Bishop Speech - EVERY GRAIN OF SAND IS OURS:
An Armed Attack Against Our Country is Imminent
Radio and Television Free Grenada Broadcast to the Nation,
23 March 1983
The speech text below is taken from a transcript. Minor spelling corrections and paragraph divisions have been made, as well as headers added in keeping with the text; otherwise no changes have been made in the text.
Tonight on behalf of our Party and government I have the responsibility of informing our people that our Revolution is in grave danger and that our country is faced with its gravest threat since our glorious March 13th Revolution.
ARMED ATTACK IMMINENT
From the evidence in our possession we are convinced that an armed attack against our country by counter-revolutionaries and mercenaries organised, financed. trained and directed by United States imperialism is imminent and can come any day now!
Only a few days ago - on March 17th, to be precise -- at our 1983 Budget Plan presentation, I revealed the analysis of our Party that the warmongering Reagan was becoming increasingly desperate and in that desperation the possibility of military intervention against the revolutionary processes in the region - particularly Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada - seemed inevitable.
IMPERIALISM MORE DESPERATE
This seemed the only way out for the fascist clique in Washington because their arrogant designs for regional and world domination continue to fail. The continuing economic crisis in the United States and its effects, the increasing successes of the popular liberation movements particularly in El Salvador, the continued deepening and strengthening of the revolutionary processes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada, the total collapse of Reagan's so-called Caribbean Basin Initiative, and the growing popular opposition in the United States and internationally to his mad nuclear policy have made imperialism more desperate and determined to halt revolutionary processes in this region.
Less than 36 hours after we PUBLICLY REVEALED what our intelligence sources and our analysis suggested: less than 36 hours after we alerted our people to this possible danger, an all-out invasion of Nicaragua was in fact launched. A large contingent of Somocista counter-revolutionaries - armed, trained, financed and directed by the CIA - were dropped by airplanes into Nicaragua. only 120 miles from its capital.
It is important to note comrades, that this invasion came exactly three days after the statement by the US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral James Watkins, that the time had come `for the United States to put some teeth behind our rhetoric'. In other words he was saying that the United States must back up its threats with military action.
We now have concrete intelligence information which confirms the view that the revolution will be faced with military aggression from imperialism. With the attack against Nicaragua, the dangers facing us are more real and urgent.
For some time now, our intelligence services have been gathering information on counter-revolutionary groups who have publicly declared their intention to overthrow revolutionary governments in the region. What we have discovered as a result are the following facts:
UNITED STATES INTERVENTION AND AGGRESSION
Sisters and brothers, bearing in mind all of these facts, considering the clear and disturbing pattern of United States intervention and aggression in our region and the world, noting the invasion of Nicaragua now taking place, we have concluded that the danger which we face in this period is real and imminent.
When the President of the United States of America, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, states publicly and clearly that tiny Grenada is a threat to the national security of the mighty and powerful USA, and when his top advisers and military personnel indicate that the time has come to put `teeth into their rhetoric' then it is clear that Goliath has finally turned his full attention to David.
When the Commander-in-Chief of one of the most sophisticated, most advanced and largest armed forces in the world. chooses to classify a small, proud and determined people as a threat to his national security then this must be cause for serious concern.
We have to ask ourselves why would Reagan's most senior officials, including his Vice-President, George Bush (former chief of the CIA), his Secretary of State William Schultz, his Secretary for Defence Caspar Weinberger and his Deputy Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. Nestor Sanchez, all choose to make slanderous statements, if this were not to provide the justification for this planned aggression against our country?
The United States Government has a well-documented history of dealing with countries which it has deemed threats to its national security. The United States has intervened militarily in this region alone well over 100 times in the past 100 years to protect its so-called national security interests.
And, although the information on this current threat is by far the most detailed and specific that we have had of any plot, and although this threat is by far the most dangerous that we have ever faced, yet some of our people are saying that there have been occasions when we have had cause for justified concern that our Revolution was threatened.
That is true comrades, and we just admit it, but what is important for us to stress tonight is that on previous occasions, we forced our enemies to change their plans at the last minute because we were successfully able to mobilise regional and international public opinion in our defence. In other words, we were able to alert the world to the danger that we faced and the world stood up with us.
AMBER AND THE AMBERINES
The best example of this that I can give you tonight is the 'Amber and Amberines' manoeuvre conducted by the United States in August 1981 off Puerto Rico as a full scale dress rehearsal for an invasion of our country. Once we had received concrete proof from the lips of the man in charge of the operation - Rear Admiral McKenzie - that thus manoeuvre was a trial run for the actual invasion of our beloved homeland, we immediately went on a political and diplomatic offensive to alert the world of the threat facing us, to call for international solidarity and to request our friends to pressure the United States not to carry out its aggressive plans.
We informed the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of American States and other regional and international organisations of the grave situation. We also informed peace loving and friendly governments, political parties, pressure groups, and other organisations of the danger.
In fact, literally hundreds of cables, telexes, telephone calls, letters and so on were made to virtually all parts of the world. It was fortunate for us that the conscience of mankind and the force of world public opinion on all continents responded readily to our call.
In fact, at a recent summit, the head of a particular government informed us of his government's concern at the time of the `Amber and the Amberines' threat and the action which he had taken at that time in calling in the US Ambassador resident in his country to demand an explanation. This particular country is tens of thousands of miles away from us.
As a result of these and other experiences. we now fully understand and appreciate the tremendous importance and impact of international public opinion and on this occasion we are again taking the necessary steps to alert and mobilise regional and international public opinion.
But comrades there is another very important lesson which we have also learnt and that is: whenever our country is in danger, whenever our revolution is threatened, we must always go all-out to give our people all of the facts, to fully alert them as to the precise nature of the danger and to call upon them to mobilise and organise themselves in defence of our revolution.
That is why, apart from mobilising international public opinion to stand up with us at the time of the `Amber and the Amberines' threat, we also mobilised our people to respond decisively with the successful `Heroes of the Homeland' manoeuvre which demonstrated to the world that in the defence of this land, in the freedom of our sea and sky, we stand as a proud, united, conscious and vigilant people ready and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
NEED TO CALL THE PEOPLE TO ARMS
Sisters and brothers of our beloved Revolutionary homeland, again in face of grave danger, we need to call our people to arms. Once again, we have to shoulder our fundamental responsibility to defend what we fought for and won after many years of bitter struggle. We must never forget that the only way in which we can ever guarantee that international public opinion comes to our defence is if we can continue to demonstrate to the world that we are willing as a united people - every single one of us - to stand up firmly on our own two legs with arms in our hands to fight and to die, if necessary, in the defence of our beloved homeland.
This land is ours, every square inch of its soil is ours, every grain of sand is ours, every nutmeg pod is ours, every beautiful Young Pioneer who walks on this land is ours. it is our responsibility - and ours alone—to fight to defend our homeland.
Over the past few days, our people have demonstrated a genuine spirit of internationalism. In the many solidarity statements with heroic Nicaragua coming from all sections of our working people, our women, our youth, the sense of fraternal anguish and shared identity comes very clearly across.
COMPLANCENCY AND OVER CONFIDENCE
But even so, comrades, we must be self-critical and we must admit that we have allowed ourselves to slip into complacency and a degree of overconfidence, in responding to the present situation.
Some sections of our people, while recognising that dangers do exist, allow themselves to believe that Grenada will not be invaded because we are a small island or because we share no borders with hostile neighbours as Nicaragua does.
Some also feel that because ours is the only revolution that has not yet faced direct military attack from outside, we will continue to be lucky, and some even go as far as to say that with victory on the horizon for our sisters and brothers in Nicaragua. imperialism will not have any mercenaries to send to Grenada.
However, comrades, we cannot under any circumstances, and particularly in light of the concrete information we now have, lose sight of the dangerous reality at present. The Seychelles islands and Comoros islands, smaller in size and population than Grenada, were both subject to invasions from the forces of imperialism in the last few years.
We should also remember that prior to the 1961 Playa Giron or Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which resulted in crushing defeat for counter-revolutionary forces supported by United States imperialism, there were some Cubans who believed, for all kinds of similar reasons, that there would be no invasion of Cuba.
But it came, and today the Cuban revolution is invincible because our heroic Cuban comrades - like our heroic Nicaraguan comrades today - have learnt the lessons of history and the need for permanent vigilance and preparedness of their people. We in Grenada cannot - like ostriches - bury our heads in the sand and ignore the lessons of history.
OUR DEFENCE MEASURES
Sisters and brothers of our Revolutionary homeland, how do we respond to the present threat? Our fundamental duty is to defend our homeland, to be psychologically, politically and combatively prepared to handle an attack in whatever form and at whatever time Reagan and his warmongers may choose to land on our shores.
This means that for those of us who are not yet in the Militia - we must join now!
For those who are inactive - we must reactivate ourselves and begin training in a serious, disciplined, consistent and revolutionary manner!
There is a role for everyone to play in defence - the elderly as well as the young. We must remember that Reagan and his warmongers will not choose who to kill! The bullet does not spare the young or the elderly.
There are trenches to be dug, vehicles to be driven, food to be cooked and distributed, first aid assistance to be organised, the care of the young and elderly to be guaranteed, and many more specific tasks to be accomplished.
In addition to our number one task of recruitment into the Militia. there are other measures to be taken to strengthen our defence capacity.
There will be immediate recruitment into some sections of the People's Revolutionary Army and Grenada Police Service.
Our Peoples Revolutionary Armed Forces will stage a massive military manoeuvre from April 21-24. This manoeuvre, which we are calling `Jeremiah Richardson Defence of the Homeland Manoeuvre', will again demonstrate to imperialism that we are a united, strong and vigilant people who will never give up!!
Sisters and brothers of our Free Revolutionary Homeland, let us ensure that Reagan and his warmongers never ever turn back the forward march of our people and revolution. The work that we are doing today in the building of a people's economy and the construction of a new infrastructure is laying the basis for a secure future for all our people.
Let us do everything in our power to ensure that that secure future is not unduly disturbed by the terrible loss of life, property and the mass suffering and destruction which any invasion that we are not prepared to withstand is bound to bring.
Notwithstanding the uncertainty posed by this present threat, let us continue to work with discipline, determination and serene confidence towards the glorious day when there will be no unemployment in our country, when each and every family will have a decent living, when every man, woman and child is guaranteed their total right to education, health and social security.
STRUGGLE IN NICARAGUA
As we prepare to deal with this imminent threat, let us remember that our sisters and brothers, the brave sons and daughters of Sandino's Nicaragua are continuing their fierce struggle to crush the forces of counter-revolution and United States imperialism.
According to inside reports, 500 well-trained counter-revolutionaries were parachuted into Nicaragua days in advance of the main force and are right now being supplied by planes coming from Honduras. At the same time, 1,500 more are now inside Nicaragua on their way to join the advance group of 500 and a further 2,500 plus are concentrated on the border with Honduras, awaiting their turn to massacre innocent women and children in their vain hope to turn back the heroic Nicaraguan Revolution.
While we in Grenada must unhesitatingly and firmly condemn these acts of aggression against our sisters and brothers of Revolutionary Nicaragua, we must at the same time, in a clear, resounding and unequivocal voice, join the rest of progressive mankind in condemning the active involvement of Israel and Honduran army personnel, including the direct bombing of key positions in Nicaragua by Honduran military forces, in this open and barbarous onslaught on the sovereign soil of Nicaragua.
It is clear to us however, that no amount of arms and weapons of war can hinder the onward march of the revolutionary process taking place in Nicaragua and we once again affirm to the sons and daughters of Sandino our full, unswerving and permanent solidarity.
ADVANCE COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY ELEMENTS
Let us take careful note of the fact that these counter-revolutionary elements were sent in advance of the main force - just like had happened in their attacks on the Seychelles and Comoros islands. Let us also observe that they are receiving regular supplies by enemy planes and that more elements were waiting to move it. Let us observe these facts, learn the lessons and apply them to our situation.
With our information, with these examples. both historical and present, we ought not to be taken unprepared. That would be a crime against our past, present and future. Let us together ensure that we come out of this period stronger in unity, fortified in spirit, firmer in our determination, more organised in our democratic structures, so that we will be able to respond to future threats like a second nature because of our constant preparedness.
OUR PREFERENCE FOR PEACE
Sisters and brothers, in your name, even at this late hour, we issue another call for sanity. We want to repeat that our preference is for peace and normal relations with the United States administration. We understand very clearly that only an environment of peace will allow us the opportunity to continue to develop our economy, raise our academic and skills levels and our political consciousness and bring more and more benefits to our people.
We do not want war. We have never wanted war. But equally, we are not prepared to give up our birthright or to allow others - no matter how big and powerful they are - to shape our destiny for us or to tell us what we can do, when we can do it and how we must do it.
Our enemies had better try to understand the deep pride and dignity of our people and the courageous way in which we have always faced up to difficulties. They will do well to recall the heroic history of struggle and resistance of our people from the days of Fedon through Butler and Marryshow right up to the present.
They had better remember the vanguard role of our glorious Party - the New Jewel Movement—which mobilised, organised and led our people through the years of terror and repression of the Gairy dictatorship right up to the seizure of state power and the dawning of the new day of liberation and freedom which came to our country on March 13th, 1979.
There is no doubt that we are a peace-loving people but there is equally no doubt that we are proud and courageous people who will always fight to defend our dignity, our freedom and our homeland.
WHAT WE NEED
What is needed from us as a people, at this time, is to be more self-critical, to make sure that we never allow ourselves to slip back into complacency, to make sure that we are always as ready to defend our homeland as we are to continue to build it, to make sure that we never again allow our Militia duties to be taken lightly, to make sure that once we regain our fighting strength and vigour of (August 1981) when we were responding to the Amber and the Amberines threat we do not allow ourselves to ever lose that vigour and strength again. Our watchwords must forever be:
Calm and calculated in the fulfillment of our daily tasks
- That the key counter-revolutionaries have been meeting more frequently in recent times;
- That several of these corrupt, opportunist and reactionary elements who aspire to grab power have begun to resolve their leadership differences with the aim of creating a more united counter-revolutionary front;
- That their co-ordination with the CIA has stepped up;
- That they have received direct assistance from the CIA in the form of money, arms and training and they have also received offers of transportation. logistical support and supplies and an undertaking that immediately on launching the attack their declared counter-revolutionary government will receive US recognition;
- We have been able to discover the name and full background of the main CIA case officer responsible for co-ordinating the present plot; we know his name, where he has worked before; his previous activities and which other revolutionary processes he has attempted to subvert in recent times;
- Another CIA case officer involved in this operation is known to have been involved in directing and masterminding the operation to assassinate the leadership that resulted in the murderous June 19th, 1980 bomb blast;
- These elements have established direct links with the Cuban Exile Croup which was responsible for the Air Cubana disaster and with Somocista counter-revolutionary elements who are right now involved in the invasion of Nicaragua;
- With the assistance of the CIA. these elements have been able to get some of the criminal elements they hope to use in the invasion of our country - trained in Miami in some of the same camps in which the Somocista counters and various other mercenaries have been trained;
- As part of their planning process, the CIA helped to allocate different sets of these criminal counter-revolutionaries for the physical attacks against Nicaragua and Grenada and they decided several weeks ago to attack during this precise period in order to coincide with the massive military manoeuvres taking place in our region at this time and as a culmination of the major propaganda offensive of Reagan and his chief lieutenants against the revolutionary processes in the region;
- The main base of operation and activity of these elements is one of our neighbouring territories, only a few miles away from Grenada;
- As a result of all this work on our part we have been able not only to uncover actual plans to overthrow our Government and turn back our Revolution, but also the approximate number of men they hope to use. the approximate number and type of arms they possess, the kind of logistical support they hope to receive. We know, comrades, the targets they intend to destroy. We know many of the persons they plan to arrest, those they plan to kill and how they plan to strike terror and fear among the broad masses;
- It is necessary. sisters and brothers, to doubly emphasise that we know the actual period in the near future that they are hoping to use to launch their murderous attack.
Always willing to work
Always ready to study
Always ready to produce.
yet always ready, prepared, confident and assured of victory whenever and however Reagan and his warlords strike!