|Commentary: Maurice Bishop was my friend and I know the Grenada story|
|Published on October 19, 2013||
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By Jai Parasram
I am deeply offended by American writers
who, after 30 years, continue to push the propaganda that America saved the Grenadians and that the people welcomed the invasion of their island.
Jai Parasram is the author of Far From the Mountain, a series of political stories and commentaries covering Trinidad and Tobago over the period 2007 to 2012 and covers the a turbulent period from the struggles within the opposition UNC, the change of leadership and the rise of Kamla Persad-Bissessar as the first female PM of T&T. He may be contacted at email@example.com or through his website
Grenada was very personal to me and still is. Maurice Bishop was my friend and I know the Grenada story better than most journalists because Maurice told me what was happening in Grenada when I last spoke with him in New Delhi at the Non aligned Conference in 1983. He knew something was going to happen and it would not be pretty.
And one of the people who truly understood that Grenada was a progressive democratic state under the Bishop administration was Allan Alexander, the Trinidad and Tobago lawyer who was writing the Grenada constitution when Maurice and the others were slaughtered by a murderous gang after the Grenadian people freed him from captivity.
The Americans who subsequently invaded the island were not the angels they claim to be. They were an invasion force acting on behalf of their government to crush what Washington viewed as a dangerous threat to “democracy” in the Caribbean and the Americas. It was part of a plot that was hatched long before Bernard Coard moved against Maurice.
The whole thing had the backing of Caribbean leaders like Edward Seaga, Eugenia Charles and Tom Adams. It was Adams who allowed the Americans to stage the whole thing from Barbados and keep journalists in the dark. When the American PR gurus showed up they took a selected band of journalists to show them the American version of reality in the island.
Adams refused to let the Barbadian TV service broadcast pictures. My friends at CBC Barbados gave me the tape and I broadcast it back at TTT the night of the invasion. I was unable to get to Grenada because the Americans threatened to shoot down the private plane that my TV station chartered to take me to Grenada. I was only able to reach Barbados, where the Americans had taken charge and treating the Barbadian minister as their puppet.
The popular fairy tale is that a bunch of communists were threatening American medical students in St George’s and that the invasion was partly to rescue them and partly to restore law and order in the aftermath of the chaos caused by the arrest and murder of Bishop and some of his cabinet ministers.
No student was under threat. The Cubans who were building the Point Salines airport were there to do just that. And, yes, there was a stash of arms because from the day Maurice and the New Jewel boys chased the dictator Eric Gairy out of office Grenada was under threat from the “free” world.
Caribbean leaders met in Trinidad to decide on a course of action but Seaga and company walked out and went to Washington where President Reagan was waiting to execute his orders to take over Grenada.
Why was America so worried about this tiny rock in the Caribbean Sea? Reagan was frightened that communism would take root and threaten the security of the region. His triangle of “evil” included Guyana, led by Forbes Burnham, and Nicaragua, where Daniel Ortega was in charge. They had already disposed of Michael Manley in Jamaica through the election of 1980 and they could not move Fidel Castro.
So Maurice and tiny Grenada became the target to “teach the commies” a lesson and get the Americas fully in line with what America considered good for us.
The Americans who keep writing about their country as the saviour of Grenadians should try to find out the truth. Why was Reagan meeting in private at the White House in early 1983 with Caribbean diplomats and ministers? Why was Washington telling these people to destabilise and undermine Grenada? Why was there an instruction that Grenada must not get any help from the Caribbean Basin Initiative or from the Caribbean Development Bank?
They should ask about Russians living in North America who were part of the plot to destabilise Grenada.
If you ask Grenadians today they would tell you they still love Maurice because he was helping build a kind of participatory democracy in which everyone was involved. It was something that you could do in a small island state but not in America. Maurice was interested in people, not in governing them. He cared about improving their lives and pulling Grenada up from the abyss where Gairy had pushed it.
America had every opportunity to help Granada as did all the countries in the Caribbean but that did not suit Washington’s agenda.
American writers also need to ask why Washington intervened instead of Great Britain. The Queen was the Head of State and the Governor General was her representative. Nobody told Margaret Thatcher that the marines were heading to Grenada and nobody told her of the plotting that was taking place long before Coard and company arrested Maurice.
American writers need to also recall that Tom Adams told a British journalist that the Governor General had no contact with the outside world, which is why he could not appeal to London for help. How then did he get the message to Washington? Adams never provided the answer to explain the contradiction.
When somebody writes the true history of Grenada and that dark period when the Americans destroyed a true people’s democratic revolution, the world would learn the truth for the first time – and the Americans would reject it as fiction.
Somebody needs to tell the world that Maurice Bishop died because he wanted to build a new free and democratic Grenada, based on equality for all. That’s why Coard got help from “friends” to rise against Maurice.
And they would also learn that no Grenadian welcomed the Americans because of a dislike of Maurice. They welcomed the Americans because Hudson Austin had created mayhem and they needed to escape that.
But how did it all come to pass? How did Coard rise against his leader? That is the question that we all need to ask the Americans.
They needed to create a crisis to give them an excuse. They planned and executed it well and the cameras were ready to capture the moment and tell the world the grateful Grenadians were saying, “Thank God for America.”
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1. The Americans did not take out Maurice Bishop, other Grenadans did. You de-emphasize the cruel Bernard Coard, conveniently.
2. America was at war with the Soviet Union in 1983. It was a cold one, but a war nonetheless. Anyone who allied themselves with our enemy became at best an adversary. Grenada chose poorly in that respect, and the Grenadan government was treated as an adversary. You suffered the consequences of your own choices.
3. As for the benign nature of the "triangle", it was already known that the USSR was working with Ortega to raise a 500,000 man Sandinista army. There is only one reason for such an army, and it was not defensive. In that era, Nicaragua was a vassal state of our mortal enemy.
4. Grenada has much more to fear from America now than it ever did under Reagan. I know the islands love Obama, but he is simply branding for "sinister white guys" hiding behind the brand who ignore our Constitution and are building a fascist empire to personally rule. When such empires inevitably fail due to incompetence, they look around them for resources to take from others. Beware.
Sir I would best describe you as an ill informed pratt. For you to come here and ask anyone to believe that you knew Bishop because you met him and talked with him, you need some real lessons in humanity and psychology. Your ignorance precedes you.
Maurice Bishop was a Cuban trained Marxist mole who spoke Spanish with a Cuban accent. As a younger man he spent time and made trips behind the iron curtain to Russia, Czechoslovakia and East Germany with another Caribbean man who is a Caribbean leader today. He had what most little would be dictators have, that is Charisma; they have two sides and two faces. Bishop could be a charming charasmic character; he also had what some might describe as a streak of evil, which may be interpreted as Marxism at its worst. He locked up many of his friends because they spoke about him, he classed all sorts of people as anti or counter-revolutionaries, signing almost all of the arrest orders himself, I have a copy of one with his signature on it. Prior to the revolution he told the Rastafarians that he would legalise marijuana for their religious use, he promised they would never have to cut their hair again or be victimised against, as they had been under Gairy. After he was in power he stopped Rasta children from attending school unless they cut their hair short, and Rasta adults could not keep or get government employment without cutting their hair short. Bishop never kept his marijuana promise either. Then as time went by he decided Rasta’s were a threat to his rule, he locked up hundreds and hundreds of them.
He closed down radio and newspapers, then replaced them with state controlled media
Every phone on the island was tapped. The Cubans told him that professors and others at the medical college were infiltrated by US CIA officers.
Also on the direct instructions of the Cubans he tried to take control of all the religious institutions and church's, locking up several ministers.
Bishop instructed his central committee to go to Russia, Cuba and elsewhere and get training to keep two sets of accounts, two sets of books to commit fraud against the IMF and World Bank, don’t say he didn’t because there are public records that provide undisputable evidence that he said and instructed just that.
Bishop had enough arms and ammunition to fight a seven year war with the rest of the Caribbean, it was not just a little it was a lot.
As for the airport, yes it was to be for military use, there are diaries that state such, they are still in existence.
Now all that I have stated is true, public records in the Grenada records office prove so, and micro-fiche copies of all those records are in the Public Records Office in Maryland USA. All open to public scrutiny and available for copying for a small fee. Anyone who wants the record identity codes and locations, I have them all, just ask.
Ralph Gonsalves the current prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, was a friend of Bishop, after the initial overthrow he visited Grenada and rode in his car with him, and according to him helped Bishop write his speeches.
Gonsalves has stated to the Vincentian people “I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop” I personally shuddered when I heard that statement, I am still aghast today when I think of that.
Grenada was not free and it was not democratic, Bishop abolished the constitution, and made hundreds of new Marxist style laws.
All in all Bishop was a Marxist-Leninist scum bag. Which leaves you Sir by association, in a doubtful position in a decent society to give opinions.
And Sir, its people like you that give succour and encouragement to today’s Marxists in the Caribbean, the scum is once more rising to the surface.
Self Apointed Keeper of the Whistle
Peter Binose is a colonial hater, who talks with merit, totally misguided by the insanity of an enslaved mind.
Demion McTair, Social Democrat :
When Ralph Gonsalves stated to the Vincentian people - as you have indicated here - that “I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop” -- what work was he speaking about - Peter Binose? What work was Maurice Bishop doing? If you are Grenadian - perhaps you can tell us. As for me I am Vincentian - and Ralph Gonsalves has done work to uplift the working class of St. Vincent. He has provided education for all. 100 percent Vincentians have access to secondary education - he has built modern schools and we currently have the largest non-campus population at the University of the West Indies. Gonsalves has improved Health care. He has more than halved hunger in this country. Gonsalves and his team has almost eliminated dirt poor poverty in SVG in a period of 12years - something the right-winged "democracy -driven" rulers in SVG before him could not do. Gonsalves sought to strengthen the rule of law - to improve participatory democracy, to strengthen rights and freedoms via a constitutional change - which the right-winged colonial minded people in St. Vincent - lead a rejection against it on the grounds of partisan politics. He has, through social and economic policies, met, to considerable extent, almost every millennium development goal. Additionally, Over 95 percent of households now have electricity and Water and access to the internet is more than 75 percent. He has embarked on programs to ensure the welfare of the elderly who form part of the working class, is addressed: He has launched programs such as home help for the elderly - where the state provides daily assistance to those with no one to care for them. He has ensured the expansion of the middle class - via a progressive tax policy as well as making 100 percent mortgages available to civil servants. He has constructed Low income and no-income homes to ensure adequate housing for the working people. He has increased salaries on many occasions for all civil servants - and in his tenure as Prime Minister - has ensured that the minimum wage in this country increased. Time will not permit me to list all the work of Dr. Gonsalves in SVG. It is important to note though - that those who seek to align him with radical communism - are the same people in SVG - who have rejected all these programs - which have largely benefited the working people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. If this is to be considered a "continuation" of Maurice Bishop's work, then Bishop was a dawn good man! Developing countries need more leaders like Bishop and Gonsalves! We have heard much about Bishop and Gonsalves - I am keen to hear more about Gairy.
To start with Sir, why are you unable to use your real name?
I have asked in numerous articles and blogs which I wrote over the years for Gonslaves to tell us exactly what he means by that statement “I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bisop“, its not for me to guess and its certainly not for someone like you Mr Nobody, Mr No Name, to surmise and instruct us in what he had in mind when he made such a stupid statement. Gonsalves has proved himself as a pretty stupid man, telling people “I sometimes tell lies” then telling us “show me a liar and I will show you a thief” telling us “if I worship Obeah, I only worship Obeah for the Lord” are those statements that a normal person would make in and out of parliament.
As for what work was Bishop doing, I have previously listed some of that and you failed to even comment on it. Monsters like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and others in history were all loved and worshiped by sections of the society which they controlled. They were also killers and evil people. Unfortunately a trait of all dictators and revolutionaries is to favour a few and destroy many, destroy peoples lives not just by administering death, but by administering spite, malice and hatred. The few get favouritism, jobs, all sorts of handouts and recognition.
When you tell us he has provided education for all, that is what is called progression and during the same period every Caribbean island has done the same. It was not his idea, it came from the UN, EU and World Bank. Most of the schools were built again on foreign funding and initiative, some were in the pipeline from the previous NDP government time, lead time to build roads and schools etc. can be as long as five rears.
The failing is that about a third of the children when they leave school cannot read, write or do simple mathematics. The exams and tests over the years have been so simplified, the bar has been lowered to such a degree that at least some children are getting pass’s even with a third rate education.
A lot of families are so poor that they cannot send all their children to school every day of the week, so they rotate the children so as they can afford bus fares and food for them.
Any weekday you can find children in uniform roaming Kingstown begging dollars to buy them some lunch, or to get a bus home.
Every child must have a uniform and school books, with almost every poor person out of work in SVG how do the parents manage, I suppose Damion you don’t care a damn about that. Books alone are up to $400 a year, can you just imagine that?
Of course we have a lot of students doing tertiary education, because without such they will leave education and be out on the streets earlier, mugging and robbing old ladies. In today’s world the youth are given further education, it stands them in good stead when they realise unless they can get away to Europe or the Americas, they will be on the dung heap. Education is island wide and world wide, if Gonslaves has created more education that is the job of any government, that is progress.
One thing that he has not done is halved the hunger, there are more people out of work than ever before since independence. There are more people on social welfare payment than ever before, you cannot feed and house yourself on these payments, let alone a family. People in small stores are selling rice and chicken back in weights of 8oz’s and up, its never been like that here, only since 2002, and its got worse every year. If old people were not sent money by relatives abroad, by family in the Diaspora, they would starve. Gonslaves sits in his office and hands out little bits of cash to numerous people, people who are struggling to live as never before. People were a thousand times better off under British administration than under this Marxist led ULP government.
The rule of law is in serious doubt with even High Court Judges like Bruce Lisle making comments of such. The police are out of control, shooting unarmed citizens and even each other. Beating young people half to death during interrogation. Then Gonslaves make a statement “we will hunt them down until they exist no more” what can we expect, it gives the police license to hunt down and kill people at will.
Gonslaves himself has been accused of sexual crime against women, at least five thats known, by women some of whom had him charged for serious crimes such as rape. Gonslaves appointed a man as the Director Of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams. Williams was an attorney in Gonsalves law practice, he was also a Committee member of the Unity Labour Party ULP. When Gonslaves was charged with rape Williams took over the case and discontinued it. Now it may very well be that Gonslaves was innocent, but he never went before a court to prove his innocence in any of those sex charges, they were all thrown out by the DPP.
There are police running about dressed in camouflaged jungle warfare uniforms, carrying guns, being used by what most Vincentians believe to be political circumstances.
Thank God that his request to change the Constitution was rejected by a vast majority of Vincentians. The proposed new Constitution contained a lot of anomalies that would of seen the start of a dictatorship.
As for water and electricity, a huge number of people are cut off from electricity, because they are unable to afford the high cost of it. Some sit in the dark with their refrigerators unplugged to save power.
There are old people with houses damaged by storm and flood, sitting with a big hole in the wall or some of the roof missing. The person who has undertaken to help those people was not this nasty government it was, it is a young lady called Anesia Baptiste.
Also much of the work on peoples houses was repaired by the Mustique Charitable Trust Fund, in several cases completely rebuilt the worst damaged homes. The only few people who got help from the government or government agencies were those that could show a ULP party card.
Much of the middle class in SVG have left, they cannot live here, no work and a spiteful and malicious administration.
As for wage increases, in 2001 before he was elected he promised everyone a 30% increase, that turned out to be untrue. People like the port police who asked for their due increase agreed and owed to them were fired, their families are now starving with no income. Same thing happened to the irrigation workers. To beat all that the teachers were given a new agreement in 2004 which among others carried the signature of Gonslaves. At the time he told the teachers it was the best they had ever had. Later when three teachers came to enforce a section of it they were told it was unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. Later Gonslaves said he and everyone who signed it knew it was so when they signed it. So why did he declare it the best?
If you would like me to list all the crap that has come from the ULP, and some of the known lies that have come from Gonslaves, and a list of over a hundred nasty, dirty and malicious names that he has called citizens, tell about the US$ million dollars in an old bag, the man tht got a diplomatic passport caught carrying a kilo of cociane, I can do so.
As for Gairy, he also was an arsehole, but a right wing fascist, most of the others that I mention are Marxist or Marxist Leninist’s. All scum but with some slight differences.
I cannot believe that the TRUE SCUMBAG by the name of Peter Binose is still SPEWING this GARBAGE about one of the GREAT LEADERS of our CARIBBEAN CIVILIZATION, Maurice Bishop.
I stopped DEBATING the person that goes by the name of PETER BINOSE because I realized that it was SIMPLY FUTILE to EDUCATE or CHANGE the MIND of a CLEARLY MISGUIDED and IGNORANT NUT.
Peter has absolutely no CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. He simply READS whatever is stated in the PROPAGANDA material from the USA and FEELS that TRUTH has been SPOKEN about Maurice Bishop.
The IDIOCY and IGNORANCE of Peter Binose, which is not his REAL NAME, is just MIND-BOGGLING.
Peter, if your PARANOIA is still LEADING you to WONDER, even in the year 2013, what work of Maurice Bishop that Dr. Gonsalves wants to FINISH, I have a few VIDEOS for you.
I will start out with a TRIBUTE VIDEO and the words by the author who did the uploaded.
"In tribute to Maurice Bishop - although some may have forgotten how much you gave to Grenada and the World, your memory lives on in all of us who were touched by your honest desire to make Grenada and our World a better place. Grenada was fortunate to have you Maurice. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice, along with the other innocents who died with you - Forward Ever."
After viewing that video, you can watch what Dr. Gonsalves wants to FINISH what Maurice Bishop started.
Peter, even with the EVIDENCE before your EYES, your IDIOCY and IGNORANCE will STILL BLIND you to the FACTS and the TRUTH.
It is unfortunate that a CHARACTER like you continue to BESMIRCH the GOOD NAME of one of the GREAT LEADERS of OUR CARIBBEAN CIVILIZATION, Maurice Bishop.
Maurice Bishop was, objectively, a political jack-ass to a stand-pipe.
Just so as the people are informed. VINCYPOWA is a collaborator to all Marxist regime leaders past and present. He often comes forward when the so called modern socialism is under attack. He never comments on the facts that I list, he always attacks me and people like me.
His sole aim is to destroy the truth, because the truth damages the Caribbean Marxist cause.
He is a paid collaborator that I have likened to collaboration with war criminals and people like Bishop what committed many acts and crimes against humanity in Grenada.
I never look at his propaganda videos, because they are just that, videos created to try and make the scum look like good broth. Also from one of his videos in the past I was attacked by a virus when cookies were downloaded from his site.
He still has a number of answers to give me, which he knows the answer to.
1/ How many women have complained about being sexually assaulted by Ralph Gonsalves? 5 or more than 5?
2/ How many women have accused and charged Ralph Gonsalves with Rape? 1, 2, or more?
3/ Where did the bag containing US$1 million in cash that was hiked about Kingstown by a ULP member come from?
4/ Where did the great share out of US dollars in cash come from, which led to members and families members banking large amounts of US dollars all over Kingstown and in particular the NCB bank?
5/ Why was a man given a diplomatic passport after the 2001 ULP election win, the person was not employed by the government nor was he a diplomat. He already held a normal Vincentian passport and also a Canadian passport. In 2004 the same man was caught at a London airport carrying a kilo of cocaine, whilst travelling on the very same diplomatic passport. I have asked you this question many times before. Why was he given that passport and by whom?
There are hundreds of questions that you owe an answer for, perhaps we can start going through them all again. Its time we all got a reminder.
Demion Mc Tair, Social Democrat:
PETER BINOSE - To begin with - Demion Mc Tair is my real name. You seem to have some serious vendetta with Dr. Gonsalves which you need to work out. You also seem to be over-socialized in anti Marxist ideologies or have some serious obsession with making socialist leaders look bad - or maybe you don't understand democratic socialism. In the context of everything I simply asked what was the work of Maurice Bishop. I have outlined to a large extent what the work of Gonsalves is. What I stated was not based on any folk linguistic or shallow-headed assumptions - but rather on hardcore and ever-present and proven
FACTS. VINCY POWA - Has summed things up well - with regards to you Peter - so I will go no further in that regard - except to say that - Some persons minds have been lured into an intellectual black hole - NEVER to return to "Normal" and "Reasonable" logic. Its sad to say Peter Binose (if that is really an authentic name) - that you seem to be one of those persons. I cannot argue with ignorance. All the very best Peter. God bless.
VINCYPOWA, like you Bishop was a 110% Marxist scum.
If you want to have your vacations with your head stuck up the arse of Gonsalves your most welcome.
WOW, some of you people on here are committed to heated insults! Why not just politely disagree with one another?
There is merit on both sides I would conjecture (apart from that absurd American who sees Reagan as a saviour and Obama as the head of an evil empire).
Maurice was young and misguided but clearly idealistic. His youth gives him an excuse that is not available to Gonsalves.
The latter is a buffoon, who instead of trying to transform his country's economy away from agriculture and into services, goes about begging for "reparations" on behalf of a region, half of whose members are clearly uninterested in aid, as we have pride and brains.
I have no idea how the man is politically in SVG, as I do not live there, but his posturings on the world stage make him look like a bit of an ass.
kouto, if an "enslaved mind" is CLINICALLY "insane", then MILLIONS OF OUR BLACK WEST INDIAN ANCESTORS AND ANCESTRAL COUSINS, horrendously ENSLAVED - - - according to your unbalanced 'reasoning' would been INSANE FOR SOME THREE HUNDRED YEARS.
Are you, logically (?), accusing all of our MILLIONS of Black/African West Indians of BEING INSANE over some 300 YEARS?!
Should I believe you, here?
I AGREE with you, however, when you clear claim that PETER BINOSE is a person "who talks with merit".
Overall, though, ONLY A RESPLENDENT POLITICAL JACK-ASS could have INTRODUCED COMMUNIST MASS MURDER AND BLOODY INTERNICENE PURGES INTO OUR RELATIVELY PEACEFUL WEST INDIES, along with SUMMARY ARRESTS AND EXECUTIIONS, STAR-CHAMBER SHOW TRIALS, INCARCERATION OF POLITICAL PRISONERS, ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT TRIAL, AND GULAG ARCHIPELAGO SIBERIAN-esque PRISON CAMPS FOR RASTAFARIAN BRETHREN in sister isle GRENADA.
A political jack-ass IS as a POLITICAL JACK-ASS does.
Siberian PRISON CAMPS for Rastafari IN COMMUNIST-controlled/kidnapped GRENADA, falsely and fraudulently propagandized as COMMUNIST 'Revolutionary' Grenada.
ONLY a JACK-ASS beast of a being COULD HAVE SO WICKEDLY imprisoned JAH's children JUST FOR BEING RASTAS - - - men, women and children ALL.
A double curse on all who so unjustly PERSECUTE the innocent, including the Rastafari brethren of La Grenade.
Nevertheless, despite all:
Grenada, PEYI NOUS TOUT, we love you all.