THE NEW TODAY wish to apologise on behalf of all democrats in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique to the U.S government and its military forces for the insensitivity of our government in not presenting a message at the official Church Service held last Saturday to mark Thanksgiving Day – the anniversary of the military action by U.S and Caribbean troops to bring an end to the bloody period of Marxist rule in the Spice Isle.
A people who do not know their history and understand where they came from will repeat the same mistakes again but the United States might not be so kind to us in the future because of clear signs of ungratefulness.
It was a clear diplomatic snub of the U.S government by the 20-month old ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to fail to deliver a message on such an important occasion in the history of the country.
In fairness to the Prime Minister, he was out of the country and the person who was deputizing for him was his long time political colleague and close friend, Public Utilities Minister, Gregory Bowen who badly let down not only the PM but the entire government and people.
This senior government minister dropped the baton badly when he did not rise to the occasion and deliver a message after the U.S Charge de Affairs due to the significance and importance of the event which took place in the Spice Isle some 31 years ago.
Even Mr. Bowen would have not been able to serve for four terms over a 19-year period in both the Parliament and government had it not been for the downfall of Marxist rule in Grenada and the dawning of a new democratic day.
All true democrats in the Spice Isle would align themselves with the military intervention of October 25, 1983 since it brought back democratic rule of law by the Constitution here and an end to political adventurism with a dangerous and deadly ideology that brought great pain and suffering to this land.
Washington and late U.S President, Ronald Reagan would have had their political objectives for changing the political order of the day in Grenada.
However, this should not down play the fact that the vast majority of Grenadians would have welcomed any force even from another planet to smash the so-called Revolutionary Military Council of General Hudson Austin that had seized power in the bloody carnage that took place on Fort Rupert, now back to its original name of Fort George on October 19, 1983.
This was the most disgusting, sickening and barbaric act to take place in the English-speaking Caribbean since the days of slavery.
Never before in our history has a political dispute been settled among rivals with the executions of so many persons in one heinous act – Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Foreign Minister Unison Whiteman, Education Minister Jacqueline Creft, Housing Minister Norris Bain, businessmen, Evelyn Brat” Bullen, Keith “Pump Head” Hayling, Evelyn Maitland and several other citizens.
Without this action that was agreed to by the likes of President Reagan, and the deceased Prime Ministers of Barbados, Tom Adams, Mary Eugenia Charles of Dominica and John Compton of St. Lucia, the democracy, press freedom and human rights that we are now enjoying were alien as Grenada’s doors were firmly bolted and locked down by the Marxist leaders of 1979-83.
Prime Minister Mitchell who is now in charge of the nation’s affairs should be most mindful and appreciative of the events of October 25, 1983 because it opened the doors for him to return to Grenada after being declared persona non-gratis by the then Revolutionary Leaders.
The constant theme song back in those days by elements of the feared and dreaded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) and directed at the likes of Dr. Mitchell and those who were outside of the country exposing the atrocities of the PRG and being labelled as counter-revolutionaries and lumpen elements, was if they ever landed on Grenadian soil, “we will bury them in the sea”.
The message was clear: The anti-revolutionary forces outside of Grenada would be shot like common criminals if they ever attempted to reverse the Marxist process that was in high gear in Grenada.
THE NEW TODAY would hate to believe that Dr. Mitchell with his new found political friends like Comrades Peter David and Chester Humphrey would seek to dump the United States in what amounted to a clear snub of Washington at the Church Service.
The Prime Minister needs to move quickly to repair the damage that was done over the “no statement issue” on Thanksgiving Day and assure the United States that Grenada is for ever grateful for the events of October 25, 1983 that brought back elected government through the free will of the people at the ballot box as opposed to the “one man one gun” philosophy that was articulated by former Mobilization Minister Selwyn Strachan during the terror reign of the PRG.
This newspaper is also forced to register some concerns with the handling of the Thanksgiving Service by our so-called National Celebrations Committee under Dr. Judy Dubois.
The organisers insulted former Governor-General, Sir Daniel Williams and Lady Williams, as well as former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, a former political detainee under the PRG, by failing to recognise their presence at the Thanksgiving Service.
In addition, it was embarrassing to see the lack of protocol shown to Mrs. Nadia Benjamin, a former government minister and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North-west who also attended the function.
It is clear that same of our protocol officials do not know a lot of the older Grenadians who served this country in past years.
Finally, THE NEW TODAY would like to urge this relic of the past, Comrade Selwyn Strachan who was sentenced for the mass murders that took place in 1983 on the Fort to stop taking too much advantage and often insulting our return to the democratic rule of law.
Mr. Strachan should continue repenting in silence and keep his mouth shut for as long as possible and fall in line with the new political dispensation and political order that is very foreign and alien to him.
It is a fact that he recognizes March 13, 1979 as Liberation Day for him but many democrats will differ with him on the grounds that what took place in plain legal terms was an act of Treason against a duly-elected government.
Is it still too late to allow the laws of the land to take its rightful course and try many of those who took part in the events of March 13, 1979 for treason?
Comrade Strachan, please take a page from many of the other comrades who were freed from Richmond Hill prison for the bloody events of October 1983 and desist from the constant bold faced and naked political posturing.
The likes of this convicted mass murderer have already misled a whole generation of Grenadians with an ideology that many of them did not fully understand and comprehend and caused great pain and suffering on this nation some 31 years ago.
THE NEW TODAY despite all its flaws, will give full and total support to Democracy all the time and will always reject and oppose those who are still stuck in the past with communism/marxism and want to rule by decree through the so-called principle of Democratic Centralism.