Granada History – American Independence-Invasion

The 28 of February of 1972, general elections resulted in the victory of Eric M. Gairy, who ran under the banner of the independence of the United Labor Party of Granada (GULP). A constitutional conference was held in London in May 1973, and independence was set for February 1974, a fact that was finally consummated on February 7 despite the general strike and protests against Gairy’s secret police., actions that were supported by unions in neighboring Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

Prime Minister Gairy ruled for five years. Gairy used the power to his advantage; he distributed public offices among the members of his party and promoted the paramilitaries to the category of “Defense Corps”, the only militarized body on the island.

According to, the mongoose squad received military training from Chilean advisers and recruited inmates released from St. George’s jail. In the December 1976 elections, the Popular Alliance – made up of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), the National Party of Granada and the United People’s Party, increased its parliamentary representation from one to six deputies, out of a total of 15. On 12 March of 1979, while Gairy was out of the country, the opposition gave a coup and took power.

The great popular support received allowed them to establish a provisional revolutionary government, led by Maurice Bishop.

In four years, the revolutionary popular government promoted the creation of grassroots organizations and promoted a mixed economy regime, expanding the public sector, and encouraging agribusiness and state farms. [4] Seven hundred and eighty-four Cubans — including builders, doctors, diplomats, educators, and a few militants — arrived in Granada. [8] In addition to an airport, they built new ports for aquatic bananas and also opened many free clinics. The anti-capitalist government distributed free milk and other meals for the destitute as well as materials for home renovation. For the first time in the history of the country, first and second education became free for all.

Unemployment fell from 49 to 14 percent in three years. Cultural and sports programs were established for youth and measures to support equal status and shutdown by women.

The anti-capitalist government covered unused land to establish cooperative farms and wanted to swap cash crop agriculture for self-sufficient food production. [9] [10] The private sector was supported in areas compatible with global economic policy. However, as a result of the government’s socialist ideology, he was constantly harassed by the United States and some conservative neighbors. [7] [11]

Claiming that the modern Granada airport at Point Salines could be used by Cuba to move its military contingents to Africa, the United States launched a coordinated campaign of economic strangulation of Grenada. The anti – imperialism and non – alignment foreign policy oriented government towards the socialist world. The collaboration of Cuba was achieved to build the international airport, a vehicle to make tourist activity viable, which occupied 25% of the country’s active population.

Prime Minister Bishop faced constant pressure from the far-left sector of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), which viewed him as a traitor and sought to radicalize the political process. [12]

In October 1983, Army Chief General Hudson Austin betrayed democracy and carried out a coup to overthrow Bishop. Bishop was placed under house arrest. [13]

He was freed by a crowd of protesters, but only to be shot, shortly after, along with his partner Jacqueline Creft (the Minister of Education), the Foreign and Housing Ministers, two union leaders and 13 protesters. [14]

The United States launched the military invasion plans, which had been decided and planned for more than a year. On October 25, 1983, 5,000 Marines and Green Berets landed. [fifteen]

Hours later followed a decorative contingent of 300 policemen from six Caribbean countries: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who lent themselves to this “international intervention for humanitarian reasons.” Due to the resistance of militiamen from Granada, as well as Cuban technicians and workers, the operation lasted longer than expected and the United States suffered several casualties in combat.

The press was prohibited from entering Granada until the resistance was eliminated, which made it impossible to verify the deaths of dozens of civilians, in attacks on a mental hospital and other non-military targets. Under rigid American military control, Sir Paul Scoon, representative of the British crown in Granada, assumed the provisional government with the task of organizing elections. [16]

In December 1984, a Chamber of Deputies was voted in, which elected Herbert Blaize, from the island of Carriacou, as Prime Minister, responsible for a coalition of parties that presented himself as the New National Party (NNP) and had ostensible support from the United States. [17]

The politician Bernard Coard, responsible for the murder of Maurice Bishop and the revolt that put an end to the revolutionary process in Granada.

Neither the OAS nor NATO dared to support the interventionist adventure. But 20 days later, Barbados saw its “collaboration” rewarded with a US aid program worth $ 18.5 million. The new government reached agreements with the IMF that reproduced the organism’s classic scheme: budget adjustments, reduction of state jobs, freezing of salaries and stimulation of large private companies.

The Regional Security System, which allows the prime minister to request the presence of foreign troops – from neighboring Caribbean countries – when threatened, was launched by Blaize in December 1986, under the pretext that it was coming to an end. the 1983 coup trial. Bernard Coard, his wife Phyllis and former Army Commander Hudson Austin were sentenced to death along with 11 soldiers. Their sentences were quickly reduced to 25 years in prison, and they were eventually released. [18]

During his first years of government, Blaize achieved considerable economic growth: 5 to 6% per year, mainly based on tourism. However, neoliberal measures increased youth unemployment, crime and drug addiction.

Granada History - American Independence-Invasion

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