Law, Order and Respect for Authority

It is often said that if you have patience you will see ants belly.

I have been patiently waiting for the Minister to initiate a constitutional awareness and education programme to inform and mold the young minds as to the importance of the upcoming referendum.

I honestly expected her and her Ministry to roll out a national campaign in support of the constitutional amendment vote with the children of the nation playing a leading role in educating and informing their parents as to the necessity of such a vote.

To my amazement, I learnt that the Minister found herself in a village meeting in Mt. Pleasant, Carriacou seeking to bolster the party faithfuls in their quest to have a competent, hardworking and effective Principal removed on the basis of color – green or yellow.

Whilst championing law, order and respect for authority the Minister went on to discuss the functioning of the Principal in the village school, provide details of confidential communication between herself or her representative in the Ministry and the Principal and ultimately to intimate that the Principal lacked leadership.

The Minister prides herself in being a leader. Well Minister, Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is not talk. It is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organszation, and it is dynamic, exciting and inspiring.

While Leaders set the direction, they also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way. Your appearance at the village meeting Madam Minister did the opposite.

Your actions Madam Minister were deplorable especially as the people of the village and the majority of Carriacou already knew since before the elections that if a certain candidate won the Principal had to make way for loyal and family supporters. The uniform issue, the process of which started long before the elections is just a dishonest guise for the removal of the Principal.

By the way Madam Minister during your smooth delivery at the village meeting why didn’t you inform the villagers of the following:

• Whether a recommendation had been made from your Ministry to the Public Service Commission for the removal and replacement of the Principal?

• What reasons were given to the Public Service Commission for the replacement of the Principal?

• Whether the Principal was informed in keeping with ‘natural justice’ that a move was afoot to remove her?

• Efforts made by activists including the provision of vouchers to parents of students to undermine the efforts of the Principal;

• The role of family members of the MP seeking the position.

• Why this uniform matter was being discussed in a village meeting after refusal to meet with the P.T.A.

Madam Minister, your Ministry has been in shambles prior to you ascending to the leadership role there and has worsened since your ascension.

Can you please have another village meeting and inform us whether the Ministry is functioning with or without a Chief Education Officer since that person is so central to everything done within the Ministry and to upholding law and order.

Is there respect for authority when the Minister seemingly makes decisions which the constitution ascribes to the Public Service Commission? Is the Public Service Commission performing its constitutional role to protect public officers from the harsh realities of the politician when a Minister can make a public officer the subject of a village meeting.

Having followed you over the years, I wondered at what stage you became acutely aware of law, order and respect for authority. Most likely your kind of law, order and respect for authority is what is pushing us to the CCJ.

Concerned Parent

“Rescue Mission” was supported by Grenadians!!!

I think I owe it to all Grenadians especially those who are not inclined to respond to an article appearing in your issue of October 26th, 2018 captioned “thirty five years later”. I must begin by expressing thanks to you for your editor’s note.

I don’t know who Mr. Allan Scott is or the organization, he claims to be the secretary of.

On the morning of October 20th, 1983 while Grenadians were under a draconian 24 hour shoot to kill “Curfew” according to the General, The Honourable John Compton, then Prime Minister of St. Lucia telephoned the Prime Minster of Barbados Honourable Tom Adams forcefully stating that something must be done to help Grenada and he thought that forceful military action should be considered.

This was the spark that was to set in motion the eventual “Rescue Mission”. At 12:30 p.m. on Friday 22ndOctober, Tom Adams saw Giles Bullard, the British High Commissioner and told him that a military solution was being considered and that the United Kingdom will be asked to participate. The OECS heads did not meet until 5 p.m. that Friday.

Between October 19th and 24th, Bullard and his staff sent no fewer than 30 cables to London concerning the crisis.

On Sunday, October 22nd, Bullard was summoned by Prime Minister Adams and he presented him with a request for Britain’s participation in a military intervention.

Bullard’s advice to London was “that the Caribbean leaders were serious democratic politicians who were the best judges of how to deal with the situation in Grenada. He went on to recommend that “if the United States agreed to participate then Britain should give support or at the very least should refrain from doing anything that might weaken or jeopardise the Caribbean initiative”. Bullard’s advise was not accepted in London.

When on Monday, 24th October, Sir Geoffrey Howe was asked in parliament about military action in Grenada he said he knew of no such military action. One wonders what the thirty odd dispatches from Barbados were all about.

The Foreign Affairs Minister’s response was an embarrassment to the Thatcher Government because in less then twelve hours Urgent Fury was
under way.

The article states that Sir Paul met with the Revolutionary Military Council. This is a blatant lie. Sir Paul never met with the Council (Revolution Military Council). At 10 o’ clock on the morning of October 21st Sir Paul Scoon received General Hudson Austin. The General had sought the appointment in order to inform him of the situation in the country. Among the subjects discussed was the burial of those killed at Fort Rupert.

Austin agreed to private funerals for family members only. In Austin’s presence Sir Paul Scoon called Bishop Sydney Charles and Archdeacon Hoskins Huggins summoning them to a meeting at 11:15 a.m.

The clerics arrived promptly at Government House and plans were discussed for the funerals. At 4 o’ clock Patrick McLeish who doubled as Commissioner of Police and Superintendent of Police came to the Government House to see the Governor General as an emissary from General Austin.

McLeish stated to the Governor General that the General informed him that the bodies won’t be available for two years; as a result funeral plans had to be cancelled. McLeish privately told the Governor General that the bodies had been burnt.

At 1:30 p.m. on October 22nd, the Governor General received Major Cornwall who had come on behalf of General Austin. He confirmed that the bodies will not be available and showed Sir Paul Scoon a draft text of a message that the Revolutionary Military Council was about to send abroad. Sir Paul Scoon looked at the text made no comment nor did he offer any advice.

During the period October 19th-25th, the Governor General did not meet any other members of the council. On the afternoon of October 22nd, David Montgomery, the Deputy British High Commissioner arrived in Grenada and met with Sir Paul Scoon the next morning. They conducted most of their meeting sitting on a bench in the garden.

Montgomery told Sir Paul Scoon of the military buildup in Barbados and the high diplomatic activity that was taking place. He told Sir Paul Scoon that as Governor General he was regarded as the only legal authority in Grenada and suggested that Sir Paul Scoon should give consideration to the role he would be expected to assume if a military operation were mounted against the Revolutionary Military Council and that all telephone calls were being monitored.

He agreed to give Montgomery a verbal request to Prime Minister Tom Adams and that he would be willing to sign a formal request when it would be safe to do so.

Montgomery returned to Barbados in the afternoon of October 23rd. The question of signing a request for military assistance was agreed to before the launch of Urgent Fury.

The article by Scott stated as a fact that food and water were provided for the students. The truth is that one truck load of water was supplied to students by a fire truck and it proved unfit for drinking. Dr. Bourne of the Medical School was given a pass to travel with a police escort to get food among other things.

In my opinion in the whole affair Britain was not sidelined, they sidelined themselves. Shortly after the country started to settle down a strange thing happened. Shridath Ramphal, Secretary General of the Commonwealth came to Grenada with a small delegation. He went to Sir Paul Scoon asking that the Americans should be asked to leave and they will be replaced by Canadian and British forces.

Sir Paul Scoon sent him to meet with the Advisory Council at its weekly cabinet meeting. The learned gentleman appeared to present a convincing case but the delegation left Grenada without success. They learnt a lesson: ‘You do not ditch a friend who assists you in your distress for someone or others who did nothing but kept giggling while you suffer”.

Time doesn’t permit me to explain further but I must admit that I agree with Mr. Scott on one point. The final paragraph calls for compensation but I think he might be blinded or cockeyed. Compensation should go further back.

1. The British should compensate us for what was done to our forefathers during the days of slavery. The exploitation, hardships and discomfort. If you were genuine you would demand compensation for every person of colour in Grenada.

2. When the youthful British remarked that his father could turn the Thames into rum punch, this was no idle boast. The lucrative gains of the plantocracy went to develop countries outside the Caribbean while countries like ours still lack basic infrastructure. Black people in the eyes of your organisation do not have rights. Human rights? What absurdity?

3. Somebody or some group or some organisation should provide compensation for the relatives of those who were executed at Fort Rupert on October 19th, 1983. The pain, the discomfort, the suffering and the hardship still lingers after 35 years.

4. The relatives of those who were killed during the four days of curfew while hunting for food and essential supplies need compensation too.

5. Whoever is responsible for moving flags from Fort Frederick to the Mental Hospital should compensate the relatives of those who lost their lives in the Mental Hospital disaster.

6. Last but by no means least the Colonial office and the Secretary of State for the colonies and by extension, Great Britain or United Kingdom who together with Cutterridge produced A West Indian Reader designed to keep us in ignorance for generations should compensate us for that dastardly act. We demand compensation; you cannot wash your hands.

Mr. Editor Mr. Allan Scott needs to read, Urgent Fury by British born Major Mark Adkin, one who opposed the intervention, as well as “Survival for Service” by Sir Paul Scoon, and “Grenada The Untold Story” by Sainford and Vigilante.

Finally Mr. Scott, the female octogenarian who had only one tooth left on her upper jaw open mouth wide, her cheeks glowing with inexpressible joy in her eyes exclaimed to reporters: “Thank God for Mr. Reagan for rescuing us” was expressing the joy and feelings of more than 85% of the population.

Christopher Williams

Another failed Referendum

By Carrema Lewis

It was a very low voter turnout for the country’s second attempt at a referendum to break away from the London-based Privy Council and accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final Court of Appeal.

An empty polling station on referendum day

On Tuesday, 12,133 persons voted against the bill, “Caribbean Court of Justice and Renaming of the Supreme Court” that was meant to have the country recognsie the CCJ as its final appellate court.

According to results from the Parliamentary Elections Office, a total of 21,979 votes were cast on Tuesday with 9,846 voting in favour of the bill while 12,133 voted against it.

This is the second attempt in two years to change the constitution – the CCJ bill along with six others were rejected by the people in the first referendum held in November 2016.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell when announcing the second attempt at a referendum to have the CCJ bill voted on during the 2018 elections campaign, stated that the reason for the failure of the 2016 referendum was because he was not a part of the campaigning process.

He was heard saying at the NNP General Council session, “We have to trust our brothers and our leadership to provide justice for us, sisters and brothers and therefore I would be campaigning this time.

The last time they tied my hand and they tied my foot, this time I loose. Sisters and brothers, I will be going out hard for this Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), who want to come out now and say they are against it…let them say it now but I am coming up against them.”

In responding to the failed referendum on Tuesday, Dr. Mitchell stated that he “will not initiate another attempt at this issue as Prime Minister of the country.”

The Prime Minister, who could not hide his disappointment during a live television interview on Tuesday night, said he will stay far away from another attempt at referendum to accede to the CCJ.

“I don’t want to be a factor in something not getting the desired results because my children and grand children’s future is at stake.

So, if I am the problem for some people, I would not be one to want to interfere with this. I accept the results of the people who have voted in the country,” he stated.

His new political ally, veteran trade unionist Chester Humphrey has indicated that the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not give support to the CCJ vote once Dr. Mitchell is Prime Minister of the country.

Humphrey had opposed Dr. Mitcell for the better part of 23 years but teamed up with him for the 2018 poll in which the NNP won all 15 seats for the third time in electoral politics in the country.

Like Humphrey, Dr. Mitchell blamed the failed referendum on the no-vote agenda that was being pushed by the opposition.

The Prime Minister alluded to the initial support given to the CCJ Referendum by Congress and its decision to urge the electorate to vote no in the final days.

Dr. Mitchell said: “You cannot say you support this and go out and vote and ask people to vote and confuse people – a lot of propaganda, cheap propaganda. I mean you cannot do this – everyone of us has a conscience and therefore this is what is happening. It’s the hypocrisy on the part of certain persons in our country for whatever reason.

“I don’t understand, it cannot be beneficial politically because you saw what happened the last time close to an election and the results were almost the same – the same behaviour pattern was in fact done by the opposition element in this country, the major political opposition and they got severe licking a few months later in a general election.

“… So, what (they) would have learnt from that lesson – that you should vote based on something like this on the principle and not think of the politics but it seems that as long as Keith Mitchell is there and is initiating anything, I will oppose it. That seems to be the mindset and then you will go on (and) mention all sorts of thing about bringing gay rights and so on.

“I mean the amount of propaganda that was spread and people that should be knowing better were the ones asking me question – do you intend to do this? Do you intend to do that?

A disappointed Prime Minister Mitchell expressed the view that the opposition has nothing to celebrate over the failed CCJ referendum but in the long run will have a lot of questions to answer.

“I have said before…if this thing does not work then the opposition doesn’t have anything to celebrate – if anything they may have a lot of questions to answer – that is my own personal position. And don’t forget history would also record who took what position when something that is absolutely crucial to the life of the people of our country, was in fact initiated and did what…”, he said.

“I am very clear on my conscience that I did the right thing that I firmly believe that the CCJ is in fact the court that should be dealing with our final judicial system in the region and I have no doubt that history will prove me right,” he remarked.

Dr. Mitchell noted that despite the rejection of the CCJ bill, “nothing has changed” in the country and “we still have 15 seats in the parliament”, and the fastest growing economy in the region.

“Bogo” do better than that!!!

Leon ‘Bogo’ Cornwall, one of the ‘Grenada 17’, is reported in the November 2nd edition of The Grenadian Voiceas saying, “Just as how they sacrificed their lives, it calls on comrades to continue making sacrifices for our nation.” Notice how he still uses the communist term “comrade” just as though the revolution had never ended. Maybe for him it hasn’t.

This concept of “sacrifice” needs to be examined. These Grenadian soldiers are said to have sacrificed their lives for their country.

Let’s look at this coolly and objectively. Would it not be truer to say that they were foolish to continue fighting the American armed forces whom they stood no chance of defeating?

Would it also not be truer to say that the reason they continued fighting was because they had been so indoctrinated by the likes of Cornwall that they flew in the face of reason? Is not he partly responsible for the loss of their lives? Had they stopped fighting they might be alive today and enjoying their lives as Cornwall is?

Could the above be the reason why so few of the families of the fallen Grenadian soldiers failed to attend the ceremony?

Cornwall talks about “getting into labels”. He means labels like Bishopite, Coardite? If these “Labels” meant so much 35 years ago, why should they not matter now? He might like them not to matter now in order to absolve him from guilt.

I have heard it said that Cornwall has repented for his sins and taken up the cause of Jesus Christ. If that is so he needs to do better than this.

Jolly Green

PM Mitchell disappointed at results

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on Tuesday night said he was disappointed at the results of a referendum that would have allowed Grenada to join the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the island’s final appellate court.

Prime Minister Mitchell – casting his vote on referendum day

Earlier in the day, Grenadians voted for a second time within a two year period, to reject efforts to replace the London-based Privy Council with the CCJ as the highest court.

In a national referendum on Tuesday, the preliminary figures released by the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO) show that the “No’ vote secured 12,133 as compared to 9,846 for those supporting the CCJ that was established in 2001.

Supervisor of Elections, Alex Phillip, said that 22,098 or 28 percent of registered voters participated in the referendum. Of that number, there were 119 rejected ballots, 9846 for the approval and 12133 voted against the approval.

In terms of percentage, he explained that 45.05 per cent voted for the change and 54.39 per cent against the change.

The CCJ also functions as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional integration movement, CARICOM.

PM Mitchell who voted early in his St. George North-west constituency had earlier hinted that he was optimistic about victory since he was actively campaigning for CCJ unlike 2016 when he stood on the sidelines.

“The people have voted based on what they wished to see. As a serious Democrat it (result) has been accepted. I am not happy with it but that has always been my position when results of elections are given”, he said.

“I am disappointed but I am in total acceptance of the results,” he added.

Immediately after casting his ballot on Tuesday, an optimistic Dr. Mitchell said he was confident of receiving the necessary two-thirds majority of the votes cast in getting Grenada to join Barbados, Belize, Dominica and Guyana as the CARICOM countries that are full members of the CCJ.

But he said he would not as Prime Minister be initiating a third referendum on the CCJ.

In 2016, Grenadians voted overwhelmingly to reject seven pieces of legislation, including that of the CCJ, which would have reformed the constitution the island received when it attained political independence from Britain 42 years ago.

They voted by a margin of 9,492 in favour with 12,434 against.

Tuesday’s referendum result has put a damper on the legacy of PM Mitchell who has an impressive record of five victories in national elections as leader of the New National Party (1995, 1999, 2003, 2013 and 2018)

Dr. Mitchell has now suffered four losses at the polls – two national elections in 1990 and 2008 and two in Referenda held in 2016 and 2018.

The Prime Minister sought to lay blame on the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the failure of the CCJ in Tuesday’s voting.

He said: “I have said before…if this thing does not work then the opposition doesn’t have anything to celebrate. They may have a lot of questions to answer. That is my own personal position.

“History will also record who took what position when something of absolutely crucial to the life of the people of the country was in fact initiated and who did what.

“I am very clear in my conscience that I did the right thing that I firmly believe the CCJ is in fact the court that should be dealing with our final judicial system in the region and I have no doubt that history will prove me right”.

Dr. Mitchell said the opposition had engaged in “cheap propaganda” and had been able to confuse the voters ahead of the poll.

Congress, which initially had supported the move to replace the Privy Council, urged the population to vote “no” on Tuesday with the party’s interim leader, Joseph Andall, saying that the new position was taken because members were not satisfied with the process.

“For example, two of the persons who were involved in drafting the Bill are members of the Advisory Committee, therefore they have a vested interest in defending and protecting the bill, it means there is no objectivity when it comes to a discussion regarding discrepancies, flaws or omission,” he said.

But PM Mitchell said everyone has a conscience and lamented the “hypocrisy” of some Grenadians on the whole issue.

“I am saying it again that I will not initiate another attempt at this issue as Prime Minister of the country. I hold very dearly to this particular position,” he said, adding that the future of the next generation is at stake.

Maitland: Victimisation is rampant in G’da

One man who has been nabbed and charged by police officers for a drug related matter is now shouting “police brutality” as he says beatings he endured by an officer of the law has left him currently unable to provide for his family.

Civil Rights Activist, Earl Maitland, Martin Telesford and Curtist Thomas

Martin Telesford, a 42-year-old Auto Body Repairman from Syracuse, St. David walked into THE NEW TODAY newspaper last Wednesday complaining that he was physically assaulted by a police officer at Westerhall Point in a recent operation.

Telesford claimed that he was an innocent passenger in a vehicle in which a quantity of compressed marijuana was found inside by police officers.

He said that on the day in question October 26 that around 11.00 a.m. he left home and got “a ride with a gentleman…reached to Westerhall Point, dropped out, I turned my back on the vehicle, the police pull up…I didn’t know was the police…while going my way , the police just jumped out the vehicle and gave me a ‘chuck’.

“I fell about 2 feet away in a drain. When I fall down, he just take his foot and stomp me on my chest, from my chest he put his foot in my neck. My whole side got damage – my arm, I can’t use it how I want. I have seven children to take care of and I cannot work so well right now,” he added.

THE NEW TODAY contacted the police for reaction to the allegation and a spokesman disputed the events as given by Telesford.

He said the police had intelligence that the vehicle was carrying illegal drugs and had been monitoring it.

He indicated that Teleseford only got out of the vehicle when the police pulled up to execute a search.

According to the spokesman, the charged man was attempting to obstruct the police from carrying out their work and had to be pushed out of the way in an effort to restrain him.

Telesford was accompanied to the office of THE NEW TODAY newspaper by civil rights activist, Earl Maitland, who has been vocal in recent years about abuse of power and the lack of execution of power by the present authorities.

Maitland believes that Telesford was assaulted unnecessarily by the police and deemed it unfortunate that he was left to foot the medical bills for the injuries incurred.

“Whilst in the station he was even complaining about the pains he was going through due to the unnecessary blows that was delivered by the officer. Mr. Telesford was brought to the General Hospital where he was seen by a doctor, a prescription was written by the doctor due to the pain. There is also a swelling on the left side of his hip, he has chest pains, and he is unable to eat at the moment or even drink…he has throat problems…”, said the activist.

“…The police turned to Mr. Telesford and asked him if he has any money to purchase the medication that was prescribed, he said no, he doesn’t have any money. They brought him back to the station whilst he was in pain and he was aware that he was assaulted by an officer in the throat. He could have been dead today…once someone is in the custody of the police, it is their duty to ensure that that person survives to be brought to court to be proven innocent or guilty”, he added.

Telesford is currently out on bail after being charged with trafficking of controlled drug along with the driver of the vehicle, 69-year-old Arthur Lett of Westerhall, St. David.
Lett is known to the police and was not the first time he had been taken into custody for possession of illegal drugs.

Maitland also brought in another man, Curtist Thomas, a resident of Gouyave, St. John who also complained about police brutality.

Thomas has been frequently in police custody and is now complaining that he is not getting any justice in the country.

According to Maitland, this is failure on the part of the police to do their jobs.

He said: “Unfortunately this morning, Curtist, when we went to do a follow-up, he was informed that the Statue of Limitations which is three months – a three month period, has passed on a report that he made against a perpetrator who continues to harass and assault Curtist.

“Curtist went to the police within the three month period and gave a report. In fact, he gave numerous reports on numerous occasions; they have never been dealt with accordingly. Many times Curtist was told that it would either be looked into or the report was lost.

“…Curtist has gone along the ranks – he has gone many different persons, from Constables to Corporals to Sergeants, even to Commissioner and he has not gotten any justice. Now we have the gentleman’s son here as well, Shawn Dinnah, he is also being victimised by the same person.

“Just Monday, Shawn has been threatened by the same individual. The report has been made… the police have failed to do their jobs, their legally mandated jobs…the perpetrator seems to be so comfortable enough to expand his injustice to a member of the family, which is the son.

Maitland alleges that at least 18 out of the 30 articles of the International Declaration of Human Rights have been “breached by the Government of Grenada and public servants.”
He charged that Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell and Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade are also at fault in terms of making sure that the international obligations are carried out.

“We did call on the Minister of National Security since last year, he has failed to respond. He has no respect for his duties, neither does the Governor General. I contacted the Governor General, her office at least 15 times, actually went to her residence at least five times and called on the Governor General to honour section 72 of the Grenada Constitution and she has failed to do so, failed miserably. She has not returned any of my calls, it’s very disrespectful”, he said.

The activst warned that citizens might soon be forced to take the law into their own hands in their pursuit for justice.

“What I am in fear of though, the failure of these persons, RGPF, Ombudsman’s Office, Governor General, Prime Minister who is unfortunately the Minister of National Security – is that persons who are becoming frustrated including myself might tend to start taking justice into their own hands, seeing that they do everything in their power possibly to remain law abiding citizens…and at the end it seems as though we’re basically just wasting time.

“The frustration – what it actually does is it angers you, it puts much hatred in you, it turns you into a beast actually and what I’m scared of is that frustration will cause persons to act contrary to the law and take matters into their own hands and we will have vigilantes just running around Grenada.

Plans to re-establish Rathdune at the General Hospital

Government is putting plans together to refurbish or re-construct the Acute Mental Health Institution, Rathdune, in light of the growing concerns of mental health in the country, according to Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele.

Addressing reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Steele said that Rathdune, which is now temporarily housed at the Mt. Gay Psychiatric Hospital, will be built as a separate wing to the St. George’s General Hospital.

He disclosed that once phase two of the General Hospital work is complete then the construction of Rathdune will most likely begin.

He said the facility that is being contemplated is either in a renovated form, improved or rebuilt on the hospital site.

“I think right now with the state of that structure we have to contemplate a complete rebuild of that facility because we are seeing a change in the need or demand for services provided that we now need to provide – Pediatric services for mental health or support, so therefore, the floor plan has to change”, he said.

The senior government minister announced that the Ministry of Health is in the process of doing the design for the facility.

“… I expect that when we commission the phase two, very shortly afterwards, ideally the same week we would be breaking ground on the work to be done at Rathdune,” he said.

Minister Steele indicated that the plan is to actually start work on the project sometime after the first half of 2019.

“I expect that we would complete on phase two end of first quarter into the second quarter next year. So, I would say within the first six months of next year we will have, if not, a definite update on the start time of Rathdune (then) a start on the work at Rathdune,” he said.

The minister was asked a specific question about concerns in some quarters that outdated medication were being given to psychiatric patients.

He spoke of not being aware of but if it is an occurrence then it must be someone is going against the OECS standards.

He said: “I have not received any reports or complaints on medication. In general that would be an item dealt with by the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) and the Head of Pharmaceutical Services as well as the head at Mt Gay and if it is a serious matter, I expect it to be brought to my attention but at this point I have not been informed of any issues.”

“I am not aware that the medications are outdated. There is a policy islandwide as well as throughout the OECS that we follow with respect to medication and expiration date of medication. If that policy is not being followed by any individual then it’s exactly that – an individual is not following that policy. We would take that issue very seriously but I don’t have any information on that,” he added.

Substance abuse was also another area of concern plaguing the country since the country’s lone Drug Rehabilitation Centre, Carlton House, situated at Parade, St. George was destroyed by fire and then by the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

There are constant reports that many Substance Abusers have not been receiving the proper treatment for years.

Minister Steele acknowledged that although the work that is needed to have this facility back in operation is not moving as quickly as he would like it the fact is that government is committed to seeing this become a reality.

He said: “As you know we have partnered with Co-operative Bank in terms of fundraising but we have had discussions at a Cabinet level to say while we welcome and appreciate the assistance that we are getting with Co-op Bank, we also need to set up or find or dedicate a resource of finance to make sure that (happens).

”Hopefully, it is my desire to be breaking ground on that facility in 2019 but that is dependent on myself and other members of Cabinet finding the appropriate source of resource to dedicate to that. It is much needed, long overdue and therefore it is a priority item,” he added.

Grenada’s best kept secret

Old McDonald had a farm, hee hi ho….. so the nursery rhyme goes. Ok, let’s get serious now. It was a Tuesday, such lovely weather, it would have been a crying shame to be indoors so my sister and I were desperately seeking some place to take the kids to have some fun.

Quite by chance, I stumbled upon an ad for an upcoming event at some place called McDonald Amusement Park and Cuisine (MAPC).

Our rising hopes hit ground level when we realised that it was carded for the following weekend. However, out of desperation, I called the number listed and explained our plight to the well-mannered voice on the other end of the line.

After understanding that we were visitors due to leave the island on Sunday, the gentleman cordially opted to open his park and host us despite the fact that we were a small party.

We followed his directions, ventured to the Cliff in Calivigny, two minutes walk down the road opposite and there, nestled amidst the shade of the trees, we stumbled upon Grenada’s best kept secret.

A family run business, steered by the capable hands of Mr George McDonald himself, former operator and owner of Mr Green Jeans restaurant at SGU.

After 17 years into that business, with much deliberation and consultation with Hilary, his wife of over 30 years they decided they wanted to expand and improve their business with an emphasis on encouraging family togetherness, thus the idea of ‘MAPC’ McDonald’s Amusement Park and Cuisine was born.

Myself and family were welcomed with open arms despite the fact that it was obviously inconvenient to our hosts.

We were given a tour of the establishment ably run by husband, wife and daughter along with Wilma the ‘Girl Friday’, everything highlighted the theme ‘family’.

The slides, games etc were all designed in a way that everyone, from toddler to grand-parents could have fun… and boy, oh boy, did we have fun!

Lunch, when it was served by Hilary, the elegant ‘lady of the house’, came with a complete explanation of how each meal was prepared.

Interestingly, most of the ingredients came fresh from the family’s little kitchen garden… even the cane juice we drank was made from cane harvested in a field opposite and squeezed right there at the park.

As wife Hilary posited, she was ever conscious of the health of her patrons, so most of her meals were fat free with a keen eye on the calories… even the ice-cream featured local fruits.

The entire experience was a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the city. Folks, while we ladies chatted with the wife, we shared a joke, but immediately Mr McDonald re-appeared, Hilary shared it with him.

Laughingly, she confessed that they kept nothing from each other, not even jokes. This is so admirable!

After a very enjoyable evening, our host did us the honour of taking us directly to our doorstep with his van. What more could we have asked?

Grenadians, visitors alike, I urge you, if ever you feel like your family is drifting apart ever so slightly, or just crave the need for some quality time ‘far from the madding crowd’, then all the arrows point to one place.

Head on out to MAPC in Calivigny – fun, rides, restaurant/bar/ice-cream parlour. A great place for celebrating family events, birthdays, anniversaries etc.Whatever your reason, I promise you, it will be an experience you can’t keep to yourself because you know it will be a crying shame to do so, you’ll want to do like I did and say to folks you meet…. pssst.. can I share with you Grenada’s best kept secret?

MAPC… McDonald’s Amusement Park and Cuisine… don’t keep it to yourself. Share the secret. See you there!!!!

Patricia Gairy

The Day the Evil Empire Retreated

The Cold War began to end 35 years ago when Ronald Reagan ordered the liberation of Grenada

By Otto Reich

Washington – The Cold War began to end on Oct. 25, 1983 – something no one could have imagined only years before. The international situation was bleak when Ronald Reagan assumed office in 1981. The Soviets enjoyed a military, propaganda and nuclear strategic advantage. They controlled Eastern Europe and had invaded Afghanistan, while funding Marxist “wars of national liberation” across four continents.

Moscow directed a global network of propagandists to persuade witting or naive Westerners into supporting anti-American disarmament campaigns.

The West had been immobilised by the Brezhnev Doctrine, declared after the bloody Soviet suppression of an anticommunist uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968. It said that once a country became Marxist-Leninist, the process became irreversible. The Soviet army would enforce it.

“Vietnam syndrome” also weighed down the West. This was the notion that since America’s military involvement in Southeast Asia had not succeeded, the U.S. should no longer influence events around the world through the use of military force. It enabled America’s enemies to mount bold challenges to U.S. influence in the Caribbean Basin, a strategic “third border.”

In the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, the Soviets and their catspaw in the Western Hemisphere, Fidel Castro’s Cuba, were building a militarised socialist society. They also were constructing a massive airfield for military purposes, while stating publicly it was for commerce and tourism. They planned to expand communist ideology and totalitarianism to other islands in the Eastern Caribbean as they simultaneously undermined governments throughout the Americas.

Then Oct. 25, 1983, happened. President Reagan – declining to consult major allies, confronting fierce criticism from Congress and the media, facing opposition from some in his administration, and with little more than a weekend’s planning – ordered U.S. military forces to join law-enforcement units from neighboring English-speaking island nations and invade Grenada.

Only six years later, in 1989, the Soviet empire began to disintegrate, finally disappearing in 1991. This liberated hundreds of millions of people in two dozen nations from oppression.

The U.S.S.R. did not end because of the invasion of Grenada alone, but the shock of Reagan’s decisive action to the Soviet political, military and ideological organism was pivotal.
Grenada’s crisis started in 1979. Maurice Bishop, a young revolutionary with an affinity for Castro, overthrew the elected government and suspended the constitution. While Bishop imposed a radical socialist regime on the island, Cuba began building a massive airfield out of all proportion to the island’s needs. This drew America’s attention.

Soon a national-security concern became an emergency. On Oct. 19, 1983, Bishop’s even more radically Marxist deputy, Bernard Coard, seized power, executing Bishop and some cabinet officials. The British Governor-General alerted the outside world to the imminent outbreak of civil war. Caught in the middle were some 800 American students attending medical school on the island.

Meanwhile, neighboring governments, led by the indomitable Dominica Prime Minister Mary Eugenia Charles, appealed for U.S. intervention to forestall the spreading bloodshed.

Reagan responded: “What kind of country would we be if we refused to help small but steadfast democratic countries in our neighbourhood to defend themselves against the threat of this kind of tyranny and lawlessness?”

Operation Urgent Fury commenced on Oct. 25. Despite minimal planning, the invasion succeeded after four days of heavy fighting. Nineteen American servicemen were killed and 115 wounded; the medical students were evacuated.

With constitutional authority on the island restored, U.S. troops began withdrawing Nov. 2, only eight days after they landed.

Reagan’s critics condemned his use of military force without Congressional consent and said the students had never been in danger.

But news reports showing the rescued students profusely thanking U.S. paratroopers and Marines undermined these claims. Upon returning to U.S. soil, some students descended the aircraft steps, knelt, and kissed American ground.

The U.S. also achieved a stunning intelligence haul, seizing thousands of documents detailing how to construct a communist police state. U.S. forces discovered arms caches capable of equipping a 10,000-man force – some in crates labeled “Cuban Economic Office, Grenada.”

Among those captured and eventually deported were nearly 800 Cubans, 49 Soviets, 10 East Germans, three Bulgarians, 15 North Koreans and 17 Libyans. Quite a throng of “tourists and merchants.”

Vietnam syndrome and the Brezhnev Doctrine perished in Grenada, replaced with a renewed American spirit that robustly confronted the Soviet Union and its proxies around the world.

The liberation of Grenada – the first time American military force was used to roll back a communist government – transfigured the posture of the U.S. following the “malaise” of the Carter years. It demonstrated Reagan’s resolve to reclaim the U.S. role as the world’s premier defender of freedom.

Yet many Americans fail to appreciate that there was nothing inevitable about the collapse of Berlin Wall or the demise of international communism. It required leadership, courage and vision by a president determined to restore America’s legitimate influence.

Oct. 25 is celebrated as Grenada’s Thanksgiving Day. Americans also can give thanks, for that day the Evil Empire began to retreat.

(Mr. Reich has served as an assistant secretary of state, U.S. ambassador to Venezuela and special envoy for Western Hemisphere affairs).

Dr. Keith Mitchell may give evidence in MNIB investigation

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has dropped the strongest possible hints yet that he might be called to give evidence in the controversial Commission of Inquiry being conducted by the Integrity Commission into the misuse of funds at the state-owned Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB).

The Prime Minister made the statement as he met with reporters at a recent post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex and gave an update on the work done by the Integrity Commission, headed by attorney-at-law, Anande Trotman-Joseph, the wife of the Acting Attorney General, Dr. Lawrence Joseph.

“They may call me too and I am prepared, as I said before to be called to give an idea of my knowledge of whatever information that I have but it will be a thorough investigation,” he said.

PM Mitchell disclosed that the Integrity Commission is presently concluding negotiations with outside legal personnel to help do the investigation that is needed into the MNIB fiasco.

He said that government will have to provide the resources for these legal experts to do their work.

Several allegations have been swirling around the MNIB including the use of its funds by former Chief Executive Officer, Ruel Edwards on expensive first class travel to the United States, the non-payment of thousands of dollars to creditors for sugar supplies, and his purchase of a vehicle belonging to the state body.

At a previous press conference, Prime Minister Mitchell who is the Line Minister for MNIB said that the things that have been discovered at MNIB “are frightening”.

Dr. Mitchell also revisted the stand-off with health care workers following controversial remarks made at a recent Town Hall meeting in New York in which he accused Doctors, Nurses and ancillary staff at the St. George’s General Hospital of stealing and being incompetent.

The Grenadian leader told reporters that his conscience will not allow him to hide the levels of corruption within the public service.

“We have to be honest with ourselves, if there are those who don’t want to admit it, that’s their business, I have a conscience and every one of us should. If we want to say that we don’t know that there are corrupt practices within the public service then we can say so”, he said.

“I know as an individual that there is corruption in almost every single department of government and that’s a fact – different levels of it and whether or not government can come to bottom of it, I don’t know. It probably wouldn’t happen in my time but we’ll do what we can and maybe we would have to prioritise the areas that are causing more pain in the process going forward,” he remarked.

PM Mitchell disclosed that the investigation being spearheaded by the Integrity Commission will also be looking at issues within the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Hospital services among others.

“The investigation might not be at the same level as an outright Commission of Inquiry….”, he said.

He stressed that the investigation will more likely come up “with suggestions on how we can go forward in terms of those areas”.

He said: “There are issues with the Ministry of Agriculture – lands for example, how some people were able to get lands and what they paid for it. There are a number of issues that certainly would be investigated but there are limited resources to do all these investigations and of course to solve … these problems…we just have to have patience”.