Comrades of the Political Bureau and Central Committee of the Party,
Comrades of the People's Revolutionary Government,
Distinguished comrades on the platform,
Beloved Sisters and Brothers,
Comrades of Free Grenada,
Comrades today, needless to say, it is a very significant and historic day. It is a day that we attach very special importance to, because today, what we are celebrating, what we are commemorating and also what we are witnessing, amounts to an extremely important combination of events.
First of all comrades, today we are very, very happy to have with us in Grenada, by now I believe, about 60 journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean, attending the First Conference of Caribbean journalists, and I want you to give them a very loud and warm round of applause.
THE MILITARY BASE PROPAGANDA
We are particularly happy, comrades, that these journalists are here with us, not just in Grenada, on our soil, but that they have the opportunity of being here today at this International Airport site, because one of the things that all of these journalists would have heard about, over and over again, is how this International Airport site is really a military case and how we are putting down here a base that we will use to attack America oil tankers when they pass in the waters near our country and how this place will also be used to attack neighbouring islands.
So I am very certain, comrades, that these journalists will be very happy to be here with us today, to have the opportunity to see that what we are doing, while it is a miraculous piece of work, in terms if it's construction and engineering aspects, that nonetheless, all it really amounts to is a new International Airport that, in the end, will have 9,000 feet.
An airport that we have struggled for, an airport we are determined to build, an airport we will definitely see being finished next year, an airport that all our people want. It is good for our journalistic friends to be here with us and to see the extent to which this project means so much to all of us in Grenada.
We have among these journalists, comrades, the leaders of the International Organisation of Journalists, of the Federation of Latin American Journalists, of the Presa Association of Jamaica, of the Cuban Union of Journalists, and also, at the same time, dozens of other journalists who may not as yet belong to any formal journalists organisation.
And these comrades, being here with us at this time, also help to remind us of the second main reason why today has such significance for us. This important gathering of our people is that it comes exactly 21 years after the people of Cuba would have been involved in defending their country, because all of us would remember that on April 16, 1961, 21 years ago, mercenaries and counter-revolutionaries assisted by United States imperialism landed on Cuban soil, with the intention of trying to roll back and destroy the Cuban revolutionary process. And instead, as we know, what happened to them on that day is that, 21 years ago, the Cuban people, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, inflicted a sound licking on United States imperialism, and today we certainly want once again to recall that fact.
See Commemorative section on Jeremiah Richardson
This international airport project is also a project that has been characterized by struggle. We have had a really massive struggle to get this project going.
As all of us know, the colonialists, the British colonialists and the Gairy dictatorship had spoken about an international airport for donkey years.
STUDY AFTER STUDY
Since 1955, the British colonialists had their first study done about an international airport project on this site, and subsequent to 1955, there have been several more studies which have been done about an airport in this area.
We have always had the difficulty in Grenada of having a very hilly, a very mountainous country and, therefore, finding a spot where an international airport could go has always been a difficult question for us. The present airport at Pearl's, as we all know, can never be an international airport because its location requires that, if we are going to extend it, we would have to cut down the whole range of mountains in the centre of the island, between Grand Etang and Gouyave, because otherwise the planes would not have a proper approach. We could not extend Pearl's, and after searching and searching over all of these years, it became clearer that the only place in fact that our country could use as an international airport, was right here on this peninsula, right here on beautiful Point Salines, and hence the airport project came to this spot.
But unlike the British and unlike under the Gairy dictatorship, it was not just a question any more of talk, with no action. After our glorious Revolution, we began really serious and strenuous attempts to try to get this airport project off the ground.
And trustingly and ironically, one of the first people, one of the first governments that we spoke to about assistance to get this airport going, was the government of the United States, the very first government after the Revolution that we spoke to.
I remember that night very well, when we were sitting with that ambassador, a man called Frank Ortiz, and I remember very well when we put that question to him, and Ortiz looked at us and tried to control himself so as not to fall down laughing, and after controlling himself, Ortiz said "Well, I think that one would cost a little too much but I have a few dollars in the account in the Barbados Embassy, if you want a $5,000 or so, contact us, we go pass a $5,000 over."
US AMUSEMENT AT AIRPORT'S PRO[SPECT]
The reaction of the US government, right from the beginning was one of amusement. It was obvious that they felt that this project could never get off the ground, it was obvious that they felt that if their assistance was withheld, then there'd be no chance or prospect of getting the airport going.
But they did not take into account the deep determination of our people to have this international airport; they did not realize that in today's world, the United States in no longer the beginning and the end of the world; that there are other governments, that there are other peoples, that there are other friendly forces or other forces out there that will assist countries that are determined to build a new life for their people.
So, in fact, within a few months of making different attempts at getting this project, we went to Cuba for the Non-Aligned Conference in September , and in a discussion with the President of Cuba, the question of the airport was raised. And on that occasion, and I remember that answer very well, Comrade Fidel said to us:
We as you know, do not have any oil. As you know, we do not have any money that we can help your country with. We as you know, are a poor developing country also. But, what we can help you with in the international airport project, is some of our skilled workers, with cement for the project and with stall, because we produce these in Cuba. We cannot help you with the communication equipment, with the night-lights or the navigational aids. We cannot help you with the diesel or the gas, we cannot help you with the dollars. But we can help you with our internationalist workers, some equipment and some of the materials we produce. And if you want that for your country, then Cuba is more than willing to give it.
And that, I am sure you will agree, comrades, represents the highest level of internationalism that one could expect from any country, from any people; represents the best possible example of what co-operation between developing countries should be like, of the ways in which we should try to help each other with what we have, and what the other country does not have.
A PERMANENT SYMBOL AND TESTAMENT
This international project, therefore, will be a permanent symbol and a testament to co-operation between developing countries and to the deep internationalism and the self-sacrificing nature of the people of revolutionary Cuba. Our airport will always represent that.
But the struggles that we had to get this project moving was not just the struggle of where will the money come from, and how will the project start. That was and still is a big struggle.
But we also had a second kind of struggle in this international airport project, and that struggle was how are we ever going to be able to knock down all these hills and mountains on this peninsular of Point Salines to get this airport going.
I remember sometimes we would sit down in Cabinet in the first few weeks and months, discussing over and over again how will this airport start, sometimes difference comrades would say:
Well I don't know what next, but this Sunday coming, let us get some cutlasses, some forks, some spades and some hoes, and let us in the Cabinet do down and cut down bush.
That was the level of determination what we were showing.
But, of course, that was not realistic and one of the major struggles that we had in this are to get leveled was, first of all, to cut down all the bush and forest that existed down here. Secondly, to knock down all of the hills and mountains that were down here. Thirdly, to fill up the salt pond which was here in this project, and fourthly, an aspect which is still going on, actually to fill up the sea in one section of the project, so that the earth could go over the sea and that the runway could continue across water, from one side to the other. The land down here was difficult land.
Our Grenadian workers and the Cuban internationalist workers, have had to blast, have had to level much rock and much tiff in order to achieve the grading that we are seeing now. They have had to use drills, excavate, move earth from one spot to another. It has taken them two years of hard labour to reach the stage we have, and in that period of blasting, and drilling and moving of earth, over four million metric tons of earth has been blasted and moved - a lot of material.
PROBLEMS WITH THE DREDGING
In that same period, comrades, when we got to Hardy Bay last year and the time had come for us to start the dredging of Hardy Bay, we had a major struggle then to fine a company to come and do the dredging. Eventually we won that battle and the dredging started.
But then when the dredging started, we ran into a new problem: the seas began to get so rough in the area that they had to get sand from, that for many days and sometimes even weeks, the dredging could not continue. But we also had the difficulty in Hardy Bay to our left, right there, that there was a lot of unstable material - watery sand and mixed up bits and pieces at the bottom of the sea - which had to be removed first. We had to take out the unstable material before we could put back in rocks and what not, in there - rocks and tiff.
And over half a million tons of that unstable material has been, in fact, removed. And now they are in the process, as you see, of putting back in over half a million tons of rocks and tiff and other solid material, so that when the runway goes over the section of the strip, it will be standing on a very strong and solid foundation.
The question of the terrain and the land was a major problem for us. But we also had a third kind of struggle, another difficult struggle and that was the struggle that we had to engage in with United States Imperialism, which was determined to try to stop this project and to crush us at the same time.
First of all, the Americans used, in the usual way, a lot of propaganda; they spread a lot of lies about this airport project, they tried to make it appear as if this project was some kind of military base, they tried to get across the message that this international airport was much too big for the needs of our country; they tried to spread the lie that if we had this international airport, then in some way or the other, we would become a threat to our neighbouring islands. So we had to fight this propaganda from almost the first day of the announcement that the project was coming. They were desperate to try to stop it.
FIRST, WE AGREE THEN A DIFFERENT TUNE
In fact we had the experience of speaking to some countries in 1979 that were totally supportive of the airport project, that agreed fully with us that the project was required; and speaking to the same countries 18 months later in 1981, they had begun to sing a different kind of tune, they had begun to say that the international airport looked like it might be a problem, and it looked as if they could no longer give support to the idea.
And we had to say to these people:
But look we spoke to you in 1979. We spoke to you in early 1980. You then saw the importance of this project. You came down to the site and saw what we had to do and where the airport was going to do. You were then very enthusiastic, how come you now have some doubts in our mind?
And this time, after discussion with these people, it came out that the problem was the United States. That the United States was sending people to their Governments, sending people to their embassies, planting articles in newspapers, each of them pretending that this was not meant to be a civilian airport, but was meant to be a military airport.
In other words, comrades, we had a really hard job fighting these lies - lies which have not stopped. In fact, only in the last few weeks the "Trinidad Guardian" newspaper carried another big front-page news story talking about how our airport was going to be a base for the "Reds", as they put it.
They were so shameless and so bold face that they said that the sources they were relying on, (a Fred somebody and another Fred somebody - two Americans) had said that one of our Ministers, Comrade Selwyn Strachan, had said that the airport was going to be a military base.
THEY COULD NOT SAY A TIME, PLACE OR DATE
But they were so lying and dishonest, they were not even able, in fact, to pretend that they knew an occasion when that statement was supposed to have been made. They could not say a time, or a place, where these remarks were supposed to have been made.
Nevertheless, the "Guardian" carries that story boldly on their front page. When we contacted them, replying within 48 hours exposing the lie for what it was, and asking them to print our reply to the lies they had spread, this "Trinidad Guardian" that's always talking about "hear all sides of the story" and always talking about "free press" and free this, free that and free the other , this "Trinidad Guardian" has, up to now, not published the reply of our Government to what the United States gave them to print.
We have had this problem, comrades, from the first day, and the problem is still going on. The problem of responding to lies about the airport project. But apart from the lies and the propaganda, different US administrations, but particularly this Reagan administration, has been going all out, trying to see if they could stop us from getting any economic assistance to build this airport.
One year ago, you will remember, Comrade Bernard Coard went off to Brussels, Belgium to a co-financing conference, which the European Economic Community countries were holding for us to try to discuss financial help for the airport. And before Comrade Coard left our country to make that trip, the Americans sent their diplomats to all of the European capitals to Holland, to Belgium itself, to France, to West Germany, to Italy, they spread out their diplomats right through Europe, telling these countries that they must no attend the conference, and they must not give financial support to Grenada's international airport project.
US ALWAYS DICTATING TO OTHERS
These Americans were so bold and brave that they even wanted to tell other people how they must use their own money and tell them how they must spend their money, who they must spend it on, what projects they must spend it on. So they spread out and they tried, in that way, to crush the conference.
But, in fact the conference took place and in fact, after that conference took place, a good bit of additional assistance, including support from the European Economic Community itself was given for the international airport project. The Americans were unable to stop the conference from coming off, and they also were unable to stop us from getting financial assistance for that project.
But, comrades, the other aspect of the struggle has been the struggle to raise financial assistance, and that too has been a major struggle that we have had to fight right during this period. We have had the problem from the first day, of course, of finding sufficient financial support for this project.
It was always obvious to us that our economy on its own, especially the devastated hurricane economy we got from Gairy, could not build this airport. By the time this airport is finished it will certainly cost well over $75 million. There can be no doubt about that, in terms of all of the costs that will have to do into it. Our economy alone could not manage that and, therefore, we have to make approaches to friends around the world to try to get from them financial support for the project, sometimes by way of a grant, sometimes by way of a soft loan. And our success in that area also, comrades, has been really outstanding; that is also one struggle which we have one a long long way in seeing success, so far as this project is concerned.
Virtually all of the main struggles which we have had to fight to get the airport started, we are nearly over the hill. The sale pond is filled up; Hardy Bay is about 70 per cent filled in, the blasting, the drilling the excavating and the leveling is about 90 per cent finished. Of the eight major hills and ridges which we had to cut, six of them we have cut all together, and on the other two there, work has begun to cut them down.
The paving of the runway is going on well. We are putting on a 12 inch thickness on that strip, we are making it 9000 ft. long, at this point over 4,800 ft. have already been paved to about half the correct thickness.
In other words there too, we can say substantial progress had been made. The estimates that the comrades have given me just today, in fact, in that we can say that overall the airport is about 40 per cent finished at this point in time.
Comrades, one very key area in which we have had a lot of success, has been in the area of mobilising our friends in the international community for financial assistance for the project. We have had massive support from the Middle East countries, from our friends in the Arab world. We have had a lot of support too from some Governments in this region. We have had support from the European Economic Community grouping of nations.
The Libyans provided us with $4 million (US) towards this project. Our friends from Syria, a country that is itself under tremendous pressure from the Israelis on an almost daily basis, a large reserves of oil, donated $2 million (US) as a gift for this project.
We have also had from the Government and people of Nigeria an overall commitment of $6 million (US) for this project - $1 million (US) has already come. This year $3 million more will come.
That again has been a substantial contribution. We have also had substantial support from the Government and people from Iraq. They provided specifically, as a gift, $2 million (US) for the International Airport Project. That money was received. And they now have a further commitment, a commitment which was made just before the war, of providing another $5 million (US) to help us to see the airport project completed. So the government and people of Iraq have made a very, very significant and substantial contribution.
$50 MILLION: INTERNATIONALIST AID
From the European Development Fund $2˝ million (US), amounting of course to $6 million (EC), has also been committed for this project, and that too represents an important contribution from the governments of Western Europe. All in all comrades, these sums of money would certainly go to well over $50 million (EC) and that a mounts to a really sizeable internationalist assistance coming from so many different friends around the world.
The government of Venezuela likewise, in 1979, following our visit there in November, also made an important contribution and donation, because they promised at that time to give us, free of cost, 10,000 barrels of gas oil which is 350,000 gallons of gas oil, amounting to over $800,000 in the value terms. They promised to give us that, they kept their promise and, in fact, about even months ago all of those 350,000 gallons arrived and have been used up - again another important contribution.
Our Cuban comrades, as we have said before, have nonetheless made the most substantial contribution, because their contribution allowed the project to start. It was only when in early December 1979, if you remember, that a boat pulled into the St. George's harbour and nearly 100 pieces of equipment, tractors, trucks, bulldozers and what not were unloaded, it was only when that equipment arrived and when later on, hundreds of Cuban internationalist workers landed in our country, that we knew for a fact that the airport was going to start, and the airport did start.
CUBAN CONTRIBUTION IMPOSSIBLE TO MEASURE
The contribution of our Cuban comrades is almost impossible to measure in mere money of dollar terms, because their contribution - outside of the equipment, outside of the cement, outside of the steel, outside of the architects and engineers, outside of the designers of the terminal buildings, and all sorts of other access roads and other bits of work in this area, outside of all of that they made one kind of contribution that will always leave a permanent mark in our hearts and memories: they sent their own people to our country and asked their people to give their labour to help to build a Grenadian project. To us, that is true and genuine internationalism.
But in talking about the way in which we have achieved and won out, despite the struggles, comrades, I think it is very important for us never to forget the role of our own people here in Grenada, because that has also been decisive. Outside of the international support, outside of the new balance of forces in the world that did not allow the United States to crush this project, outside of the solidarity received in moral terms from so many countries and governments and people and organisations, what has been most critical of all has been the unity and the determination of our people in seeing the project through.
THE AIRPORT HAS UNITED OUR PEOPLE
The unity of our people which we saw on April 12, last year , when in a rally that was perhaps even bigger than this one, thousands of our people came down to this very spot, to demonstrate our deepest solidarity for the project. Thousands of our people came down to this spot one year ago to say loud and clear to the United States imperialists that regardless of what they think or what they want to do or how they feel, the project was going to go ahead. Our people came out in their thousands and demonstrated that unity, and that has been a major factor in ensuring that no one has or will ever be able to stop this project.
Our people have made contributions in millions of ways. Our Grenadian workers on this international airport site have been working around the clock, side by side with their Cuban brothers, they have been working extremely hard on this project, and are, in a large part, responsible for the tremendous progress which the project has made. And I think you should acknowledge the work of our Grenadian workers on this Cuban internationalist airport project.
But outside of the workers down there, comrades, we have received all kinds of support and assistance from ordinary people in our country. We have been very touched, not so much when a big business comes up with a few dollars to buy some bonds, or even makes a contribution by way of a cash gift: we have been, of course, grateful whenever that happens.
But what has touched us deeply, comrades, is when ordinary people in the country, some of them unemployed, some of them just doing a little farming in their backyard to try to survive, when ordinary people like that save up their pennies, save up their five cents and ten cents and twenty-five cents, sacrifice for months, and then come downtown to the Treasury Building, go upstairs there and knock and say: "I want to buy a $4 bond please?"
That has really moved and touched us, because it shows the depth of the feelings of the people about this project, it shows the extent of the sacrifice they are willing to make. And our people, at this point in time, have contributed over $3/4 million in the way of bonds towards this international airport project, and for us, that represents substantial contribution.
GRENADIANS ABROAD MAKING SACRIFICES
Our people in the United Kingdom likewise, have been making a lot of sacrifice in terms of money which has been sent back home, or our bonds which have been bought directly in London. Grenadians in the United Kingdom, at this point in time, have bought $83,760 in bonds and again we think that is a very, very good contribution.
In the Untied States, our people there also have been attempting to raise funds and have been attempting to get bonds, and at this point in time, over $24,000 in bonds have been bought by our people in the United States for this project. And that too represents as important contribution.
But, comrades, in this area, the contribution that we recognize the most of all, because it has been the most consistent contribution, because the sisters involved have worked very hard and have held several different projects and have made millions of different attempts to raise funds for this airport - these sisters have been very hard-working; have done outstanding work, one of them in fact was named the Woman of the Year for 1981.
I am referring, of course, to the sisters in the Airport Development Committee of St. George's under the leadership of Ma Simeon. These sisters have been really, outstanding. Today, just from the efforts of the sisters in the Airport Development Committee, over $80,000 has been raised by these sisters alone - a truly unbelievable figure.
CAKES, TARTS AND SOUSE FOR THE AIRPORT
Contributions have also come from the 40-plus Women's Club in St. Patrick's, from the women in the Friendship Club in Grenville, from the Lionesses Organisation, from the National Women's Organisation, all of who have been making cakes and tarts and selling ice-cream and pig souse etc., to keep raising dollars for the International Airport Project. And again, I think, we must recognise the tremendous contribution of our sisters.
Comrades, this international airport project will always be a reminder to the people of this region that even small poor countries like ours can nonetheless live in dignity, can nonetheless achieve economic advance without having to sacrifice principle, without having to be humiliated and humbled by the United States. This airport project will forever be another reminder of that important lesson, that big and powerful as the United States is, it is not the beginning and the end of the world, it is not the only country in the world.
This project is another example to all of us that, even if you are small and poor, once you are united and conscious and organised and determined, then whatever you set for yourself as a target can be achieved by the people. This project will remind us of that because, comrades, that is a very, very important thing for us to remember at this time.
At this time, when Reagan is coming down to our region and offering a few dollars, and expecting in return for the few dollars he's offering to get people to kowtow and bend down, and submit themselves, and say, "yes massa, we watching you and we hearing you, massa."
At this time, when Reagan is coming down to our region and using our own region to insult and to attack our people, to insult the people of Barbados through not even using their own facilities, not their own cars, not their own food, not their own water, not their own toilet-paper, but he has to bring all of that from the United States, so he could be comfortable and nice; at this time when Reagan is coming down to our region, and using our soil to attack sister countries in the region; at this time when Reagan is coming down here with a clear plan designed to try to recolonise this region, designed to try to divide this region, so as to be able to rule it better; at this time it is very, very important for us to remember that you are never too small to sacrifice your dignity, that regardless of the size of our country, regardless of its population, regardless of how much money it has, every country nonetheless should always maintain a basic amount of dignity and pride in itself and in its people.
That is a very important lesson. Nobody must even feel that even if they could use a few dollars to buy out some people and get them to support their positions, nobody must ever believe that they will ever be able to use money to buy out the free, dignified people of Free Grenada. That will never, ever happen. We will always be proud and free.
REVO STILL IN DANGER
And, comrades, it is also important for us to remember that at this time, for another reason. And that other reason is that at this point in time, our Revolution is still in danger, our Revolution is still being threatened by external forces who want to see our progress rolled back.
There are still people outside there, with the CIA, who are probably right now plotting and planning and scheming and hoping to wreak murder and terrorism, and are hoping and dreaming that they can turn this Revolution back. That is also a fact, and it is important at this time, as we speak of Playa Giron, to remember that on March 13, 1961, 21 years ago, another United States president, John F. Kennedy, made a speech talking about democracy and freedom and prosperity for the region; offering the region $20 billion in his Alliance for Progress and he said this $20 billion would bring freedom and prosperity.
And just one month after Kennedy had made that speech on March 13, on April 16, 1961, he authorised his troops and the CIA and the mercenaries to go into Cuba and to attack Cuban territory. So March 13, 1961 came the promise of money, April 16, 1961, one month later, came the vengeance, came the violence, came the guns and the terror.
LITTLE CARROT, BIG STICK
In exactly the same way, comrades, we have to be conscious today that when Reagan stands up on February 24 , in the United States, in the building of the OAS [in Washington, DC], and says that he is offering $350 million to countries out here for peace and freedom and democracy and what not, we must never forget that when Reagan says that on February 24, when he throws out that little carrot, that the big stick is also behind, just like in 1961.
That big stick is also behind. Nothing has changed the United States politics in the last 21 years, in this regard. The left hand has the carrot of a few dollars, and the right hand has the big stick of the VIA, of the guns, of the violence, of the destabilisation, of the plans to overthrow democratic and progressive counties.
We have seen the carrot that Reagan has offered, although it's really a joke carrot, you can't even get a bit on it - six cents a day is what that carrot is for each person in this region, six cents a day. Nonetheless, we have seen the carrot. What we have to wait for now, is the stick, and that stick's coming.
The people of Nicaragua have already seen part of the stock, because they have sent their mercenaries into Nicaraguan territory, and they have blown up dams and bridges and reservoirs and roads in that country.
On the date when President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico landed in Nicaragua a few months ago, they tired to blow up part of the airport so as to see if they could have stopped President Lopez Portillo from landing in Nicaragua. A few weeks ago, coming out of Honduran soil, then penetrated deep into Nicaraguan territory and there was a lot of fighting. The Nicaraguans were able to kill 11 of those counter-revolutionaries in a few minutes, while themselves losing one of their own Sandinista soldiers. The Nicaraguans are already feeling it.
The people of El Salvador continue to feel it, outside of the 30,000 that they have already murdered - the Reagan Administration is still giving guns and more dollars to the butchers in El Salvador who continue to murder their people.
THE THREAT IS STILL THERE
The people of Cuba, likewise, understand the nature of the threat that still faces them, 23 years after their own victorious Revolution. But the threat still continues. The Americans still occupy Guantanamo, the Americans are still having their spy flights over Cuba, the Americans are still allowing mercenaries and counter-revolutionaries to be trained in Miami and elsewhere, so as to invade Cuba, Nicaragua and Grenada.
Yes, these people are boasting openly on American television that they are training, and they are training to come down to invade Grenada, and also to invade Nicaragua and Cuba. Publicly and openly going on television and saying that, and nothing is being done about that by the United States Government.
So it is very important, comrades, for us today to pledge not only that we will see this airport through, and there is no force on earth that can stop that anyhow, but we must also pledge once more today, that we will continue to be vigilant, to be watchful, to be careful in this period, that we will continue to be in the Militia and take it seriously, that we will continue to increase our vigilance in every possible way, take our military training seriously, take our slogan of the people being the eyes, the ears and the nose of the Revolution seriously.
"Watch out, look out and smell out, be careful. We need at this time, comrades, to ensure that vigilance continues, that organisation continues, that the unity that we have is deepened even more, that the work we are doing,t he economic consciousness, and economic construction, also continues, because economic advancement is one of the best answers to destabilisation and we have to proceed there too.
So, in this period, comrades, remember the lessons of Suriname, just a few weeks ago, when after two years, some local adventurists, still tried once more to mount an attack on the Surinamese government with which we have such warm, fraternal relations; still tried to attack them, still hoped they could have overturned the democratic and revolutionary process taking place in Suriname at this time.
Let us not forget history, let us not also forget the lessons of the Seychelles Islands, when on November 25, last year, 44 mercenaries from South Africa, supported and financed by South Africa and the United States, landed on the Seychelles Islands, pretending to be tourists; 44 of these racist South Africans with their guns in handbags - on these handbags they had written "Ancient Order of Foam [Froth] Blowers," in other words, a rum-drinkers' club. So they land, pretending to be rum drinkers and come off the airport not to drink rum, but to try to [word missing] President Alva Rene [France-Albert René] - with whom, again, we have excellent relations - destroy his government, overthrow the revolutionary process in Seychelles. Although they tried before in 1979, and also lost, they tried again on November 25 last year.
We have [to] remember these lessons, comrades. Imperialism never sleeps and never rests and as long as they are awake, any revolutionary processes that are being built in any part of the region and the world, imperialism will try to overthrow it.
But we also know that imperialism is not invincible and that imperialism can be defeated and, therefore, we have to be ready in Grenada for any time they come, any time they touch our soil. Then the people of our country will be there in the forefront to resist and to beat them off. Every square inch of land we will defend.
THESE ARE OUR TASKS
So comrades, these are your tasks: The task to ensure more fund-raising for this International Airport project, as the project has to finish and we have to continue to make our own small efforts to push the project through; more attempts at raising money in Grenada, more contacts with your family and friends abroad asking them to buy bonds, more attempts at beating back the negative propaganda in every possible way you can.
Secondly, comrades, to maintain our unity, to maintain the organisational strength that we now have, to continue to build more, to get the organisations even stronger, to make sure that all of us use fully, at all times, our organisations of popular democracy, our Zonal Councils, our Worker's Parish Councils and what not.
Thirdly, to build the economy, comrades, to make sure that the economy, in fact, goes forward, to make sure that we keep thing moving in a serious way.
And fourthly, comrades, in this period, to maintain the vigilance, to continue with the preparations we have been making, to ensure that we will always be ready, willing and prepared to defend our country with all our might.
LONG LIVE THE PROJECT!
LONG LIVE THE WORKERS AT THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF GRENADA!
LONG LIVE THE JOURNALISTS OF LATIN AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN AND THE WORLD!
LONG LIVE THOSE COUNTRIES THAT HAVE CONTINUED TO GIVE SUPPORT TO OUR INTERNATIONAL PROJECT!
LONG LIVE THE GRENADA REVOLUTION!
FORWARD EVER! FORWARD EVER! FORWARD EVER!