Last update: 11-Dec-2013 6:16 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Grenada: From Marx to Mitchell
Tomorrow, Grenada marks 30 years since Maurice Bishop was placed under house arrest. The island’s 39-year-old prime minister, leader of the People’s Revolutionary Government, was ousted by his deputy, Bernard Coard. Five days later, Bishop was shot dead. On October 19, a huge crowd of Grenadians flooded through the capital, St George’s, in support of Maurice Bishop. Supporters rescued him, dazed and troubled, from his confinement. There was confusion. The army seized control, and started shooting. For real.
Bishop was murdered, along with his education minister and partner Jackie Creft. We don’t know how many others died that day. A Revolutionary Military Council led by General Hudson Austin seized power, and imposed a round-the-clock curfew. No joke; anyone out of doors without a permit was threatened with death.
At five in the morning on October 25, 7,000 US troops were on their way from Barbados. Most landed close to Point Salines International Airport—the revolution’s flagship project, then under construction, and renamed Maurice Bishop International in 2009. And that was the end of a revolution which began in March 1979, with the popular overthrow of the elected but dictatorial, eccentric and slightly unhinged prime minister, Sir Eric Gairy.
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