Bishop Speech – Three Years of the Grenada Revolution
Queen’s Park Rally

13 March 1982

Comrades, in the name of our party, our government and our people, I want to welcome you all and to welcome all our invited and overseas guests to this historic and massive third anniversary of our people’s revolution.

Today, three years have passed since our people’s will and giant determination finished with tyranny and fear forever in our country, and these last three years have brought us many transformations, many massive changes.

But seeing this huge assembly before me now, understanding how many of you have come from so many places on the earth; from up and down our Caribbean necklace of islands and right through out continent of America; from all over Europe; from Africa, the land of the fighting Angolans, Namibians, and Seychelles Islanders, through Asia to the heroic, struggling nation of Korea, whose shores are washed by the Pacific Ocean; from Australia and the fighting people of the Pacific Islands; all of this great presence has rammed home an extraordinary truth.

In the old days — and now when we speak about the “old days” in Grenada we speak of just three years ago, because we have all matured that much — in the days of darkness that are gone forever, you would find Grenadians leaving their country in their (sic) thousands, emigrating by sea and by air to far-off shores to escape the dead end of Gairyism.

Our people were locked inside a mentality of visas, migration and despair.

No longer are we a point of departure.

Today we are a point of arrival for people from all over the world, who have come to celebrate with us our third anniversary of our glorious revolution.

We are certainly proud of what we have achieved over these past three years, but we realise also that we are still on the threshold of the real changes that we want to see in our country.

We have only taken the first steps and we have no room in our process for complacency or premature satisfaction.

Our people, through their history, have always struggled and craved for real transformation, have organised, fought, and died for real transformation, and there is no rest for us until we have built a new life in Grenada that will fulfill all the enormous potential of our people, for our people deserve nothing less.

All of this will, of course, depend on how quickly we can expand our economy and build the necessary wealth to construct a new life.

For we are embarking upon our Year of Economic Construction at a time when the capitalist world which surrounds us, and with whom we trade, has created for itself a whirlpool of economic devastation which is today becoming an economic crisis of worldwide proportions.

Their crisis affects us like a leech because we are still reliant upon them for exports and imports, and historically, we have been shackled to their economies through a 400-year imposition of colonisation and a quarter-century of neocolonialism.

Our success must, therefore, be measured in how much we can cut through the chains that have bound us to their system, how rapidly we can immunize our economy from their recession, how quickly we can create our own economic self-reliance that will keep us strong, no matter what happens to the capitalist world.

For, of course, the terms of trade which are favourable to the industrialised countries are inevitably unfavourable to us — that is the great inequality upon which imperialism bases its power.

They control the prices at which we sell our crops which have meant life or death for us; our bananas, our cocoa, our nutmegs.

They also control the prices of the goods we buy from them.

So we are squeezed from both ends.

We are in a vise, and our only way out is real and concrete economic construction.

We import their rising prices, we import their inflation, we import everything unhealthy about their economy and it affects our economy like a cancer.

I know that when I speak to you today of these economic matters, that more and more you are able to understand them.

Our last two months of budget consultation have laid bare the economic truths of our country, and the new economy-consciousness that has risen so massively among our people has created a new popular understanding of our economy, the second great pillar of our Revolution.

If we take the present situation with our nutmegs, for example, we will see that ten [10] years ago [1972], one ton of nutmegs could bring us enough money to buy a car.

Now, for a car of the same value, we would have to sell at least five tons of nutmegs.

So our nutmegs today are worth only a fifth of what they were worth five years ago.

You can imagine how serious that is for our foreign exchange and our imports situation.

And if we look at nutmegs from another angle, we can make an even more important point.

A sister cracking nutmegs at a receiving station in Grenada receives a small wage of $7.10 a day, and that sister would need to crack about 150 pounds of nutmegs in order to earn that $7 for the day.

Those same nutmegs are sold to a broker—a middleman—and taken off to Europe.

Then they are resold to a miller, cleaned, blended, and packaged, and put on the shelves of European supermarkets.

And when one of our sisters or brothers or aunts living in Shepherd’s Bush or Brixton or Hammersmith in London goes to buy a one-ounce carton of Grenada nutmeg, the price of that one ounce of nutmegs is about 20 pence or one of our dollars.

One ounce for $1, but 150 pounds of cracking for $7.

So, our worker here earns $7.10 a day cracking 150 pounds of nutmegs in Victoria, Gouyave, or Grenville, but our families in England and the British working people in London pay the equivalent of the same money for seven [7] ounces of the same nutmegs.

Those seven ounces represent approximately one-third of 1 per cent of what the Grenadian sister earns during one day at one of our receiving stations.

Or to put it another way, the real value of the nutmeg worker’s labour is 300 times what she receives in a day’s wage.

That is what we mean by imperialism at work.

You can see, therefore, what our working people are fighting against every day of their lives, and why we in Grenada are so committed to struggling for the global implementation of the New International Economic Order [NIEO].

But all of us know that struggle will not be finished overnight, and that struggle will be a long and hard campaign, conducted by our comrades all over the developing world, whose peoples are oppressed and battered by the same blood­sucking system of imperialism.

What, therefore, can we do at this moment to wrestle ourselves free of such a stranglehold on our economy?

Clearly, we can no longer rely upon our traditional crops alone.

The fickle world of capitalist trade owes loyalty to no poor and exploited country, particularly one like ours, which is struggling for its economic independence.

So, we have to find new crops, new products, new exports.

We have to diversify.

And this is where our people’s initiative and creative genius has been, and will continue to be, so vital.

Throughout our weeks of budget participation, we have heard suggestions which our agro-scientists and researchers must take very seriously.

We have heard good reasons for processing and canning new products, from callaloo to sprats, and we have seen over the last three years how neglected fruits have been taken up by our people and cultivated to real economic value and effect.

All those mangoes that used to lie on the ground and rot that we used to pelt at each other when we were children, those mangoes are now in tins of nectar and jars of chutney!

Some people used to think there was no potential for eggplant, but now we are exporting thousands of dollars of eggplants to Britain every year and increasing every month.

And we have had a world­­winner and international prize­winner in our own nutmeg jelly, which won in our first year of competition abroad.

It took the Revolution to achieve all this.

For the Revolution knows that the richness of our soil is a huge asset to us, and we have as yet only just begun to realise the wealth it can bring to us.

Our earth is our treasure, and if we work with it, respect it, love it, and enrich it, it will repay us a thousand times over!

And as we diversify our products and look for more and more ways of making even more appetizing and delicious nectars, jams and jellies and other agro-industrial products so that when the people of the world just hear the name “Grenada”, they must begin to smack their lips and their mouths must begin to water.

Besides this, we need, simultaneously and scientifically, to search the world for the new markets for our products.

Grenada’s “Spice Isle” label must be seen in shops in every continent, and we are asking our internationalist friends here to spread the good news of our tasty products.

Take home samples Comrades, for we are not just the Spice Island anymore, we are now also the nectar island, the island of vegetables, of fruits, of sauces, of jams.

Tell the world that, and add that our beaches, our hotels, and the hospitality, friendliness and dignity of our people are always ready to receive our overseas guests.

Over the last year we have spoken much about the “social wage” and we have defined it as all those concrete benefits which you receive, but for which you don’t have to find the money in your pockets to pay or for which you pay only a small part of the real cost — those benefits of the Revolution:

  • Free education
  • Free health care
  • Over 300 free university scholarships abroad
  • Our house-repair programme
  • Our new public transport system
  • Our free school books and uniforms for the poorest children
  • Our eye clinic
  • Our free milk programme
  • Our new housing schemes for workers

These are the benefits that go to make up our social wage.

What we have to make clear, however, is that the money to pay for all of these programmes has to come from someplace.

It doesn’t come from the sky, it doesn’t come from a fairy godmother, it doesn’t come from a money-machine, it doesn’t come because Finance Minister Bernard Coard is able to wave a magic wand.

Everything has a cost, everything must be paid for.

And as we don’t believe in money-machines, and as we have rejected the policy of sinking in a morass of public debt, as we know our people’s wages are low and that extra burdensome taxation would not be a just of satisfactory option, then what will be our source, where will we find the money to maintain and expand these programmes?

For maintain them we must, not only for the benefit of our own workers, but because they are an inspiration and a model to the working people the length and breadth of our Caribbean!

Comrades, the money we need for these programmes and benefits is inside you!

It lies inside your muscle-power and your brain-power, and more than anything else, it lies inside your consciousness and commitment to “Work Harder, Product More, and Build Grenada” — for it is only with determination and resolution, and the greater production and wealth that it will bring, that there will be a guarantee of the continuation and expansion of all the concrete gains of our social wage.

The same truth rings just as clear in relation to our infrastructural development.

For even before the Revolution, our New Jewel Movement understood how economic development could only come with infrastructural development, that to create a revolution meant necessarily to create a new infrastructure.

And that is why we have it as a number-one priority, number-one must, for our people and our country.

And the fulfillment of this is beginning to sprout out all around us:

  • Completion of the first phase of the Eastern Main Road this year and the beginning of construction of the Western main road
  • Development of our Central Water Commission with a much-improved supply of water all over the nation
  • The new telephone system which we shall begin to install this year
  • The new generators we are negotiating to buy for our electricity company so as to bring an end to black outs
  • The 67.5 miles of feeder roads that will open up our agriculture to further production this year
  • Our new radio transmitter
  • Our Ramon Quintana Quarry, stone-crusher and asphalt complex
  • The Sandino prefabricated concrete unit and block-making plant, which incidentally arrived on the St. George’s docks this morning, as yet another gift from our internationalist friends of Cuba
  • Continuation of our international airport and the start of the terminal building in the next few months
  • Construction of warehouses for our Marketing and National Important Board in every parish with vital implications for the expansion of our foreign trade and internal supplies
  • Construction of eight [8] fish-selling centres with deep-freeze facilities and the planned dredging of the St. George’s Harbour to accommodate larger ships for the advancement of tourism and trade.

This is an impressive infrastructural list to try to bring out in one year, but again, it all has a price, it all has to be paid for.

Over the past three years, we have seen magnificent fraternal contributions from our international friends and comrades.

Several of these countries are poor, developing countries like ourselves, but that has not affected their generosity.

It is clear that we would be much further back in our development process without this direct help of our sisters and brothers from many nations: from Cuba, from Iraq, from Algeria, from Syria, from Libya, and from other countries in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, from Korea, from Tanzania and Nigeria, from Mexico and Venezuela, from Canada, from Kenya, form the European Economic Community, and from the socialist countries.

All of this assistance has been very, very welcome and heart-warming to our people.

These nations have reached out to us and supported us because they know that we are an honest government a serious government, a government that will tolerate no corruption, a government that places the welfare of its people as its first overwhelming priority, a government that makes the fullest and most economical use of every cent of assistance that our country receives.

And while we thank these countries from the depths of our hearts, on behalf of all of our people, we are quick to add that none of these countries, not one of them, has ever tried to compromise our freedom or put conditions on their assistance, none of these countries has ever tried to undermine our economic process or pervert our development for their own ends, and we thank them for that also.

So our receipt of their economic aid has taken place in a true relationship of friendship, partnership, and respect for mutual dignity and sovereignty.

But we must realise that many of these countries also have their own problems and that external assistance has to be seen as only a very small part of the solution to our problems.

We cannot sit back and become smug and think we can do it only through receiving external assistance.

That would be a disastrous mistake.

As always we have ourselves, our own discipline, our organisation, our own production, our own self­­reliance and recognition that his country is ours and we and we alone have the duty to build it.

And this is why last Monday’s historic emulation ceremony, the first of its kind that we have had, was so very crucial for the future of our country.

For here were our greatest resources being publicly recognised, here was our greatest power being appreciated, here was the force and dynamo of our future being acclaimed: our incomparable working people, whose determination, commitment, and collective power will add the motor to our production which will drive us victoriously out of economic dependence and towards the self­­reliance and prosperity which is the rightful wage and reward of our people’s struggling history.

The three years of building the foundations of our revolution have caused us to discover much about ourselves.

March 13, 1979, was crucial for us, in that when we seized that sunrise and dawned our own new day in Grenada, we were suddenly, for the first time in our lives, staring at our true selves, looking at a reflection of who we really were, understanding with additional revolutionary insight who we could become.

We began to see more and more clearly the massive potential of our people, and as we worked together to safeguard and consolidate out victory, our people’s genius was set free and begin to sparkle with brilliance.

For as we began, as a people, to confirm concretely that organisation was our greatest weapon, our conviction became doubly reinforced that it was only mass participation and revolutionary democracy that could genuinely move us forward.

And that is why we steadfastly believe that our people constitute the first great and indispensable pillar of our revolution.

As we lay to rest in Grenada the Westminster corpse, we recall with admiration the prophetic words, uttered over 60 years ago, by our great democrat and patriot, T. Albert Marryshow, that one day a great spirit of democracy would come to “level up and level down” this Grenada of ours.

How happy our T.A. would have been today to have lived to see the fulfillment of his prophesy, that democracy is “leveling up and leveling down” in our country.

And there is another reason why the old patriot’s choice of words is vital for us today.

Let me try to make them concrete.

Perhaps not all of us here will remember Point Salines Estate before the Revolution: just bush and salt pond, with ridges and valleys like the fingers of an outstretched hand running down to the sea.

But all of us can now see what our workers and their Cuban internationalist comrades have achieved at Point Salines with their enormous collective effort, co­operation and discipline.

With their own hands and machines they have made Marryshow’s dreams come true, they have leveled hills, they have filled in valleys and ponds, they have made land out of sea and created a new Point Salines, so level and smooth that most, if not all the largest aircraft in the world will soon be able to land upon it.

They have transformed our earth, they have concretely and physically leveled our land.

If the power of work and collective discipline can achieve all of that in two years, it tells you how far we have moved and the unlimited possibilities for our people in the future.

It tells you what our Grenadian people are capable of achieving.

Our zonal councils, our workers' parish councils, our National Women’s Organisation, our National Youth Organisation, our Young Pioneers, our regenerated trade unions of workers and farmers are all mighty achievements: real proof of the progress of our people’s revolutionary democracy.

They are not talkshops; they are not social clubs or garden parties.

Unless they are causing us to produce more, to build more, to organise more efficiently, to democratise more, to create more wealth for our poor and working people, then they are only ornaments, only luxuries.

Their success will, in the final analysis, be measured in the inspiration and ability they give us to produce and the expertise they give us to organise.

The urge and demand for world peace is so dominant that all other issues are dependent on it.

The Grenada Revolution, all other revolutions, and progressive and democratic forces on earth cannot make progress, cannot move forward, cannot develop, cannot be independent without peace.

It is as simple, as fundamental, as that.

The one task that cannot be postponed, the one overriding obligation facing the Caribbean and Latin American region — indeed the challenge that confronts progressive humanity — is the struggle for peace and to safeguard mankind from destruction caused by nuclear war.

We understand today that the struggle for peace and the struggle for development is one and the same struggle.

The struggle for people’s democracy and economic independence are identical: it is like the relationship with the chicken and the egg, the two things defy separation.

Just 37 years ago [1945], the antifascist movement, led by fighting workers and peasants of many countries, defeated that most notorious mass murderer, Adolf Hitler, and stopped him from murdering humanity and imposing on all nations a thousand years of fascist rule.

But what a terrible price was paid to defeat that monster!

Millions dead, all cities destroyed, all countries devastates, six years of bitter, bloody, and brutal warfare.

Today, only a few minutes are needed for the world’s arsenals of nuclear weapons to completely wipe from the face of this planet the totality of mankind’s work.

As a revolutionary people, Grenadians are realists.

We know that we have no other recourse, no other alternative but to fight this threat and resolutely mobilise ourselves in preparation to confront this threat.

We are under no illusions at all that the responsibility, the real blame for the increase of international tension rests fully with Washington’s attempt to seek world domination once more.

United States President Ronald Reagan’s policy of hostility, of economic and political aggression, of personal interference, of subversion, of counter-revolutionary propaganda, can never be grounds for the sober and constructive dialogue that the world needs at present.

Every day the arms race swallows up over [US]$1 billion, while every day over one billion men, women and children continue to suffer from hunger, from disease, from illiteracy, and from underdevelopment.

Raw materials which exist in the Third World, and especially the rare ones for which imperialism hungers—bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, manganese, uranium, oil—are now being squandered for military purposes.

Disarmament will release a quantity of these raw materials for civilian production, and this would make it possible to [increase] the energy capacity of the developing countries; make it possible for science to discover new sources of energy, and for technology to be placed fully at the service of mankind.

The Grenadian people are convinced that peaceful coexistence and disarmament are the essential conditions for the development of a new system of international economic relations which guarantee the liberation of less­­developed countries.

Two years ago, from this very platform, on our revolution’s first anniversary, we called for the Caribbean Sea to be regarded and respected as a Zone of Peace.

Two years later, we still hold firm to that call.

Our view remains that military task forces, air and sea patrols, and all military manoeuvres by foreign powers in our region must be outlawed once and for all.

We believe that military bases and installations must be removed from the territories of the Latin American and Caribbean countries that do not want them.

The people of Grenada and the region demand the right to be free from aggressive military harassment.

We demand an end to the Monroe Doctrine, the Reagan Doctrine, and all other doctrines aimed at perpetuation hegemonism, interventionism, or backyardism in this region of ours.

The people of our region once again demand that their secret right to self-determination be recognised and respected in practice.

We want to see in practice that the people of this region are, in fact, allowed to build their own processes in their own way: free from all outside interference, free from all threats, free from all tic-tacks, free from all attempts to force them to build a process imposed from outside.

We are convinced that peace, independence and development are inextricably connected.

Peace is an imperative precondition for orderly and progressive economic, social and cultural development of our people.

In addition, to be able to pursue social, economic and cultural policies which are necessary for its own peculiar developmental requirements, a country must be truly independent and not be subject to any form of outside pressure or dictation.

This is an inalienable right of all peoples.

We intend to struggle unceasingly to ensure the widest possible recognition for this concept.

Therefore in the coming months and years, we will continue to raise in every appropriate forum to which we have access that our Caribbean must be recognised and respected as a Zone of Peace, independence and development.

Two years ago, we said from this very platform that aid with political strings or unreasonable conditions, which bring about economic hardships on Caribbean peoples, or which consolidate and entrench the rule of the big US companies, must be condemned and avoided like a plague.

Today we are compelled to restate this view in relation to Reagan’s version of the Caribbean Basin Initiative [CBI].

Any casual glance at this version of the Caribbean Basin plan would show that it is very different, indeed a prostitution of the original ideas discussed by Mexico, Canada, Venezuela and the USA—in the Bahamas.

It is obvious that is the reason why these other countries are now out of this particular version of the initiative.

Right from the outset, these other countries took a principled view that the plan must not exclude any country on the basis of ideological or political deviation, and must not have a military component.

These countries and, in particular, Mexico and Canada, were very, very strong on these points.

Therefore, when on two separate occasions, Cuba was excluded from the discussions, it was obvious that the wider plan was dying.

And when Reagan’s representative at the Santo Domingo meeting in October last year, bluntly said that his government was not interested in any “mini-Marshall” idea but rather in promotion of private-sector investment on a bilateral basis, the plan as originally conceived and involving four original countries, was clearly no longer just wounded and dying, but stone-cold dead!

To get a clearer idea of the extent to which this original plan is dead, and to understand how it was prostituted by this new US plan, let us reflect on the original 13 points enunciated at the Jamaica and Dominican Republic meetings by the foreign ministers of the region.

When we examine these 13 points outlined by the foreign ministers of the region, we will discover that every single one of the points made by the people of the region has been completely violated, ignored and broken — every single one.

  1. Participation in the programme should be open to all territories in the region.
  2. The programme should respect the sovereignty and integrity of states, the integrity of regional institutions and their autonomous character.
  3. Wherever possible, the programme should utilise regional institutions and indigenous resources and expertise.
  4. The programme to be formulated should be truly reflective of national goals and priority areas for development, and the criteria used in granting aid should not be based on political or military considerations.
  5. The programme should respect the right of the people of each state to determine for themselves their own path of social and economic development free from all external interference or pressure.
  6. There should be no diminution in resource flows either to the region as a whole or to individual member states. Rather, there should be additional flows within an agreed time­­bound programme, and with a major portion being in the form of grants.
  7. Ideological pluralism is an irreversible fact of international relations and should not constitute a barrier to programmes of economic co­operation.
  8. Substantial flows of official development assistance and other forms of government­­to­­government assistance are vitally necessary for essential infrastructural development and to create the conditions for investment, both foreign and regional.
  9. Substantial private investment, both foreign and local, is an essential element if development is to proceed at an acceptable rate.
  10. The flow of resources under the programme, should contribute to the maintenance and strengthening of the independence of the countries of the region.
  11. The programme should be directed towards strengthening ongoing regional integration and co­operation and exchange, particularly in the industrial, financial, technical and trade areas in order to get maximum economic and developmental benefits at minimal cost through joint efforts.
  12. The programme should respect the commitments of individual member states to regional objectives, and to the goals of the developing countries as a whole.
  13. To maintain peace, security, stability, which are essential to the achievement of the social and economic development of the region, the principle of non-interference must be respected.

The Caribbean plan should cover an initial five-year period and be based on the principles outlines in the previous section.

It must pay special attention to the balance of payments and the need to remove the foreign exchange and other constraints to development, and to provide the infrastructural, technological, institutional, skilled and managerial capability requirements of the production and marketing processes in industry, agro-industry, agriculture, transportation, communication links, and energy.

And it should also assist in promoting the diversification of production in the Caribbean countries.

What is now clearer is that this plan is meant only to deal with narrow military, security and strategic considerations of the USA, and it not genuinely concerned with economic and social development of the people of this region.

Where is the proof?

It is contained in Reagan’s speech to the Organisation of American States on February 24 [1982]:

The Caribbean region is a vital strategic and commercial artery for the United States.

Nearly half of our trade, two­­thirds of our imported oil, and over half of our imported strategic minerals pass through the Panama Canal or the Gulf of Mexico.

Make no mistake, the well­being and security of our neighbors in this region are in our own vital interest.

And this sort of justification is repeated more than once in the speech.

We are not surprised because this has always been the USA’s approach, and with Reagan in power, this narrow nationalist approach will not only continue, but will become much more emphasised.

We recall John Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress” plan was [US]$20 billion, or 57 times more money than what is now proposed for the CBI.

And who can forget how dramatically that grandiose Alliance for Progress collapsed?

They speak of [US]$350 million, but $350 million is equivalent to the profits of a big US company working for only three days of year-round profits.

How shameful it is to reflect that the present military manoeuvres, announced at the same time as this CBI, costs more than the whole CBI plan.

Reagan says his plan will bring stability to the region.

That is only hypocritical nonsense because what is clear is that Reagan’s bilateral aid approach is certainly designed to destroy regional unity.

What is also clear is that the plan will also crush local private investors in the region while promoting and expanding the role of big US companies.

There is no doubt that is the new strategy of colonisation.

In fact, Reagan’s ridiculous emphasis on private sector investment downplays infrastructural development, and this is itself a guarantee that private investment will not come.

We observe, too, that in this so­­called “Caribbean” Basin Initiative, only two Caribbean islands will benefit in any serious way, and only one of these is a Caribbean Community country.

Reagan certainly managed to keep a lot of people dancing to his tune, making dozens of expensive trips and waiting with eager arms outstretched — all for nothing.

His Basin plan has turned out to be the con game of this century.

The CBI plan reflects the chauvinism and Ugly Americanism of Reagan, in the vulgar way in which he has completely ignored and discarded the views of Caribbean countries as to what kind of plan they wished to see.

The concern of his plan is with his warmongering “national security” interests.

The bulk of the CBI is nothing more than money and arms for fascist dictatorships and oligarchies as represented by El Salvador.

And giving money to El Salvador today is like sinking money into a hole or flushing it down a toilet.

Such money might as well be saved for the massive job of national reconstruction, which patriots of El Salvador in the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front and the Revolutionary Democratic Front will have to undertake after their certain victory.

On top of this insult, indignity, charade, masquerade and pappyshow represented by the CBI, Reagan’s speech to the OAS also contained vulgar attacks on Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada and the fighting people of El Salvador.

Reagan attacks Nicaragua, he attacks Cuba, he attacks Grenada, he attacks the ordinary working people of El Salvador who have picked up arms to regain their country from genocidal oppression and imperialist plunder.

But he does so out of desperation, out of the recognition that the people of the region now understand very clearly that there is an alternative to fascism, to nineteenth century capitalism and dictatorship.

That alternative was shown in the glorious Cuban revolution and continued with the Grenadian and Nicaraguan revolutions.

Reagan attacks our countries because he understands very well that neither his words, nor his belligerent actions and threats, will stop the heroic people of Cuba from continuing to go forward with their mighty revolution — a beacon, a model of hope, an example of dignity and struggle for the people of the region and of the world to emulate.

Reagan understands the power and the impact of the Cuban Revolution.

He attacks Nicaragua today, knowing full well that he applauded long and well when Somoza was waging terror.

He attacks Nicaragua today, understanding very well that the children of Sandino have made massive strides in their Herculean tasks of national reconstruction which they so heroically shouldered.

He attacks Nicaragua today, understanding very well that neither the November plan of CIA terrorism against Nicaragua, nor the economic warfare and complicity with mercenaries, will ever be able to turn back this glorious people’s revolution or stop the ordinary poor and working people of Central America from longing to be noble Sandinista fighters themselves.

And what can we say of Reagan’s hypocritical call for elections in El Salvador?

The last free election in El Salvador was dozens of years ago, all other so­­called elections in that country have been farcical and fraudulent.

And on top of that, today conditions are far from normal.

In 1932 over 30,000 Salvadoran patriots were murdered by the then dictator.

In the past two years, another 30,000 patriots have been murdered by Duarte’s butchers with the fullest financial, military and diplomatic backing from the USA.

A state of martial law, a state of siege exists in El Salvador today.

What kind of elections could there be in such a state?

Today, we want to repeat once again our fullest support for the Mexican-French declaration calling for a negotiated political solution and for the recognition of the FMLN and the FDR as authentic representative forces.

Today, we also want to repeat our fullest support for the recent statesmanlike offer of Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo to act as an intermediary in the Central American situation.

We applaud President Lopez Portillo for his statesmanship.

We applaud today too, the speech and statesmanlike response of Cuban President Fidel Castro and the Sandinista leadership in accepting this offer and stating their readiness to assist in ensuring a just and negotiated solution to the problems of the region.

Now we wait on Reagan for a serious response.

But whether or not the Reagan administration chooses to wake up to the realities, one thing is certain.

The children of Jose Marti, of Camilo, of Che, of Fidel, the children of Sandino likewise, will continue to write brilliant page after brilliant page in the history of the Caribbean and Latin American region.

Equally certain is the fact that the children of Farabundo Marti will one day soon join the children of Jose Marti, the children of Sandino, and the children of Fedon, Butler, Marryshow, Rupert Bishop, Harold Strachan, and Alister Strachan in liberating their own territory, and starting on the road to people’s power in their own countries.

That is certain.

In the presence of our very good friends, outstanding revolutionary Comrade Jorge Risquet, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba; and of Comrade Carlos Nunez, President of the Council of State and member of the National Directorate of the Sandinista front; and of our comrade representative from El Salvador, we say that the people of Grenada will always give our fullest support and solidarity to your revolutionary processes.

Today, we also have to recognise the tremendous work and the great job of nation­­building that is being undertaken by a country far away in Asia.

This country has sent to our third anniversary festivities their premier, one of the top leaders in their country; a country with a brave heroic people; a country that was victorious over US imperialism in the late 1940's; a country that still continues today to be threatened by the US; a country under a brave and wise leadership.

In the presence of the premier of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [Premier Li Jong-ok] and his delegation, we in Grenada pledge to continue to give our fullest support to your just struggles for reunifying your country and making once again, one Korea, one people.

Today we know our comrades in the DPRK are still facing threats from manoeuvres right now taking place on their soil and in their region.

We want to say to them that they also have our fullest solidarity in their struggle to end those hostile manoeuvres in their fight to have all US soldiers removed from Korean soil.

Coming from almost as far away, from a chain of islands near Africa, with a brave, fighting and heroic people who had their own revolution a few years ago, and whose president [Albert René] is a very good friend of Grenada, the foreign minister [Jacques Hodoul] of Seychelles has travelled a long, long distance to be with us here today.

The Seychelles late last year faced a mercenary attack organised and financed by South Africa with the full backing of the USA.

But these brave people, in discovering those mercenaries on their land, with their AK [automatic rifle] in their hand, they drove them off.

The South Africans were made to flee as puppy dogs with their tails between their legs—well beaten.

These comrades have done what our own people in Grenada will do if any mercenary or outside aggressive force chooses to land on our soil.

We also have here with us our friends from southern Africa, from Namibia, a country that today continues to be denied its independence because South Africa has decided that they should not be independent.

The Reagan administration in the US has been the main force pushing to ensure that the timetable and plan for independence in Namibia are made so difficult, so full of ridiculous clauses and conditions that the elections are bound to be a farce.

We, therefore, expect that the people of Namibia, under their authentic leadership, the South­­West Africa People’s Organisation, will continue to fight with arms in hand to win their freedom and their dignity.

We again pledge our fullest support and solidarity with the people of Namibia.

We also pledge, on this platform today, our continuing and fullest support for our sisters and brothers in Angola, for our sisters and brothers in the African National Congress in South Africa, and for all of the front­line states that are today facing daily pressure from the South African military.

To all our friends in southern Africa, who are today still fighting for national liberation or to consolidate their hard­­won independence, the people of Grenada today send their warmest greetings and salutations.

And we also recognise today the struggles of the people of Libya; the struggles of the people of Iraq, who had their nuclear reactor blown up by Israel last year; Syria and Lebanon; of the Western Sahara; and the people of Palestine who are today continuing to struggle for their homeland.

Today, we think of the vicious and wicked annexation of the Golan Heights by the Israel, we think of the daily attacks on Lebanon and Syria by the Israelis.

Today, we once again send our warmest and firmest handshake to all our friends in the Arab world and particularly to the people of Palestine who must one day have their homeland returned.

Today, we support on this platform all the struggles of the peoples of the world for national liberation, for the New International Economic Order [NIEO], for the New International Information Order [NIIO], for peace, for prosperity, for social progress.

And today, I also want to ask you especially to remember a very brave people who have hit out against local reaction and imperialism, a people who only two days ago had to fight against these forces inside their own country.

We want to remember a country [Suriname] that only two days ago was subjected to yet another attack on its process, yet another counter­revolutionary attempt to roll back the new life that is being built for its people.

On that same day that fighting broke out two days ago, we publicly expressed our solidarity to the leadership and the people of that country.

We never expected a response because the fighting was still continuing.

Nor did we expect to receive a message of solidarity for our third anniversary because of the difficult situation.

Thus it was with great pleasure and shock that we received a message from the leader of that revolutionary process, yesterday.

The message reads:

The Government and the people of Suriname, although in a situation of distress due to counter­revolutionary threats made by rightist opportunists in the army, want to convey to you, the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada and the people of Grenada, the deepest and sincerest congratulations for the results that you have achieved over three years of a genuine people’s Revolution.

The government and people of Suriname follow your development with great attention.

We try to learn from you and we know that international solidarity of revolutionary countries is essential to succeed in this day and age where international imperialist and fascist forces try to destabilise the rightful aspirations of people who fight for genuine sovereignty and development.

Long live the Grenada Revolution.

“Signed: Desi Bouterse, Commander-in-Chief of the Army”

If we look at our geography books or consult our atlases, we see that our country, Grenada, is defined as an island, a separate piece of land surrounded by water.

But, as I look around this huge multitude this afternoon, and see all the faces from so many parts of our earth, I see quite clearly that while, of course, Grenada remains physically an island, Grenada is no longer really an island!

No more can we ever see ourselves as separate, but off, a little rock in the world’s great seas.

For your presence here this afternoon, Comrades and Friends from throughout the nations of the world, proves to us that we are an integral and individual part of the mainland of the world’s people, and that the seas that surround our country can be bridged and leapt over by anyone who wishes to share our process, anyone who wants to see for themselves the freedom we are making, anyone who has the independence of mind and spirit not to be fooled by the imperialist media&#monsters and press potentates who spread their lies throughout the world about our revolution.

To all of you who have scorned the distance between your countries and ours, and flown across land and water to reach us and be with us on this the third anniversary of our people’s grasp of power and the irreversible rupture with the Brutality and buffoonery of the Gairy dictatorship — our hearts are moved that you have come to us.

Our joy at your being with us, we express with our own invitation to share with us everything in our country: our advances, our problems and setbacks, our successes and our mistakes, our achievements and our plans.

We have a national consciousness of the profound need for criticism and self-criticism, and we have nothing to hide.

We are justly proud of the steps we have made in three years to wrench our country out of the vortex of underdevelopment into which it was sucked, and through which it whirled in pain, agony and decay under the dictatorship.

We are practically moved at the daily discoveries we are making about the huge capacity and creative genius of our people, and the energy and commitment with which they are fighting the great battle for economic construction, which we are waging in our country.

Every ounce of effort and drop of sweat means investment for us, for our people have learned that nothing will come out unless everything is put in!

But we are also continually inspired by our people’s ability to pause, analyse and consider their progress, to identify their errors and weaknesses, and to resolve their problems, contradictions, and failures as they move in their masses along the road we are building towards a new society.

If you can help us in that process, come with your suggestions, your help and your criticisms for the overriding and fundamental principle in our revolution is consultation with all of our people through their structures of democracy, their workers' parish councils, their zonal councils, their trade unions, their NWO, their NYO,  and their Young Pioneers.

In the spirit of these organs of popular democracy, we welcome your views and your advice.

We also ask you to take the truth of our revolution back to your homeland for the truth itself is revolutionary and we are confident that it cannot harm us.

It is in itself our comrade.

It is also the enemy of our enemies and the greatest weapon we have.

Our detractors and vilifiers have neutron bombs and wage chemical warfare.

We hold the truth of our process out towards them: our free health, our free education, our free school books and uniforms, our free milk, our national bus service, our international airport, our clinic, our fishing fleet and saltfish plant, our agro-industries, our house-repair programmed, our Centres for Popular Education.

These are the great truths of the Grenada Revolution.

As we begin the fourth year of our revolution, it is very clear that the great strength of the revolution, first and foremost, lies in the unbreakable link between the masses and the party; between the masses and the government, between the masses and the state.

This is what gives our revolution an invincible force because the masses see the party, see the state and the government as theirs; not something foreign or strange, or apart or isolated from them, but living, throbbing entities that embody their aspirations, their interests and their hopes.

Over the years the leadership of this Revolution have learnt much from you, the heroic Grenadian people; over and over again you have renewed and fortified our confidence, our faith, our revolutionary enthusiasm, our resolve; every day you help to educate us, you help the party and the leaders to develop a clearer awareness of our process, you help make us more revolutionary.

And we are convinced that these fraternal relationships will expend and endure in years to come.

For together as party, government and people, we will continue to learn from each other, to share ideas and confidence with each other,  to hide nothing from each other and to love each other.

We will continue to work harder together, produce more together and build Grenada together — a Grenada that will continue to march proudly forward into the bright sunshine of a great future.


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