The Grenada Revolution Online

Letter from San Diego, 10 Oct 1979

NOTE: The Gairy form letter of consolidated points [see below] includes content referring to a male person of influence in the United States. On a copy of the front page of this same letter, Eric Gairy has noted "Letter Sent to Pres. Carter" in his identifiable handwriting.

[Grenada Seal and Letterhead for
Sir Eric M. Gairy],

October 10, 1979
[Street Address, Apartment Number]
San Diego, Ca. 92110
[Telephone Number]

I have never had the privilege and pleasure of meeting with you, but I know of you by reputation---your deep and profound interest, and concern for people, your diligence and adherence for fair play and justice for all, regardless of colour, race or creed. Moreover, your concern and interest are nobly extended beyond the boundaries of your constituency and country, and you have undoubtedly manifested your concern for all humanity.

It is in the above context, therefore, I am writing you, strengthened by the advice of some of your ardent admirers and supporters in the County of San Diego where I have taken up temporary residence. I was told to pout my case before you for "quick results".

The attached documents and photographs hopefully will give you some brief idea of my public involvement, the reciprocal friendship and respect that I have been privileged to enjoy with some of your people, and my present political plight, etc.

It is general knowledge that people in your position are very busy and indeed, by your reputation you are an extremely busy person. In consequent, please allow me to jot down a few points of interest, as follows:

  1. I have been actively engaged in politics as an elected member for over twenty-eight (28) years, of which most of the time as "Head of Government".

  2. I came to the United States on March 12, on Government business, as indicated by the attached programme.

  3. A small Opposition group - Communist indoctrinated, Castro-oriented took over the control of government at gunpoint within twenty-four (24) hours of my absence. This same group is one of three political parties who joined together in a "peoples' Alliance" and opposed my Political party in the last general elections, and lost to my party. So they are only one-third of the opposition.

  4. By the gunpoint seizure of our elected government (A) they are, in practice, defying the Elections authority who was appointed by the Governor-General, who in turn was appointed by her Majesty the Queen of England; (B) they are committing a judicial contempt in that they filed election petitions which were heard by the Supreme Court in which decisions were given against them: (C) the same applies to the West Indies Court of Appeal before whom they subsequently appeared and lost again simply because they had absolutely no case: and (D) their action is tantamount to an insult to the Grenada population who rejected them at the polls, and these people are now being forced to be governed by them at gunpoint.

  5. This group comprised basically of Communist idlers and vandals, and led by young professionals, educated in communist doctrine. They openly declared that they do not like management, white people, and employers, and that all businesses must go to the "boys".

  6. Grenada has a fairly large number of English, American and Canadian residents who have invested in some lovely properties, and who are now being pushed around by Cubans and the Communist regime called "New Jewel Movement".

  7. Castro is very anxious to spread communism throughout the Caribbean, and Grenada has the record of being the most articulate among the other small islands to prevent the spread of this ungodly ideology. He already has, de facto, Guyana and Jamaica.

  8. On behalf of my Government I offered Grenada for a Naval or military base to the United States Government several times without success. I have always pointed out the need to have some uniformed American presence in the Eastern Caribbean, and Grenada is the gateway to South America and holds a very geographically strategic position.

  9. Surveys have proved that there is off-short oil in three areas within our boundaries, and Cuba is certainly aware of this.

  10. Over the past few months I have been trying to get the co-operation and assistance of the Department of State regarding the restoration of our elected Government, based on the very high principles so clearly enunciated and proclaimed by the United States Government and people. I have received cold negative responses in all my endeavors.

  11. Since my plight and that of my people, the friendship and respect of United States Government seem to have gone into abysmal oblivion with a somewhat distasteful haste. My "Security" and my diplomatic status have been officially withdrawn. And now, I am without funds (not successful in harnessing my funds).

  12. Grenada's present situation is not paralleled by any other situation in any part of the world involving a coup. Unlike other countries, Grenada has been having its general elections regularly according to our constitution; our government was not established by any coup; we had no dictator who planted himself in government as head or otherwise; the present regime is in defiance of the ruling of two courts of justice; the present regime was previously rejected by the people at the election polls.

  13. When the Communist-trained coup made its attack of the Grenada army of two hundred men, most of whom were sleeping in the dormitory, (5 a.m., March 13) the rebels soaked the building with fuel and set it ablaze before firing their guns. They shot the Captain dead on the spot, and held the men who were able to escape the burning building. Many young army men were missing and were believed to be imprisoned by the coup. However weeks afterwards many skeletons were found on the spot of the burnt dormitory.

  14. All Government members were locked up with the exception of four of us in the United States. By the please of Church Heads and other person, two more have been let out of prisons. All the others are still in prison. Many of our government supporters are said to be "missing" (Killed). Perhaps ninety percent of our people's freedoms have been taken away from them, and there is pandemonium with fear and tension.

May I say that one would not have conceived that such a gruesome and atrocious situation could exist, as it were, in the backyard of the United States is America. Grenada is a beautiful country, a country enjoyed by American tourists and winter residents. And now, the questions is: "Would the United States of America, being the strongest democratic power in the Western Hemisphere, continue to be oblivious to the situation, and to simply sit by and allow a few over-ambitious 'rejected' stooges of Castro and Cuban personnel to dominate the lives of an humble and helpless God-fearing people, a people who have always extended warm welcome and friendship to the American people?" Let justice be done to a country and its people whether it be as big and powerful as the United States or as small and insignificant as Grenada.

With the reinstatement of the people's elected Government in Grenada, the United States is assured of Grenada's continuing friendship; Grenada's acceptance of United States guidance and leadership hemispheric and world matters; Grenada's offer to accommodate a U.S. Military or Naval Base; and the right to explore, for our mutual benefits, Grenada's off-shore oil potential.

With Russian Brigade in Cuba, Castro now has additional manpower and resources, and is able to send his men out of Cuba and has actually been sending Cubans to my Country as military instructors and advisors.

In conclusion, within the context of the U.S.A. - U.S.S.R. - Cuba issue on the "Combat troops", and the decision to strengthen American Forces in the Caribbean area, I think that now is the opportune time for discussions between your Government representatives and myself, before the Cuban communistic regime become any stronger in my country and spreads into the rest of the Caribbean.

Please, Sir, permit me to thank you in advance for your kind co-operation and assistance in this important matter, and please be assured of my highest consideration and esteem.

Yours very truly,

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