Sisters and brothers,
Patriots of Free Grenada
On behalf of our party and government I
extend to you all warm,
fraternal greetings on the first day of 1983 and wish you peace, good
and success for the new year.
At the beginning of every year it is
traditional to throw our
vision ahead to the tasks and challenges in the upcoming 12 months, to
ourselves to the fulfillment of these tasks, and to scientifically plan
correct strategy for accomplishing our objectives.
New Year resolutions and re commitments,
projected visions and
dedications are meaningless if they are not informed and guided by the
drawn from the collective experiences of the past year.
Therefore, before we open the door to step
forthrightly into 1983 it is necessary, to pause and review the road we
travelled, take stock of our successes and setbacks and honestly
shortcomings and failures.
Comrades, 1982 was a year when the present
economic crisis in
world capitalism which began in 1979 grew worse and this meant that the
economies of our region were severely affected.
According to official United States Labour
over 12 million working people in the largest and richest capitalist
the world are today unemployed and in 1983 this figure is expected to
by a million more.
The same is true for the countries of
Western Europe. Over 2½
million workers are unemployed in West Germany, over 3¼ million in the
Kingdom and millions more in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and others.
In 1982, over 20,000 US businesses
declared bankruptcy, the
country’s business sector as a whole lost around 10 billion US dollars
US economy back-backed, yes grew backwards, by 1.5%.
Economic growth last year in other
developed capitalist countries
was only slightly better with the U.K. 4%, Italy 1.5% and West Germany
These are indeed mind-blowing statistics,
In the Caribbean region, unemployment got
worse as thousands of
workers were laid off, as a result of reduced economic activity in
industry, in particular in the areas of Bauxite, tourism, sugar and the
sector, or from outright bankruptcies in the private sector.
There was little or no growth in the
national economies of the
In fact, one neighbouring country which
has been frequently
pushed by imperialism as a “model” for the region grew backwards
nearly 10% in the past 24 months.
Sisters and brothers, comrades, in January
of last year when our
People’s Revolutionary Government declared 1982 as the “Year of
Construction” we clearly foresaw the worsening of this capitalist
the year and the negative effects it would have on our fragile, open
We were convinced then, and remain
convinced today, that the very
future of our Revolution hinged on our people’s struggle to construct a
economy out of the ruins and devastation inherited from colonialism,
Economic construction laying the basis for
independence and liberation from imperialism was to be the key focus
priority for 1982.
At that time we asked ourselves what would
the year of economic
construction mean to our working people? What challenges will it put to
and what benefits will it bring to them?
We said then and will continue to say in
1983 that real progress
for our country will only be achieved through the hard work of our
that those who labour to construct must share in
the fruits of their
We stressed then and will continue to
stress in 1983 that our
working class and our working people must be more involved in the
decisions affecting their work, as well as the work itself.
The new revolutionary people’s democracy
must extend from the
community to the workplace.
More discussions, more seminars, more
structures for emulation,
more production committees, must be organized and made to function in
factories, farms and offices of our nation.
We said at the beginning of 1982 and will
repeat throughout the
new year that our working people must be brought into the process of
This heightened democratic activity at the
workplace will not
only achieve greater production and output, sharpen efficiency and
waste and corruption but also improve the social wage and thus widen
and scope of material benefits coming to our working people.
And today we are very happy to note the
impressive strides which
we made in 1982 through the establishment of over 63 emulation
Now, we must ensure that this critical
task is stepped up and
intensified even further in 1983 at all work places and in all areas of
Sisters and brothers, friends, comrades,
in our New Year’s
address one year ago, we said that agriculture is the motor of our
main supplier of food for our people, a major earner of foreign
weapon against unemployment and a means for increasing our
on the full development of our main natural resource – the land.
All of this remains true as we step into
On that occasion we also said that between
recurrent and capital
expenditure the Revolution one year ago was spending 54 times more
the dictator every spent on agriculture.
And it is worth saying that, this
remarkable effort has not been
overlooked by the World Bank for in its August 1982 report on the
economy it says and I quote:
agriculture, the government has moved on several fronts to
correct the malaise that afflicted the sector . . . the government has
enhanced and upgraded extension services and technical assistance to
farmer and has been providing larger flows of financial assistance for
and cocoa rehabilitation.
Comrades, what the World Bank report has
said is 100% accurate.
However, our economic performance for 1982
in the agricultural
sector, though creditable, was not as satisfactory as we would have
liked it to
We continued to be plagued by falling
export revenues for our
cocoa and nutmegs resulting from the devastating drop in world market
for these commodities.
We continued to wrestle with a disastrous
inheritance on our
state farms and with a traditional attitude of resistance by some of
farmers to the introduction of upgraded technology and new, scientific
techniques of agricultural production.
Yet in 1982 we were able to rebuild our
Mirabeau Farm School and
open additional agricultural training schools in Bocage, St. Mark’s; La
Sagesse, St. David’s; Boulogne, St. Andrew’s and 6 Roads, Carriacou.
We established a soil and water resource
unit with assistance
from the FAO thus becoming one of the first countries in the Caribbean
computerize its data on soil and water resources.
With assistance from the Canadian
Government we began the massive
cocoa rehabilitation project which will spread over 8 years and bring
acres under cocoa cultivation.
Production of food crops was expanded last
year resulting in a
58% rise in sales of such crops by the Grenada Farms Corporation.
The Marketing and National Importing Board
sold over one million
pounds of farmers’ food crops in 1982 – almost double the 1981 figure
over 600,000 lbs.
In the area of agricultural infrastructure
39 miles of new farm
roads and 7½ miles of feeder roads were constructed.
This programme will continue and expand in
1983 with the
introduction of tractors and other related technology which will carry
significance for speeding up agricultural development.
In full recognition of the tractor’s
importance, the Ministry of
Agriculture introduced some 35 tractors into agricultural production in
and it is expected that this year a couple dozen more will be added to
National Machinery Pool, to which our farmers will have access.
In agriculture, the new year presents us
with a number of
challenges, locally and internationally.
As mentioned earlier there are no visible
prospects for an
improvement in the world economic situation in 1983 and this will mean
continuing pressures from falling world market prices not only for
for all the poor, underdeveloped economies of the world.
During 1981 the average world market price
for nutmegs stood
at$2.48 per pound but by 1982 it had dropped to $1.95 and over the last
weeks we have had to sell for as low as $1.20 at times.
For cocoa, in 1979 the world market price
was $1.54 per pound but
by 1982 it had plunged to 81 cents per pound and all indications show
downward spiral will not change in the 12 month that lie ahead.
So what should our responses be to this
escalating crisis, this
frightening picture of doom and gloom?
Internationally, it underscores the
importance along with other
nations to continue the struggle for a New International Economic Order.
Locally, it means expanding our crop
seeking new, stable markets with guaranteed prices, and stepping up our
agro-processing operation to provide new local markets for our farmers
employment and foreign exchange for our country.
Since it began operations, increases in
output at our Agro-Industrial
plant have been fairly impressive, jumping from $300,000 worth of
1981 to $800,000 in 1982 and plans for 1984 call for a tripling of last
But comrades, undoubtedly our major task
in agriculture for 1983
is to find new ways of producing more for less and of intensifying the
Now is the time to abandon the old ways of
production that are no
Now is the time to reorganize our patterns
of production, to
experiment with new techniques such as contouring and terracing, to
raise the productivity
yields in all our crops, to mechanise and to apply science and
Now is the time, for increased
co-operation among our farmers,
for the sharing of machinery, for joint purchase of fertilizer, for
transportation of products to the marketing board.
Now is the time to ensure that every
square inch of idle land in
the country is put into production so that we may soon become a nation
In 1979, the importation of food was 40%
of our total imports.
Today, it is down to 28%, a remarkable
advance in the right
direction, but we must continue to develop this pattern so that we can
decrease the $3 million worth of food that we’re still importing each
Sisters and brothers, comrades. We have
said on countless
occasions that no economy as poor and backward as our can ever hope for
take off until and unless the necessary physical infrastructure is
In 1982, the Year of Economic
Construction, the Revolution made a
number of bold and decisive steps in this direction.
During the year work on our new
international airport, our most
important infrastructural project, continued apace, with paving of the
5000 ft. completed, the paving of what was once Hardy Bay started, and
the terminal building began.
Also at the airport site, work began on a
huge fuel storage tank
farm which will have a capacity of some 1½ million gallons or 4 times
capacity of our present storage facilities.
Although tampered by a number of objective
particularly in the area of adequate asphalt supplies, our $10 million
Main Road project proceeded in 1982 and so too did our island-wide
road repair and reconstruction.
Important streets in the capital of St.
George’s like Lucas,
Young, Church, Tyrrel and Scott streets were partially or completely
We have also seen significant improvements
in the area of Health
care with the start of the primary health care programme and the
established agricultural Workers Health Scheme.
The improvement in housing is no less
dramatic, with over 11,000
of our people receiving housing repair assistance, and those of you who
should take a look at the new housing scheme, which started
construction only a
few weeks ago in the Grand Anse Valley.
Furthermore with the coming on stream of
the Sandino Plant we
will have the capacity to build some 500 houses or their equivalent
as a result of yet another profound act of friendship on the part of
and people of Cuba.
More of our people received pipe-borne
water last year as a
result of new or expanded reservoirs being opened up while almost the
pipe system in St. George’s was replaced and modernized.
In fact, instead of the 4 million gallons
of water a day which
was being produced at the time of the Revolution, today we are
million gallons, and the Mama Cannes project which started in July will
bring another 400,000 gallons a day on stream.
The frequent and prolonger electricity
black-outs of 1981 were
lessened in 1982 as repairs were effectd on the main electricity
machines at the Queens Park Plant.
In addition, more villages in Carriacou
and all of Petit
Martinique received electricity for the very first time last year and
recent purchase of new generators our people can look forward to a more
doubling of our present electricity output in the not too distant
Expansion of the telephone building in St.
George’s was completed
in 1982 while the first shipment of line and equipment for our new
system recently arrived from the German Democratic Republic.
Again, this will have the effect of more
than doubling our
existing number of telephone lines and give us for the first time in
direct dialing to our sister island of Carriacou.
In the area of tourism, one of the four
pillars of our national
economy, we anticipate that the sizable sum of $400 million will be
this sector over the next three years.
This money is earmarked for completion of
construction of new hotels, increased promotion and advertising and the
operation of new tourism offices in North America and Europe.
And this huge investment will of course,
provide tremendous new
opportunities for private sector investment and for the creation of new
and the further expansion of our economy.
In the area of fisheries, another pillar
of our economy, 1982 saw
the launching of a $7.1 million development Programme to upgrade small
fishing in the country.
This project will provide better market
centres with reliable
cold storage and ice-making facilities, make available gear and
fisherman at reasonable prices, and provide loans on good terms for
to buy engines and boats.
Sisters and brothers, comrades, on March
9, 1982 an unprecedented
event in the English-speaking Caribbean took place in St. George’s, an
which marked an extraordinary step forward for our people and which has
characterised as the most dramatic, single demonstration of the
exercise by a whole people of the revolutionary democratic principle of
I am referring, of course, to the
presentation to the nation and
the world that day of a genuine people’s budget which was formulated
out of a
process begun on a mass scale when 1000 delegates from all our mass
organisation came together at the Dome on January 29th
 for an
historic conference on the economy.
This was swiftly followed up by a series
of 25 zonal and Workers
Parish Councils and dozens of other meetings in every corner of our
including meetings with the private sector.
Then on March 1st
we held another conference on the
economy at the Dome, bringing together all those who had not yet aired
views or suggestions, all those who were not yet members of our mass
organisations including our senior citizens, the self-employed and
working for small enterprises.
This was followed by a three-day session,
also at the Dome with
the representatives and managers of the state enterprises.
What was being attempted in this
democratic exercise, comrades,
was a pooling of the ideas and opinions of literally every section and
of our people.
Add what we discovered was a virtual
treasure-chest of valuable
and creative ideas coming out of the concrete experiences and social
of our people and being offered by them in a loud, clear, unequivocal
unselfish manner, all the spirit of collective responsibility towards
and charting the economic construction effort of the nation.
Throughout the year this spirit prevailed
as the 5-component
parts of our revolutionary, people democracy – responsibility,
participation, material benefits and electability – became more
In 1982 our working class through their
trade unions elected
their leaders, and our NWO sisters elected their national executive.
People’s democracy was evident recently
when the general
membership of the Technical and Allied Workers Union and the
General Workers Union made fundamental amendments to their
when the members of the National Women’s Organisation participated over
period of months in a structured manner in drafting, criticizing and
the highly significant workplan that will guide their work over the
Furthermore, more new people’s
revolutionary laws were passed
last year in the ongoing process of enshrining and embedding our
democratic rights into the laws of the land.
The Rent Law, the increased Workmen’s
Compensation Law and the
Third Party Insurance (Amendment) Law, all of which were announced at
Park on May Day 1982, at the largest gathering of our working class
assembled in Grenada for May Day, are three particularly significant
legislation that will advance the human rights of our working people.
Comrades, 1982 was a year when our
Revolution reached out to the
peoples of the world more than ever before, giving them our friendship
solidarity and receiving from them warm feelings of sympathy,
The many visits made by the leaders of the
Revolution to such
countries like Bulgaria, Cubs, France, the German Democratic Republic,
the Soviet Union, Venezuela, to name a few, helped to strengthen our
of cooperation and in all cases resulted in tangible, material benefits
Grenada’s successes at the OECS and
CARICOM heads of state
meetings in St. Lucia and Jamaica were victories not only for us but
the people of the Caribbean.
There is no doubt that the Revolution
earned respect, prestige
and dignity at those meetings.
Once again, we showed imperialism, their
agents and lackeys, that
the Revolution is firm and clear and must be respected.
Likewise, the extraordinary successes of
our National Performing
Company during tours to UK and North America last year reflected not
cultural progress made by our country since the Revolution but was
celebration of the best aspect of indigenous Caribbean culture.
We recall with pride and satisfaction the
conferences held in our country last year and the memorable visits of
outstanding world figures, in particular the exciting visit of Cde.
Machel, President of Revolutionary Mozambique, a country with which we
firm and unshakeable links.
Comrades, the international prestige and
creditability of a
nation is measurable not only by its popular and positive image among
nations and peoples of the world, not only by the respect, admiration
affection shown to is leaders when they travel abroad, but also by its
to attract to its shores peoples from far and wide who come to see for
themselves the reality of our national life.
The large number of visitors who come to
our shores in 1982 to
participants in conferences and rallies, and in our annual Carriacou
and Grenada Carnival in August is testimony of this growing prestige of
At the same time, the tremendous success
of our Caribbean Calypso
Festival, which we intend to make an annual event, provided further
our sincere commitment to regional integration.
We are also happy that so many visitors
came to the Caribbean
Netball Tournament when the remarkable performance of our young sisters
extremely proud, and reaffirmed once again the correctness of our
Certainly, many who travelled these long
distances to come to our
country as a result of the critical work internationally of the
Societies and Solidarity Committees, come to witness for themselves the
heartening achievements made over the last three and a half years or to
relax and enjoy the hospitality of our free people.
And all of this attests not only to the
ever-growing prestige of
our Revolution but also the glorious transition we have made in less
years from being the laughing stock of the world, to becoming a country
still poor, yet full of courage, creativity, dignity and tangible
Comrades, even our right-wing detractors
are today being forced
to acknowledge the progress we have made.
For them it is indeed difficult to dispute
a World Bank report
which states that our poor, struggling country with all its natural
limitations and in spite of the dismal legacy of economic backwardness,
corruption and mismanagement from the Gairy dictatorship, and the well
list of Imperialist attempts at economic sabotage, achieved 9%
growth in our economy in the first three years of the Revolution.
Furthermore, what can they say about the
reduction of our
unemployment from 49% in 1979 to 14.2% today.
If we stay firmly on the course we have
charted then this modest
growth will continue in the years to come.
And as more economic projects come on
stream, particularly in
construction and agriculture, many more jobs will be created and in a
unemployment will be wiped out in Grenada.
But joyful as that prediction may appear
to be on the surface
there is an underlying problem that we must recognise and address
squarely as we
being the new year.
Yes, there will be many new jobs and yes
there will be sisters
and brothers now unemployed who must take those jobs.
But comrades, what is critically necessary
is that they must be
ready to take up those jobs.
They must be prepared and trained and
educated for those jobs.
We have to recognise that we cannot build
a national economy; we
cannot reclaim our economy from the grips of imperialism without a well
and highly skilled work force.
This low training of our people is a major
weakness and if we do
not move fact to correct it, the progress of the Revolution will be
This is yet another fundamental challenge
that faces our
Revolution and our people. But it is by no means insurmountable.
We can and we will tackle it successfully
but the approach to
this challenge must be in keeping with the tradition that we’ve
since the Revolution.
This approach has been one that says: once
a major problem has
been identified and a top priority attached to it then we should
proceed in a
given period of time to channel our resources and concentrate our
efforts to the solution of that problem.
Following this approach, since the early
days of the Revolution
we have designated each year a special focus.
1979 was the “Year of Liberation”, 1980
the “Year of Education
and Production”, 1981 the “Year of Agriculture and Agro-Industries”,
“Year of Economic Construction” and today I am happy to tell you that
People’s Revolutionary Government has declared 1983 as the “Year of
and Academic Education”.
As in the past, this focus for 1983 was
not chosen arbitrarily or
as the result of a dream.
It is not just a pretty idea that one day
last week jumped out of
the head of a member of the top leadership.
It is a scientific and collective
conclusion reached after many
painstaking hours of analysis and evaluation.
It is true that the political
consciousness, awareness and
understanding of the Grenadian people has advanced swiftly since the
It is also true that relative to other
countries in the region
our people have a fairly high degree of political education.
But, comrades, political education like
all forms of education is
It does not stop after it reaches a
On the contrary, it is dynamic, always
moving always growing and
The complex political and economic
situation in the world today
demands from all our people greater clarity of understanding, sharper
analysis and broader perspectives.
Our people must develop in the new year a
mental grasp on the
true nature of the international capitalist crisis which is holding
progress of our Revolution and the development of all poor countries in
They must know the causes and origins of
They must see clearly the link between
politics and economics,
between imperialist exploitation and persistent poverty, between the
buildup of arms by imperialism and the economic crisis.
With their political consciousness raised
and broadened our
people will better understand the necessity to join and to strengthen
mass organisation and trade unions that already exist.
Political education, comrades, will
prepare our working people
for the sacrifices and hard work required to construct a viable economy
develop a capacity for adequately defending the Revolution.
Political education will help to identify
from the ranks of our
working people the future leaders of the Revolution, and it will help
prepare the working class to assume its historic role of transforming
from backwardness and dependency to genuine economic independence.
So one of the major tasks that confront us
all in 1983 will be to
organise more worker education sessions at the workplaces, and more for
political discussions in the factories, fields, communities and schools
Comrades, the educational system we
inherited from colonialism
and Gairyism was geared to exporting our people, not orienting them to
to social and economic developmental tasks facing the country.
Education and production together with
economic construction were
never seen to be closely interrelated.
The onus is now on us as a free people to
redirect this misguided
The main academic or educational task for
1983, therefore, must
be to push ahead vigorously with the CPE adult education programme, to
thousands more of our working people into this programme because if its
fundamental relevance to the social, political and economic development
C.P.E. certificates will therefore become
more of a critical
asset in the new job opportunities that will be created and an equally
important asset in the areas of training and promotion.
A CPE Adult Education Certificate will
become a recognised
certificate in the society.
Those who get it will be able to use it as
the qualification for
certain jobs and for promotion in existing jobs.
Thus, it must be emphasised that Adult
Education through the CPE
will be important not only for those seeking jobs, but also for those
already have jobs, and also for the elderly, for the poorest of our
indeed for all our people.
The consolidation and further development
of the National
In-Service Teacher Education and Community School Day Programme, and
further laying the basis for the establishment of universal secondary
and the creation of more developed technical training programmes are
critical priorities for 1983.
And all of this of course means that the
students of our country
must take an even more serious and disciplined approach to their
order to make the fullest use of these new opportunities.
The more than 23,000 people before the
Revolution who were out of
work has now been reduced to 5,600 and of this figure, 4,000 are women,
vast majority of whom do not have primary school leaving certificates
special skills or training for most jobs.
But while on the one hand that is the
reality facing us, on the
other hand, the needs of the economy are very different.
We estimate, for example, that in
agriculture 2,500 jobs are
likely to be created over the next three years – jobs for tractor
scientists, farm managers, agricultural economists, economists,
farmers, extension officers and so on; jobs that demand skills for the
agriculture that we are in the process of building.
And it is the same in construction.
The 2,000 new jobs we expect to create in
construction over the
next three years will require plumbers, electricians, masons,
painters, architects, mechanics, surveyors, soil testers, engineers,
and so on.
Yet, any casual examination of the
unemployed, will show that
most of them do not have the necessary skills or training to take up
It is not far different in tourism where
at least another 500
jobs should be created in the next three years, particularly when the
international airport and new hotels and restaurants come on stream.
But again these new jobs will all require
a certain measure of
With our industrial expansion too, once
more we will be looking
for people who can not only read and write but who also have the
ability to use
modern equipment and technology.
In all areas, therefore, it is quite clear
that the answer is no
longer to simply say that if we find jobs for the unemployed then the
Instead, the question that we will
increasingly have to answer is
– do we have the necessary skills to take up the actual jobs that are
This being so, comrades, if we are to
scientifically prepare for
the future, our main priority must be to provide the appropriate
education for those still unemployed, while at the same time,
provide more and more training opportunities for those workers who
We have absolutely no doubt at all, that
over the next three year
or so, unemployment can be completely wiped out in our country, but it
equally clear that this can only be done in a fully productive way
increasing educational and training opportunities and through stepping
unity, discipline and hard work as Party, Government and People.
What are the main tasks for this “Year of
Political and Academic
The main tasks are the following:-
1. Worker education in all workplaces –
state and private.
2. CPE in all villages.
3. CPE also for the workers.
4. Total trade union involvement in CPE
and worker education.
5. More work study programs for our
6. More seminars and more training
programmes by the mass
7. More technical seminars for different
categories of workers in
order to improve their skills.
Our overall objective in 1983 the “Year of
Political and Academic
Education” is to make our country and Revolution a big popular school.
Let study and learning develop into
permanent habits of a
Let us put into full practise that great
principle of the
Revolution that the education never stops – that it is the fundamental
all of our people to have more training, to raise ever higher our level
education so as to know and understand ourselves as a people – who we
where we have come from, where we are going.
Our Party and government have met this
priority because we firmly
believe that it is on the realisation of this basic task that our
Without education, no genuine peoples
democracy can be built
since real democracy always assumes the informed, conscious and
participation of the people
Without education, there can be no real
worker participation, no
substantial increase in production and productivity, no individual and
collective growth, no true dignity, no genuine independence.
As a nation we will in 1983 be striving
collectively and individually
to learn more about ourselves and our condition so that together we can
ahead to a confident future.
And as we pursue this noble objective with
revolutionary zeal and
determination, let us also rededicate ourselves to the struggle for
peace, disarmament, peaceful co-existence and Caribbean integration.
Let us continue to push strenuously for
the unreserved acceptance
in our region of the principle of ideological pluralism and for an end
forms of oppression, exploitation and military aggressions against the
of the Caribbean, Latin America and the entire world.
Sisters and brothers, friends, comrades,
for the first time, this
year, out Nationals and friends of Grenada living in the Caribbean,
America and Europe will have the opportunity of hearing and seeing this
at special get-to-gethers organised abroad by our Embassies and
We therefore take this opportunity to
warmly great our nationals
and friends abroad; to thank them for all of their moral and material
to express again our unswerving solidarity with their struggles; for
a peaceful and productive 1983 and to remind them that Free Grenada, as
waits to welcome them with open arms.
Finally, comrades, let me move into 1983
with a firm resolution
to continue our uncompromising struggle against imperialism and the
In particular, let us reaffirm our
strongest solidarity with the
peoples of South Africa, Namibia, El Salvador and Palestine who are
struggling for their freedom, sovereignty and human rights.
Let us especially remember our brave
sisters and brothers of
Nicaragua who are right not being subjected to such brutal, terrorist
cowardly attacks by imperialism and their agents in Central America.
Let us once more pledge our solidarity
with all anti-imperialist,
progressive, revolutionary and national liberation forces around the
struggling to bring about a more just and happy life for the vast
Forward to a peaceful, productive and
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF FREE GRENADA!
LONG LIVE THE GRENADA REVOLUTION!
FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER!