Sisters and Brothers, we begin the year 1981 which has
declared by the People’s Revolutionary Government as the year of
and Agro-Industries, with a greater degree of national unity and
determination to build a New Grenada where peace, freedom, justice and
The past year has had its ups and downs, successes and
Although it was a year when all our people suffered
sorrow at the death of the eight  patriots and the injury of dozens
the dirty hands of vicious, counter revolutionary terrorists,
many areas of national life, progress was made in 1980.
Some of this progress was spectacular, some reasonable
modest, and in certain areas we did fall short of our goals and targets.
Altogether, however, our people gained valuable
more of their fundamental rights fulfilled and our revolution
moved forward in spite of the efforts by imperialism and its
here and abroad, to slander, destabilise and disrupt our process.
In 1980, we witnessed continuous strides in the
our International Airport. The Grenadian and Cuban workers in fraternal
displaying exemplary efforts to ensure that the first stage is
November or December this year.
But perhaps the Revolution’s most impressive advances
were in the areas of Public Health and popular education.
Thousands of poor working people benefited directly
gains. For the first time in our history, the masses can now enjoy free
medical care at governmental hospitals, clinics and health stations
Instead of one dental clinic as before the Revolution,
now have the services of seven  dental clinics, one for each parish.
Over forty  persons are now being treated daily by
specialists at the Eye Clinic, and for the people of Petit Martinique,
produced regular and very often weekly visits of doctors and dentists.
The equipment, medicines and supplies in our two 
were much improved last year, but the high prices our poor masses are
pay for medicine remain an area of vital concern for the Revolution and
problem must be seriously addressed in 1981.
Similarly, the question of improving the quality of
nutrition for the poor and working masses will demand much greater
the new year.
We can state with pride and satisfaction that in 1980,
thousand Grenadians received various forms of free medical care from
patriotic Grenadian doctors, some of whom returned to the homeland
Revolution, and from the hard–working Cuban doctors, who in the true
internationalism are assisting our Revolution.
Last year we repeatedly stressed the important link
Education and Production. We pointed out
that we could not truly be liberated, that we could not raise our
living, that indeed we could not build a modern, prosperous nation
our people were properly educated, and had acquired the vital skills
for the construction of the new society that we are trying to build.
We said over and over again that we will continue to
1981, the indisputable truth that we would only be able to lift our
of poverty and backwardness by increasing the production of material
services, and further that we will only raise production and beat back
ignorance, superstition and damaging rumours by raising our educational
and broadening our awareness and consciousness.
In 1980 we began to apply these concepts in a concrete
For example, school fees for secondary schools were
$12.50 per term, thereby easing the financial burdens of educating
children on many poor and working parents.
And this year we confidently expect that as from
secondary education will become absolutely free in our country.
The number of scholarships to secondary schools have
the past year and the total number of children now receiving secondary
education has increased, especially since the opening of the Bernadette
Secondary School in Happy Hill in September last year. And this of
only the second Government Secondary School to be launched in over
At present, over two hundred  of our finest sons
daughters are studying at universities abroad. And this number is
be increased in 1981.
In a few years these young Grenadians will return to
as doctors, dentists, engineers, economists, linguists, scientists,
agriculturalists and agronomists, skilled conscious patriots service
and strengthening the Revolution.
Comrades, 1980 also witnessed the start of our
Training Programme which seeks to vastly improve the teaching standards
Primary Schools, creating the new teacher for the new society.
Of great significance and short term value to the
economy are the
many production oriented training programmes which got off the ground
- programmes in Fishing, in Cooperatives, in Agriculture, Tourism, in
Public Service and in the Militia and the Police Service.
In August of last year  we began the battle
illiteracy and ignorance, launching the Centre for Popular Education [CPE]
and we are
now well on the way to ridding the national of this historical social
This programme will of course continue until our country becomes
of this evil.
In 1980 also, the Year of Production and Education,
inefficiency and corruption had been substantially reduced on the state
thereby making it possible for more farms to turn out a profit than
Also on the state farms last year , the
the policy of equal pay for equal work
performed by women workers, and a profit sharing scheme to benefit all
on state farms that make a surplus.
The rehabilitation and replanting programme in the
sector has been reasonably successful, with more seed and plants given
farmers this year that ever before the Revolution.
In 1980, we have been able to further diversify our
crops to the point where we even exported modest quantities of lettuce,
grapefruits, oranges, eggplants and mangoes.
We opened our Coffee Processing Plant and completed the
construction of our Agro–Industrial complex, which would soon start
canned fruits and juices for domestic consumption and for export.
In the area of fishing, not only
have we begun to increase our catch, but we are also now
salting, drying and filleting our own fish for local consumption.
This achievement brings tremendous prospects for
large import bill for fish and fish products.
In Tourism, 1980 saw an increase in the number of stay
visitors and indicators are that the 1981 season would be the best in
Improvement in the delivery of social services to our
stepped up in 1980. More Primary School children received free milk
Three  new Community Centres with facilities for
meetings, film shows and recreational activities were also built.
And over 500 poor workers received house repair
the National House Repaid programme.
A new Maternity Leave Law, giving our women workers a
right to be
paid during pregnancy by employers was sponsored by the National
Organization (NWO) and they were heartily supported and passed into law
People’s Revolutionary Government after prolonged public debate.
Direct social benefits were brought to our working
in the form of stable prices for basic imported products such as sugar,
and cement. This was made possible by the effective functioning of the
Importing and Marketing Board [NMIB], which was set up after our
Revolution. In fact, our current price of 68 cents per pound for brown
the lowest in the Eastern Caribbean.
The Marketing Board has also been responsible for the
certain cash crops to foreign markets, and late last year it purchased
which will soon be made operational for transporting local products to
parts of the region.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of material like
cement, blocks, stones, nails, galvanise and so on were given by the
of Communication and Works to voluntary work brigades all over the
which continued in 1980 to fix roads, build bridges and retaining
drains and cut overhangings.
We sincerely hope that these work brigades will
continue in 1981
to perform their heroic voluntary, un paid work on Sundays.
Their contribution to the national reconstruction
deserves the recognition and admiration of all of our people, and their
inspiring example should be emulated in the coming year.
Improved financial services for our people were made
last year by another creation of our Revolution - the National
(NCB) which registered remarkable growth in 1980, opening new offices
George’s and substantially increasing its financial assets.
Operating as the bank of the people, N.C.B. was able to
loans available to more of our working masses at reasonable interest
to other depositors, higher rates on their savings and accounts.
In 1981, with the people’s support, N.C.B. is sure to
its impressive growth.
In the New Year, the National Co–operative Development
(NACDA), another institution created by the Revolution, will push ahead
the objective of marrying idle lands to idle hands.
We expect NACDA to make an impact on our chronic
problem with the establishment in 1981 of more productive cooperatives
agriculture, in handicrafts and in other areas.
And we take the opportunity to appeal once again to our
unemployed brothers and sisters to join or to form co–operatives under
guidance and training of the comrades at NACDA.
The people in our sister island of Carriacou are facing
Year, pleased and proud at the development projects, some of which were
completed and others begun in 1980, for example, the Carriacou airstrip
been resurfaced and a special task force equipped with modern machines
engaged in expensive road repair and is preparing the ground work for
electricity to more villages in Carriacou.
The grassroots People’s Democracy, which found
the coming of the Revolution, was strengthened in 1980, with many more
joining mass organizations, joining the militia and getting involved in
Community Health and Education Councils.
In short, exercising the fundamental civil rights to
participation on a day to day basis i the running of their villages and
Membership in the National Youth Organization [NYO] and
National Women’s Organization [NWO] substantially increased las year
and it is
expected to increase even more in 1981 as more and more of our people
understand the importance of being organised, mobilised, vigilant and
to build and defend the Revolution.
This unique form of democracy, made possible only by
Revolution, has brought a new sense of dignity and self respect to the
working people of our country.
In the area of Sports and Culture, our people continue
to find in
1980 meaningful channels for creative expression.
Our sportsmen, our artists, our poets and musicians
consistently by the Revolution, have raised their levels of performance
We expect that the Centre for Popular Education [CPE]
literacy programme will continue to act as a major stimulus for
cultural and artistic expression for the coming year.
Comrades, you can recall that the People’s
Government (P.R.G.) inherited a shattered economy and a bankrupt
left behind by the dictator Gairy.
However, despite this tremendous obstacle, we were able
announce to the nation in an unprecedented budget address from Queen’s
1980 budget for $103 million which cut income taxes for 30% of our
This budget was made double the last one under Gairy,
million put aside for capital Expenditure to crease productive
employment and social services.
On the international front in 1980, the Grenada
strengthened the prestige it enjoys among progressive, revolutionary
loving people all over the world.
By maintaining a principled Non–Aligned foreign policy
respect for national sovereignty and non–interference in the domestic
of other countries, our Government wishes to continue peaceful and
relations with all countries, except the most blatantly fascist
the world, like South Africa.
Our country in 1981, will continue to play an active
various international forums, the United Nations, the Non–Aligned
Organization of American States, Socialist International, the Caribbean
Community, the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and
Along with others, we continue to press for a New
Economic Order, and also for a New International Information Order and
all forms of military aggression, intimidation, fascism and backyardism.
Comrades, as we prepare to face the challenges of 1981,
let us do
so with sober and realistic expectation for the amount of national
can made in the New Year.
Simply to maintain the economic and social standards we
in 1980, will be a struggle that will test our patriotism and
commitment and will demand the fullest of our creative energy.
The hard reality is that our economy is still dependent
large extent on the economic of the major imperialist powers. They
much they will pay for our cocoa, nutmegs and bananas, while at the
they put high prices on manufactured goods and foodstuffs which we
We will continue to aim this year to lessen this
As you all know, the price of cocoa on the world market
fallen and will continue to remain low in 1981. This does mean less
less foreign exchange to be earned by our country.
While cocoa prices fall, the price of technology which
need to develop our economy and which we have to import is constantly
The price of imported oil is expected to rise by 50%
and so too
are freight and shipping costs.
What then can we do in 1981 to fight these common
First and foremost, we must increase production,
the areas of Agriculture and Agro–Industries. It is for this reason
has been declared the year of “Agriculture and Agro–Industries”.
In conjunction with increased production we must
struggle for the complete eradication of
we must guard against waste and we must strive towards higher levels of
efficiency and performance in our work places, and in our schools.
In addition, we should become more conscious and
about how the Grenadian economy is structures, how it functions and how
work together to strengthen it.
In this year of Agriculture and Agro–Industries,
tasks lie ahead.
We need to product more food, for local use and for
export and to
rehabilitate our cocoa, our coconut and other fields.
We must being the thousands of acres of idle lands
cultivation, engage in the production of animal feed, using local raw
that are wasting, expand propagation of plants and step up our forestry
In 1981, the Revolution will continue to struggle for
socio–economic conditions for agricultural workers and farmers and for
educational and informational services to suit their needs.
Sisters and brothers, another priority for this year
must be the
organisation and mobilisation of the masses to get more involved in the
programmes of the Revolution.
In the present dangerous regional and international
must prepare ourselves for the certainty that our country will be under
attack by reactionary forces and for the possibility of military
Under such dangerous circumstances, it is imperative
people be equipped and ready to defend our country against possible
This means in practice that in 1981 we must upgrade the
of training and preparedness of our People’s Militia.
All patriotic Grenadians should therefore come forward
tomorrow for possible selection for advance militia training as a
member of the
Sisters and Brothers, Comrades, on behalf of all the
the People’s Revolutionary Government, I wish to extend solidarity and
wishes for a peaceful, productive and happy 1981.
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF FREE GRENADA!
LONG LIVE THE GRENADA REVOLUTION!
FORWARD EVER! BACKWARD NEVER!