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Socialist Grenada Historian 03/11/2020 (Wed) 12:27:28 No. 83
Does anyone here knows any book or more information, about the socialist revolution, that happened in the Caribbean island of Grenada. And also, what are your thoughts on Maurice Bishop
I already talked about this on leftypol(>>347039), but I'll share the thoughts of a Grenadian on Bishop here too >"As far as the common person goes, people seemed to really like Maurice Bishop. Both sides of my family say a lot of positive things about him (most were living in the country at the time he was Prime Minister). Many people went to free him from house arrest after members of his own party detained him. And, as was mentioned in an earlier comment, the island’s airport was named after him. I think it’s safe to say he was well-liked, but for those who think that’s a stretch, we can at least say a lot of people past and present like(d) him." >"Why was Bishop so well-liked? There are a few reasons, but I’m going to boil them down to the most essential: <His predecessor, Eric Gairy, was abusing in a way that frustrated the Grenadian people. <Bishop and his party members worked in a very grassroots manner, giving them face time with people such that people would feel heard. <Bishop was pretty charismatic, so that always helps with being liked. <After Bishop and his party took power, things were getting better in Grenada. I understand “better” is subjective, but here’s what I’m defining as better: GDP was up, illiteracy was down, and unemployment was way down." >"A lot of the “better” results came from Bishop wanting Grenada to be a more self-sufficient nation (a goal you see a lot with revolutionary/socialist leaders of third-world countries). He figured there’s a lot that Grenada can do for itself and not rely on other countries for. Why import so much food when you can produce it yourself? Why send your fruits/vegetables out of the country to be refined into goods when you can build the proper infrastructure to do it yourself? If you want a country with a thriving tourism industry, why not have a standard, up-to-snuff international airport instead of having people fly into another country, then fly/boat from there to Grenada? Being more self-sufficient is a dream anyone would buy into, so it’s not a shock that the people of Grenada (at least a sizable amount of them) bought into it, liking Bishop in the process." >"Obviously, everything wasn’t all perfect. After the government was taken down, there were people who said that they were imprisoned for speaking out against the government (which is believable, given that happens with a lot of socialist governments). There were plots to overthrow the government during its time, and the final plot was actually successful. It was actually members of the ruling party turning on Bishop. I won’t lay out all the details, but just know that it ended with Bishop and a few other Bishop loyalists being killed, followed by a US invasion to topple the whole thing about a week after the killings." >"I feel kinda mixed about the invasion. I understand that, given the way the government and country were going, something had to be done. In that regard, I appreciate the invasion for getting rid of the bad government in place." >"But, I’m saddened because there were so many things they got rid of that Bishop had put in place. The organizing bodies they had created for unions, women, and the youth were done away with. Other services down to things as simple as providing people with free milk were done away with. Relationships with other countries that were helping Grenada become more self-sufficient were done away with. I feel like the US was waiting for an opportunity to come in and get rid of all “socialist” elements in Grenada, and the chaos that the government devolved into after Bishop’s execution was the perfect excuse." >"The conflict with the Americans was...strange, to say the least. This is going to be very simplified (not doing justice to all the nuances of why certain decisions were made or what overall outcomes needed to be considered), but here’s a rough sequence of events: <Bishop is asked by members of his party to enter a power-sharing agreement which would see him now split power with Bernard Coard (deputy prime minister at the time). Bishop refuses, and is put under house arrest. <Citizens break Bishop out of house arrest, and then go up to one of the forts to gather weapons and take back the government from Coard and the party members who supported him. Soldiers shoot on the crowd, killing a number of people. This altercation ends with the execution of Bishop and a number of loyalists who were serving in government with him. <Coard is now prime minister, but only for a few days. Another coup occurs, ending with the head of the military in charge and declaring martial law. It’s at THIS point that the Americans step in, invade, topple the government, and take steps to usher back in democracy. >So, what does this have to do with Grenadians speaking favorably about the Americans? Well, Grenadians more often liked Bishop than not. So, Bishop being killed and Coard taking over upset the people. Then, the declaration of martial law upset them even further. When the US invaded, Grenadians saw them more as saving them from the chaos caused after Bishop’s death, rather than saving them from the things Bishops as doing. That’s how you can have Grenadians speak well of the Americans while still wanting the airport named after Bishop." >"TL;DR: Americans overthrew the people who overthrew Bishop. Since Grenadians liked Bishop, they disliked the people who overthrew him, but liked that the Americans proceeded to overthrow those people. Hopefully that makes sense lol" And also this book, In Nobody's Backyard: The Grenada Revolution in its own Words, it's a great introduction to the topic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKhRE61VE0E Here is Michael Parenti talking about Grenada


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