In the name of our Party and our People, I welcome you
all to our
I welcome our Member Parties, observer Member Parties
of the Socialist International
We in Grenada, comrades, we of the New Jewel Movement,
highly this opportunity to host a meeting of the Socialist
Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean in our free country.
Out Party is a Party of patriotic, democratic,
revolutionary and socialist Grenadians, and we certainly consider it an
and a privilege to host this meeting at a time so critical for the
In doing so, our Party is fulfilling our duty as an
internationalist revolutionary, working people’s party of the Grenadian
We regard this Conference as significant because it is
time that the Socialist International Committee for this region is
the English–speaking Caribbean.
This demonstrates, on the one hand, the truly
character of the Socialist International and, on the other hand,
in Grenada demonstrates once again the fact that the English–speaking
is becoming more and more integrated into the worldwide social,
political anti–imperialist movement.
We believe that this meeting at this historical
juncture is also
significant for a second reason.
And that is because it is being held at a time when
determined popular uprisings in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The fundamental character of these upheavels is that
people’s cry; the people’s fight for democracy; for democratic
and decision–making; for world peace and genuine development; for
for the overthrow of bankrupt, decadent, colonial, neo–colonial and
U.S. ADMINISTRATION TRYING TO RULE THE WORLD
This meeting comes at a time when not only our region,
world in general, is facing a tremendously difficult period.
The present United States administration, as all of us
too well, is set at this point on trying once again to rule the world;
trying once again to dominate the regional totally; on trying once
reintroduce and atmosphere and a position of cold War in this region
and in the
The desperate attempt we have seen recently to launch a
Marshall Plan, together with the numerous special trips to this region
Government officials instigating Caribbean disunity and trying to bring
the isolation of the Grenada Government and people; the increase in
para–military, and so–called security aid in the form of credits and
the near panic rush to give unlimited license to the private sector in
region; the numerous spy flights, certainly over countries like
increase in military intelligence, and other covert action, the open
wooing of select Caribbean leaders; the increased CIA support for
political and counter–revolutionary action in some capitals - all of
think can help to underline the present massive offensive which is
against the Caribbean region at this time.
Comrades, all sorts of different pretexts are being
justify these present attacks.
We have heard concepts of “International Terrorists”.
We have heard concepts of “Enemies of Democracy”.
We have seen that there are attempts to reintroduce a
“Linkage”, a concept that is itself linked to the ‘spheres of
that so many progressive peoples and countries around the world have
seeking to throw out of history.
STEPPED–UP PRESSURES ON THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT
On the international front, we have seen stepped–up
Southern Africa, particularly at this time where a Western Alliance led
United States, is presently trying to stop the people of Namibia
under their vanguard SWAPO,
from attaining their true independence.
We have seen continued racist and imperialist attacks
sovereign territories of Angola
We have seen too the recent manoeuvres around the
question of the
Springbrok Rugby Tour
from South Africa to New Zealand, and the right given to these
freely transit through the United States.
We have seen warm visits being made to the United
leading South African officials.
In fact, on several fronts, it is quite clear that the
difficulties that our Comrades are facing in Africa, particularly in
Africa, are difficulties which they will continue to face for some time.
Therefore, the continued militant support and
solidarity of the
Socialist International and other democratic, peace–loving and
forces are demanded more than ever at this time.
Again, on the international front, we have seen in
the stepped–up attacks against the Lebanese and Palestinian people; we
seen the illegal bombing of Iraq’s territory by Israel
- all of these, no doubt, as direct result of the fact that they have
the “go ahead” to move in this direction.
For all these reasons, internationally, and of course
where the situation in El Salvador
continues to be a major concern for the people of the region, and more
it is becoming clearer every day to the Latin American and Caribbean
that the majority of the people of El Salvador is definitely opposed to
Junta and the military which are presently waging this war of genocide
It is more and more obvious that these are dangerous
In this situation, daily solidarity for the people of
and their leading organisations, the Revolutionary Democratic Front
and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Movement [FMLN] is
an absolute necessity.
IMPERIALISM - THE MAJOR PROBLEM
Comrades, the economic situation in the region is also
of serious concern.
Apart from the usual problems that we face - problems
with unseasonal weather; problems associated with hurricanes; problems
association with the outbreak of disease, for example.
Right now many countries in the region are once again
by another outbreak of Dengue Fever.
But, over and above all of that, certainly the major
the region today, on the economic as on the political front, is the
United States imperialism, and the exploitation that imperialism
impose on the people of this region.
The blatant, the vulgar, the crude attempts to try to
peaceful and progressive development of the region can certainly be
and squarely at the door of imperialism.
The agenda that we are going to be looking at over
these next two
days is, therefore, an agenda that has tremendous concrete and
relevance to the action situation in our region.
This morning over the next two and a half [2½] hours as
the question of present developments in the region on the economic and
political front, we will be looking in a very concrete way at some of
problems, and the New Jewel Movement certainly hope to make a
that discussion later on in the morning.
This afternoon, likewise, when we consider the question
democracy and different aspects and concepts of democracy, and in
as we focus on the question of ways of involving our people in a
participatory manner in the running of the affairs of their own
believe that once again the experiences that we will share and exchange
very valid and important experiences.
These will, no doubt, help all of us to work out better
approaches, better strategies, better structures and forms and methods
ensuring that our people can be involved, not just on an occasional
basis, but on a daily basis in running the affairs of their own country.
Tomorrow, when we et to the third agenda item and look
present situation in Grenada, we will attempt to review the concrete
We will examine in historical terms what we had to
on the morning of the Revolution; what the continuing problems and
are; and what are the attempts being made by our Party and Government
to try to
bring about a rapid increase in the quality of life of all of our
We will, in that period, attempt to show that certainly
United States has embarked on a massive offensive against our country.
MASSIVE OFFENSIVE AGAINST GRENADA - PROPAGANDA
This has taken several different forms.
One aspect of it is propaganda destabilisation, and
been a really massive campaign going on for the past six  months in
We have some examples of it in recent times.
A CBS television team came to our country [March 1981]
to be filming the new International Airport being constructed here.
In reality, the intention of that television team was
together a massive piece of fabrication, aimed at trying to discredit
people, our Government and our country.
Also, in a film produced by the American Security
January called Attack on the Americas, not
just Grenada, but also Nicaragua, Cuba and other progressive countries
region were viciously libeled in an attempt to try to discredit them;
the case of El Salvador, in an attempt something that is, of course,
being the reality.
As part of this propaganda destabilisation, we have
that recently the United States International Communication Agency
summoned to Washington, Caribbean journalists from every
Caribbean country except two  - one of them, of course, being
In that meeting, the attempt was made to try to
establish a basis
for getting some of these journalists to embark on a massive negative
propaganda campaign against the Grenada Revolution.
And the success of that attempt can be gauged by the
within days of their return from this conference, called by the United
International Communications Agency, several of these newspapers in the
- the Guardian and Express of
Trinidad; the Advocate of Barbados; the Chronicle
of Dominica; the Gleaner of Jamaica; embarked on
round of vicious editorials, aimed at trying to discredit the Grenada
Only three  weeks ago in New York, in Brooklyn and
the third survey since the Revolution was done by our comrades in New
This survey took the form once again of getting people
different travel agencies and tour operators in the New York area
about holiday trips to Grenada.
Twelve  of the eighteen  agencies approached
clear that Grenada was not a safe place to come; that Grenada (as they
was a Soviet and Cuban proxy; and went out of their way to try to stop
tourists from coming to our country.
When pressed, several of them admitted that this
given to them by the State Department.
There is absolutely no doubt at all that on the
there is a total offensive.
This is also true on the economic front.
U.S. ECONOMIC AGGRESSION AND DESTABILISATION
Not only has the American Government moved to block
our Government, but even to the banana farmers in our country - banana
who belong to a Caribbean association called the Windward Islands
Association (WINBAN) made up of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and
Through this association, a request for hurricane
assistance was made and that assistance was given only on the condition
Grenada was excluded.
We have seen too that when we approached the European
countries in an attempt to get further financing for our International
the United States Administration embarked on a massive campaign in
This was aimed at trying to dictate foreign policy for
European countries; at trying to tell these European countries how they
use their resources.
This campaign was not only aimed at stopping the
Airport, but at ensuring that all attempts made by our Government and
people from obtaining economic assistance to develop our country in
of national reconstruction must be smashed.
We have seen this also through successful attempts by
them to get
the World Bank
not to approve capital programmes for our country; programmes that are
undoubtedly very sound technically.
We have seen it also in U.S. attempts to stop the
Monetary Fund [IMF]
from giving an extended fund facility to our country.
Notwithstanding the fact that this application had gone
through the entire system of the International Monetary Fund and the
experts in the IMF had made it clear that our proposals were extremely
technically, yet only two [three] days before this application was due
to the Board of Directors [on 27 March 1981], the United States member
Board of Directors [U.S. Alternate Executive Director Donald E. Syvrud]
vetoed the project [on 24 March 1981] and had it taken off the agenda.
In the last few weeks, the United States Administration
direct approach to the Caribbean Development Bank [CDB],
a regional institution created after years of struggle to serve the
this region to accept 4 million U.S. dollars in grant monies to what is
the Lesser Development Countries of this region on the basis that
excluded. So far this attempt has been unsuccessful.
Our friends in the region, different countries in
up to this latest blatant attempt on the part of the United States
Administration to divide and rule the region and to attempt to subvert
Caribbean regional institution.
We certainly want once again to thank our sister
islands for the
solid stand that they have taken on this occasion.
These different attempt have extended not only to the
have described out to several other areas and to virtually every
to which we belong.
Attempts are now being made by the United States to
whatever sources of funds, or possibilities of technical assistance we
obtain from different regional and international agencies or
Truly what we are experiencing is an all–out economic
plan, a plan of total economic warfare directed against our country.
NOT ONLY WHEN MARINES LAND THERE MUST BE OUTCRIES BUT .
Linked to all of this is the continuing problem that
Grenada but other countries in the region face (both progressive and
that is, the problem of mercenary invasion.
We have seen in the past few years different attempts
Government of Barbados and more recently against the Government of
We have seen too the attempted use of mercenaries
friends in Suriname in 1980, and of course, right now on the United
territory in Miami, mercenaries being openly trained in camps are
interviews on radio and television boasting that they are being trained
possible use in Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada.
It is quite clear that this threat of mercenary
invasion is a
real handicap, a real fetter, a real obstacle in the path of peaceful
progressive development of the people of our region.
We certainly believe very strongly that the time has
when we must move to elevate the question of propaganda
economic aggression, of mercenary invasion, or the threat of mercenary
invasion, to the same level that world public opinion has already
question of the direct landing of Marines.
The time has now come, in our view, when international
opinion must be so mobilised that not only when Marines land in
territory, but also when there is evidence of a systematic and
of propaganda destabilisation, of economic aggression, or a political
industrial destabilisation, or of mercenary threat there must also be a
Even if that mercenary threat consists only in allowing
territory to be used for the training of mercenaries or for them to
logistical problems, for them to procure their supplies, and as a
from which they can move to invade a particular country.
We feel that the time has now come when international
opinion must also launch a similarly strong protest, and take strong,
decisive action in condemning any such attempt; because given the
today’s world it is not as easy for aggressive warlike forces to send
Now they can no longer use overt action as much but
more and more
they are forced to use covert or more hidden action in the form of one
other of their various techniques and tactics of destabilisation and
The world balance of forces has changed because of
the Socialist world; the victories of the National Liberation Movement;
strength and growing force of the working class in the capitalist
For factors and reasons like these the voice of
public opinion is now raised on a regular basis whenever it is alerted
serious threat or any serious danger to progressive forces around the
WE MUST EXPOSE IMPERIALISM’S COVERT ACTIONS
Certainly one of the major tasks that the Socialist
will have in this period to devise the most creative methods and ways
exposing covert attempts by imperialism to try to subvert, to sabotage,
destabilise and to roll back popular processes around the world.
OUR PARTY WELCOMES YOU
We in Grenada, comrades, we in our Party are very
particular, to welcome the member parties that have travelled hundreds
and have come from Europe and North America.
We are particularly happy to welcome Comrade Blanca
French Socialist Party
- we welcome you to our country and again salute the victory of your
the recent election.
We have no doubt that your historic victory will be a
force for peace and progress.
We welcome too our friend and comrade from Sweden. The
has, over the years, played a very dynamic role on the Socialist
and we are confident that that role will continue.
To our friend from Canada, from the New Democratic
we also extend a special welcome, and likewise to the member parties
United States of America.
From our own region, like Comrade Carlsson,
General Secretary of Socialist International, I hope that I will be
I single out one particular delegation for special mention and that is
delegation from Suriname.
For several reasons, Suriname, like Grenada, is a
country that is
beset by many problems, it is a country that is undoubtedly, at this
facing several threats of aggression; it is a country that is
this time trying under the new administration to build a progressive,
meaningful, popular and democratic process inside of its country.
And in our country today we have not just ordinary
members of the
leading forces in Suriname, but we have in afact the Leader of the
Revolution, the Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces of that country,
I particularly want to welcome Lieutenant Colonel Dési Bouterse
and his delegation.
Comrades, I am sure, during the period that you will be
apart from these deliberations, important as they are, you will have
opportunity of seeing our country.
Certainly we would make every effort to ensure that you
to move around as much as possible and therefore to experience the
ground in a
real light what our people are trying to do in Grenada today; to see in
light the new democracy that we are trying to build; to experience with
ordinary working people the new processes and the structures which they
established over these past two years.
I certainly hope that all of you will attend the public
which our Party is hosting at the Market Square in St. George’s tonight.
On that occasion not only will you be able to meet with
people, to experience their warmth, their friendliness, their unity,
discipline and their militance, but equally, we know that our people
very anxious to give you all a very warm welcome, and to hear from you
personally about the problems and some of your own experience in your
I would end, therefore, by thanking the Comrade
of the Socialist International, Comrade Bernt Carlsson, an outstanding
who has been, over several years, the leading force in the Socialist
International administratively and in other way.
We thank the Comrade not only for all of the efforts he
over these past few months in helping to arrange this Conference, but
all the work he has done in the past few days in ensuring that the
itself over the next two days will be a success.
We thank the Secretariat of the Socialist International
members of the Regional Committee [on Latin America and the Caribbean]
come to our country, and in particular, Comrade Hector Oqueli of El
another comrade who has been quite outstanding in the Socialist
over these past two  years, and who we have no doubt at all will
make a great contribution in helping to ensure that the Socialist
continues to have relevance, not only to the people of this region but
people of the world.
We certainly believe that the Socialist International
is held in
the highest esteem by progressive parties and forces of Latin America
Caribbean because of the critical and crucial role that it has been
over these past years in supporting and defending progressive and just
in the region.
We certainly recall the support that the Socialist
gave to the Panama Canal Treaty
and to the struggle of General Torrijos in Panama during that very
period of several years ago.
We recall too the very critical support given to our
comrade, Michael Manley
and the People’s National Party [PNP]
of Jamaica when the United States led an offensive against his party
Government over the past five  years.
We also salute today the unwavering and massive support
and Revolutionary Nicaragua - the support which the comrades in
highly value and cherish; and, of course, the continuing attempt being
the socialist International to bring about a negotiated political
We also note the tremendous support and assistance
personally, and other comrades in the Socialist International, have
patriotic, progressive, democratic, revolutionary and socialist forces
Salvador, who are today fighting for their National Liberation and
to run their own country.
I want to thank you all for coming, and I want to say
that it is
a very great pleasure on behalf of our Party and our Government, to
here and, of course, to declare the Conference open.
May the Socialist International continue to play a
in the struggle for world peace, for disarmament, an end to the arms
peaceful co–existence and for the
peaceful and progressive development of all peoples.
Thank you very much.