The Grenada Revolution Online

Bishop Speech - Long Live Solidarity, Friendship and Co–operation!
[23 November 1981]

Address at the Opening of the First International Conference of Solidarity with the Grenada Revolution, the Dome, St. George’s

Comrade Minister of National Mobilisation Cde. Selwyn Strachan

Comrade Members of the People’s Revolutionary Government,

Invited Guests,

Friends from around the world

Comrades All,

Comrades, in the name of our Party, the New Jewel Movement [NJM], in the name of the People’s Revolutionary Government [PRG], and in the name of the people, the workers, the youth, the women and the farmers of free and revolutionary Grenada, I join comrades in extending to you our fraternal and esteemed guests from all continents of the globe, a most warm and cordial welcome.

We are extremely happy to host you here on our soil, and we pledge to ensure that your stay here is both productive and enjoyable.

The importance of this historic Conference on International Solidarity with Grenada cannot be overstated.

In the first place this Conference manifests our continuing strict adherence to international principles.

We have always scrupulously avoided viewing our struggle, our revolutionary process, from a narrow nationalist perspective.

We have long understood that the world revolutionary process, the struggles of oppressed mankind everywhere is one and indivisible.

Thus, this International Solidarity Conference holds grave importance as it bears testimony to our commitment to the noble concept of internationalism.

This Conference derives additional importance from the fact that your presence here will indicate to imperialism in a clear and forceful way, that Grenada is not alone.

It will tell the imperialists in the boldest terms that their schemes, their machinations, their manoeuvres to isolate the Grenada Revolution have all failed miserably - as the Grenada Revolution enjoys broad popular support not only at the national level but also internationally.

Thirdly, for us this Solidarity Conference is a momentous occasion, as we understand very clearly that the force and weight of international public opinion cannot be dismissed and constitutes, indeed, a significant factor in the struggles of the people.

MARCH 13 - A BRIGHT NEW DAWN

Comrades, March 13th 1979 was a bright new dawn for the people of Grenada and the working people of the Caribbean.

That dawn marked the end of the long, dark night of terror and the beginning of a new day.

Our heroic people - the anti–Gairy masses - rose to the challenge of history and, in the words of the Caribbean poet, Edward Brathwaite -

. . . shattered the door and entered that morning, fully aware of the future to come, there’s no turning back.

As it has been said so often before, when a conscious, determined people rises as a united body and cries “enough” injustice, tyranny and exploitation are doomed . . . and thus begins a new and glorious chapter in the history of man: the construction of a just and equal society by the poor, for the poor and with the poor.

The people’s struggle through time for the realization of that dream is the long march of history.

From the very inception of our Party, the New Jewel Movement, we have been guided by the clear understanding that the struggle against the dictatorship was not an end in itself but a necessary precondition for the infinitely larger struggle of building that new and just society.

Building the new society involved a long and difficult process of national re–construction.

Twenty–five [25] years of Gairyism had devastated the social and economic fabric of our society.

It had destroyed our country’s international standing - Grenada was reduced to the laughing–stock of the international community, land of a tin–pot dictator lost in extra–terrestrial dreams, pre–occupied with UFO’s, obsessed with his divinity but brutal and ruthless in the exercise of power.

Fifty [50] percent of the labour force of our country was unemployed.

Our infrastructure was totally dilapidated.

Our tourist industry was one which brought little benefit to the country.

Despite our fertile soil, and with Gairy’s political interference in the development of agriculture, the production of our main export crops had stagnated.

Food crop production had declined, and our food import bill was approximately 40% of total imports.

Due to the dependent status of our economy and with a combination of ineffective price controls and monopoly profiteering by merchants, inflation rates were very high.

Financial mismanagement over many years had reached staggering proportions, and left the national treasury in debt to local commercial banks and in considerable arrears to local, regional and international agencies.

Our People’s Revolution was therefore face with the difficult twin task of economic reconstruction and democratisation of the society.

WHAT OBJECTIVES DID WE SET OURSELVES IN THOSE EARLY DAYS?

Our fundamental objective has always been, as detailed in the 1973 Manifesto of our Party [see full text 1970s Appendix], the construction of a new life and new Society.

In June 1974, we issued a ten–point statement of Principles. This document reads -

We stand for:

1)  People’s Participation, People’s Politics, People’s Democracy

2)  People’s Co–operatives for the collective development of the people.

3)  Health care based on need

4)  Full development of the people’s talents, abilities and culture

5)  Full control, as a people, of our national resources

6)  Employment for all

7)  A decent standard of living for every family

8)  Freedom of expression and religion

9)  The liberation of black and oppressed people throughout the world

10) A United People . . . A New   Society . . . A Just Society

These principles and objectives were as valid at the dawn of our revolution as they were five [5] years before when they were formulated, and as they are today - almost three [3] years after that first morning of our Revolution.

Already we have begun to implement these aims, although in addition there were certain initial priorities that we set ourselves upon taking power, based on an assessment of the most pressing needs of the people - jobs for the thousands of unemployed, health care, the improvement of the agricultural infrastructure, mass education, and above all, the process which would facilitate all other developments, the democratisation of the society.

Yet our progress has been hampered by certain objective difficulties which have prevented us from moving as rapidly as we would wish towards the attainment of our goals.

STRUGGLING AGAINST ODDS ON THE ECONOMIC FRONT

Like our sister Caribbean islands, we continue to be plagued by natural disasters.

Each year since the Revolution, hurricanes, high winds or torrential rains have caused considerable damage to our agriculture and infrastructure.

In 1979, we suffered US$6 million worth of damage - in 1980, the total destruction of 27% of our nutmeg crops, 40% of the banana and 19% of the cocoa, amounting to some US$20 million. In 1981, damage to crops, roads and bridges totaled US$5 million.

With an open, dependent economy ties to the economies of the capitalist world, we have suffered and are suffering from the ongoing economic crisis in the capitalist world.

Demand for our principal commodity exports has dropped.

World market prices for nutmegs, cocoa and bananas, which account for 97% of visible exports earnings, fell by 22% in 1980 over 1979.

To compound a difficult economic situation, tourism (our second most important industry) declined by 8.8% in 1980.

This problem which is also experienced by our Caribbean neighbours, led to reduction in foreign exchange earnings, employment, income generation and some stagnation in economic activity.

The decline of stay–over visits to Grenada fell not only because of the worldwide economic recession but also because of active propaganda destabilisation by US imperialism.

This year our tourist industry, poised for recovery with full house bookings at all the main hotels, was dealt a major blow with the sudden destruction by fire [28 October 1981] of undetermined origin of a substantial part of our largest hotel - the Holiday Inn.

Revenue losses such as these serve to aggravate an already unfair, unjust and unequal balance of trade.

Although the total volume of Grenada’s imports remained constant, the total cost of these imports between 1979 and 1980 rose from US$50 million due largely to steep increases in freight rates and fuel, as well as important inflation from the Western industrial countries.

IMPERIALISM - TRYING TO STRANGLE US

Another economic difficulty facing us at this moment, is the US economic squeeze.

US imperialism has embarked on a co–ordinated campaign of economic strangulation of our country designed to deprive us of access to financial resources from the bi–lateral regional and international sources.

These unprincipled tactics include attempted sabotage of an EEC sponsored co–financing conference to raise US$30 million desperately needed to ensure completion of our International Airport.

The determination of US imperialism to squash this process is evident in its vulgar and direct interference on the executive board of the IMF and the World Bank to block loans required for vital capital investment and public investment.

At the insistence of the US, Grenada was recently excluded from receiving financial assistance from the Windward Islands Banana Growers Association [WINBAN] from funds provided by USAID for banana rehabilitation.

Confronted with the belligerence of US imperialism, and having the vicious legacy of 25 years of “Hurricane Gairy” to recover from, how has our Revolution responded to the urgent tasks of national reconstruction?

NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION WITHIN THE REVOLUTION

In agriculture - the pillar of our economy - our main policy and tactic has been one of diversification.

Diversification of agricultural export production to increase the range of agricultural commodities which can earn foreign exchange; diversification of agricultural export markets with the objective of penetrating new markets and lessening our dependence on any one buyer; diversification and expansion of domestic agricultural production for import substitution, as a basis for agro–industrial development, and the linkage of the domestic agricultural sector with the tourist sector.

Since the Revolution, 50 times more money has been allocated in the national budget for agricultural development.

In the building of the New Tourism, we have also been diversifying our tourist markets through increased promotion in Western Europe, the Caribbean and Latin American market, while nonetheless attempting to maintain and indeed to achieve diversification in our traditional North American market.

With a 50% increase in our energy costs, energy conservation measures have been put into effect, resulting in a decrease in consumption by private motorists but a 20% increase in state consumption (mainly in the operation of equipment) on account of increased developmental activity.

Several major infrastructural improvements have been undertaken: a new International Airport, highway development of the East Coast, the construction and opening up of 67 miles of agricultural feeder roads, improvement of electricity services, vastly increased water supply, major expansion of telephone service, forestry development and conservation.

These efforts at national reconstruction and towards the solution of the main difficulties faced by our economy are the consistent and creative application of the basic programme of our Party as we set out in our 1973 Manifesto for People’s Power [see full text 1970s Appendix] and the achievement of genuine national independence.

This document states - and I quote:-

NJM has always stood for real independence, genuine independence, meaningful independence.

At our People’s Convention on Independence on 6th May, 1973 at Seamoon where 10,000 of our supporters were present, our two major speeches were called Meaningful Vs. Meaningless Independence and New Direction for Genuine Independence.

This Manifesto of ours sketches the things we must do as a people under new leadership to achieve real independence.

For we believe independence must mean better housing for our people, better clothing, better food, better health, better education . . . more jobs . . . in short, a higher standard of living for workers and their children.

The seizure of state power on March 13, 1979 by the people, led by its vanguard Party, the NJM, has opened up revolutionary possibilities for the implementation of that programme.

CONCRETE BENEFITS TO THE WORKING PEOPLE

The Revolution, with the active participation of our people, has brought concrete benefits to our working people.

Unemployment has been reduced from 50% of the working population to less than 30% by the expansion of the co–operative and state sectors.

The People’s Budget has removed the burden of income tax from the backs of the 30% of the lowest paid workers.

Financial assistance to the tune of 14 million has been provided to the poorest sectors of the population for house repair and a Ministry of Housing with responsibility for a National Housing Programme has been created.

Conditions of life in the villages are being progressively improved by the construction of Community Centres, bath and laundry facilities and Post Offices by the voluntary labour of our people in their Community Work Brigades.

In education, the Revolution has made important gains: the establishment of a national literacy and adult education programme, the Centre for Popular Education [CPE], the institution of free secondary education, a 300% increase in the number of university level scholarships; the creation of a National In–service Teacher Training Programme [NISTEP] for the professionalisation of all our primary school teachers.

The Revolution has placed emphasis on the expansion of educational opportunity because our Party has always recognized the fundamental link between education, the process of national development and the construction of a participatory democracy.

As in the vital areas of housing, jobs and education, the Revolution has brought concrete benefits to the masses in the field of health.

A national milk distribution programme has distributed 1,100 tons of milk to the elderly, to our youth and to expectant mothers since 1979.

Free health care made possible by increases in medical personnel and the expansion of services particularly in the rural areas has transformed the pattern of health.

THE FRUITS OF MARCH 13 MANIFEST THE BASIC PROGRAMME OF OUR PARTY

The transformation of the national economy, begun since the People’s Revolution, has been guided by the same basic conception of an economy at the service of the working people and freed from external domination and control, which we proposed since 1973.

It is worthy of note, that the vast majority of the new programmes and bold initiatives embarked upon by the Revolution are not bright ideas spontaneously conceived in some moment of inspiration, but the product of collective discussion and analysis within our Party and among the broad section of our people, of needs, problems and long term goals.

On the economic front, new institutions, new programmes all aimed at the strengthening of the national economy and the laying down of a sound material basis for future development are being built.

The Grenada Farms Corporation - a state enterprise - has been established to coordinate the operations of all Government farms.

These farms, scandalously mismanaged and their produce shamelessly misappropriated during the Gairy Era, are now the centres of a new thrust forward for our agriculture.

More importantly, agricultural workers - the producers of the green gold of our country - as these State farms are learning self–management, and more and more are taking on the responsibility for increasing production.

On these farms, the arithmetic of exploitation has been replaced with a new language of workers’ participation in the establishment of productive targets, profit sharing and the teaching of the real history of struggle of our working people.

The establishment of an agro–industrial plant now making it possible for us to make full use of local crops which in the past were never fully utilized.

Mangoes, tamarinds, soursops, guavas, to name a few, are now valuable cash crops because of the demand [unclear] by this agro–industrial plant.

Spice Island Products now embrace a proud range of juices, jams and canned local fruit and vegetables.

Likewise, the Marketing and National Importing Board [NMIB] has reduced the high cost of living and broken the backs of the monopolists in sugar, rice and cement.

This body now has the responsibility to import specified commodities from the cheapest sources and ensure internal distribution at mush cheaper prices than obtained previously.

Like the Grenada Farms Corporation, the Grenada Resort Corporation was set up to merge government hotels and other tourist enterprises, and has been achieving modest successes!

At the same time, the organisation of a National Fishing fleet, the establishment of a Fishing School and a fish processing plant are all together serving to build an integrated and sound fishing industry.

Other critical measures and economic programmes set up include:

- A coffee processing plant, to process local coffee for domestic consumption and export.

- Construction of 3 biogas plants and the carrying out of detailed studies of our hydro power, hydro carbon and geothermal potential as a possible means of alternative energy.

- The introduction of scientifically evaluated system of work planning in Government departments and Ministries to ensure productive use of government finances and as a basis for budgetary allocations.

- The setting up of a People’s Bank - the National Commercial Bank - which after just 2 years is already the second largest bank in Grenada.

All of these, comrades, represent some of the initiatives taken in our attempt to place our national economy on a sound footing.

We have always given priority to this task because it is a strong national economy that will guarantee the social and material well–being of our people.

We have a slogan, comrades, by which the masses understand quite simply this logic “You can only take out what you put in.”

PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION, THE MOTOR OF OUR PROCESS

But more important, comrades, more significant than all the other achievements of the Grenada Revolution, because it is the means whereby we achieve all other benefits and will move to achieve even more social and economic benefits as this process unfolds, is the outstanding success of the Grenada Revolution in the task of the democratization of our society.

One of the earliest acts of the Revolution was the repeal of all anti–worker laws and the enactment of democratic, progressive labour laws such as the Trade Union Recognition Act which guarantees the right of workers to form and participate in trade unions of their choice.

As a result, there are nearly 10,000 workers organized in trade unions today and most of these unions are developing programmes of democratic participation and education for their workers.

The Revolution has also taken several steps to stimulate and make possible the participation of women in the development of our nation.

There can be no talk of real democracy if half of a nation’s population is either disqualified from participation or can only participate in a very limited sense.

And there can be no talk of women’s participation if the conditions for this participation do not exist.

Our sisters cannot participate fully unless the society encourages their participation.

And in Grenada, in barely 2½ years of the Revolution, we have a proud record of measures taken to bring the women of our country fully into the development process.

Consistent with our slogan, “Idle Lands and Idle Hands - an End to Unemployment:” in year 2 of the Revolution, we moved to set up a National Land Reform Commission, with terms of reference to identify existing idle lands, (Unemployed youth willing to work such lands co–operatively) and make recommendations for their productive use.

In like manner, the preparation of our National Budget has, since the Revolution, involved the participation of trade union representatives; and this year the process of deciding how our resources will be used for our national development will involve an even wider participation.

This year the budget discussion is being taken to the people - our National Budget will be debated and shaped not by a handful of men sitting in an exclusive “Parliament”, but by our organized people in their thousands, in their community groups, their  Zonal Councils, their Parish Councils.

DEMOCRACY - A DAILY EXPRESSION OF OUR PEOPLE ORGANIZED

And the mention of these structures, comrades, brings us to the fact of the spectacular growth of mass organizations in our country in the 2½ years of the Revolution.

Our National Youth Organization [NYO], National Women’s Organization [NWO], both founded by the New Jewel Movement and our NJM Young Pioneers are mobilizing increasing numbers of our youth, our women and our children.

The youth organization (NYO) is close to a target for this year of organizing one third of the country’s young people.

Our sisters in the NWO have passed the 6,000 mark and are fast approaching their target of 7,000 (or nearly one–third of the women of the country) organized for action, participation and community development.

The Revolution has fostered the formation of Student Councils in every secondary school, linked into the National Students’ Council.

In the villages, you will find Community Work Brigades, which, in fact, determine priority needs and spearhead work on community building, cleaning and maintenance projects.

Three [3] weeks ago the Progressive Farmers Union [PFU], one of the most unique organizations that the Revolution has produced, held its first Annual General meeting with its full membership of just over 1,000 small and medium farmers in militant attendance.

In addition to the many organizations and action groups operating at community, parish and national level, our people meet regularly with the leadership of the country in Parish and Zonal Councils and in Workers’ Parish Councils where the twin principles of the accountability and responsibility of the leadership to the people become a reality for the first time in the English–speaking Caribbean.

The leadership is accountable because in its face–to–face meetings with the people, it must report on the achievements and the difficulties of particular Ministries and state bodies, it must answer the questions of the people on those issues which effect their lives.

The leadership is responsible to the people because it must take action where the people indicate that action is required.

In Grenada, the people do not only listen passively to their leaders, they talk back.

They do not only glimpse their so–called “representatives” now and then in the press, they meet them regularly, they rub shoulders with them.

In Grenada, structures have grown up and are developing daily to ensure the real participation of people, a continuous, day–by–day process, not a seasonal exercise which changes nothing.

Our democratic process is our strongest weapon for change, for development, for the improvement of life in our country.

WHY SOLIDARITY WITH GRENADA IS IMPORTANT

There are many reasons why your solidarity with Grenada is important.

There are many reasons why you must not only feel solidarity with the Grenada Revolution but you must also express this solidarity loud and clear.

First of all, our Revolution is an attempt to build a new socio–economic development model.

It is an attempt to solve our problems by new methods.

It is the boldest attempt, in the history of the English–speaking Caribbean, to tackle the dire problems of underdevelopment which so drastically affect the lives of the mass of people in our region, the problem of poverty, illiteracy and poor education, sub–standard nutrition, unemployment and all the other evils.

It is an approach which rejects some of the manifestly inadequate strategies which the ruling classes in most of our sister islands are still clinging to, because these strategies are guaranteed to safeguard their own position and to yield nothing but the barest minimum of political power and material benefits to the majority of the people.

Therefore, comrades, when you show your support for our Revolution, you are asserting with us the right of a small and poor, but courageous and determined people, to build their own process, to solve their problems in their own way, without threatening the sovereignty of any other people, nor compromising with their own proud and unshakable principles.

PEACE AND SELF–DETERMINATION

Our people, led by our Party the NJM, are demanding the right to build this new society in peace. We desire peace.

We know that peace is a precondition for the realization of the people’s wish for a better and more just existence.

But this wish for peace, this insistence on our right to self–determination is being denied us.

Daily we are threatened by the aggressiveness and the hostility of a power thousands of times our size, thousands of times richer in resources than us.

Daily our process is the object of threats both veiled and undisguised, coming from the mighty United States and its string of yardboys and yardgirls in the region.

Once again, comrades, we assert that we are the masters of our own house, we stand upright, with dignity, ready to defend this land, this sea, this region.

THE HISTORICAL STRUGGLE OF CARIBBEAN MASSES BEARING FRUIT IN GRENADA TODAY

We need your solidarity, comrades, because this Revolution is increasingly a light, a beacon of hope to the poor and exploited masses of the Caribbean.

The aims, objectives and achievements of this Revolution are a crystallization of the most profound human aspirations of Caribbean people towards a better life.

For 400 years, the exploited masses of the region have struggled with dignity for bread, jobs, justice and peace.

Today in Grenada, today in Free and Revolutionary Grenada, this struggle at last, is beginning to bear fruit.

And this fruit is not for us alone. Just as our struggle has been a part of the broader struggle of the working people of the Caribbean and the world, so now, our Revolution is an integral part of the forward movement of working people regionally and internationally.

We need your solidarity, comrades, because we are conscious of these responsibilities not only to ourselves but to oppressed and exploited peoples everywhere.

That is why in every forum, at every opportunity, we have resolutely condemned apartheid, Zionism and racism, we have unwaveringly accused and unmasked imperialism, and we have added our voice to the condemnation of exploitation, injustice and inhumanity in all its forms and manifestations.

You shall find us marching in your ranks, our voice shall not be stilled.

And this important role of the Grenada Revolution is clearly recognized by the working people of the region.

For whatever the volume and bitterness of the attacks made upon us by the decrepit leadership of the region and its decadent press, however often the voice of Washington is mindlessly echoed by its agents in the region, the real people have again and again demonstrated their confidence in, and support for, this process which they see as theirs too.

Behind the smoke–screen of misinformation, they somehow perceive the real issues, that his Revolution is a unique process in which new benefits are being brought to the people, and a popular process in which the people participate more and more each day.

The Caribbean people refuse to be misinformed about our process.

The Caribbean people understand the undemocratic and anti–worker position of he regional press.

This is borne out by the the survey recently conducted the the Jamaican Daily Gleaner, itself a major organ of anti–Grenada propaganda and a tool of international reaction, a survey which revealed that the majority of people are not affected by the negative propaganda put out against our Revolution.

There is also the recent example of the strong protest made by workers of the Trinidad Express, (another regional rag in the service of U.S. imperialism).

These workers came out in protest against what they correctly identified as a vulgar concerted anti–Grenada press campaign, they came out and demanded the right of the Caribbean people to undistorted information about a sister island.

There is the evidence of the Trade Union Conference that we have just hosted and which turned out to be the biggest it its 3 year history.

It was the largest ever gathering of representatives of the Caribbean working class.

The hosting of this Conference has been for us both a duty and a pleasure.

This Conference has been held at a time when the working people of the Caribbean are beginning to feel the full weight of the capitalist world economic crisis, and when the regional ruling classes have agreed on common solutions, which can only mean harsher conditions, austerity, more and more hardship and increased exploitation of the poor.

THIS CONFERENCE IS THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

One of the highest expressions of international solidarity with the Grenada Revolution is precisely today’s Conference.

For the first time since our Revolution, people like yourselves who have been consistent friends and allies of our struggle, are meeting all together.

You come as friends, as comrades–in–arms, as firm consistent defender of the truth of this Revolution.

The presence of comrades from all continents is not only an indication of the support of the international community for our Revolution, but is also a testimony to the oneness of our struggle against a common enemy and to the unity of our aspirations.

Another living example of the regional support that our Revolution has attracted is the presence among us of internationalist workers from the Caribbean region as well as from other parts of the world.

In all the key sections of our development, these internationalists are co–workers, facing with us the historic challenge of creating the new and just society.

IMPERIALISM DOES NOT REST

Comrades, one of our most important reasons for calling upon your support is the threat we face from U.S. imperialism.

From the earliest days of the Revolution, we have been subject to threats and attempts by U.S. imperialism to undermine and destroy our process.

The strategy of imperialism has been to fight us on all fronts: political pressure, propaganda destabilization, economic warfare, and now, imminently, the military solution.

From the very morning of our Revolution, pressure was brought to bear upon us by the U.S. in an attempt to dictate the character and direction of our political process.

We were warned, for example, that relations with Cuba would not be countenanced.

The propaganda campaign also began very early with an impudent plan to use the local media to wage war upon the Revolution from the inside, like a worm surreptitiously eating away at the heart of a healthy fruit.

The lesson that imperialism learned from that early impudence was that this Revolution must be respected: and every subsequent attempt, including the recent action of a group of counter–revolutionary planters, merchants and professionals has been firmly dealt with.

The Revolution, having silenced the local mouthpieces of imperialism, faces increased propaganda aggression from outside.

This campaign was taken to a new level with the prime time broadcasts in the U.S. national television network, feeing to the people of the United States of America the most vulgar distortions of Grenadian reality.

On the economic front, we have been faced with recurrent acts of sabotage; the vulgar abuse by the U.S. of its dominant position in international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank to stifle the legitimate rights to assistance of small, developing states in the region like Grenada and Nicaragua.

NEUTRON WARLORDS ARE RATTLING THEIR SABRES

Today the assumption of power by a fascist clique in the U.S., and the failure of imperialism’s attempts to destroy our process have brought our Revolution face to face with the ugliest side of imperialism - naked military aggression.

In the last two months alone there have been two [2] major manoeuvres carried out upon Caribbean land and sea by the warlords of the north: Ocean Venture ’81, Operation Amber and the Amberines, Red X 183, have been shameless rehearsals for eventual invasions of Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada and/or preparation for an armed entry into El Salvador on the side of the fascist Junta!

But it is not only here in our Caribbean that the enemies of peace have been rattling their sabres.

These neutron war–mongers have been seeking military confrontation on several continents.

The shooting down of 2 Libyan planes, the military manoeuvres code–named Bright Star, the South African invasion of Angola, the open attack by Zionist Israel on Iraq, Beirut, Southern Lebanon and the Palestinian people and the tons of lies being spread today against the revolutionary peoples and governments of Cuba and Nicaragua in preparation for an armed invasion, the role of the U.S. in El Salvador are all examples of this trend.

The peoples of the world, however, including the people of the United States, conscious of the grave danger of mankind posed by these adventurist actions and policies are standing up for peace.

INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION IS A FORCE FOR PEACE

Comrades, world public opinion is increasingly a force of international affairs.

The voice of the working masses can no longer be ignored.

We saw the part it played in the Vietnam War.

International public opinion has become more and more powerful in recent times when the balance of forces has been shifting towards anti–imperialism and national self–determination.

Again and again, we have seen world public opinion respond indignantly to acts of military aggression against small, weal nations, again and again we have seen world opinion condemn and curb the attempts of imperialism to intervene and turn back popular processes.

And this, comrades, is another reason why your solidarity is so important to the continued forward movement of the Grenada Revolution.

But it is important that international public opinion be mobilized not only against the military subversion of popular processes.

It is important that we recognize the equally devastating effects of the other forms of aggression.

International public opinion must treat with equal gravity attempt to block aid to countries like Grenada, the financing of counter–Revolutionary journalism and other propaganda destabilization, and the landing of Marines on the soil of other countries.

For all of these have the same aim of overthrowing our Revolution, all of these are acts of aggression against our people.

HOW CAN FRIENDS HELP OUR PROCESS?

So how can you, the friends of the Grenada Revolution, continue to help us build and consolidate this process? How can your solidarity safeguard and promote our Revolution?

Comrades, solidarity meetings such as this are a vital forum for galvanising world public opinion.

Educating and informing the people of the world about the reality of this Revolution is a necessity.

This task by itself is part of the general struggle of the poor for the right to information.

It is part of the broad struggle against the imperialist, monopoly control of the media and for a New World Information Order [NWICO].

As a poor, underdeveloped country, our efforts to break the vicious cycle of poverty and exploitation, the programmes of the Revolution designed to improve the social and economic well–being of our people depend to a large extent on the material assistance that we receive.

And we are, therefore, always very appreciative of the internationalist assistance which we receive from so many different peoples.

Friends of our Revolution, you can help us by organizing Grenada Friendship Associations in your country.

Providing a framework for organized and ongoing solidarity work, providing a framework within which peace forces, friends and other well–wishers can be drawn into concrete political, educational and fund–raising activity.

Alongside the formation of Friendship Associations is the organization of tours to Grenada.

The most often reiterated position of the Revolution in response to the absurd lies and distortions has been to “come and see for yourself.”

Our revolutionary process is one guided by principles of honesty and integrity, our revolutionary process is one defended and made by the Grenadian masses.

We say to our friend “come, share our experiences”, we say to the doubting Thomases “come see for yourself.”

By coming and seeing for yourself, and by encouraging others to do likewise, you not only dispel the falsehoods of imperialist, but you also help our economy, by contribution to the New Tourism.

So here you are among us, brothers and sisters, to witness for yourselves the evolution of what we aspire to build into a New Civilization in the Caribbean.

What is new about our model, which is different about our process?

The answer to this can be assisted by a whole series of questions which might be posed by any visitor to our shores who is struck by the evidence that something is afoot here which does not quite fall into the pattern of life in most of the rest of the Caribbean.

Some of the questions that are most usually asked are the following:-

- Why did we, as one of the priorities of the Revolution, send volunteers into the field to find out how many of our people were illiterate, and then move decisively into developing a national programme of adult education?

- Why have we stretched our human and financial resources to set up a training programme for all primary and junior secondary teachers, instead of continuing the traditional Teachers’ College model of training 50 select teachers per year?

- Why are we instituting primary health care?

- Why do we hold so many mass meetings?

- Why do we hold so many solidarity rallies and events with so many National Liberation Movements and friendly governments around the world?

- Why are we working so hare dot expand the NYO, and NWO and other mass organizations?

- Why are we the only country in the English–speaking Caribbean that has decided to arm our people and create a People’s Revolutionary Militia? What has inspired this confidence?

- Why are ordinary, grassroots men, women and youth being exposed to leadership training and political science courses?

- Why are we developing so many new organizations, and popular democratic organizations such as Workers’ Parish Councils, Youth and Women’s Parish Councils and Community Zonal Councils within every parish?

- Why is the distribution of milk in every community carried out voluntarily by the organized members of that community?

- Why have we established Work Brigades to involve our people in the task of rebuilding our country on a voluntary patriotic and unpaid basis?

- Why are our community organizations able to set up and run day care centres and kindergartens with only minimal inputs from the Government?

- Why, in the face of serious transportation problems, in the face of ongoing attempts to undermine the confidence of the people in their Revolution, in the face of serious ongoing objective problems, why, in the face of all this, were we able to bring to Seamoon yesterday a crowd far, far bigger, and far more militant, united and conscious than the 10,000 who came out to the N.J.M.’s first People’s Congress held on that same spot around 8 years ago.

- Why is the anti–Grenada lobby becoming so strident and hysterical?

- Why does the newspaper of our Revolution, the Free West Indian, encounter so many obstacles to its distribution in the other Caribbean islands, while their newspapers sell freely on our streets, notwithstanding the lies and the distortions which they print about Grenada?

- Why is there no propaganda campaign, no accusations of human rights violations, no calls for elections, no policy of isolation, no economic blockades nor any threat of military intervention against a country like Haiti, where people are literally jumping into the sea every day to escape the unbearable conditions under which they live?

- Why?

We invite you to explore out country, examine our process, experience our Revolution, and assess for yourselves the new directions that we have taken.

Comrades, beloved friends, once again we reiterate our pleasure in having here with us, one hundred and twenty [120] delegates from so many countries form all continents is a definite statement of militant solidarity that “Grenada is Not Alone.”

Comrades, we urge you to enjoy your stay in our country and hope that whatever our modest hospitality lacks will be more than made up for by the warmth and friendliness of our people.

We assure you of our total support in your struggles against injustice, exploitation and war–mongering and for peace, social progress and national liberation.

LONG LIVE SOLIDARITY, FRIENDSHIP AND CO–OPERATION AMONG PEOPLE!

LONG LIVE THE ANTI–IMPERIALIST AND ANTI–FASCIST UNITY OF PEACE–LOVING AND PROGRESSIVE FORCES WORLDWIDE!

LONG LIVE THE FORCE AND WEIGHT OF INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONALISM?

LONG LIVE THE GRENADA REVOLUTION!

FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER!


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