Beloved Sisters and Brothers, Comrades all.
Today, in your name, I want to welcome all of our distinguished and esteemed overseas guests to our free soil.
I want to welcome them today to this historic Seamoon site - a site that has seen us with so many successes in the dark days of the Gairy Dictatorship; a site that has seen many of our achievements; a site that has seen many of our historic rallies and public meetings. But today, comrades, this particular rally at Seamoon has an additional significance and importance, a great deal more meaning than any of the other eight rallies we have held to commemorate Bloody Sunday.
A TRULY INTERNATIONAL GATHERING
Firstly, this rally falls between two historic conferences that our country has the great privilege of hosting. Firstly, the third Caribbean Trade Union Conference which was held between November 18-21. That conference was a tremendous success, with representatives coming from the Spanish, Dutch, English and from the French-speaking section of the Caribbean region.
Comrades, we also have the very great privilege at this time of welcoming to our country representatives to the first International Solidarity Conference which is due to start tomorrow morning. This conference too, is of great importance to our people and our Revolution at this time. And just as the Trade Union conference had representatives from the Dutch, French, Spanish and the English-speaking Caribbean, so too for this International Solidarity Conference we now have representatives from every corner of the world.
We have represented here members of the non-aligned movement; members of the Socialist world; member parties of the Socialist International; member parties from Copal - The Latin American Organisation of Progressive Parties; representatives of the World Peace Council and representatives from the Grenada Friendship Societies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark. As you can see there are several governments, political parties and organisations, members from peace movements and friendship societies around the world that are friendly to our country.
From the socialist world we have the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Yugoslavia, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Vietnam and Cuba.
From the Middle East we have the Peoples Republic of South Yemen, representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the friendly Republic of Algeria.
Comrades, from Western Europe we have representatives from Sweden, Denmark, Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
From Africa, we have the Peoples Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Angola, and SWAPO from Namibia.
We are also happy to have with us comrades from North America, representatives of progressive organisations and individuals from the United States and Canada. From the English-speaking Caribbean we have six out of the seven countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and eleven countries out of the thirteen members of the Caribbean Community.
From the Spanish-speaking section of the region we have representatives from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.
From the Dutch-speaking section Surinam and Curacao, and from the Frenchspeaking section, Martinique and Guadeloupe. What we have therefore, is a truly international gathering.
MORE UNITED CONSCIOUS, ORGANISED AND VIGILANT THAN EVER
Comrades, this Bloody Sunday rally today also has special significance for us because two years and eight months after our glorious People's Revolution, we have at this rally the firm evidence and the total proof of the fighting militancy and determination of our Grenadian masses. There can be no doubt about the mood in our country when we look at this militancy and enthusiasm.
It is quite clear today that notwithstanding the pressures of imperialism and reaction our people are undoubtedly much more united than they have ever been.
here can equally be no doubt, that at no point in the history of our country have we ever had so much organisation; from the National Women's Organisation with their 6,500 members, from the National Youth Organisation with their 7,300 members; from our Young Pioneers with their 6,800 members, from the 10,000 organised workers in the Trade Union Movement, to more than 1,000 small farmers organised in the Productive Farmers Union.
Comrades, it is equally clear that today with the development of our organs of popular democracy, our parish and zonal councils, our workers parish councils, our women and youth councils; there can be no doubt that today the people are enjoying much more democratic rights and freedoms and are much more involved and participating in the building of our Revolutionary process.
Equally, no one today can doubt the fact that our people are now much more conscious and much more internationalist than at any other period in the history of our country. The evidence is there for all to see: the deepened unity, the greater organisation, the greater spirit of internationalism the greater confidence, the greater vigilance and the greater determination of our people.
DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WORLD
This year's commemoration of Bloody Sunday has additional meaning because today in the region and in the world a most dangerous situation exists. There is no doubt that peace is being threatened; that the possibility of war is very much on the horizon. And, with this new threat of war the prospects of more Bloody Sundays is a real one for many people in different countries around the world.
Comrades, the reason why there is this dangerous atmosphere of war in the world today is that the capitalist countries of Western Europe, but more so of the United States, are undergoing a tremendous recession. There is a deep crisis in the capitalist world. Every day more and more workers in these countries are being thrown out of jobs. More than 9,000,000 workers in the United States, for example, are now out of jobs. Every day the prices of goods are going up. Every day sales are going down. Every day factory production is falling and more and more factories and business places are closing down.
At the same time, social services are also disappearing, with hospitals being closed, with schools being closed, with subsidies to farmers and students being cut, with the usual benefits to the unemployed being taken away; all of this happening at this time in the United States.
And the answer of the ruling classes in the U.S. has been to step up the arms race, to bring war back into the world and into our region, to see if they can get more and more production of arms as one way of trying to solve this deep economic crisis. That is why today you can have the United States talking about spending one hundred and eighty two billion United States dollars (US$182 billion) in the production of arms.
That is why today, you find these warmongers talking more and more about trouble spots, looking more and more to bring tension into the world. You see them engaging in more and more military manoeuvres; in trying to arm more and more of their fascist friends around the world, in holding more and more meetings of top military experts from different parts of this region to try to coordinate a new military offensive, a new military aggression against the people of this region.
EMERGENCE OF FASCISM IN THE U.S.
Comrades, the second answer of the ruling classes in the United States to this economic crisis was to put in power a representative that would fully support their interest. That is why Ronald Reagan, the one-time actor and cowboy, was recently elected President. In fact, through a massive campaign in the media, the newspapers, radio and television, tried to show him in a particular way, to pretend that he was a saviour of the people of America and the world.
Comrades, what has been happening since the election of Reagan is that a deliberate policy of trying to promote war talk, of trying to promote policies of aggression, has started in a big way. What we have seen over these past months, is that a hunch of fascists have emerged to take control of the United States. And this small group of fascists is determined to bring war to the region and to the world.
I want you to understand, comrades, that fascism never arises by accident in any country's history. Fascism is always the product of objective and subjective factors.
In the 1930's, when fascism existed in Italy and in Germany, it came about directly as a result of the great economic depression from 1929 onwards. As a result of that economic crisis Mussolini, and Hitler, were able to emerge and bring their fascist qualities to bear around these countries. In exactly the same way we have seen these economic cycles of crisis in the capitalist world and particularly in the United States during the 1970's.
In 1974 - 1975 there was a big capitalist crisis and again from 1980 - 81 there is another big capitalist crisis going on.
Because capitalism is in crisis and the profits of the big monopolists have been falling, it was possible for a Ronald Reagan to emerge on the backs of this capitalist crisis in the United States. And what we are seeing today, comrades, is that the new fascists who are ruling the United States are making exactly the same appeals as the fascists in the 1930's did.
In the 1930's Hitler and Mussolini spoke a lot about fascism and promoted the idea of a superior race. And just so today, we find that some of the fascists around Ronald Reagan, men like Jessie Helms for example, are once again promoting the idea of white superiority inside the United States, and are bringing more pressure on black people and other ethnic minorities.
In exactly the same way in the 1930's, when Hitler and Mussolini often spoke about morality, and religion, and God, and virtue, while crushing and murdering the people, so too again today we can find in the United States, a lot of talk about morality, a lot of talk by the elements of the "moral majority", as they call themselves. These are the same people who are trying to take away the rights of the women of the United States, who are saying that the women up there must not be involved in work and in trade unions and that the women do not even have the right to wear trousers because only men should do so.
LIES USED AS WEAPONS
Today, Ronald Reagan and his bunch of fascists are also trying to create artificial enemies around the world. They are attacking Cuba, the Soviet Union, Libya, Angola and Nicaragua. These and other similar countries are all being labelled by these fascists as enemies of democracy, and as international terrorists - an excuse and a pretext for them to launch their campaign of aggression.
We can also see the comparison with fascism between the 1930's and the 1970's. Just as in the 1930's, when Hitler produced a man called Goebbels, a man who used to spread lie after lie, so today in the United States we are seeing lies being used as a weapon.
Every day more and more lies are being spread against different countries and national liberation movements around the world, in a last desperate attempt to save dying capitalism in the United States. They are resorting to this fascist technique of spreading more and more lies.
These fascists are also trying, to got the arms industry going in a big way, and again we saw that happening in Hitler's Germany when the Krupps and other big monopolists emerged around the arms industry.
Comrades, like in the 1930's we see the same amount of provocation taking place in the world with more and more countries being provoked; with the planes of Libya being shot down; with the reactor in Iraq being bombed out; with South Africa going directly into Angola, attacking and killing Namibian refugees in that country. We see this provocation with the military manoeuvers which are being stepped up all over the region and throughout the world.
DISRESPECT AND UNCONCERN FOR WORLD'S PEOPLE
Equally comrades, we can see today an increasing disrespect and unconcern for the people of the region and the world by these people who are in control of the destiny of the United States at this time. That is why they are able to make a neutron bomb, a bomb that can kill people but will not damage property in any way. That is why you can find them today talking about having a limited nuclear war in Europe, where Reagan hopes to stay in Washington and press a button and start a nuclear war. He does not care how many millions in Europe get killed as a result. His position is they have their nuclear weapons and they have a right to start nuclear warfare in any country of the world so long as it does not come to America, or in any way hurts the people of that country.
Comrades, these same people today, in the face of the peace marches by millions and millions of Europeans, are saying that the people of Europe are being misled and are marching for the wrong reason. They are not concerned that the people of Europe are marching because they are worried about peace, are marching because they are worried that a new war looks like it is about to start.
This unconcern for the world's people can be seen from the fact that even food is being used as a weapon, and is being taken away from the people of Nicaragua and Mozambique because the United States decides that in their own eyes the people of these countries are enemies and international terrorists.
Comrades, there is no doubt at all that there is a very, very serious a fascist threat facing all of us in the region and throughout the world and this particular threat is perhaps the most dangerous one ever known. Because part of the intention of Ronald Reagan and his small group of fascists is to rewrite history, to try reshaping the world.
THERE IS A NEW WORLD
These are people who are not willing to accept the fact that there is a socialist world, a non-aligned world and national liberation movements in the world.
They are not willing to accept that, and are trying to find ways of bringing the world back to the time when America used to dominate and rule. They are hoping that they can turn back the clock of time and roll back the progress that mankind has made.
But there is a new and changed world!
Comrades, today there is no doubt at all that the world and its people are no longer dominated by or afraid of the United States and the fascists who are ruling. There is no doubt at all that the plans these people have to try to reshape the world are not plans that can possibly succeed because the people of the world undoubtedly have a new consciousness and world public opinion has risen to be a great, powerful force.
A small country like Grenada, for example, a country of only 110,000 people does not have to worry about its smallness, because we know that we can stand up as part of a much larger world, as part of an anti-imperialist alliance of billions, an alliance that is willing to stand up to the United States and say; "Enough is enough; if you intervene, then the people of the world are going to come out in a strong protest."
HOW CAN WE BE A THREAT TO THE U.S.
Comrades, very often the question is asked: How can a small country like Grenada, with a small population and a few resources, be some kind of threat to the United States and to imperialism in general? These people are sometimes saying in their newspaper articles that Grenada happens to be located in a part of the world where their sea routes are situated, where great tankers have to pass carrying their oil, and ships carrying their bauxite. They have to pass close to Grenada and therefore Grenada is dangerous.
Let us assume, however, that the same madness that affects Reagan comes into our heads in Grenada and we decide to attack some ship that is passing with oil, what happens after that? After we attack that ship by throwing two stones and sinking it, what will be the next step? We have to ask these jokers who are pushing this ridiculous line - what kind of military threat are they talking about?
Or is it that these people want us to lift up our country and move it out of the Caribbean Sea and see if we can find a place in the Far East or maybe in some part of Africa to hide it so we won't be in front of their oil routes anymore.
We have to ask ourselves these questions, because they have been trying to spread a lot of lies about the intention of the people of Grenada and of our revolution. They have been trying to pretend that we are the ones who have been hostile to them, that we are the ones who pose some kind of threat to them when, in fact, it has always been the other way around.
THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HOSTILE
Comrades, right from the start of our Revolution in March 1979, the United States, under President Carter at that time, was showing hostility to our government. You will remember that when the time came for the recognition of our government, and different governments around the world were rushing to recognise us it was the United States that held back for as long as possible beforethey moved to extend recognition.
You will remember in the early days, when we made a request to have Gairy sent back to Grenada to stand trial for the various crimes he had committed against our people, the United States refused and is still refusing to do that. You will remember that when they sent Ortiz, the then Ambassador to Grenada he was fresh, mannish and rude enough to tell us that we must not become friends with Cuba.
Comrades, I want you to observe that this same Ortiz who used to be ambassador to Grenada based in Barbados, when taken out of this region they sent him to Guatemala, one of those countries that is extremely repressive and yet even they eventually asked the United States to move Ortiz. He was too repressive even for the government of Guatemala.
Right now Reagan is trying to send Ortiz to Peru as ambassador and all the people of Peru are standing up in one voice and saying that they don't want any fascist or CIA agent to be any ambassador in their country. In other words, from the early days the people of Grenada had correctly spotted and exposed him and now the people of the region are also doing so. It looks like if Ortiz can't find any place to go. They might have to send him to South Africa next.
PROPAGANDA, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY AGRESSICN
While these people pretend that we are the ones hostile to them, it is they who are every day engaging in economic warfare against our country; in trying to block funds for the international airport project, in trying to block funds from the IMF and from the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank.
The economic pressures are not pressures which we brought on ourselves, and are not pressures which we are trying to bring on anybody else. These are pressures which the imperialists in the United States, the fascists under Reagan, are trying to impose on our country.
And they have not just stopped short at propaganda and economic war. They have also now moved to the threat of direct military intervention, where at this point they still have mercenaries who are being trained in Miami, mercenaries going on television in the United States and boasting openly that they are training for Nicaragua and Grenada.
You comrades will remember that some of these mercenaries. when they were on their way to Dominica a few months ago and were arrested in the United States, confessed that after Dominica their plan was to try to invade our country. We have to pause and wonder if the U.S. Government had known that these people were planning to come to Grenada only and not to Dominica first, would they have arrested them at all or whether in fact, they would have been given total encouragement and support.
So now the U.S. Government has moved to the stage of direct military invasion. Their manoeuvre in August, (Amber and the Amberines) was a direct trial practise of an invasion of our country. That manoeuvre is also further evidence that they have decided to drop all the pretence and move out openly, using military means to try to crush the spirit of our people and roll back our revolutionary process.
Comrades, the fact is that we have been trying from the earliest days to keep normal relations with the government of the United States. We have many of our Grenadian people living there and, obviously, we do not want anything to happen to our own nationals. Every year, thousands and thousands of United Sates tourists come to our country and so we have been very concerned to keep those relations.
NO ANSWER TO OUR LETTERS
I wrote a number of letters this year to Ronald Reagan raising the question of relations between our two governments and peoples.
The first letter was written since March 26, this year , and in that letter it was pointed out that we knew he was sending his people to Europe to try to get them to stop giving any support to the international airport project; that we heard these diplomats were in different European capitals trying to block the European Economic Community airport conference from taking place. And we raised questions in that letter: Why is it you have to resort to this measure? Why is it you are trying to stop our people from having our international airport? And we raised the fact that our people in Grenada and our peoples Revolutionary Government was very anxious to have relations normalised with the United States. Up to this day we are yet to receive any reply from Ronald Reagan.
Again on August 11 , we sent off another letter (twelve typed pages) to Ronald Reagan. In this letter, we traced the economic aggression against our country. We traced the economic warfare against us. We pointed cut that we knew mercenaries were being trained on American soil, in Miami, for the invasion of our country. We pointed to the fact that there were international conventions which stated that mercenaries were criminals and must not be given any support by governments.
And once again, in that letter, we raised the question of having a high level meeting between the government of the United States and the Government of Grenada in order to discuss developing relations and the question of normalising relations. Once again, after more than three months, we are still awaiting a reply from Ronald Reagan.
It is very clear and definite that we are the ones who have been making every possible effort to try to keep some kind of door open for normalising relations between the government of the United States and our country. And we have done this because we are conscious of the fact that we have no reason to quarrel, no reason to engage in any war with the United States. We have done this because we are conscious that the majority of the people of the United States are ordinary, peace-loving people who do not want to be enemies of Grenada, and who do not want to come down to fight in our country because some mad fascist says so.
We are conscious of the fact that inside the United States there is a strong democratic, peace movement at work and the working class and working people inside that country do not want wars or quarrels with any country. We are also very conscious of the fact that in countries like ours we are not able to achieve full social and economic development if there is an atmosphere of war, and therefore we know that war and the threats of war cannot be in our interest. Conscious of these factors we have been anxiously trying our best, in every possible way to keep relations going.
WE WILL NOT COMPROMISE PRINCIPLES
But, we have always stressed that those relations must be based on the usual international principles that apply to all states around the world: the principles of legal equality, of non-interference in each other's affairs, of mutual respect for sovereignty, of ideological diversity and pluralism, of every country having the right to build its own process in its own way, free from any form of outside pressure or dictation.
We cannot abandon our right to struggle for a new International Economic Order. We cannot abandon our right to struggle for the Caribbean to be declared a zone of peace. We cannot and will never abandon our right to have the friends that we, the sovereign people of Grenada choose to have. The question of our friends is entirely our business.
We will never, for the sake of having good relations with the United States abandon our principles or abandon our friends.
We will never in this country abandon our close, fraternal and warm friendship with the people of Cuba and their great leader Fidel Castro.
We will never abandon our great friendship and our deep anti-imperialist solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and their Sandinista leadership.
Their threats and their pressures will never lead us to a point where we in Grenada will stop recognising the right of the people of Angola to build their country in their own way. We will always continue to recognise Angola's national day. They will never be able to stop that.
They will never be able to stop us from having the strongest bonds of friendship and solidarity with our friends in the Socialist and Arab worlds.
Bringing economic aggression and pressure against our people will never stop us from giving our full support to our sisters and brothers in SWAPO, fighting for the independence and the sovereignty of Namibia.
They will never be able to stop us giving our fullest support and solidarity to our sisters and brothers in the ANC who are fighting in South Africa for an end to apartheid and for their national liberation.
WE WILL STAND BY THE WORLD
Bringing their vulgar and crude pressures and threats will never stop us from giving our full support to the people of Palestine and the PLO in their struggle to win back their own land.
They will never be able to stop us from continuing to express our fullest solidarity with the Farabundi Marti National Liberation Front and the Revolutionary Democratic Front of the people of El Salvador in their struggle against the fascist dictatorship.
With all of the pressure they bring we will never accept that we are in their backyard. We will continue to shout "We are not in anybody's backyard."
Regardless of the pressures they bring, they will never be able to get us to abandon our right to develop this country of ours in the way we want.
They will never get us to abandon our right to be able to defend our country, to arm our people and to build our revolutionary militia in order to defend this country.
We are very confident that the more they bring pressure the more our Revolutionary Militia, our People's Revolutionary Army, and our armed forces in general will always be there waiting to defend every nutmeg tree, every grain of sand, every baby, every old person in this land of ours.
They had better not fool themselves at all, for if they are still planning to come, they must remember from the beginning that many of those who land are going to return home in plastic bags.
Comrades, we will continue to stand with the world. We know that whenever the Yankee soldiers come we are confident that the people of the world will stand with us.
We know that the new world that had been developing over these past few decades is a world that cannot be reshaped and pushed back to the nineteenth century.
We know that the people of this new world who are today standing up and fighting for their independence, and fighting to build their own countries, will never like us ever again to accept yankeeism, big-stickism, carrotism, Monroism, or of course, to accept Reaganism and his backyardism. All of those days are over.
Comrades, at the same time as Reagan and his clique of fascists are pressuring our people and our country; at the same time as they are refusing to give us any assistance whenever such is requested, the people in progressive countries of the world are continuing to support our revolution and to bring assistance to our people.
MORE MONEY FOR OUR AIRPORT
Only a few weeks ago, despite all the attempts by Reagan to try to stop the airport conference from taking place in Brussels and trying, to block the EEC countries from giving any assistance, as a direct result of that conference at which Comrade Bernard Coard led our delegation, we received over six million dollars from the EEC countries for our airport.
At the same time as they were trying to block that conference and pressure our international airport, out of that same conference only a few weeks ago we again received over five and a half million dollars for the airport from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a result of a recent agreement.
While they were trying to bring pressure on the EEC countries, only a few days ago we received a firm undertaking in an agreement for a line of credit of thirty one million dollars in order to complete purchasing all the equipment that is needed for our new airport.
And while they go around spreading all their lies and hoping that we will not get assistance, only two days ago another announcement came from the government and people of Iraq that they are lending us thirteen more million dollars in order to have the airport completed. And this thirteen million dollar loan is almost not a loan at all: fifteen years to pay back, three years grace period, and an interest of only two percent.
The great merit of that particular loan, is that our friends in Iraq on three previous occasions, had already come to the assistance of our people despite the fact that they are at this time engaged in a very unfortunate and costly war. comrades, this means that just in the past seven days, while these Reaganites are going around trying to stop the airport, 44 million dollars more have been found to complete it.
1981 is not like 1952 when America could just tell anybody around the world what they must do. Today in fact, when Reagan and his cowboys say no International Airport, the airport will be build even faster, because the world has changed.
NO MORE BLOODY SUNDAYS
Comrades, in the name of our people, in the spirit of Fedon and Butler, in the memory of Jerry and Harold, and Alister, and Rupert, in the memory of Bernadette, Laurice and Lorraine, in the memory of Donald, and Dennis, and Steve, and Andy, and Evan Charles - all fallen martyrs and heroes I want again to thank our friends for coming; from so far, from so many different parts of the world, to be here with us, I want to assure them of our continuing internationalist support and firm principles.
Comrades, today I want to renew our pledge that there will be no more Bloody Sundays, not only in Grenada but in our region and in the world. But today, I want us also to pledge that those who want to bring Bloody Sundays to the region, those who are planning acts of murder and violence, we the people of Grenada will always be there in the frontline - arms in hand standing ready, willing to defend this homeland of ours. That will never change.
Long live solidarity, friendship and co-operation among the peoples of the world!
FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER!
Long live the struggle against imperialism and fascism!
Long live the struggle for peace, social progress and national liberation!
Long live the Grenada Revolution!
Long live the fighting people of Free Grenada!
Check out Mercentary Activities in Dominica
and Bloody Sunday, 18 November 1973