The Grenada Revolution Online

Bishop Speech - Speech Delivered by Cde. Minister Maurice Bishop
on the occasion of a dinner in his honour offered by Nikolai Tikhonov - Moscow -27 July 1982

Esteemed Cde. Tikhonov

It is a special honour for my delegation and I to have the opportunity to visit your great and heroic country.

Our Party, Government and people have looked forward to this visit with great anticipation and enthusiasm.

I wish to express our deep appreciation for the invitation, and for the excellent arrangements that have been made for our reception.

I bring you warmest fraternal greetings from the New Jewel Movement, the People’s Revolutionary Government and the entire working people of Grenada.

We wish, too, that you convey all of these greetings to your respected leader and world statesman Leonid Brezhnev.

We look forward with the greatest interest to the coming days in your country, to see at first hand the tremendous achievements of sixty-five (65) years of People’s Power, to witness the process of building advanced socialism and to share in your rich experiences.

We are particularly pleased to have the realisation of this visit in the year that you are celebrating sixty (60) years since the founding of the first Workers and Peasant State in the history of mankind.

The profound and revolutionary ideas, leadership and work of Lenin, founder of your State, and the force of example of the Great October Socialist Revolution guided by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, have changed forever the life of working people throughout the world.

No one can deny that the Russian Revolution struck a most fundamental blow in the battle to end exploitation of man by man.

Time and again we have seen the Soviet people meet and defeat every attempt of imperialism to wipe out the gains of the Great October Revolution.

Your victories have demonstrated that no force exist (sic) in the world that can reverse the powerful current of revolutionary changes started by the Great October Socialist Revolution.

We have learnt from your experiences that once the Revolution is firmly grounded in the working class and working people, keeps daily contact with them through their popular organs of power and brings them material benefits, and honestly works to solve their problems, we can be assured of its continuity and development.

It is a fact of history, that as a result of the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Fascism, a revolutionary situation developed in many parts of the world.

This heroic achievement radically shook one of the main pillars of imperialism’s might and wealth – the colonial system of bondage and exploitation.

It triggered a chain reaction which involved millions of people in the struggle to end colonialism.

All former colonial peoples must be indeed greatful (sic) for the staunch and principled support that the Soviet people have given to the fight against colonialism and its attendant evils of Fascism, neo-colonialism, and poverty.

In our region of the world this fundamental change first came in 1959 with the success of the Cuban Revolution.

Twenty (20) years later the peoples of Grenada and Nicaragua, have added their voices to that call for freedom, independence and justice in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dear Cde. Tikhonov

March 13th, 1979 saw a bright new dawn to the people of Grenada and the working people of the Caribbean.

On that day our people ended 28 years of neo-colonial dictatorship which had left us in a most backward and under-developed socio-economic condition.

In the three years since that date, our working people, led by their vanguard the NEW JEWEL MOVEMENT, have set about the long and challenging task of national construction.

Today we are forging a new people’s democracy – a process that we are convinced will contribute fundamentally to our goal of economic development and social progress, and guide our country as we set out on the path of socialist orientation.

New organs of popular revolutionary democracy enable the Grenadian working people to participate directly in the daily exercise of people’s power.

The rapid growth of our mass organisation has been a major feature of this development of our democratic process.

At this time 8 out of every 10 workers are unionized, one in every 4 of our women belong to the National Women’s Organisation, one in every 5 youth to the National Youth Organisation and one in every 8 farmers to the Productive Farmers Union.

The Grenadian Revolution has taken steps to lay the foundation to set our process on the non-capitalist path of development, in order to disengage our economy from the imperialist domination we have inherited.

Already enterprises of the state and cooperative sectors have been established in this process of disentanglement.

In addition we have introduced the policy of national planning into our programme of economic development.

For first time in 1982 there is a one year plan.

And work has already started on 1983-1985, our first three year plan.

We are committed to the building of a new and just society in our country based on the fundamental pillars of raising the political consciousness of our people and guaranteeing their full participation in all spheres of nation-building; the development of a national defense capacity based on the people; construction of a national economy that will ensure the happiness, well-being and complete material and spiritual security of our people and the future elaboration of foreign policy that stressed the pursuit of peace, good neighbourliness, peaceful co-existence, and end to the arms race, to imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, fascism, apartheid, racism and Zionism.

Allied with this is our determination to pursue the search for a new international economic order, and our firm commitment to the national liberation movements, the inter-national working class movement and the development of the closest relations with the world socialist community.

Dear Cde. Tikhonov,

There can be no doubt that the most urgent international issue facing mankind at this time is World Peace.

Human civilisation as we know it is imperiled by the most reactionary imperialist circles bent on a policy of massive arms buildup as a response to the growing strength of the world socialist community, the forward movement of the progressive forces and the National Liberation Movement and the ever-deepening world capitalist crisis.

They threaten the world with their neutron bombs, their cruise missiles and their lunatic concept of limited nuclear war.

They seek to use food and trade as weapons.

They openly threaten to blockade, boycott and impose trade and credit sanctions on the socialist and progressive countries.

They even threaten and attempt to bully their own allies.

By these means the most reactionary imperialist circles are determined to pursue their frantic but futile quest for world domination.

This is in marked contrast to the policy of the Soviet Union.

We are aware, that from 1917 beginning with the declaration of Lenin’s Peace Plan, your country has consistently worked for world peace, peaceful co-existence and détente.

This policy was borne out in the Great Patriotic War during which 20 million Soviet citizens died to defeat Hitlerite Fascism and to bring peace to mankind.

The subsequent post war struggle for a democratic peace remains a glowing tribute to the humanism of the Soviet system.

Recent courageous peace initiatives have shown that peace still occupies the number one place in Soviet foreign policy.

We applaud the peace initiative announced by Cde. Leonid Brezhnev at the 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

We endorsed the reiteration and development of this initiative announced at the 19th Komosol Congress.

The people of Grenada gladly welcomed the Soviet Union’s pledge announced at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Disarmament not to be the first nation to launch a nuclear strike.

We earnestly hope that sanity will prevail and that all nuclear powers will emulate the Soviet Union’s decision.

For our part we in Grenada have advanced the proposal that the Caribbean Sea  to internationally recognised as a zone of peace, independence and development.

But while peace loving people of the world, daily look for new ways to being peace, Zionist and Racist forces backed by imperialism continue to provoke crisis after crisis.

We witness the continuing pillage of genocidal aggression by Zionist Israel against the people of Lebanon and Palestine.

We join with all of civilized mankind in demanding Israel’s immediate withdrawal from Lebanese territory and a real and genuine cessation of the hostilities with adequate reparations for the loss of life and property suffered by the people of Lebanon.

We believe strongly that the time is overdue for the international community to find a truly effective way of putting a final end to the continuing acts of flagrant and despicable banditry being pursued by Zionist Israel in total disregard of world public opinion.

Our sympathy, solidarity and support go out today to the people of Lebanon, the Palestinian Armed Forces and to the other Arab peoples.

We are confident that their day of victory, national self-determination and lasting peace will come without a doubt.

Imperialism is making every effort to keep reactionary forces in Central America and the Caribbean in power.

Providing money, weapons and military advisers, every attempt is made to force the brave people of El Salvador to their knees.

Imperialist threats, repression and secret service operations are directed against socialist Cuba, against the social development underway in Nicaragua and Grenada, in order to intimidate the people of these States and undo their revolutionary victories.

Grenada has been subjected to repeated international campaign by U.S. Imperialism to block assistance from regional and international funding agencies.

Even funds for disaster relief have been blocked and used as an excuse for slander and destabilisation activities.

We have suffered from the most crude forms of propaganda, economic and military destabilisation.

But the revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean cannot be intimidated.

Our struggles are deeply rooted in the masses of our country, and all acts of sabotage and destabilisation only serve to strengthen the determination of our people to succeed.

Dear Cde. Tikhonov,

Today our two countries signed various agreements of economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.

These agreements are very wide ranging and world have strategic impact on the further development of the Grenada Revolutionary Process.

We wish to thank you most sincerely for the comradely spirit in which the discussions were held.

The generous conclusions that we arrived at is another example of the internationalism of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and your people.

We sincerely look forward to exploring the land of Lenin.

We expect that the coming days we would further lay the basis for lasting friendship and cooperation between our two countries and peoples.

Allow me to propose a toast!

TOWARDS GREATER FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION BETWEEN THE SOVIET UNION AND GRENADA!

TOWARDS WORLD PEACE, DISARMAMENT AND DÉTENTE!

THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION AND THE NEW JEWEL MOVEMENT!

TOWARDS THE STRUGGLING PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD!

LONG LIVE

FORWARD EVER! BACKWARD NEVER!

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