The Grenada Revolution Online

 USSR FlagWhat About the Soviets?

Established in 1922 and dissolved in 1991, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Leonid Brezhnev, Secretary General, 1964-82 and Yuri Andropov, Secretary General, 1982-84 were the two Soviet leaders ultimately responsible for foreign relations with the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada. 

Were There Soviet Combatants in Grenada?

Question:    The New York Daily News contained an article that the U.S. troops have captured Soviet Combatants in Grenada who were actively resisting the U.S. troops? Is this article accurate?

Answer:     No evidence suggests any Soviets participated in the hostilities.

From Hearing Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, 98th Congress, 1st session, Subcommittee on Department of Defense, Situation in Lebanon and Grenada, circa 12 November 1983 with questions submitted to Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.

Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev

Brezhnev shared power with the chairman of the Council of Ministers and the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet until his several years of serious ailment before his death. A diplomatic party from Grenada which included Governor General Paul Scoon and Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard travel to Moscow for Brezhnev's funeral. In the days following Brezhnev's death from heart failure on 10 November 1982, Andropov became the Communist Party's general secretary. 
  AndropovYuri Andropov

In 1967 Yuriy Vladimirovich Andropov is appointed head of the KGB, the intelligence agency, started in 1954 and an equivalent to the CIA in the United States and M15 in Britain. He becomes Soviet chief of state, General Secretary, of the USSR on 10 November 1982, after Leonid Brezhnev dies of a heart attack. By 26 December 1983 an ailing Yuriy V. Andropov fails to appear at a key meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee. Andropov died on 9 February 1984, at age 69, of acute kidney failure, Chernenko becomes General Secretary, to be followed by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reactions from the Soviet Union are highlighted by the statement below from the newspaper “Pravda” and from the periodical “Kommunist”.

TASS Statement

from Pravda, October 27, 1983

“An armed intervention against Grenada, a sovereign independent state, was perpetrated on October 25. American troops landed on the island with the support of US combat ships. The intrusion was effected under the false pretext of ensuring the safety of American citizens in Grenada although it is well known--and this was directly stated by the Grenadan authorities--that nothing threatens them. At the same time Washington contends that is actions are supposedly motivated by concern for ‘human rights’.

What can be more cynical and hypocritical than such statements when under the pretext of concern for ‘human rights’ an attempt is being made to drown in blood the right of a whole people to free and sovereign existence! What is happening in reality is an outright armed aggression against a peaceloving people of a small country that is not threatening anyone with anything. The aim of this is to overthrow the social system existing there. This is an attempt to impose on the Grenadan people by means of force a system suiting Washington, to intimidate the other freedomloving (sic) peoples of Latin America, and not only them.

By its actions in Grenada the government of the United States of America demonstrates its full disregard for the generally accepted norms of international law and tramples into the dirt the lofty principles of the United Nations Charter. This is direct evidence of the fact that for the sake of attaining its aims of conquest Washington does not intend to respect the right of peoples to independent development, and is openly and brazenly challenging the will of the peoples and world public opinion.

The bandit attack on Grenada shows with total clarity the danger posed to the cause of peace and the freedom of peoples by the course pursued in international affairs by the present American Administration.

TASS is authorised to state that the Soviet Union flatly condemns the United States aggression against Grenada and stigmatises it as a crime against peace and humanity. It is the duty of all states and peoples to come out against Washington's arbitrariness and lawlessness, in defence of the Grenadan people.

The aggression against the people of Grenada must be stopped, the occupations must immediately clear out from that independent state.”

Victim of US Imperialist Aggression

written by Dmitry Muravyov

[The following essay was printed in a publication of “Social Sciences Today” Editorial Board of the USSR Academy of Sciences titled Grenada: History, Revolution, US Intervention, Moscow, 1984. This essay is similar to the article written by Muravyov that appeared in the November, 1983, edition of the Soviet magazine Kommunist.]

“American imperialism has committed another outrageous crime. This time its victim was Grenada, one of the world's tiniest countries. In the Reagan Administration's view, it was ‘guilty’ of wishing independently to decide it domestic affairs and to implement the principles of peaceful coexistence and non-alignment in its foreign policy.

As we saw, the revolution in Grenada had an anti-imperialist thrust. During the four-odd years since the 1979 revolutionary uprising, the New JEWEL movement party and the People's Revolutionary Government scored definite achievements in the economy, education, public health, housing construction and in asserting women's rights.

While pursuing a consistent peaceloving and anti-imperialist policy in the international arena Grenada had become an active participant in the non-aligned movement. It established diplomatic and trade relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba and other socialist countries. At the same time Grenada maintained close relations with many newly free countries and actively developed ties with a number of capitalist states, including those of the EEC. Grenada advocated the creation of a zone of peace and independence in the Caribbean and an end to interference in the affairs of the region.

The New JEWEL Movement party was admitted to the Socialist International. Simultaneously, it established friendly relations with the communist, revolutionary-democratic, socialist and social-democratic parties of many countries.

Naturally, the revolutionary process in Grenada, just as in other countries, faced quite a few difficult problems. The private sector continued to be the principal one in the economy, the public sector only being formed. The People's Revolutionary Government experienced an acute shortage of funds to implement its measures for economic development and social transformations and for a more tangible rise in the working people's living standards. The government wanted to tackle these problems relying on the working masses, but it lacked experience in stimulating the efficient activity of the trade unions and other mass organisations. Party construction lagged behind the needs of the revolutionary process. All these difficulties and problems were used by the internal counter-revolutionaries to their advantage. The hostile elements sabotaged the measures of the revolutionary government and spread vicious rumours in an attempt to provoke discontent and the feeling of insecurity among the population.

The difficult problems involved in guiding the revolutionary process caused dissent in the party itself. They concerned not so much the basic trend of domestic and foreign policies, as the methods of managing the economy and other spheres of party and government activities, and also the demarcation line between the responsibility of party and government bodies. Unfortunately, differences in the leadership of the New JEWEL Movement and the developments they entailed took a tragic turn.

No matter how these events are assessed, one thing is clear: the difficulties and their consequences were Grenada's purely internal affairs. They did not pose any threat to international peace or the security of other states. No party would have found enough strength to settle their purely domestic problems.

However, US imperialist used these developments to deal a blow at the revolution in Grenada and commit direct armed intervention.

The reader must have already seen that US hostility towards free Grenada made itself felt during the very first days of its existence. This was expressed in attempts to undermine the People's Revolutionary Government, to launch a slanderous campaign against Grenada, to establish an economic blockade, to bring pressure to bear on governments of other countries in order to prevent them from granting credits and loans to Grenada. At the same time Washington began to prepare a direct armed attack on Grenada. The United States granted asylum to dictator Eric Gairy, expelled from Grenada, and helped him organise gangs of mercenaries for an invasion of the island. Exercises of the US armed forces were regularly held around Grenada, obviously as a rehearsal for the invasion. CIA agents repeatedly undertook attempts on the life of the country's leaders.

Grenada's government persistently tried to normalise relations with the United States, but its offers were ignored by Washington.

In preparation for an invasion, powerful US forces were concentrated around Grenada. President Reagan admitted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff took great pains to prepare the plan of invasion.

To justify its unwarranted aggression against a sovereign country and UN member, the US Administration gave preposterous explanations boiling down to the ‘need to protect the security’ of the Americans in Grenada, although their live and security were threatened by no one. President Reagan cynically declared that the invasion of Grenada had been undertaken ‘to restore order and democracy there’. In defiance of international law and disregarding the fact that Grenada was a member of the British Commonwealth and that Queen Elizabeth II was its head of state, the United States perpetrated an act of aggression against Grenada, thus slapping in the face of its closest NATO ally. The allegations that Grenada was a ‘Soviet-Cuban military base’ were completely absurd.

The wold denounced the barbarous aggression against Grenada as a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and the recognised standards of international law, let alone human rights.

The US aggression against Grenada was also sharply denounced by the majority of the developing countries and the non-aligned movement. This act was disapproved even by US NATO allies. The Socialist International also expressed its indignation.

The communist parties and other national and international progressive organisations branded with shame this new crime of American imperialist.

The overwhelming majority of the UN Security Council members, including France and the Netherlands, qualified the US armed intervention as a crude violation of international law and an infringement upon the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Grenada. The only country that voted against the Security Council resolution demanding an immediate stop to American intervention against Grenada and an urgent withdrawal of foreign troops, was the United States--the aggressor itself. Numerous mass organisations, public figures, and even a number of Senators and Congressmen expressed disapproval of that action.

The Soviet Union's position with regard to the US aggression against Grenada was unequivocally expressed in the TASS statement of October 27, 1983. It said that “the Soviet Union resolutely condemns the aggression of the United States against Grenada and denounces it as a crime against peace and humanity . . . The aggression against the people of Grenada must be stopped and the invaders must immediately withdraw from that independent state”. [Pravda,, October 27, 1983] This stand is fully shared by the governments and peoples of other socialist states, including Cuba.

The people of Grenada and their revolutionary forces put up a heroic resistance to the aggressor and its satellites. Many Cuban workers who helped Grenadians build major economic projects, voluntarily participated in the battles against the invaders. The Cuban teachers and doctors were attacked by the interventionists. The Cuban construction workers gave a strong rebuff, displaying genuine heroism, selflessness and realisation of their internationalist duty.

Many Cubans died the death of heroes in the battles on the island. “The courageous and valiant builders and other Cuban citizens,” the statement of the Communist Party and Revolutionary Government of Cuba of October 27, 1983 [Granma, October 28, 1983] said, “have made an unforgettable contribution to the cause of international solidarity. Eternal glory to the Cubans who fell in battle, to all those who fought and continue to fight for their principles, internationalist duty and the homeland threatened by the unlawful, brazen and criminal imperialist aggression”.

The US open aggression against Grenada cannot be viewed in isolation from Washington's global imperialist policy based on militarist and the use of crude military force. The Pentagon concentrated large land, naval and air forces in many regions of the world and plans new acts of aggression against peaceloving independent countries.

The aim of this imperialist policy of Washington is to turn back the historical process of social development. On October 29, 1983, William J. Casey, CIA Director, cynically declared that the United States must elaborate a broad strategy of struggle against the communist threat throughout the globe. Under this pretext the most reactionary militaristic circles of the United States are trying to prevent the strengthening of national independence and socio-economic and democratic transformations in Asian, African and Latin American countries and to foist on them the order to the liking of US imperialism.

President Burnham of Guyana justly noted in an address to the people of his country that the attack against Grenada was but a stage in a general onslaught on the developing countries. If we do not take a firm stand, our independence which we achieved at such a high price, will become a chimera, he said.

Washington's imperial policy spells danger not only to the developing nations, but to the whole of humanity. There is talk even in government circles of US allies (European, above all) about Washington's aggressiveness and treachery; the question is asked whether the US Administration can with such ease with without consulting anyone launch hostilities, including those with the use of nuclear weapons, from its allies' territories. Those who support the deployment of American Pershings and cruise missiles in West European countries should stop and think about it once again.

A serious warning to such politicians was voiced in the Statement of Yuri Andropov of September 29, 1983. “The European allies of the US,” the statement said, “are regarded as hostages. This is a frank, but cynical policy. But what is really unclear is this: do those European political leaders who--disregarding the interests of their peoples, the interests of peace--are helping to implement the ambitious militaristic plans of the US Administration give thought to this?” [Kommunist, Nov. 15, 1983, p. 16]

The tragedy of Grenada which fell victim to the imperialist export of counter-revolution, concerns not only the people of that island and those of that region. It calls on all peaceloving humanity to be vigilant. The reaction of the world public clearly demonstrated that the peoples regard the sinister intervention in Grenada a link in the chain of the US imperial policy--that very chain which consists of the treacherous interference in Lebanon and the Washington-planned ‘punitive sanctions’ against the peoples of Nicaragua, El Salvador and other countries fighting for freedom. It also demonstrated that the Reagan Administration goes beyond the limit of the permissible in international relations, both morally and legally.

This criminal policy should be resolutely discontinued.”

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2001-2020 partial text and compilation by Ann Elizabeth Wilder. All Rights Reserved.