By Hudson George
I read Helen Grenade’s letters and how she describes Maurice Bishop as a political saint and I not impressed with her opinion of the deceased Grenadian leader. However, it seems as though Ms Grenade is not aware of the origins of the Grenada revolution and the trickery method Maurice Bishop, Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman used to hijack the New Jewel Movement from its grassroots base.
Hudson George has a BA in Social Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. He has been writing since his early teenage years and now contributes letters and articles to a number of Caribbean newspapers
The Grenada revolution did not begin with Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard. It is not all about the Bishop and Coard factions’ violent confrontation on October 19, 1983. The real story about the revolution has its roots in St David parish, where the political cell of the Jewel Movement was born. However, based on Ms Grenade’s argument, she is telling her readers that the Maurice Bishop faction was the people’s revolution.
The truth about the revolution is that the urban academics stole the movement for change from its rural base, when Bishop and Coard, with the aid of Unison Whiteman, created an intellectual circle, and tricked the grassroots leaders within the Jewel Movement and hijacked the revolution from the people in the rural parishes. Therefore, it should be very important for Ms Grenade to focus on why the revolution was stolen from its grassroots base by those intellectuals.
As a matter of fact, the revolution did not just happen as an accident or like an unexpected shower of rain that we usually refer to as a passing cloud. Ms Grenade supposes to tell her readers that the Jewel Movement was a political movement for social change and its original leaders were literate rural folks who wanted implement some social changes in the interest of all citizens within the tri-island state and that is the reason why they invited and accepted Bishop and Coard into the political organisation.
Although those rural comrades did not did not have university degrees as Bishop, Coard and Whiteman, they were intelligent Grenadians with visions for nation building and they were the ones who sparked the political flames that created the foundation for the revolution. However, based on what Ms Grenade keeps on writing, she is telling her readers that the Maurice Bishop faction was the people’s revolution but her information is incorrect.
It is very important for Ms Grenade to know that Maurice Bishop became a permanent figure within the New Jewel Movement when his urban political organisation known as MAP joined forces with the Jewel Movement and renamed the movement as the New Jewel Movement.
With Bishop and Coard’s inclusion and contribution within the political organisation, they brought in some new ideas and new faces into the organisation, with other motives to hijack the struggle in a scientific way from the grassroots comrades, when the right time came to seize the opportunity. And during the first year of the people’s revolutionary government, they ruthlessly purged out the Jewel Movement leaders and supporters from the revolution.
In addition, although the revolution brought some positive changes within society, it should be very important that Ms Grenade explain to her readers how Bishop and Coard stole the New Jewel Movement from its rural base and turned the struggle into their own political dream.
However, Ms Grenade is doing the opposite thing by giving her readers the impression that Bishop was a political saint and his political comrades were the devil’s angels. But the truth is that Bishop was neither a political saint nor a political fool. He was very intelligent and ruthless. He played his own political games within an alliance with Coard’s political faction for his own personal gain and, in the final analysis, he was eliminated.
Ms Grenade should realise that Bishop and Coard were trying to fulfill their own personal dreams to rule Grenada as dictators for life. And on October 19, 1983, their political factions fought a bloody battle and Bishop, with some of his close comrades, were captured and executed after they lost the battle.