The author recalls his experience of the Grenada Revolution from the point of view of a key leader of the Working People’s Alliance in neighbouring Guyana. What follows is a participant’s account of how events in Grenada crossed and impacted unfolding developments on the Left in Guyana and Suriname. His recollections and analyses of the Grenada Revolution are thus filtered through the agitations against the dictatorship of Forbes Burnham in Guyana; the arson trial of Roopnaraine, Rodney and Omawale (1979-81); the assassination of Rodney (1980); the WPA’s early links with Desi Bouterse who led the Sergeant’s Revolt in Suriname (1980) and who seemed to offer a popular Left anti-imperialist and non-aligned path, and the hope of a break with ethnic politics; the 1982 killings by Bouterse’s revolutionary government of 15 opposition leaders soon after a visit to Suriname by Grenada’s Prime Minister Maurice Bishop; and finally, the author’s mission to mediate the crisis in Grenada.
Feature Address at the Queen’s College Grand Assembly Re-union, Georgetown, Guyana, October 2009
“I believe that there is no greater nor more urgent task confronting us today in our troubled, tormented country – and ours is not the only or even the worst of the fatally riven places of the world — than the overcoming of the accumulated bitterness and fears of the past, the slow and deadly drip that if left unchecked will continue to poison the present and the future”.
Whether she knew it or not, Nadia Bishop’s call to the Grenadian people for unconditional forgiveness and reconciliation appealed to deeply-entrenched values in at least two of our ancestral cultures. Traditional, and to some extent modern, societies in Africa and India accord(ed) great importance to such values, which are regarded as absolutely essential for maintaining social harmony and promoting solidarity in their multicultural societies. We in the Caribbean arguably still retain such values in our cultural genes, values that can be resuscitated when the need arises, as it apparently has in present-day Grenada…
On January 1,, 2008, Nadia Bishop, daughter of slain Prime Minister Maurice Bishop of the Grenada People’s Revolutionary Government, broadcast this, appeal for forgiveness, and reconciliation to, the people of Grenada.
In it, Ms. Bishop, tells of an emotional meeting the previous day with Bernard Coard and others imprisoned for the murder of her father and thirteen of his colleagues, and, of the, “joy” she, felt at having, “mutally freed each other from the bond of, negativity that has existed between us these past 24 years”.
Ms. Bishop also apologises to, and asks the forgiveness of, those harmed by the People’s Revolutionary Government headed by her father.
We believe that Ms. Bishop’s statement is of great relevance, wisdom and humanity in, view of the debate over the tragic events in Grenada in October 1983 re-ignited by the recent release of Bernard Coard and the remainder of those, convicted for the Bishop murders.
Fellow Grenadians, Happy New Year. Most of you know me. My name is Nadia Bishop. I am the daughter of Angela Bishop, and Maurice Bishop, the late Prime Minister of Grenada. I am here today on this first day of a new year to invite you to join me in forgiveness and reconciliation. I invite you to join me in creating a new beginning, as we start this New Year. ..
Extract from the speech of Fidel Castro, then president of Cuba, at the funeral service for Cubans killed in the U.S. invasion of Grenada, held in Revolution Square, Havana on 14 November 1983. Thanks to Felipe Stuart C, (firstname.lastname@example.org) for this information.
“On 12 October, Bishop was removed from office by the Central Committee, on which the conspirators had gained a majority. On 13 October, he was arrested in his home. On 19 October, the people rose up and freed Bishop…
An open response to (1) Statements made by Bernard Coard on release from Prison in Grenada in September 2009 (2) Resonances of Revolution by Rupert Roopnaraine,, and (3) Statements by the Cuban Government.