supported
the CC resolution. The frankness here in the
GM and at the CC meeting shows that the


party wants to make a decisive break with
the past. Thus all efforts must be made to
ensure that we move forward united only on
the principles of Marxism-Leninism.
Cde. Mikey Prime said he strongly en-
dorses the CC resolution-it is one of frank-
ness, firmness and decisiveness. He said
that he spoke to some CC members, those
who are closer to the membership, just be-
fore the Extraordinary CC Plenary, and he
told them that if the CC does not move away
from this "dilly-dallying" there won't be any
positive change in the conditions of the
country. He said that we must leam the les-
son of today that decisiveness is always
keep in building a Marxist-Leninist party.
Cde. Edlyn Lambert said that if the
women of the party did not speak the meet-
ing would not have ended. She said that she
is shocked] and disappointed with Cde.
Bishop's attitude at the decisions of the CC
and to democratic centralism and free,
frank and honest criticism. She said that if
Cde. Bishop sees the party and CC as of no
help to him then he does not have a party
political problem. She said that the matters
in the CC minutes are of no threat to the
revolution since the majority of the party
members know of the problems and weak-
nesses of the CC. The threat to the revolu-
tion, she said, is the continuous failure of
the CC to tell the members the truth and to
act to overcome weaknesses and short-
comings. She reminded Cde. Bishop that
in May he called on every party member to
walk the extra mile. She then asked how can
we walk the extra mile if you do not set the
pace for us? She asked him to think of the
many lives that would be lost if the party
does not come out of this crisis so the revo-
lution can move forward. She then said that
it is fitting for Cde. Bishop to now tell the GM
what he intends to do.
Cde. Claudette Pitt said that she is proud
to be a member of the NJM. She said that
she is happy to see that the younger mem-
bers of the CC are standing up for firm
Leninist principles. She reminded Cde.
Bishop that in a weekend seminar of the
party he said that democratic centralism is a
norm of party life. She said she is shocked
to hear his position today and his unwilling-
ness in practice to accept the CC decision
on joint leadership. She reminded him that
in the years before the revolution he always
singled out the excellent hard work of Cde.
Coard, and that he said in those days had it
not been for the tremendous work energy
and foresight of Cde. Coard many of them,
including himself, would have given up the
struggle. She said that she strongly sup-
ports the CC decisions.
Cde. Lorianne Lewis stated that on many
occasions we blow hot then cold. She cited
the March threat as an example of this. She
said that many comrades have called for
firmness in theory but don't do so in prac-
tice. She asked how far have we gone in

drafting the new party programme and the
Cde. Peter David said that he was won-
dering that when Cde. B. Coard is back on
the CC & PB whether Cdes. would then go
back in a rut. However, he said that he can
see the development of quite a number of
CC Comrades and as a result feels confi-
dent that this won't be so. He said that open-
ness by the CC to the membership must be
constant. He then said that he is quite sure
that the reflection that Cde. Bishop was
doing in isolation would have led to noth-
ing. He then called on Cde. Bishop to make
sure that all his reflections from tonight be
reflections on how we will be marching
along the path to build socialism with the
full knowledge that only a Marxist-Leninist
party can lead, guide and direct the people
to successfully undertake this task.
Cde. Faye Thompson said that Cde.
Bishop's behaviour was unexpected and
rude. From now on he must reflect on how
the revolution will be moving forward.
Cde. Rudolph said he firmly supported
the CC report. He said that the session is a
firm step to strengthen the party. He is now
more confident in the party because this
shows the willingness of the party to solve
its problems and to build socialism accord-
ing to the time-tested principles of scientific
socialism. He rejects Cde. Bishop's position
that this is a conspiracy and criticises him
for taking such a stand, which is the stand of
the petit bourgeois.
Cde. Maureen St. Bernard said that Cde.
Bishop must mingle more with the party
membership; he is too isolated from the
party's rank annd file; this is why he can't
understand the changes taking place in the
Cde. Marie Francois said that Cde.
Bishop should accept the criticism. She
said she is not surprised] at Cde. F Bain's
position because this is the same petit bour-
geois position he has been taking for a long
time on the Rural Workers Committee of the

Bishop To Yield
At this point Cde. Peter David read a resolu-
tion which was unanimously voted for by
everyone at the GM.
The members then called on Cde. Coard
and Bishop to speak.
Cde. B. Coard said that today is indeed a
historic day in the life of the party (ap-
plause). He said that the CC meetings he
attended from Monday 19th September
surprised him because unlike the past,
every CC member was putting forward well
thought] -out, clear and reasoned positions
on the way forward for building the party
and transforming it into a genuine Marxist-
Leninist party. He said that in the past most
CC members would be silent in CC meet-
ings and seem not to have ideas on how the
party and revolution is to be built. However

now he witnesses] a qualitative difference.
He also said that the GM showed quality and
thought. He said in his many conversations
with Cde. Jorge Risket, member of the polit-
ical bureau of the PCC Central Committee,
Cde. Risket always said that some people
come to socialism by their head, others by
their heart, and still others by their stomach.
He said that in his opinion the members
have spoken from both their heads and
hearts. Their words have been sincere and it
shows a genuine commitment by the
members to struggle for socialism and
lay[s] the basis for the eventual building of
communism. He repeated that a qualitative
lift has taken place in the CC as well as
among the membership, thus he is deeply
confident in the future of building socialism
and communism (applause). He pledged
to the party that he would put every ounce
of effort in building the process and that he
knows that Cde. Bishop would do the same.
He said he had known and worked] to-
gether with Cde. Bishop and that they both
owe it to the party, revolution and the Gren-
adian working people to do all that is possi-
ble to build the revolution (applause).
Cde. Bishop stands and embraces Cde.
Coard. Cde. Bishop said that it was correct
for him to come to the GM and stay and
hear the views of the party membership. He
said that reflecting in isolation would not
have been correct for him since he would
have seen things in a lopsided manner. He
said that the entire GM had accepted the CC
analysis and decision and this has satisfied
his concern. He admitted to the GM that his
response to the CC criticism and decision
was petit bourgeois. He said that the GM has
rammed home that the criticism was cor-
rect and so too was the decision. He said, "I
sincerely accept the criticism and will fulfill
the decision in practice."
Cde. Bishop went on to say that his whole
life is for the party and revolution and the
difficulty he had was because so many
things were going through his mind. He
said that he agreed with Cde. Moses Jeffrey
that he had not shown confidence in the
party. But all these things are now behind
his back. He said that today is indeed a
historic day and a break with the past. He
said that party comrades are maturing and
are capable of taking strong positions. He
said that his desire now is to use the criti-
cism positively and march along with the
entire party to build a Marxist-Leninist party
that can lead the people to socialism and
communism. He pledged to the party that
he would do everything to erode his petit
bourgeois traits. He said that he never had
difficulties in working with Cde. Coard and
that joint leadership would help push the
party and revolution forward (applause).
At the end of Cde. Bishop's speech the
entire GM breaks into singing the Interna-
tionale and members filed past to embrace
Cdes. Bishop and Coard. O


Continued from page 23

necessarily represent the total number of
effective envisioned, at least by Hudson
Austin and his group.
Undated Agreement with Cuba
This "Protocol of the military collabora-
tion between the Government of the Re-
public of Cuba and the People's Revolution-
ary Government of Grenada" established, in
sixteen short articles, a Cuban military mis-
sion on Grenada, to organize the military
and give combat training, both in Cuba and
Grenada. At the time of the killing of Bishop,
some 400 Grenadians were studying in
Cuba. Among the documents we found was
a large quantity of training maps and man-
uals. Most of these were in Spanish.
14 April 1983, Agreement with
North Korea
This agreement promises "free military
assistance" by the Democratic People's Re-
public of Korea, for a value of US
$12,000,000, making it theoretically larger
than any of the Soviet agreements. We find
6,000 more uniforms, 1,000-7.62mm au-
tomatic rifles, 1,000 gas masks, and the
usual assortment of ammunition, heavy
machine guns, RPG-7 launchers, etc.
Other Arms Agreements
An undated note on the stationery of the
Embassy of Grenada in Havana reports that
"the Government of Czechoslovakia has
agreed to provide to the Government of
Grenada free of cost the following items
listed below." The list includes
"3,000-7.62mm automatic rifles type:
52/57 ... 1 million cartridges for 7.62 type
43 .." etc.
We also have found a long list of "material
means received from foreign countries
within the period 1979-81." Cuba is listed
as supplying 1,000 automatic rifles. The
USSR is listed as supplying 1,000, but these
may be included in the agreements already
noted. Interestingly, Nicaragua provided
some 1,113 pair of pants, 953 brown shirts,
774 green caps and 982 pair of boots. More
arms agreements, including the reported
1983 documents, and transfer papers may
be found.
The Meaning of the Military Agreements
We count some 12,000 individual infan-
try weapons. If we make the assumption
that each Grenadian soldier would receive
two uniforms, we reach a total of uniforms
for 10,800 men under arms. This repre-
sents about 10 percent of the total popula-
tion of Grenada! It raises the question of
whether all of this material was destined for
the militia, orwhether a portion might be for
actions elsewhere in the Americas.
Grenada reenforces the conclusion we

can draw from Marxist-Leninist practice
elsewhere: The armed forces are seen as a
principal element in a leftist-totalitarian so-
ciety. They enforce discipline. They provide
a means for political indoctrination, repres-
sion of dissent, socialization and mass mo-
bilization, and as a deterrent to invasion by
exiled opponents. At least on paper, the So-
viet Union and Cuba were helping the New
Jewel Movement to prepare a formidable
military machine, which would defend the
regime against any opposition and would
permit the subversive projection of power
against its non-Socialist neighbors.

Stockpiles at the Point
Salines depots filled
several large warehouses
and would have been
sufficient to equip two
Cuban infantry batallions
for 30 to 45 days
of combat.

This may have been the intention, but the
reality was entirely different. The New Jewel
Movement Central Committee minutes tell
us something about the true conditions.
Central Committee Minutes
Arms alone do not build armies or protect
governments. As the Grenadian revolution
approached its five-year mark, this was be-
coming evident. The New Jewel Central
Committee records portray an ideological
movement divorced from reality and in the
process of disintegration. [See the minutes
of the 26 September 1983 Extraordinary
General meeting, reproduced on page 14-
Editor's Note.]
Most of the Central Committee and other
party meetings for which we have found
records show a high level of internal bicker-
ing. The profound difficulties corroding the
New Jewel Movement led directly to the
coup d'etat and murders of October, ac-
tions which effectively left Grenada without
a government and in a state of high tension.

The military hardware, the arms agree-
ments, Soviet bloc and Cuban training
activities, the provisions for the secret police
apparatus, and the ideological rigidity and
ambitions of the principal actors stand in
sharp contrast with the disarray reflected in
the Central Committee minutes. Letters by
unhappy soldiers and functionaries, ac-
counts of mistreatment and torture, and re-
ports of widespread dissatisfaction reen-
force this picture of decomposition. Were

these conditions peculiar to Grenada, or are
they inevitable in societies being guided
along the path of Marxist-Leninist
Although many New Jewel documents
deal with social services-roads, education,
health, housing and the like-these appear
to be regarded more as the "material base"
for power than as necessary for the well-
being of the citizenry. Grenada's rulers, es-
pecially the radical faction, seem to have
been interested principally in the consolida-
tion of power through the rigid application
of ideology, and the buildup of a pervasive
military and police apparatus.
This seems so at variance with the peace-
ful nature of the people of Grenada, the
small size and population of the island, and
their close relationship with the other island
states, that one asks how this happened.
How did a small Caribbean island slip into
tyranny? What could the NewJewel leaders
have been dreaming of?
Those who imagine that social benefit
can be gained by relying upon the Soviet
Union and Cuba as benefactors should
question the goals of these countries which
provide their foreign aid in the form of in-
fantry weapons, armored personnel car-
riers, and secret police materials.
The process leading from the indepen-
dence of Grenada to the murders of 19
October 1983 is not unique. It is not pleas-
ant to speculate about what might have
happened had not the Caribbean nations
and the United States acted on 25 October.
But we did act, and by doing so, we brought
into the light what until now had been a
shadowy business. The case of Grenada
must be studied in detail. D


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Continued from page 32

1982 although the party kept a very low
profile and has been extremely inactive in
These public opinion trends favorable to
Manley's PNP are fully reflected in the pat-
tern of party support revealed in the table,
which outlines poll results between October
1980 and December 1983. Indeed the
trend shows that by mid-1981, the huge
JLP popular vote majority had been signifi-
cantly reduced, and that by October 1982
(or two years after coming to power) the
JLP's mass base of support had eroded to a
minority position.
The data reveal, however, a dramatic re-
versal of this trend in October 1983, after
the developments in Grenada, which re-
stored the salience of the anti-communism
issue, reopened fears about PNP-Cuban
ties, and brought back into focus doubts
about Michael Manley, formed in the second
term of his government, when many felt he
had lost control to radical leftists in his party
who were charting a deliberate course of
political disorder and instability to justify left
Equally dramatic is the reversal of
the JLP in the polls in the short period
between October and December 1983,
based on a series of political steps taken by
the JLP in response to developments in
Grenada, which also redefined the agenda
of public issues and again changed the bal-
ance of political forces. In the tactical ma-
neuvers of that period, the JLP government
seized the opportunity to call a snap elec-
tion, which the PNP refused to contest,
thereby producing a one-party parliament,
in which the JLP now holds all 60 parlia-
mentary seats. This constitutional crisis has
to be understood against the background of
the shifts in public opinion created by the
events in Grenada and the attempt by the
JLP to capitalize on these favorable political
trends by seizing the political initiative. The

issues generated by the JLP's election deci-
sion have been far-reaching in achieving a
rapid realignment of political support
against the JLP

Public Opinion Reactions to
The reaction of the Jamaican public to the
news of the imprisonment, overthrow and
subsequent murder of Prime Minister
Bishop was one of great shock and outrage.
Seventy percent of a national sample inter-
viewed in my October 1983 political poll
condemned the killing as shameful, cruel,
outrageous, wickedness and madness.
Seven percent took a somewhat cynical
view, seeing the death of Bishop as the
culmination of a power struggle, while an-
other 8 percent blamed the tragic develop-
ments in Grenada on the failure of the
Bishop regime to conduct free elections.
Fifteen percent had no opinion. The high
level of opinion articulation clearly indicates
how much the events were being followed
from news reports, and the salience with
which Jamaicans viewed this set of issues,
in contrast to the low opinion responses on
the earlier human rights' issues.
One very interesting reaction to the Gre-
nada developments was the feeling by
many citizens that the scenario of events in
Grenada might have occurred in Jamaica,
had the PNP won the 1980 elections. When
asked about whether developments in Gre-
nada had any lessons or meaning for Ja-
maica, 39 percent of the PNP supporters, 41
percent of the JLP supporters and 40 per-
cent of the uncommitted or nonpartisan cit-
izens expressed the opinion that had the
PNP won the 1980 election, what happened
in Grenada might have happened in Ja-
maica. The basis of that view was that
Michael Manley might have been similarly
encircled by leftist radicals with foreign
communist support, and could have be-
come a casualty of a far-left communist
power play in much the same manner that
Bishop fell victim after being isolated within
the New Jewel Movement by a faction (led
by deputy party leader Coard) which at-

Profile of Partisan Support 1980-83

October 1980
February 1981
May 1981
July 1981
November 1981
May 1982
October 1982
March 1983
October 1983
December 1983





Source: National opinion polls carried out by the author for the Daily Gleaner newspaper.
WPJ support combined with PNP.

tacked Bishop in NJM Central Committee
meetings for being too middle class and
not sufficiently Leninist.
Only 22 percent held to the view that
developments in Grenada offered no les-
sons for Jamaican politics. Fourteen per-
cent saw the meaning of these events in
terms of the dangers of government without
elections, while another 16 percent drew the
inference that the outcome reflected the
evils of communism, which is associated
with violence and political murder.
Significant sections of national public
opinion felt that the Cubans and the Soviet
Union had a hand in Bishop's removal. In
the case of Cuba, 29 percent disagreed with
that view, while a larger 43 percent took that
view, with 28 percent not having an opinion.
With respect to the Soviet Union, 35 percent
thought that country was involved in the
removal of Bishop, while 32 percent dis-
agreed; 33 percent had no opinion. Opin-
ions on Cuban and Soviet involvement in
developments in Grenada tended to divide
along party lines: 62 percent of the JLP
thought there was Cuban involvement,
while only 27 percent of PNP supporters
shared that view.
The feelings about Cuban and Soviet in-
volvement in Grenada were indicative of the
resurgence of fears about communist sub-
version which reopened many of the anx-
ieties which had inspired strong anti-
communist sentiment and anti-Cuban
chauvinism during the 1980 election cam-
paign. This factor combined with the paral-
lel drawn between the PNP and Manley, and
Bishop and the New Jewel Movement, Ja-
maicanized the issue and brought it
squarely on the agenda of national political
debate with consequent effects in eroding
PNP mass support. As a result, PNP
strength fell from 41 to 38 percent, while
JLP strength grew from 38 to 43 percent.
Expressed in terms of a two-party vote, this
transplanted issue of anti-communism
generated a 5 percent swing to the JLP
moving its two-party standing from 48 to
53 percent and the PNP from 52 to 47 per-
cent. As much as 47 percent of the Jamai-
can electorate interviewed in my October
1983 national opinion poll admitted that
the events in Grenada influenced how they
viewed the two major parties. Among voters
who switched from PNP to JLP leanings
since the 1980 vote, 82 percent admitted to
being influenced by events in Grenada.
Anti-communism is deeply rooted in the
Jamaican political culture. It rests on the
dual influences of the church and the social
history of the small peasantry and rural la-
bor. In escaping from the domination of
planters and the plantation system, owner-
ship of land became associated with one's
capacity to establish one's freedom. The
political culture influenced bythatsmall set-
tler, peasant outlook frowns on ideologies
that espouse too much state ownership and


attack the individual's rights to own
The grass roots churches in Jamaica,
which dominate church membership in the
majority of poor communities, have been
heavily influenced by US evangelical anti-
communist doctrines. As the major social
institution outside of the family which as-
sists the survival struggle of the poor, this
church influence has guaranteed a climate
of skepticism and distrust towards Marxists
and Marxist ideas within the Jamaican
The combined effect of this residue of
anti-communist political tendencies (es-
pecially among the 30+ age cohorts), and
the genuine popularity of Prime Minister
Maurice Bishop among the Jamaican ma-
jority classes, provided a climate of opinion
that was favorable to the invasion which
promised to eliminate the military regime
responsible for Bishops death. The majority
of Jamaicans saw the invasion as a rescue
mission. They identified with this act of ag-
gression designed to teach communist ac-
tivists a political lesson. They empathized
with the rationale which suggested that the
Revolutionary Military Council which re-
placed Bishop was a threat to peace and
stability in the Caribbean.
My December 1983 poll found that 56
percent of the Jamaican electorate sup-
ported the invasion, in spite of the strong
position against the invasion adopted by the
opposition party. The PNP condemned the
Revolutionary Military Council for the acts
of violence against Bishop and his col-
leagues, but disagreed strongly with the in-
terventionist designs of the US, Jamaican,
Barbadian and Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States governments on the prin-
ciple of nonintervention and on the basis
that this was an internal matter that could be
resolved by economic and diplomatic pres-
sures from CARICOM countries.
The JLP made no apologies for its strong
interventionist position, which clearly re-
flected that party's anxieties about Cuba
and communist connections in the region.
The fact that the United States was willing to
give the military support necessary to carry
out a conterrevolution in Grenada strength-
ened the hard-line interventionist position
of the JLR which was encouraged by the
deep fears among Eastern Caribbean lead-
ers over the military and political build-up in
Eighty-six percent of the JLP supporters
endorsed the invasion, while only 8 percent
disagreed. Among the PNR 60 percent fol-
lowed the party line and disagreed with the
invasion, but a significantly large 30 percent
supported the JLP view of backing the inter-
ventionist position on Grenada. The inde-
pendents echoed the majority view of
support for the invasion, with 55 percent
endorsing the invasion and only 20 percent
agreeing with the noninterventionist PNP

Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Maurice Bishop (Grena

Overall, the poll found that 56 percent
agreed with the invasion and 31 percent
disagreed. An earlier poll done before the
invading forces had seized power showed a
58 percent level of support and a 34 percent
level of disagreement with the invasion.
Confronted with these findings, which in-
dicated the first favorable change in the bal-
ance of political opinion for the JLP since
mid-1982, the JLP proceeded to reassess
its political options. Action was immediately
taken to deepen the Jamaicanization of the
Grenada issue by a statement in parliament
by the Jamaican prime minister and JLP
leader accusing the Soviet Embassy of
being involved in espionage. A lowly civil
servant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was
dismissed for an alleged series of secret
meetings with a KGB agent, and it was al-
leged that two KGB agents who were de-
clared persona non grata were implicated in
a plot to kidnap a member of the External
Affairs Ministry staff. The JLP leader Seaga
also named 25 persons, supporting both
the PNP and the minor communist party
(the WPJ) who had visited Cuba, Grenada
and the Soviet Union, with a view to raising
doubts about their possible involvement in
anti-Jamaican activities. Neither of these
claims was very convincing, but they placed
very clearly on the agenda the JLP's inten-
tion to try to squeeze maximum political
mileage out of the developments in
Sensing that the JLP may be tempted to
call a snap election to maximize gains from
the poll trends influenced by developments
in Grenada, the opposition PNP issued a
statement (through party chairman PJ. Pat-
terson) which reminded the JLP of the bi-
partisan commitment to electoral reform
and of the PNP's resolve not to contest any
election which was not conducted on the
basis of the electoral reforms agreed to by
the parties.
A snap election would mean that the elec-
toral contest would be based on the old

ida), and Fidel Castro (Cuba).

1980 voters' list, the use of which was
against the spirit of the electoral reform
agreements. Additionally, the electoral of-
fice was in the process of completing a new
voter registration, and it seemed to be in
keeping with the spirit of the electoral re-
form dialogue between the two major par-
ties that no election would be held until the
new voters' list was ready.
The JLP leadership nevertheless seemed
determined to call a snap election in De-
cember 1983. The devaluation of the Ja-
maican dollar was about to be announced.
The impact would mean a significant rise in
the cost of living, occurring against the
background of an 18 percent cost-of-living
increase in 1983, after the single-digit in-
creases in cost of living achieved by the JLP
in 1981 and 1982. The government had
failed its second successive IMF test and
was under pressure from the opposition
PNP to admit this second failure to the Ja-
maican public. The JLP leaders seemed de-
termined to have this election before the
effects of the devaluation were worked
through the economy and before the effects
of developments in Grenada evaporated.
The PNP leadership provided the ex-
cuse by demanding Seaga's resignation as
Minister of Finance for having misled the
country on financial matters after the de-
valuation was announced. The JLP's inten-
tion was to announce the snap election and
the dissolution of parliament at the same
time as the devaluation announcement.
However the JLP cabinet could not agree to
Prime Minister Seaga's proposal for a snap
election, as some supported Seaga's line of
action while others disagreed on the
grounds that the party would lose face in the
eyes of the public if it acted inconsistently
with its commitment to electoral reform.
The electoral reform issue is a very sensitive
one for the JLP As the opposition party in
the 1970s, the JLP party leader, Seaga, had
waged an impressive campaign to get the
PNP government to agree to establishing an


independent bipartisan electoral commis-
sion and a new and fairer system of voter
registration that would involve photographs
and thumbprints to avoid illegal registration
and voting. The JLP had consistently ques-
tioned the fairness of the 1976 election won
by the PNR on the grounds that the PNP
victory was based on massive electoral
fraud. To be seen as retreating from those
electoral reform commitments was, there-
fore, a great risk for the JLR which had to be
weighed against the benefits of calling an
early election on the old voters' list, using
the old electoral procedure for registration
and voting.
The effects of Grenada on the balance of
voter support for the JLP was the single
most important factor which led to the JLP
calling the snap election for December
15th, giving the PNP only two days in which
to select and nominate 60 candidates.
Seaga's main concern was to use the oppor-
tunity to avoid becoming the first one-term
Prime Minister in Jamaica's political history
and to give himself more time for his eco-
nomic policies to bear fruit, especially since
the economic upturn in the US offered posi-
tive prospects for increased foreign ex-
change earnings in bauxite and alumina,
tourism, nontraditional exports and in areas
opened up by President Reagan's Carib-
bean Basin Initiative. Since the two remain-
ing years in his first term of office seemed
much too short and the trends suggested
that the economy was likely to experience
many problems in early 1984 before these
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markets, the JLP decided to take the risk of
losing some support on the electoral reform
issue by calling the snap election, after the
PNP's general secretary Dr. Paul Robertson
(in the absence of party leader Manley and
party chairman RJ. Patterson) called for
Seaga's resignation.
Feeling that they had a good chance to
increase their seats in the parliament by
contesting, some PNP leaders were willing
to confrontthe challenge of an early election
run on the old voters' list. Some leaders,
including Manley, were determined not to
contest the election for various reasons.
Manley knew from the October poll results
that his party was at a great disadvantage in
an election run on the old 1980 voters' list
because his party had a commanding lead
over the JLP among younger voters who
would be disfranchised by an early election
which ignored the new list. He was also
aware that his party was short of funds and
was unprepared to contest an election. Fear-
ing that he would be going into a contest
which he could not win, Manley opted for a
no-contest stance, consistent with earlier
threats issued by his party about not con-
testing any snap election called on the old
1980 voters' list. Manley's personal position
was decisive in swinging the party behind
the no-contest stance.
The impact of the PNP election boycott is
that the JLP won all 60 parliamentary seats:
54 by default, as no candidates other than
JLP persons were nominated to contest,
and 6 won easily from challenges by sepa-
rate independent candidates.
In the period leading up to the elections,
there was an intense campaign by both ma-
jor parties. The PNP used the opportunity to
take its case to the people. Party leader
Manley stormed around the countryside ac-
cusing Seaga of breachng a solemn pledge
on electoral reform and of trying to conduct
a bogus election. The JLP insisted that
there was no such pledge; that the prime
minister had a legal right to call an election
any time; that the JLP leader had merely
outwitted Manley; and that Manley and the
PNP were afraid of defeat and were unwill-
ing to face up to the JLP victory that was
awaiting them.
The realization thatthe JLP would be win-
ning all 60 seats, and that the party would
be reelected without voters having to elect
them in 54 constituencies, worried many
voters. Secondly, the sensitivity of the public
on the electoral reform issue created more
public sympathy and support for Manley
and the PNP than for Seaga and the JLP
Manley won the argument over electoral re-
form, with the result that the JLP lost con-
siderable ground to the PNP in the short
period between October and December
As the table made clear, a large percent-
age of JLP supporters (mainly persons who
voted JLP in 1980 and PNP in 1976) shifted
from supporting that party to independent,

nonaligned party positions. The electoral
reform issue had the effect of providing the
opposition PNP with material to mount a
virtual national political crusade in which
that party was able to refurbish its image as
a defender of democracy. The JLP was, in
turn, portrayed as a scheming, manipulat-
ing party intent on an opportunist grab for
far more seats than it has a right to in the
parliament. This issue neutralized JLP gains
from developments in Grenada. Within the
electorate as a whole, the PNP had a 55 to
45 percent lead over the JLP That lead was,
however, academic, as the election was to
be contested on the old 1980 voters' list on
which the JLP had a slight lead (JLP 50.6
percent; PNP 49.4 percent). The PNP it
would seem, had also miscalculated. Had
they contested the elections on December
15th, they would have earned some 24-26
seats out of the 60-seat parliament, adding
substantially to their preexisting comple-
ment of 9 seats. They had underestimated
their popular strength, while the JLP did the
opposite by underestimating how much
ground they would have lost due to their
handling of the election decision.
Polls conducted in the period leading up
to the 15 December 1983 election day es-
tablished that Jamaican public opinion was
more favorable to PNP than to JLP posi-
tions on many of the issues being debated
by the parties.
Fifty-nine percent disagreed with the de-
cision by the JLP to call the snap election
using the old 1980 voters' list. JLP support-
ers agreed with the decision (99 percent in
favor and none against), while PNP sup-
porters disagreed (96 percent against and
none in favor). Beyond these partisan
voters, the view within the politically inde-
pendent pockets of public opinion was 20
percent in agreement with the prime minis-
ter's snap election decision and 77 percent
opposed. Only 38 percent of the public sup-
ported the JLP election decision. A large 70
percent majority of the Jamaican public was
found to be in favor of the PNP view that new
elections should be called after the new
voters' list was completed in view of the
PNP's no-contest decision and in view of the
JLP's likely control of all 60 parliamentary
seats. Twenty-six percent thought that the
JLP should remain in office for another five
years since the PNP refused to run. Twenty-
five percent of the JLP supporters thought
that new elections should be held, com-
pared to 71 percent who disagreed. Ninety-
five percent of the PNP supporters wished
to see new elections, as did 88 percent of
the independent voters. The mix of PNP and
independent opinion produced majorities
favoring PNP positions on these issues.
Opinions were somewhat more divided
on the PNP decision to boycott the election.
Forty-seven percent disagreed with the
election boycott, while 46 percent sup-
ported it; 74 percent of PNP supporters en-
dorsed the party line, while 15 percent


disagreed with it; 98 percent of the JLP sup-
porters rejected the boycott, while among
the independent voters the balance of opin-
ion was 33 percent against the boycott and
57 percent agreeing with the PNP stance.
Again the findings indicated a pattern by
which independents tended to favor PNP
rather than JLP positions in the debates
surrounding the electoral reform issue.
As a result of the PNP election boycott,
the country is faced with a potential political
crisis in which the majority party is not rep-
resented in the parliament, and the minority
party represents the entire country in a pe-
riod of growing political alienation, increas-
ing apathy and disillusionment with both
JLP and PNR and uncertainty and deterio-
ration in the living standards of the majority
Having achieved the major objective of
additional time to see progress in economic
policies that need more time to unfold, the
JLP's Seaga is unlikely to yield to the PNP
demand for new elections. New elections
are only likely to be called after the new
voters' list is ready-if the PNP manages to
lead such a torrent of threatening opposi-
tion forces that stability in the country can-
not be maintained. The high levels of
political apathy as reflected in the 29 per-
cent level of political independents who dis-
avow support or voting interest in either
PNP or JLP (and are persuaded that they
should not vote) cast serious doubt that the
PNP will be able to do this. More impor-
tantly, the PNP seems reluctant to incur the
risk of being accused of destabilizing the
government at a time when most citizens
wish to see stability and public order, and
associate communism and leftist politics
with violence.

The removal and assassination of Gre-
nada's Bishop and the subsequent invasion
of that country have set the stage in Ja-
maica for a discrediting of socialism and
communism and an emotional identifica-
tion with the cause of anti-communism and
the role of the US as protector of democratic
interests in the region. The short-run effects
which boosted popular support for the JLP
resulted in political maneuvers by the JLP
which have led to a one-party parliament
and an election boycott by the opposition
party. The anxiousJLP leadership seized the
opportunity to extend its term of office by
calling an election which took the opposi-
tion PNP by surprise. The issues surround-
ing those decisions wiped out the JLP's
political gains arising from developments
in Grenada. The boycott of the election by
the PNP has created a situation of a minority
party controlling all parliamentary seats in a
context of great economic and political un-
certainty. Although the two parties are-now
both antagonistic to each other and hostile
to any course of action that gives the im-
pression of making concessions to each

other, the high stake that both sets of lead-
ers have in the preservation of the political
system suggest that they will attempt to find
ways of defusing this potentially explosive
situation, in which 55 percent of the electo-
rate with partisan leanings have no parlia-
mentary representation and 45 percent of
them are monopolizing the 60 parliamen-
tary seats.
Perhaps the most significant trend that
emerged in the aftermath of the Grenada
invasion, and the subsequent issues related
to the calling of a snap election, was the
build-up of a large proportion of the electo-
rate (29 percent) that was alienated by both
the PNP's position on Cuba and Grenada
and the JLP's handling of the electoral sys-
tem. The December 1983 estimates of this
tendency suggest that it is only 3 percent
less than the overall support for the JLP (32
percent) and 10 percent less than national
support for the PNP (39 percent).
The third party, the communist WPJ, is
unable to benefit from this alienation due to
its communist image, its close association
with the Grenada faction that killed Bishop,
and its close ties with Cuba and the Soviet
Union. Underlying this trend is a new devel-
opment of fragile and higly unstable politi-
cal allegiance that shift in response to the
velocity and direction of intense political
issue debates. Depending on what happens
to the economy for the remainder of the
JLP's term of office, the balance of partisan
support can be expected to continue to
show major shifts and changes. If present
negative economic trends continue, a JLP
defeat at the next elections will be unavoid-
able. If Seaga's policies bear fruit, the act of
the PNP in disconnecting itself from the
state institutions could well set the stage for
the JLP to muscle its way back for a third
term with a reduced popular vote and seat
The reactions to events in Grenada are
indicative of the increasing volatility and is-
sue awareness within the Jamaican electo-
rate. The likely crowding of the political
agenda of public issues, as both interna-
tional and domestic matters become major
areas of contention between the sharply po-
larized political factions-both in the region
and in Jamaica-suggests that these trends
(evident since the Grenada crisis) will inten-
sify within the body politic. As support for
contending political factions becomes in-
creasingly fragile and unstable in Jamaica,
political strategies that reflect desperation,
opportunism, fears and anxieties about loss
of power and inability to gain it, will mean a
reduced climate of political stability.
The prospects for a rallying of alienated
voters representing opposition forces and
allied to, or supporting, left-wing political
directions in the face of a deteriorating eco-
nomic situation in Jamaica has been laid to
rest by events in Grenada. Marxism-Leni-
nism has been firmly branded with the label
of barbarism, disorder, violence and uncon-

trollable power struggles. The major spon-
sors of revolutionary politics in the region
(Cuba and the USSR) have been dis-
credited. The rallying of opposition forces
can now be orchestrated only from the cen-
ter. The paradox is that the political impera-
tive of the period demands that the PNP and
JLP move closer ideologically to center
positions: the PNP to separate itself from its
leftist tarnish and the JLP to minimize the
skepticism over its lack of populism and
people-oriented policies. Yet the pattern of
political challenge will be increasingly po-
larized and given to confrontation rather
than negotiation of differences, which
means that political stability in Jamaica in
the 1980s is going to be difficult to achieve.
The events in Grenada and their impact
on the Jamaican political system must
therefore been seen as reflecting a larger
pattern of increasingly unstable political
trends in Jamaica. The political stalemate
which emerged between the PNP and the
JLP around the 15 December elections
must be attributed indirectly to the effects of
developments in Grenada in eroding the
consensus that was evolving between the
two parties over the 1980-to-1983 period,
as the PNP shifted from left to center after its
election defeat. Like Grenada, but to a lesser
degree, Jamaica has become a casualty of
the increasing cold war antagonisms and
tensions in the region which threaten to
change the traditional mechanisms and
processes by which power is managed and
differences accommodated between those
who contend for power.
The impact of Grenada issues on Jamai-
can politics has been facilitated by the
growing fragmentation of the electorate
into discreet groupings of separate publics,
whose voting and party allegiance are an-
chored on the following distinct issues:
communism, management capability of
leaders, priority of poor people's interests,
policy results of party governments and
leaders, and trust in party leaders.
Developments in Grenada revived the ac-
tive influence of communism, but poor
handling of the advantages gained from
that issue by the JLP created negative feed-
back with respect to trust in party leaders.
Priority of poor people's interests and policy
results of party governments and leaders
favored the PNP over the 1982-to-1983 pe-
riod, thereby outweighing the JLP advan-
tage with respectto management capability
of leaders. Although the net effect of these
changes has been to reverse the temporary
JLP majority caused by events in Grenada,
the underlying reality is one of competing
issue domains of variable and unstable sali-
ence and contrary net effects on the balance
of party strength between the JLP and the
PNP The profile of important events over
the next two to five years is going to further
shape and reshape this balance to a degree
that lends a new element of uncertainty to
political trends in Jamaica. O


Central America...
Continued from page 36

objectives and how is it pursuing them? The
principal objectives are really only two: to
get rid of the Sandinista government in Nic-
aragua and to force a military solution in El
To overthrow the Sandinistas, the admin-
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Honduras, and, incredibly, organized its "se-
cret" army around a nucleus of ex-Somoza
guardsmen-a colossal blunder. It could
not have picked worse allies. Any popular
support the group might have received was

severely limited by its identification with the
hated Somocistas.
And the "secret" war has produced noth-
ing. It cannot, by definition, moderate Nic-
araguan policy, either at home or abroad.
On the contrary, it drives the Sandinista
government in an even more radical direc-
tion. Certainly it does not reduce Soviet or
Cuban presence and influence. Again, quite
the contrary; it cannot but result in a closer
military relationship with them. Nor, for that
matter, does the "secret" war interdict any
arms or get rid of the Sandinista govem-
ment. It was never designed to accomplish
the first, and the second is beyond its scope.
The "secret" war is astonishingly inap-
propriate and counterproductive, yet the
administration sticks with it.

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In El Salvador, the objective is to force a
military victory. Probably the administration
does not expect the Salvadoran army to
defeatthe guerrillas in the field. Rather, what
it hopes is that the army can wear them
down and force them to accept our terms. I
would submit, however, that the chances of
that happening are almost nil. In short, nei-
ther the secret war nor our military ap-
proach in El Salvador are likely to work. The
administration will thus have two choices:
try diplomacy or escalate our military

Diplomatic Efforts
What has been its position so far regarding
diplomatic options? The administration has
publicly insisted that it supports diplomacy
and negotiations. It could hardly do other-
wise. To openly reject diplomacy would be
like openly rejecting the concept of brother-
hood. Thus, we say we are prepared to ne-
gotiate while the other side is not. And Mr.
Stone is appointed to travel around and talk
to everyone, thus giving the impression of a
diplomatic process where in fact none ex-
ists. But whatever the administration says
about its commitment to diplomacy, the
facts are otherwise. So far, it has avoided
every serious opening for negotiations.
The administration says, for example,
that as it came to office the Sandinistas were
already hopelessly in the Cuban pocket and
intransigently refusing to discuss the matter
of their support to the Salvadoran guerrillas.
This is simply not true. As the Reagan ad-
ministration came to office, both the Nic-
araguans and the Cubans, largely in
recognition of the failure of the guerrilla of-
fensive in El Salvador, signaled their interest
in discussions with the US and in political
solutions in Central America. And the Nic-
araguans were responsive to US demands
that they end their support to the guerrillas.
Indeed, in a statement issued on 2 April
1981, the Department of State acknowl-
edged that there had been movement in the
right direction. The US, it said, had had "no
hard evidence of arms trafficking within the
last few weeks, and propaganda and other
support activities have been curtailed."
This movement on the part of the Sand-
inistas suggested that they valued a rela-
tionship with us, that we had leverage, and,
thus, that there was ample room for nego-
tiations. But the administration had no in-
terest in negotiations, so it confirmed the
cut-off of economic assistance and
adopted a confrontational attitude-an atti-
tude which the democratic opposition in
Nicaragua knew would not work and which
they begged us not to take. The administra-
tion paid no attention to them, however.
Plenty of other openings for dialogue
were to appear. In August of 1982, for exam-
ple, the Nicaraguans handed us a diplo-
matic note offering to sit down and discuss
all issues in disagreement between the two
countries. The US did not even bother to


answer the note. And there were many other
overtures from the Nicaraguans, the
Cubans and the Salvadoran guerrillas. All
were side-stepped. The most recent round
of overtures is illustrative. On 19 July of this
year, the Sandinista government put for-
ward a six-point peace proposal which pro-
vided for the halting of any support
(whether US or Nicaraguan) for guerrillas
operating in other countries, and ruled out
the establishment of any foreign bases in
Nicaragua. On 28 July, Fidel Castro publicly
indicated his willingness to withdraw his
military advisors from and to observe an
arms embargo applied to Central America if
the US would follow suit.
These offers seemed to address what we
had said were our major concerns and our
central complaints against Cuba and Nic-
aragua. Now, of course, in international pol-
itics, nothing should ever be taken at face
value. But one would have thought these
offers were worth careful exploration and
might have opened the way to serious ne-
gotiations, during which we would have
wished to pin down such matters as ver-
ification and means of enforcement.
But did such discussions begin? No, for
again the administration had no interest in
talking; rather, it pressed ahead with its mili-
tary options. At first the president said Cas-
tro's offer was "encouraging" and on 4
August Secretary of State Shultz assured
congressional leaders that Castro's pro-
posal would be thoroughly explored. In fact,
however, it was never explored at all. And on
13 August the president dismissed Castro's
proposal as "insincere" and said we had no
intention of discussing that or anything else
with him.
The fact that the administration so
quickly passed up the possibility of ending
through diplomacy any trickle of arms from
Nicaragua to El Salvador, and of bringing
about the withdrawal of Cuban military ad-
visors from Nicaragua, makes it clear that
these had not been our principal concerns
at all. And no wonder. Doubtless some arms
did find their way from Nicaragua to El Sal-
vador, but the administration is perfectly
aware that at least since the end of the guer-
rilla offensive in January of 1981, this has
not been a significant factor. Indeed for over
two years now, while assuring the American
public that there has been a veritable river of
arms, the administration has been unable
to produce any tangible evidence of one.
Oh, I'm sure there are stacks of intelligence
reports saying tons of weapons are moving
from Nicaragua to El Salvador. Where are
the shipments they speak of? No one has
been able to come up with any tangible
evidence that they exist And lots of Ameri-
can newsmen have seen lots of guerrillas
and taken lots of pictures. The guerrillas all
seemed to be armed with M-16s and other
American weapons, many of them brand
new. What happened to all those Soviet
arms coming in through Cuba and Nic-

aragua? They have yet to be seen.
The Nicaraguans can easily offer to halt
any cross-border shipment of arms; it was
piddling to begin with. The Salvadoran
guerrillas would not even miss it. On the
other hand, the administration's own sub-
versive group, the contras in Nicaragua,
could not survive without shipments of
arms from us. Thus, the US cannot afford to
discuss the reciprocal termination of as-
sistance to guerrilla groups, even though it
had claimed at one point that ending such
assistance was the purpose behind the "se-
cret" war.
Nor has the Administration really sup-
ported the Contadora process. It has paid it
lip service, but behind the scenes has sabo-
taged it Spokesmen of the Contadora gov-
ernments have been outspoken in their
complaints of US steps which have under-
mined the process. We said we favored a
reduction of tensions on the Honduran-Nic-
araguan border, for example, but then for-
bade discussions between the Hondurans
and the Nicaraguans under the Contadora

Future Prospects
The status of the Contadora initiative is now
up in the air. Nicaragua has presented one
set of draft treaties; the Contadora govern-
ments have presented another. Nicaragua
is resisting those aspects of the latter set
which have to do with internal arrange-
ments. The prospects for compromise on
this point are good. In any event, the Nic-
araguan treaties themselves are interesting
from the standpoint of US objectives. As in
the case of the six-point program last July,
the treaties would prohibit cross-border
support for guerrillas and prohibit the es-
tablishment of foreign bases in Central
America. The US would do well to explore
them. The chances that we will do so, how-
ever, or, indeed, the chances that the Con-
tadora process can bring peace to the
region, are not good-not unless the Rea-
gan administration shifts course and be-
gins to encourage an outcome it has
heretofore resisted: negotiated solutions.
Nor is there likely to be any solution in El
Salvador--not so long as the administra-
tion and the Salvadoran government con-
tinue to insist that the only thing there is to
talk about is the opposition's participation
in a political process organized and over-
seen exclusively by the govemment-with
death squads and all in full swing. Not being
fools, the opposition will never agree to that.
A far better way would be an open nego-
tiating process aimed at bringing about an
immediate cease-fire and then conditions
for really meaningful elections in which all
sides could participate. If the left is to lay
down its arms before elections, so must the
right-wing death squads. There must be
give and take on both sides; and since nei-
ther would trust the other to oversee an
electoral process, they would have to work

out some way to share the responsibility.
The administration rejects this as "power-
sharing." In fact, it would be a perfectly rea-
sonable arrangement, if the limits of the
shared mandate were made absolutely
clear, to oversee a political process
culminating in elections.
Why has the administration so consis-
tently avoided all diplomatic openings? Es-
sentially because once having portrayed
the situation as a matter of Soviet aggres-
sion and as a direct challenge to US se-
curity, the administration became the
prisoner of its own rhetoric. To negotiate
now, it may fear, would give the impression
of accommodating aggression. Hence, in
response to the image it itself has created, it
eschews serious negotiations and presses
on with its efforts to overthrow the Sand-
inistas and force a military solution in El
Are those efforts sensible? Must the
Sandinistas be overthrown and the guer-
rillas wiped out in order to protect US inter-
ests and assure US security? I think the
answer to both questions quite clearly is no.
Indeed, to come back to my original point, I
would submit that we have a far better
chance of achieving all our major goals
through diplomacy than through the
course charted so far by the administration.
The latter leads only toward escalated con-
flict and, eventually, the commitment of US
However, it won't be the first time we've
behaved illogically in the area. We sent the
Marines to occupy Nicaragua in 1927 and
put down the "Bolshevik guerrillas," spon-
sored at that time, according to Under-
secretary of State Robert Olds, by
communist Mexico. Our analysis is as bad
now as it was then. O

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Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199
(305) 554-2316


US Press Coverage of


A listing of articles published in The New York Times, October 1983

By Marian Goslinga

October 15

October 16

October 17

October 18

October 20

October 21




October 22
B. Drummond Ayers, Jr.

TAKEOVER. Frank J. Prial.

October 23

Frank J. Prial.

October 24

October 25

October 26
IS SLOWED. Michael T. Kaufman.


WHITE HOUSE. Bernard Gwertzman.


SAFE. Hedrick Smith.

America to Caribbean During Grenada

C;i :i ----






VENOM. Serge Schemann.


WAR. Jonathan Friendly.



Bernard Weinraub.



Richard Bernstein.

Ronald Sullivan.

IN FATIGUES. James Feron.

US. Dena Kleiman.


John T McQuiston.


V Roberts.

Ayres, Jr.



REAGAN'S BAD LUCK (Georgia-Beirut-
Grenada Crisis Weekend). James Reston.


October 27
Phil Gailey

GRENADA. Fay S. Joyce.

AROUND CAPITAL. Michael T Kaufman.

Hedrick Smith.


Ayres, Jr.


DISCONTENT. Steven V Roberts.


Philip Shabecoff.

Philip Taubman.

PAUL SCOON. Eric Pace.


QUESTIONS. Bemard Gwertzman.

NATIONS' ACTION. James Lemoyne.


Richard Halloran.

"BREZHNEV DOCTRINE." Stuart Taylor, Jr.



OF PRIDE. William E. Schmidt.

AND GRENADA. Irvin Molotsky.

ANALYZED. John Corry.


October 28

AND PRAISE. Robert D. McFadden.


BE APPLIED. Steven V Roberts.

Hedrick Smith.




PERFORMED. Drew Middleton.



GRENADA FOR DAY William E. Farrell.

NEGATIVE. Francis X. Clines.



BY POLICE. James Lemoyne.


HOSTAGE PLAN. Philip Thubman.

INVASION. James Feron.


William E. Schmidt

Ban). Editorial.


HYPOCRISY ("Reagan Doctrine" re
Grenada Intervention). Tad Szulc.

Commitments in Lebanon and Grenada;
Confrontational Foreign Policy). Tom


October 29

INVADERS. Michael T. Kaufman.

X. Clines.

QUESTIONS. Bemard Weinraub.


GRENADA INVASION. Richard Bemstein.

Jon Nordheimer.

GRENADA. David Shribman.

GRENADA. Donald Janson.




EMBASSY. Charles Mohr.


GUERRILLA WAR. Drew Middleton.

Dena Kleiman.


CUBANS ON ISLE AT 1,100. Philip


Hedrick Smith.


Stuart Taylor, Jr.


18.59 ON GRENADA ISSUE. Alexander R.

October 30

WRONG? Letter.



POWER RULES. Hedrick Smith.

CARIBBEAN. Richard J. Meislin.

AMERICANISM. John Vinocur.


NEXT YEAR. Francis X Clines.



TIGER." Bernard Gwertzman.

BEIRUT POST. B. Drummond Ayres, Jr.

Wolfgang Saxon.


DEATH. Jo Thomas.

James Feron.





Philip Taubman.


October 31
James Feron.




REPORTERS GO IN. Marjorie Hunter.



WHAT WAS HE HIDING? (Reagan and Press
Censorship in Grenada). Anthony Lewis.

Marian Goslinga is the Latin American and
Caribbean Librarian at Florida International


Show your

clients how to do the


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