Sisters and Brothers,
It is a great pleasure for me, even at such short
notice - in
fact, about one hour’s notice - to have the opportunity of addressing
important conference this morning.
You should have been hearing Comrade Bernard Coard, our
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning, but unfortunately
Coard has not been enjoying the best of health in the last few days and
as he would liked to be here this morning, he just could not make it.
I express his regrets and his best wishes to you.
IMPERIALISM: THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM FACED BY SMALL
Comrades, the question before us during this conference
the question of the problems of small island and other developing
The problem of smallness of economies, land sizes and
of developing Third World
countries, like Grenada, is a problem which has been addressed on
occasions by several eminent people over the year.
It is a matter that has been looked at exhaustively in
Nations, in the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Non–Aligned
and at several other international forums.
But, it is a matter which has not lost its importance
and I am
sure you will agree that there are several ways in which the subject
My approach this morning will aim fundamentally, not at
once again at the numerous structural problems which small countries
face, but at trying to look underneath that, to see what are the
realities, what are the real reasons for the difficulties that small
Third World States which are very often also non–aligned states, have
My own approach this morning will probably not be an
orthodox one but we feel very strongly that this approach is none the
valid and indeed the correct one.
We contend, comrades, that the real problem is not the
of smallness per se, but the real problem is the question of
The real problem that countries like ours face is that
day–to–day basis we come up against an international system that is
and geared towards ensuring the continuing exploitation, domination and
our economies, our countries and our people.
That, to us, is the fundamental problem.
We certainly can see that if, even briefly, we look at
history of exploitation of countries like outs, this will give us a
idea as to why we in Grenada maintain this position.
UNITED STATES EXPANSIONISM:
If we examine our region carefully, we will see that as
as 1812, the ruling circles in the United States of America, in pursuit
land, in pursuit of expansionist ambitions, declared war on Canada and
seize all of the country to add to their own country.
A few years later, in the 1840’s, the ruling circles in
United States were at it again.
On this occasion, they invaded Mexico and seized over
half of the
territory of the people of Mexico.
What is today known as California, Texas, New Mexico
and parts of
some states were once part of the sovereign territory of Mexico.
In fact, on that occasion, the actual amount grabbed -
memory serves me right - was 2.3 million square kilometres of Mexican
In pursuit of these expansionist ambitions, in 1898,
circles in the United States bombed their own battle ship in the
Havana in Cuba, which was then a Spanish Colony.
They used that crime to argue that Spain had committed
an act of
aggression against the United States, and on this fabricated pretext,
declared on Spain with the true aim being to seize Cuba, Puerto Rico,
Philippines and other areas in the World.
In World War I, which started in 1914 and ended in
United States waited until it was clear as to who would win the war,
they joined the war against Kaiser Germany in 1917, to see how they
in the booty of that inter–imperialist war.
During the second World War, powerful elements within
States ruling class were debating seriously on which side they should
war on, whether to join the fascist Nazi Hitler against most of
humanity, or to
join the allies.
The decision was eventually made for them when the
Pearl Harbour occurred, when the Japanese fascist allies of Hitler
United States itself.
Later on, still in the 1940’s, they tried to seize
and even toyed with the idea, under General McCarthy [Douglas
of invading China in the early 1950’s, but the people of those two
gave them a sound beating and sent them back to South Korea.
They took over colonialist control of Vietnam from the
colonialists in the early 1960’s, having helped to finance the French
against the people in Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea.
And, as we know, after years of heroic struggle the
people were able finally in 1975 to run the United States imperialist
In more recent times, in alliance with South Africa,
through CIA puppets, to seize Angola
in 1975 and 1976, but once again they faced defeat.
Right here in our region in Latin America and the
U.S. has intervened through direct military force in different Latin
and Caribbean countries over 135 times in the past 100 years; a
historically was reinforced by the Munroe (sic) [Monroe] Doctrine of
We can recall Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in
1961, and the
Dominican Republic in 1965, as examples of U.S. military intervention.
History is full of such examples, the recent and not so
these aggressive imperialist invasions.
What can we conclude from all of the above?
We believe it is fair and correct to draw the
conclusion that the
ruling circles in the United States, the big monopolies, the
military–industrial complex and the different ruling parties which have
for them have always sought and continue to seek to seize everybody’s
exploit everybody’s wealth and to rule everybody’s land, to exploit
wealth and to rule everybody’s country.
Where they do not rule directly, like in the case of
they rule through stooges and puppets like Gairy and Somoza, the
Junta in El Salvador, Duvalier, Pinochet, Pak Chung Hee, Holden
or like so many other similar names that we could go on calling for the
They stop at absolutely nothing to achieve this in all
of the globe, but what I think is particularly important of us to
morning is that their methods have had to change over the years.
A CHANGE IN THE WORLD BALANCE OF FORCES:
The dramatic change in the world balance of forces was
about by the triumph of socialism in many countries, the success of the
process and the victories of the National Liberation Movement worldwide
growing importance of the working class in the capitalist countries.
These factors combined together have mean a shift - a
and irreversible shift in the political, economic and military balance
forces in the world, and has strengthened the voice and role of world
This has forced the imperialists to move from direct
(from the direct landing of Marines) to covert action, to the
different techniques of destabilisation which are used against
C.I.A. TECHNIQUES OF DESTABILISATION:
These techniques of destabilisation which have been
developed to a fine art by the Central Intelligence Agency, have been
documented over the years.
They have taken several different forms; there has been
propaganda destabilisation, there has been political destabilisation,
been industrial destabilisation, there has been economic aggression,
invasion and of course, there has been the assassination of several
progressive countries or parties.
The new last resort, which once again on becoming very
is the use of mercenary forces instead of regular troops, while
these mercenaries have nothing to do with the country which has allowed
use its soil as a base.
But, we know that no mercenary forces can mobilise,
procure supplies, find arms or leave the particular base from which
been training, without the knowledge of the particular country which
allowed them to use their soil for training.
In recent months, our country Grenada, a small, poor,
Non–Aligned, Third World country has been feeling the full brunt and
these techniques of destabilisation aimed against us.
U.S. IMPERIALISM DECLARED ECONOMIC AND PROPAGANDA
as it is well known, has openly declared against our country.
In fact, United States imperialism has embarked on a
campaign of economic strangulation of Grenada.
This is designed to deprive our country of access to
resources from bilateral, regional and international sources.
The tactics used by the imperialists include the
Firstly, we saw the attempted sabotage of the European
hosted co–financing conference to raise 30 million U.S. dollars that
still are vitally needed for the completion of Grenada’s International
The United States in this case, vulgarly pressured
European Governments to boycott the conference.
We saw secondly, direct interference, by the United
Director on the Board of Directors of the IMF,
resulting in the blocking of Grenada’s application for an IMF extended
These funds are absolutely necessary for the
numerous projects in agriculture, in agro–industry, in tourism, in
in other important areas of the economy.
Thirdly, due to political interference by the Reagan
Administration, the World Bank
has refused to endorse Grenada’s public investment programme, thus
the country’s access to International Development Agency (IDA)
funding, totalling over 3 billion U.S. dollars, funding which was
for the International Airport.
Additionally, U.S. machinations have contributed to the
of Grenada’s application for a loan under the IMF funds as earlier
Everybody in this room will certainly remember the
Everybody in this room will certainly know that
United States tried to exercise political pressure on the Caribbean
pressure aimed at getting the Bank, in violation of the principles of
Charter, to accept money on condition that Grenada be excluded.
It must be noted here that there was absolutely no
such money could not have been given on a bilateral basis, a position
Grenada fully supports.
But, instead, an attempt was made to subvert a
regional institution, an institution that was developed over a period
several years of struggle by small developing Caribbean countries
attain greater collective force and strength in the world.
In other words, the aim was divide and rule, the aim
was to try
to subvert and divide regional institutions, the aim was not really to
assistance to any of these countries.
We know too, comrades, that recently a major propaganda
has been mounted against our country.
Perhaps the very best example of the grossness and
this campaign can be gauged from the CBS television programme; a
which this United States television crew came to our country,
they were interested in filming the International Airport Rally held
months ago [May 1981], when instead their real aim was to come to try
the material on which they could spread their filthy, preconceived
propaganda which was aimed at trying to stop tourists from coming to
Further, it was aimed at psychologically preparing the
the United States for the eventual invasion of our country.
This massive campaign also has the objective of seeking
isolate Grenada in the region and the world.
A major reason for the propaganda campaign is to block
possibilities for external assistance. The evidence for this is massive.
We have see it in relation to a project ear–marked for
that was being organised by the Caribbean Tourism Research Centre.
We have seen it in the attempts made by the United
block the EEC Co–Financing Conference.
We have seen it is relation to the request for
rehabilitation assistance when, once again, the United States in
to the Windward Island Banana Association [WINBAN] (an association
Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and St. Lucia) offered that money only
that excluded Grenada which was also damaged by the hurricane.
And it must be pointed out that this request was made,
not by our
Government, but by a regional organisation of banana farmers in the
We have seen it, of course, in the recent CDB attempt
have just mentioned.
But we should also note, and some of us may not know,
the past four to six weeks this United States Administration has taken
summoning different Latin American and Caribbean Governments to
there put pressure on them, using on the one hand bribery, and on the
hand threats, to try to force them to agree to their plan to isolate
We have also seen recently that two Governments in the
were offered money for a particular project on condition that they
receive this money if they first made a public statement agreeing that
should be excluded.
It is to the merit of those Governments that they
refused to go
along with that call.
We have also seen in our country, as part of these
destabilisation, a massive campaign of terrorism against our people.
This was evident in the June 19th bomb blast, a blast
in fact aimed at the entire leadership of our Party, Government and
There is absolutely no doubt at all that the hand of
the CIA was
in that bomb blast.
We saw it too on the 17th November last year 
terrorists financed and supported by the CIA, in one night, killed five
our patriots, four  in an ambush of their car, and the other comrade
hours later in a militia camp on St. Patrick’s.
We have also seen recently, comrades, as part of this
terrorism, an organised plot hatched in the United States that sought
local reactionary and unpatriotic elements as the first stage in a
aimed at overthrowing the Revolution.
They were made to pretend that they were launching a
newspaper, when in fact, the newspaper was but stage one in that wider
which has at least eight  separate, but related, stages all aimed at
overthrowing our Government and Revolution.
We have seen recently also a campaign to stir up
industrial unrest within the country; to mobilise the parasites, the
opportunists, the criminal elements which every country in the world
have, elements who, over the years, have shown their willingness to be
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST CONDEMN ECONOMIC
PROPAGANDA DESTABILISATION AND MERCENARY THREAT
We believe very strongly in Grenada, and our Government
fervently maintains the position, that the time has now come when
warfare must come to be regarded as a serious breach of international
In just the same way that when countries sent their
troops into other people’s countries, it receives international
and is regarded as an outlaw act, we feel that the time has now come
economic warfare and economic aggression must also be elevated to the
level, must also receive similar condemnation from all forces,
We feel that a number of important international
violated whenever there is a concerted, systematic campaign of economic
aggression against any country.
Certainly, the well–known principle of non–interference
internal affairs of other states is being violated.
Certainly the principle that every country has a right
full independence is being violated; certainly more than one aspect of
meaning of self–determination, another principle of international law
But, perhaps most fundamentally of all, and the most
principle of all, is the violation of the right of all countries to
their own processes, free from all forms of interference, all forms of
and all forms of intimidation by any outside country.
At least these four basic and fundamental principles of
international law and international custom are being violated whenever
economic warfare are waged against any country.
We certainly believe very, very strongly that economic
increasingly being developed as a substitute for, or at least a major
to the direct landing of troops and therefore, it is as bas as the
We feel equally that the entire world must begin to
propaganda destabilisation as also being against the principles of
international law, international custom.
This is so because propaganda war can never be taken in
and propaganda destabilisation, violence and terrorism usually help to
psychological and material basis for an invasion to come.
Propaganda warfare inevitably must affect the economic
development of poor developing countries like ours.
Certainly, in the context of Grenada, a CBS television
documentary containing as many lies and as much filthy propaganda as
did, must have the effect in the short run of helping to keep tourists
from our country.
We also believe that the world must move to condemn
political and diplomatic isolation aimed at trying to force other
toe their line; this form of political and diplomatic attack must
receive the condemnation of the international community.
Needless to say, our position also is that he same must
those who allow their countries to be used to train and supply
In such situations, not only must the mercenaries be
international outlaws, as pirates in the international community, but
those who harbour the mercenaries, they too must feel the full weight
international public opinion.
We can well ask the questions: How can we plan? How can
develop? How can we economically grow and satisfy the needs of our
we are under several types of warfare directed by the biggest and
country which is right at our door step and when we ourselves are one
smallest and poorest countries of the world?
With fascist cynicism, this mighty country of over 250
people, with the greatest wealth and armoury of any single nation,
consciously and openly, to crush our tiny nation of Grenada.
Can we do anything in this situation?
We believe that even in this grim situation that we
face, a fight
back is possible, and we feel that that fight can take place on two
In the first place, it will come from the unity and the
determination of our people to fight to make a better life for
That is extremely important, the unity of our people.
This unity, this organisation and mobilisation of our
raising of the consciousness of our people, this increasing vigilance
people; this unity, this organisation, this consciousness, this
our first and greatest weapon.
We can also fight back successfully if instead of
having to face
Grenada, a small country of just over one hundred thousand people
the imperialists are made to face a force of 3 billion strong as we
powerful, worldwide, anti–imperialist alliance in defence of our
our freedom and our right to choose our own path.
This, we feel, is certainly possible and is precisely
required to deal wit the situation that countries like ours face today.
The full weight of world public opinion and
solidarity can and will make a big difference.
U.S. IMPERIALISM: THE REAL PROBLEM
Some of you may still be asking the question: How is
relevant to an OAS-PRG Conference on Small States, and the problems of
Our answer is that it is relevant because the key
holding back the progressive development of our countries is not the
fact of smallness.
The key obstacle is imperialism. That is the major
We say it is relevant because whilst it is undoubtedly
to focus on the problems which small countries like ours have to face,
useless, that is a total waste of time unless we also acknowledge that
fundamental truth we will never break out of dependence until we work
strategies to break our dependence on imperialism.
We feel it is relevant because whilst we will all agree
objectively smallness is a problem, that while we will all agree that
of access to market is a problem, and that there are several other
serious problems, which hinder the development of our economy.
But nonetheless, we insist that none of these are the
The real problem is that United States imperialism, the
States ruling class, has always wanted to rule the world, has always
grab everybody’s land, has always wanted to grab everybody’s resources
with every shift in the balance of forces in the world, they have had
up with new techniques, they have had to shift their tactics, they have
move to overt action, like the landing of Marines, to covert action
development of economic propaganda and mercenary techniques of
To us these are the real problems.
To us, therefore, in Grenada, while we are very very,
to welcome you all, while we certainly look forward with great
the technical results of your conference, we nonetheless issue this
the beginning, that if this conference were to produce yet again only
documentation of a technical character, emphasising the usual
difficulties which small countries like our face, then the conference
have achieved enough.
For this conference to be truly successful, to be
meaningful to the people of the region, and people of the Third World,
themselves in these difficulties, then we must being to show a new way
by addressing what is the underlying and substantial cause of the
countries like ours face; and that problem is not the fact of smallness
That problem is the fact of imperialism.
I therefore, formally declare open your conference and
the very best in your deliberations.
I certainly hope that you will find the time during the
which you have in our country to enjoy our modest hospitality, to
the warmth and friendliness of our people and to feel and see the
beauty of our
country, and to see for yourselves the popular participation of our
the new process that we are struggling to build.
Thank you very much.