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Commentary: Some former Grenadian revolutionaries playing snake to catch the people as zandolie
Published on April 15, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Hudson George

Because the older Grenadians speak French Creole patois, whenever they see a lizard they called it a zandolie. However, they told us that whenever a zandolie forgets itself, snake does catch it and eat it for a meal, but still the other zandolie lizards never learn their lesson. They continue to forget themselves when snakes are on the same tree to catch them again. Therefore, snakes continue to prey on zandolie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as the same way evil politicians prey on citizens who cannot remember their political history.

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
However, the same mistake the older folks claim that zandolie make is the same mistake some people make and get themselves in trouble with wicked persons who deceived them in the past and then they allow the same wicked persons to come back years later and deceive them again.

Basically, the point I am making is that some Grenadians are not learning from their past experience and it seems as though they will make the same mistake again as the zandolie. And if they keep on behaving like a zandolie the old dictatorial political culture will return again.

My reason for saying that is because, presently, I am seeing lots of abstract political paintings on the political walls. Some of them in camouflage but I am aware of the fact that some people are looking at those paintings with many questions in their mind but they are reluctant to ask for answers, while others are not paying attention to the paintings because they lack vision and insight.

However, because a lot of us cannot remember our history until something happen as a great surprise, there is a possibility that history will repeats itself again. Anyway, as for me, I do not think I will get caught like a zandolie, because I learn my Grenadian lesson over the last three decades ago.

Presently, it seems as though there are some shameless persons trying to rewrite Grenada’s history even though they lost the war. In addition, a handful of young educated Grenadians seem to join the clique and advocating for schools to teach history written by former People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) hardcore comrades. For example, I read an article on Caribbean News Now (Lessons of 1979 Grenada Revolution by Arley Gill, March 17, 2017), where Mr Gill is advocating for schools to teach Grenadians students about the Grenada revolution and he recommended a book written by Ewart Layne.

When I read Mr Gill’s article, I said to myself, what is going on inside Mr Gill’s head? Is he for real? But then again, I remember that Mr Gill was a young boy during the revolution and most likely he does not know the true story about the Grenada revolution, so I can forgive him for his misinformation about who and what caused the revolution to end in tragedy.

In addition, I read another article (Chronicles of a Chronic Caribbean Chronicler: The Grenada Revolution forgotten and remembered by Earl Bousquet, March 16, 2017). Mr Bousquet is trying to mislead people about the Grenada revolution. However, I was not surprised by Mr Bousquet’s pro-revolution rant. He was enjoying the good days of the Grenada revolution, while born and bred Grenadians who struggled throughout the Gairy regime as top cadres in the New Jewel Movement (NJM) were either locked up by the PRG regime, or fled the country and sought political asylum because of persecution by Bishop and his urban PRG gang.

In addition, Mr Bousquet went as far with his rant and criticized the officials at St George’s University (SGU) for naming one of the institution’s faculties after Grenada’s first prime minister Eric Gairy, who is the father of the nation. Well, when I read Mr Bousquet’s statements, I said to myself he must be a crazy person, or maybe he has no knowledge of the fact that it was Gary’s government administration that brought the School of Medicine to Grenada and it evolved into St George’s University. Therefore, there would be no St George’s University in Grenada without Eric Gairy’s approval.

However, it is a pity that our young people are not politically aware about Grenada’s political history, because they were not taught about it in school. In addition, if I was suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s; or was not living in Grenada during the revolution, maybe Mr Gill and Mr Bousquet would have gotten away with their snake crawling kind of trickery, but I still have my memories of the revolution and what took place during that era and who created the division after March 13, 1979. Therefore, I will not sit quietly and let the two gentlemen fool their readers with their twisting of Grenada’s political history.

In conclusion, I do not think it is fair for persons who were opposed the free speech three decades ago, to resurrect from the political grave and hijack free press freedom and try to justify the wrong things of the past as the right things. The March 13, 1979, revolution was supposed to be a people’s revolution and not a Maurice Bishop revolution. It is high time that the hijackers of the revolution and their sympathizers stop trying to sugarcoat the evils of the revolution.

For example, presently retired civil servants cannot get their government pensions because of the changes the PRG regime made with civil servants’ pensions, when they created the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) for workers. And the sad thing is that some of those former PRG officials are now back into politics as followers of democracy on both sides of the political fence. But yet still, they are refusing to explain to the Grenadian people why civil servants pension was scrapped for the little bit of NIS pension money.

In addition, what I see taking place in the political arena today in Grenada is that the politicians are not making any research of the country’s political past mistakes to correct the mistake. They would rather set their goals on self-actualization. They are more concerned about their political career than they care about the people.

However, the good news I have for them is that I am on the outside looking in. Therefore, for the time being, I prefer to stay away from the political bacchanal because I do not believe that my spiritual energy is connecting to the drama that is going on. They should take time on reflect on the foolishness they made in October 1983, all because of two greedy factions picking up arms and shooting against each other to satisfy their political ego.

However, I would like Mr Bousquet and Mr Gill to pay attention to the lyrics of the late great Nigerian singer and musician Fela Kuti song, “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense”. Basically, I am tired with all the false teaching about the Grenada revolution.
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anthony david:

I’m always very proud to see one of my fellow countryman in print or on tv. Whether it's advancing some new ideas or correctly reviewing historical data. Let us be clear here Mr. George does neither. I’m old enough to remember the Grenada Revolution and also honest enough to admit that the Revolution made some horrible mistakes resulting in folks losing their lives, while others had their rights violated. But to constantly suggest that the Grenada Revolution did no good,or had no positive effects on our society can only be described as FAKE NEWS.

Both Mr.Gill and Mr.Bousquet recent articles offered a far better analysis of the Revolution than Mr.George many articles have ever done. If we are going to act like amature historian we at least have a responsibility to be honest and to also look at what the data says. Mr.George always reminds me of a political character in the village of Chantimelle named Diego. On some of my trips to the village to visit with one of my high school friends I found him to be entertaining at best but void of any sound reasoning and a great disrespect to anything related to truth and facts.

The reason people study history is not to twist what happened, it's to learn what happened and how to not repeat those mistakes made by our predecessors. It is the very reason that the history of the Revolution should be taught in our schools and the entire Caribbean.

That teaching should and must include a full account of what happened, the good, bad and in between. If we don't teach that history someone else will do it for us and we might not like the analysis they present. All great countries do their level best to make sure that what's written about them is as accurate as possible. Our failure to demand that from our Governments/Educators remains a major oversight on our part and creates the space for the make belief and fake facts advanced by people like Mr.George

The idea that former NJM folks shouldn't be allowed to participate or their ideas shouldn't be listened to is at best silly and undeserving of a response. The truth is that as a still young and underdeveloped country we have been unable to either afford the monetary cost, intellectual capital and the political courage to put the Revolution with both its good and bad in full prospective. Until we do that Mr.George’s misinformation will pass for what amounts to FAKE NEWS. These folks should be able to fully participate in our society and those who did wrong should be held accountable. On the other hand those who did right should receive our gratitude.

Almost all the laws of the Revolution were rolled backed, the gains were squandered and given away. Eugenia Charles the then Prime Minister of Dominica who hated and despised the Revolution was reportedly given our Agro-Industrial production plant as a gift for her role in the illegal invasion of our beloved country.

My point here is that if NIS was such a bad idea, why haven't the many succeeding governments pass the needed legislation to abolish it. Truth be told, since NIS was set up under the PRG it would be easy to argue that it's an illegal institution given that our so-call Constitution was at that period suspended. Instead it has been used over the years as a piggy bank to stop gap our Governments decades of mismanagement. It has therefore been unable to live up to its full capabilities. The fact is that NIS remains today a shining example of some of the Revolution’s many successes. Grenada was probably the first country in our region to have such an institution and it has served our people fairly well. Folks don't be fooled by the noise, all developed countries have an institution like our NIS and as such we should be very proud of that fact..

What's needed at this time, is a series of debates with folks from different sides of the Revolution to discuss the issues as we try to find a path forward for Grenada. We leave in a country that is as close to a failed state as one can get without going over the edge. Since 1983 we have been plagued and saddled with a combination of either corrupt or incompetent governments with no end in sight. NNP/NDC different sides of the same poor government coin. New ideas and people are now needed to lead the way. A new and serious debate about our future and those of our children. It's time for us to learn from other countries who faced similar challenges and to work smart at finding local solutions where possible to some of our problems.

Mr.George looking in from afar might yet have a role if ever begins to be truthful and more analytical and take a vacation from the world of FAKE

Hudson George:

Well you are Mr. David from Chantimelle eh! However, I know you are! Doh try that by using a fake name. I know who you are bro! You will defend anything the revolution did because you benefited. I cannot blame you for that. But don’’ get upset with others who criticized the revolution.

For you the revolution was/it the best thing because you don't care about humanity. There are people still suffering from the evils of the revolution. If they come out and speak now , ah wonder what you will say.

Some of the victim of the revolution are still traumatized suffering from mental health problem because of what happened to them in prison. But here you come defending Mr. Gill kinda teaching of the revolution. Well if that teaching becomes part of the school curriculum, better we all carry guns and behave as pit bull dogs ready to shoo each other again, eat flesh and shed blood.

In terms of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), I never said it was a bad thing. My point is that the Civil Servant Pension is too small. Civil servants pension supposed to be different from NIS pension. You so-called revolutionaries have no respect for civil servants.

In the foreign country where you are living and working, I am sure that the pension you will be getting is nothing like the NIS. The PRG fellas must come clean and tell the Grenadian people why they destroyed Civil Servants Pension. The plans and policy they had were hidden from the Grenadian people.

In addition, where were you when the revolution muzzled the press and people's rights and freedom to debate and criticized the regime? Why is it the old Revo fellas are quick to grab the press freedom first, when they are the same ones to silent people's voice?

Why Mr. Bousquet is condemning St. George’s University for naming an institution faculties after the late Prime minister Eric Gairy? Are you saying that Mr. Bousquet is right eh! No wonder why the revolution committed its own self.
Who brought the school of Medicine to Grenada? Who is responsible for Grenada having St. George’s University today? You know it is Eric Gairy.

Ah known you happy. We have Maurice Bishop Highway and Maurice Bishop International Airport. That is good eh! It is revolutionary eh!

However, I have a question for you Mr. David. You have a Degree in International Law? Well if you do, can you tell me if Maurice Bishop was a Grenadian citizen after he suspended the Grenadian constitution during the revolution? I am asking you the question, because Bishop became a Grenadian citizen, due to his parents who were Grenadian. Therefore, after he suspended the Grenadian constitution what was his citizenship status as a foreign-born person ruling Grenada? Was he still a Grenadian?

In conclusion, Mr. David I am not hiding behind alias to make my statements. I think I am honest than you. If you think that I am entertaining, that is cool still. It is better to entertain than to be a Judas and a Brutus. I will never stab my friends in the back. I know that I will die with a clear conscience, without nothing to fear.

And by the way, as we say in Grenadian English, if you think that I am just entertaining, why you waste you time writing such a long criticism about my opinion?
Ah know you Revo fellas are Grenada's best scholars and thinkers, so why are you coming so defensive? I think that you should learn to accept that freedom is for all and not for a clique.

anthony david:

Your response shows in no uncertain terms that you are of the reservation. My rebuttal wasn't meant to be a personal attack on you. I want to focus on facts and stay away from the make belief ones.

If I take your premise that the revolution was all bad and did no good for the people of Grenada then it should reason that that would be a very powerful reason to teach what happened, why it did and how to avoid such mistakes in the future. BTW I admitted that the revolution did some horrible things and that many lives were permanently altered.

My point here is that the entire process has to be looked at and evaluated in totality and our unflinching honesty. I'm also not defensive but will defend the revolution for the great things it accomplished and be equally critical where it failed us as a people.

On the issue as to whether Bishop was a citizen or not, that's just silly and should be allowed to die a lonely and painful death in the irrelevant dustbins of history.

To all those who were wronged during the process they deserve our apologies and maybe more but we must remember that revolutions are about change and sometimes those changes comes at to high a price. I would go to my grave resolute that on balance the revolution did a lot more good that bad. It's my view today that had the process continued, the revolution would have moderated and Grenada would be a far better place in 2017.

And Mr.George last time I checked my humanitarian meter shows up pretty high when it's read or displayed. It's often said that you can spot from afar the person who has lost the debate. Just look for the one who goes personal and starts down the road of practicing the politics of personal destruction.

Keep the conversation going but please let's be civil and off course be guided by truth and honesty. We owe that to the young people of my beloved Grenada.


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