The Grenada Revolution Online

Bishop Letter to President Reagan
(26 March 1981)



26th March, 1981

His Excellency
Mr. Ronald Reagan
President of the United States
The White House

Dear Mr. President,

Greetings and best wishes to you, your Government and your people.

We in Grenada have heard, read and seen reports on radio, newspaper and television saying in effect that your Government is engaged in an intense diplomatic and press initiative aimed at discouraging European support for international financial assistance for our new international airport. In fact, Mr. William Dyess, spokesperson for your administration, is quoted in the Miami Herald of Sunday, March 22, 1981 as confirming this.

If in fact these reports accurately represent your Government's views, I express deep concern and dissatisfaction with the position of your administration.

You must know of the genuine need for and character of the airport especially because it so very clearly represents a major attempt by Grenada to break with underdevelopment and to assist in bringing economic justice to the people of Grenada. References, allegations and speculations to the contrary give greatly distorted and inaccurate views of this reality.

My Government has always wanted good relations with your Government and people. All your diplomats and officials who have come to Grenada can confirm this. As we have continued to repeat, the basis for such principled good neighbourliness includes the fact that U.S. tourists come to Grenada by the thousands annually; the fact that thousands of United States citizens (residents and students) live in Grenada; included also is the fact that thousands of Grenadians live in the United States. Equally important is the fact that Grenada poses no security threat whatsoever to your country, or indeed, to any other country.

As I am sure you know, my Government has been trying over a period to develop amicable and mutually beneficial bilateral relations between our countries. Indeed, we have made several requests for economic assistance and cooperation, including specific requests for U.S. aid for the airport project itself.

Grenada is a small, poor country making every effort to break out of the cycle of cultural and economic dependency. Ours is one of the many countries characterized by the international community as a "small island state", with well- documented socio-economic and developmental problems. My Government, in the first two years of our existence, has put every possible emphasis on building a viable economic and political existence for our people. 1 hope you will agree that it cannot be in the objective interest of the richest and most powerful country in the world to use its might and power to try to crush one of the smallest and poorest countries in the world; in fact a country of 133 sq. miles, and 110,00 people.

Mr. President I would like to suggest that our two Governments hold bilateral discussions at the highest possible level to discuss developments and to clear up possible misunderstandings. I sincerely look forward to a positive response to this proposal.

I avail myself of the opportunity to extend best wishes and highest consideration to you.

Yours sincerely,

Maurice Bishop,

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