The Caribbean is reflecting on a very significant historic event which took place on this date 38 years ago.
On March 13th of 1979, the Grenada United Labour Party government of then Prime Minister Sir Eric Matthew Gairy was overthrown by the New Jewel Movement-led People’s Revolutionary Army.
The NJM’s charismatic leader, Maurice Bishop, a lawyer by profession, was installed as Prime Minister of a newly established People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).
In its address to the nation on Radio Free Grenada, Bishop assured the people of Grenada that “all democratic freedoms, including freedom of elections, religious and political opinion, would be fully restored to the people.”
But the revolution floundered in 1983 when a deadly split emerged among the revolutionary leaders, leading to the killing of Bishop and many members of his faction of the dispute. This later prompted an invasion by US Marines, which toppled the remnants of the NJM and later restored parliamentary rule.
The Grenada revolution bitterly divided the Caribbean leaders of the time. Most thought Gairy was a tyrant who deserved what he got, but they were also worried about the spread of revolution to their own doorsteps.