The Grenada newsletter

Material Information

The Grenada newsletter
Place of Publication:
St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
A. & C. Hughes
Publication Date:
Twenty no. a year
completely irregular
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
newspaper ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1973.
General Note:
Description based on surrogate of: Vol. 11, no. 1 (Jan. 22, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
A. & C. Hughes
Holding Location:
A. & C. Hughes
Rights Management:
Copyright A. & C. Hughes. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
24157414 ( OCLC )
sn 91021217 ( LCCN )
F2056.A2 G74 ( lcc )


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Full Text

volume 7 Number 7
For,. The beekjiBiog i~ach. 17th. 1979
7th Year Of Publication - - 205th Issue


A revolutionary army led by New Jewel Movement (NJM) leader,
Mr Maurice Bishop, 34, staged a successful"military coup and has
taken over the Government of Grenadh.

The action began at 4.15 am on Tuesday March 13th when a detachment
of the "Peoples' Revolutionary Army" (PRA) under the command of PRA
Commander Hudson Austin attacked the Grenada Defence Force
Headquarters at True Blue some six miles south of St.Georges. No
official details have been given of the attack, but informed
sources say the PRA detachment was 54 strong and was armed !with
self-loading rifles and sub-machine guns.

According to PRA sources, the action lasted 35 minutes. There
were no casualties on either side and all the arms and ammunition
of the Defence Force were captured. PRA sources say the total
strenqSh of the Defence Force was 320 and it is estimated that
approximately 280 men were in barracks at the time of the attack.
These sources say also that the entire Defence Force "surrendered"
and "fled" and that the barracks were burned to the ground as a
part of the action.

The first casualty of the revolution occurred after the Defence
Force had been neutralised. Details have not been given but it
appears that one of the Defence Force officers, Mr HyacinthBiizaan

Produced & printed by Alister & CyVthia Hgmeshe
P 0 Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, Westladie
II/ II II I I !11


g j ,NADA NBWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79

40, possibly told of the fire by telephone, was driving from his

home towards True Blue when he was stopped by a PRA detachment

about a quarter of a mile from the Defence Force camp.




Page 2

PRA sources say Mr Brizan, still seated in the car, attempted to

draw a weapon and was shot. His car, a new Mazda RX5, number
6303, which has been seized by the PRA, ,has two bullet holes of

about I inch diameter and almo9t-on the- same level above the

ground, and 6 inches down from the ceintfreiTp of thebdoor on the

driver's side. These holes are about 3 inches apart on the

outside of the door and about 2 inches apart on the inside.

There are no bullet holes in the seat which-is blood-stained.

The sequence of events immediately following the action at the

Defence Force barracks is not clear, but it appears that,

following Mr Bzizads death,a fire engine arrived at True Blue in

response to a report that there was a fire at the Defence Force

barracks. The men manning this fire engine offered no

resistance to the PRA when they were arrested. Shortly after,

however, two cars with policemen arrived, there was an exchange

of fire, and there occurred the second casualty. *

As far as can be ascertained, there was no shooting from the car

in which Assistant Superintendent Adonis Francis was riding. The

men in that car offered no resistance and, apart from a reported

scuffle in which Mr Francis' shoulder was hurt, these policemen

*ere taken into "protective custody" without incident.
In the other car, however, Assistant Superintendent of Police

Raymond "Bogo".DeSouza resisted and there9;as an exchange of fire.

In this exchange, a policeman, Corporal Godwin Pysadee,34, was

killed and PRA sources say he was caught in a cross-fire. It

is uncertain whether a Police or PRA bullet hit him. Mr DeSouza


One other policeman was hit by a bullet in this exchange. ,- p
is Barry Alexis and he received a wound in the upper left arm.

He is hospitalized and hospital sources say his condition is not

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Paw-

Following seizure of the Defence Force camp, the PRA moved on to

capture Radio Grenada which, by road, is about two miles from the

camp and is located about four miles south of St.Georges. Army

sources say the radio station was captured without a shot being


NEWSLETTER's first indication of the coup came at 5.00 am when a

report was received that the Defence Force barracks was on fire.

The next indication came at 6.15 am when the following announcement
was monitored from Radio Grenada.

"The Government of the criminal dictator Eric M Gairy has

been overthrown. The entire army has surrendered and

all their arms have been captured. A Revolutionary

Government has been formed, all religious rights and

freedoms are now restored. The people's rights'to life

and property are hereby restored, the new Revolutionaryi. ,i

Government 'orders all Police to remain in their barracks and

Police Stations and to await further instructions which will

be broadcast over this station. A new Commissioner of

Police will be appointed shortly.

The new Government wishes to assure those concerned that the

life and property of all foreign residents are safe,

guaranteed and will be protected. The new Government

looks forward to continuing friendly relationships with

all countries. The people, as well as all patriotic

and'freedom-loving Police are hereby called upon to make

sure that these orders ate; carried out. This is a

release from the Cabinet of the new Revolutionary


This announcement did not identify NJM with the revolution, but the

voice was recognized as that of Mr George Louison, a prominent NJM

member.. It was confirmed afterwards that he had read thih


Shortly after, the first of several statements by persons
associated With Mr Gairy's Government was broadcast. this firat

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 4

was made by Assistant Superintendent of, Police Adonis Francis

who was taken into protective custody during the True Blue


Mr Francis said, "I hereby call on all Police officers

and other law enforcement officers, to stay in their

barracks and await further instructions from the new

Government. I am satisfied that the leaders of the

new Government are in full and effective control. No

harm has been done to any of us who are being held in

protective custody."

It appears that, immediately following the capture of the radio

station, the PRA moved to take certain members of Mr Gairy's

Government into protective custody. (He was out of the

island together with Education Minister Senator Wellington Friday.)

Those arrested included Mr George Hosten, Minister of Finance,

Mr Herbert Preudhomme, Deputy Prime Minister, and Mr George Donovan,

Minister of State in Mr Gairy's Ministry with responsibility for

Foreign and Home Affairs.
At the same time, it seems that PRA units moved to capture Police

stations in the St.Georges suburbs and, about mid-morning, the

following statement _was' broadcast by the "Commander of the

Revolutionery Forces.".
f '"".r --"":
"As Commander of the Revolutionary Forces, let me state

that, so far, we have received no resistance. If the

people are getting resistance from any persons who do not

support the revolution, in any part of Grenada, call

Radio Free Grenada immediately. The Commander will

dispatch forces to your assistance.

All Police stations are hereby ordered to put up a white

flag as a symbol of surrender or the Revolutionary Forces

will take action against you. Thus is a statement to

the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique,

especially to the men commanding the forces in St.Paulq,
St.Davids, St.Andrews, St,Marks, St.Patricks and


and St.Johns. All power to the people !!"

The identity of the Commander was not given but the voice was

recognized as that of Mr Hudson Austin, a prominent NJM member. On

the station (now being called "Radio Free Grenada") another voice

recognized was that of Mr Unison Whiteman, NJM's Joint Coordinating


In one announcement, Mr Whiteman said, "Bulletin number 5. This

is a special bulletin from Radio Free Grenada. We now have

in custody the former Minister of State in the Ministry of

National Security, Donovan, his Cabinet colleague, Norman

DeSouza, and several other members of the old Government.

The others are in process of being arrested. All are

being treated with humanity. We wish no bloodshed.

Also in protective custody are several senior officers

of the Police Force and several hundred men. All are

being treated decently and will be released in due course.

We expect that they will resume their normal duties in

due course.

Today is hereby declared a public holiday in Grenada,

Carriacou and Pet t Martinique. We call upon all

citizens to take to the streets in massive numbers to

celebrate this peoples' victory."

Yet another voice heard on Radio Free Grenada was recognized. It

was NJM's Mr Bernard Coard who was the elected member of the House

of Representatives for St.Georges Town. Shortly before 10.00 am,

Mr Coard broadcast this message :-

"Caldwell Taylor, Kennedy Budhlall, Kenneth Budhlall,

any of the comrades in Grenville !! Please ring

Radio Grenada (sic) immediately I Anyone hearing

this broadcast ask these brothers to contact Radio

Grenada immediately Grenville Police Station has

sur~ dered to the Revolutionary Forces !!!"

Mr Coard broadcast another message which said that elements of the

THE GRNADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 6

j"mongoose gang" were moving up the west coast in vehicles towards -

1the town of Gouyave. Mr Coard called on the Revolutionary
;Forces in that area to "prepare to deal with the moongoose gang".

|"at all costs they have to be stopped",'he said, "road blocks and

!everything else, let them have it !!"
Prime Minister
!At 10.45am, the revolution was positively identified for the first

time with NJM. It was announced about 10.00 am that the "Prime

Minister of the Peoples' Revolutionary Government" would be

addressing the nation at 10.30. That deadline was not kept

but, 15 minutes later, the "Prime Minister" was announced and

Mr Maurice Bishop broadcast the following message :-

"Sisters and brothers, this is Maurice Bishop speaking.

At 4.15 this morning, the Peoples' Revolutionary Forces

siezed control of the army barracks at True Blue. The

barracks were burned to the ground. After half-an-

hour of struggle, the forces Gairy armed were completely

defeated and surrendered. Every single soldier

surrendered and not a single member of the Revolutionary

Forces was injured.

At the same time, the radio station was captured without

a shot being fired. Shortly after this, several

Cabinet Ministers were captured in their beds by units of

the Revolutionary Army. A number of senior Police

officers, including Superintendent Adonis Francis, were

also taken into. protective custody. At.this moment,

several Police stations have already put up the white flags

of surrender. Revolutionary forces have been dispatched

to mop up any possible sources of resistance or disloyalty

to the new Government.

I am now calling upon all the working people, the youths,

workers, farmers, fishermen, middle class people, and

women, to join our armed Revolutionary Forces at central

positions in your communities and to give them any

assistance which they may call for. Virtually, all

stations have surrendered. I repeat. We stress,

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER -,Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 7

resistance will be futile. Dont be misled by Bogo

DeSouse (sic) or Cosmos Raymond into believing that there

are any prospects for saving the dictator, Gairy.

The criminal dictator, apparently sensing that the end was

near, yesterday fled the country, leaving orders for all

opposition forces, including especially the peoples'

leaders, to be massacred. Before these orders could

be followed, the Peoples' Revolutionary Army was able to

seize power. The Peoples' Government will now be

seeking Gairy's extradition so that he will be put on

trial to face charges including the gross charges, the

serious charges of murder, fraud and the trampling of

the democratic rights of our people.

In closing, let me assure the people of Grenada that all

democratic freedoms, including freedom of elections,

religious and political opinion, will be fully restored

to-the people. The personal safety and property of

individuals will be protected. Foreign residents are

quite safe and are welcome to remain in Grenada, and we

look forward to continuing friendly relations with those

countries with which we now have such relations.
Gairy Supporters
Let me assure all supporters of the former Gairy

Government that they will not be injured in any way.

Their homes, their families and their jobs are completely

safe, so long as they do not offer violence to our

Government. However, those who resist violently will

be firmly dealt with. I am calling upon all the

supporters of the former Government to realise that

Gairy has fled the country, and to cooperate fully with

our new Government. You will not be victimised, we

assure you.

People of Grenada, this revolution is for work, for food,

for decent housing and health facilities, and for a

bright future for our children and great grand-children.
The benefits of the revolution will be given to everyone,

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 8

regardless of political opinion, or which political party

they support. Let us all unite as one.

All Police stations are again reminded to surrender their

arms to the Peoples' Revolutionary:Forces.

We know Gairy will try to organise international assistance,

but we advise that it will be an international criminal

offence to assist the dictator Gairy. This will amount to

an intolerable interference in the internal affairs of our

country and will be resisted by all patriotic Grenadians with

every ounce of our strength.

I am appealing to all the people, gather at all central places

all over the country and prepare to welcome and assist the

peoples' armed forces when they come into your area. The

revolution is expected to consolidate its position of power

within the next few hours. Long live the people of

Grenada !! Long live freedom and democracy 11 Let us

together build a just Grenada !!!!"

It has been difficult to ascertain the order in which the Police

stations surrendered. And, it is believed that several hoisted the

white flag before the PRA arrived. This isitrue of the Fire Brigade

Station on the Carenage in St.Georges where the white:flag, tied to

the front railings of the upstairs dormitory was out by mid-morning,

several hours before thxrewas any action in the town.

It is probable that, excluding the small Police stations in St.Georges

suburbs, the first Police station to hoist the white flag was at

Grenville on the east coast near to the airport. It is also

probable that the last to surrender were the stations at Gouyave

and Victoria on the west coast.

Shortly after Mr Bishop's broadcast, Radio Free Grenada announced

the arrest of Minister of Finance, George Hosten, Deputy Prime

Minister, Herbert Preudhomme, and former Senator in Mr Gairy's

Government, Mr Ashton Frame, "among many other top Governmeht

officials". At 12.25 pm, Mr Hosten broadcast the following

message. (continued)

THm GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page

"This is Gebrge Hosten speaking. An hour ago, I was

arrested together with Herbert Preudhomme and several

other members of the former Government. We have all

surrendered to the Peoples' Revolutionary Government

which we realise is in control of the State.

We are being treated humanely; none of us has been

harmed. In the absence of Mr Gairy, I am calling

upon all G U L P (NEWSLETTER note, Grenada United

Labour Party) supporters to cooperate with the new

Government. They are in full control of the

situation and we want to avoid bloodshed. Please


Those few Police stations, including elements at Police

Headquarters, which have not surrendered, give up your

arms now to the new Government. Secret Police, give

up any arms you may have and do not injure people or

you will suffer for it later. I am informed by the

new Government that they will deal leniently with those

who give in now, but will be very harsh with those who

attempt to use violence on the people. Resistance is

useless now. Give up yourselves and cooperate fully

with the new Government."

At 12.55 pm, Mr Herbert Preudhomme, Deputy Prime Minister and

elected member of the House for the constituency of St.Johns,

broadcast a similar message.

"People of St.Johns and Grenada", he said, "this is

Herbert Preudhomme speaking. An hour ago, I was

arrested together with George Hosten and other members

of the former Government. I have surrendered to

the new Government. They are in full control of the


I am appealing to the mongoose gang and other secret

police and Police now in Gouyave to give up the Police

station now. Grenville, St.Davids and almost
,___________ I'

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 10

everywhere ~lse-ha :surrendered. It is useless to

hold ut. The Peoples' Revolutionary Army here, has

all the arms from the Gairy army including sub-machine

guns, grenades and repeating rifles. If you try to

resist, you will be wiped out. They have promised to

treat you leniently if you surrender. This is Herbert

Preudhomme, I am appealing for your cooperation. Give

up the fight now.

This is Herbert Preudhomme speaking. I understand that

certain elements of the Police an4 Secret Police are in the

Fort and the CID station in a vain attempt to hold out

against the new Government of Grenada. Police in the

Fort and the station, I am appealing to you to put down

your arms and leave the station and the Fort one by one.

Further resistance is useless. The new army has all the

old army's weapons and a confrontatignwill result in your


The new Government has promised leniency to those who

cooperate. Let us avoid bloodshed. As Deputy Prime

Minister, I am calling on all Police throughout the country

to surrender to the new Government and, to those in Fort

George and the CID, this is a special appeal. Think of

your lives, think of your families, think of the patients

in our hospital. Resistance is useless. Hang out a

white flag and come out unarmed. Surrender now."
In St.Georges town, there were few signs during the morning of anything

unusual. Berthed in the inner harbour was a Russian cruise liner,

the "Ivan Franco", and passengers from this ship landed and strolled

through the streets which were deserted as on a Sunday morning.

All stores and shops were closed but vendors of spices and souvenirs

lined the approaches to the docks and did a brisk trade.

One unusual sight was that of young men, civilians, manning traffic

Control points. Uniformed Police were at these points until

shortly after 9.00 am, following which, civilian volunteers operated

the points all of Tuesday and until Wednesday morning when uniformed

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 11

Police again took control.

'It has now been confirmed that, between 9.00 am and 11.00 am on

Tuesday, Senator Derek Knight, Minister without Portfolio in

Mr Gairy's Government, Senator Henry Bullen, Minister of State in .

i the Ministry of Education, Lieutenant Colonel Winston Masanto,

:Commander of the Defence Force, Assistant Superintendent Raymond

DeSouza, and members of the band of criminals recruited by Mr Gairy,

the "mongoose gang", were at Fort George, Police Headquarters in,

In an interview at Richmond Hill where he is detained, Mr Masanto-

told NEWSLETTER that, at Fort George, the plan was put forward to

Shoist a white flag as a sign of surrender and then set an ambush for

Sthe PRA when they came to take over.

"I believe .I saved a great deal of bloodshed when I persuaded them

to abandon this plan", Mr Masanto *said. The ex-Commander of the

Defence Force said he was not in favour of the plan because it was

"unethical" and he did not believe it had any chance of success.

Mr Massant. said that, by 11 o'clock that morning, Mr Knight and the

others who had assembled at Fort George had dispersed. Since

then, he said, he had not seen Mr Knight and he did not know how he

Shad left the island.

The first action in St.Georges town took place at 2.35 pm when a

PRA detachment arrived at the Fire Station on the Carenage. From

NEWSLETTER's location, most of the area around that location can be

Seen and it is estimated that some 15 men took part in the attack.

There appeared to be little or no fighting, however, and five

only were fired. The PRA surrounded the building and it is

reported that a number of firemen came out the main entrance

(outside NEWSLETTER'S view) and surrendered.


This action seems to be of little concern to and to have little

effect on people in that vicinity who were not directly involved

in the revolution. The Fire Station is within 300 yards of the

docks, and several vendors were there at the time, selling to

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 17.3.79 Page 12

tourists from the visiting cruise liner. When the first shot was

fired, there was a general clearing of the area in the immediate

vicinity of the Fire Station but, closer to the docks, people seemed

to be unconscious of what was happening. Throughout the action,

vendors continued to do business.

SBy 3.00 pm, PRA reinforcements had arrived and eight vehicles (cars,

jeeps and military trucks) left the Fire Station and went to .,

SPolice Headquarters at Fort George. The detachment arrived there

Sat approximately 3.05 pm and it is estimated that there were some

S50 men in the group.

Eyewitnesses report that, on arrival of this force, 15 Policemen in

the Criminal Investigation Department surrendered. It is reported

also that one Polioema. remained;in the'.building and locked, himself in

a room. Ten PRA members stormed :the building and brought out the

Sman, who was unarmed, without injury to anyone.
White Flag
The detachment then proceeded up to Fort George which was taken without

resistance. The summit of the Fort was reached at 3.12 pm and the

white flag was hoisted.

The capture of Police Headquarters marked the end of any possibility
that there would be any organised resistance to the PRA. Reports
From Gouyave say the Police station there was taken over by the PRA'
shortly after 4.00 pm; the Victoria station, about three miles north,
had been abandoned by the Police earlier.

Reliable sources say that Mr Albert Forsythe, member for St.Marks in
Mr Gairy's Government, took the arms and ammunition from the Victoria
Police station to his home nearby, and it was expected that he would
make a stand there. The PRA, however, arrested him about 6.30 pm,
without resistance, and took him to Radio Grenada where most of the
other persons in protective custody were being held. The arms and
ammunition were recovered.

Mr Forsythe's arrest marked the end of the New Jewel Movement take-
qver operation which began with the attack on the Defence Force camp
at True Blue that morning.

Alis Hughes
2 rch 1979

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