27. Grenada (1974-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (February 7, 1974-March 12, 1979): Grenada formally achieved independence from Britain and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) on February 7, 1974. Eric Gairy of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) formed a government as prime minister, and Sir Leo de Gale was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on February 7, 1974.  Parliamentary elections were held on December 7, 1976, and the GULP won nine out of fifteen seats in the House of Representatives.  The Popular Alliance (PA) won six seats in the House of Representatives.  Opposition political parties claimed election fraud.  Sir Paul Scoon was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on September 30, 1978.

Crisis Phase (March 13, 1979-September 20, 1985):  Prime Minister Eric Matthew Gairy was overthrown in a rebellion led by opposition leader Maurice Bishop of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) on March 13, 1979. Three individuals were killed during the rebellion.  Maurice Bishop suspended the 1974 constitution, and the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) took control of the country on March 14, 1979.  Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica expressed support for the rebellion on March 20, 1979.  The governments of Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the Grenadian government on March 21, 1979.  The governments of Britain, Canada, and the U.S. provided diplomatic assistance (diplomatic recognition) to the Grenadian government on March 22, 1979.  The Cuban government agreed to provide military assistance (military advisors) in support of the Grenadian government on July 11, 1979.  The government suppressed plots to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Bishop on October 15 and November 3, 1979.  Prime Minister Bishop survived an attempted assassination in St. George on June 19, 1980, resulting in the deaths of three individuals.  Government security personnel and rebels clashed near Sauteurs on November 17 and November 28, 1980, resulting in the deaths of seven individuals.  The government of the Soviet Union agreed to provide economic assistance to the government of Grenada on July 27, 1982.  Prime Minister Bishop was deposed in a rebellion led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard on October 14, 1983.  Prime Minister Bishop and seven other individuals were executed at Fort Rupert on October 19, 1983.  Government troops loyal to Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard fired on supporters of Prime Minister Bishop near Fort Rupert on October 19, 1983, resulting in the deaths of some 40 individuals.  Bernard Coard was deposed by the Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) headed by General Hudson Austin on October 19, 1983.  The Cuban government condemned the killing of Prime Minister Bishop on October 20, 1983. The U.S. government condemned the rebellion on October 20, 1983.  The governments of Jamaica and Dominica imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of diplomatic relations) against the Grenadian government on October 23, 1983.  Governor-General Scoon requested the military intervention of the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) on October 24, 1983.  The OECS authorized a U.S.-led military intervention in Grenada on October 22, 1983.  The U.S.-led multinational force, which consisted of some 7,355 U.S. military personnel and 300 military personnel from six Caribbean countries, intervened in Grenada on October 25, 1983.  The RMC was overthrown by U.S. military forces on October 25, 1983.  The government of Belize condemned the killing of Prime Minister Bishop on October 27, 1983.  The OECS established the Caribbean Peacekeeping Force (CPF), which consisted of some 500 troops and police from Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica (450 soldiers), St. Lucia, St. Vincent (12 police), and Barbados (50 police) and 300 non-combat U.S. military personnel commanded by a Jamaican colonel. The CPF was deployed in Grenada on October 28, 1983.  Governor-General Scoon proclaimed a state-of-emergency on November 1, 1983, and announced the formation of nine-member interim Advisory Council chaired by Nicolas Brathwaite on November 9, 1983. On November 23, 1983, the U.S. government agreed to provide civilian police training assistance to the government (a 550-member police force was established with the assistance of the Britain and the U.S.).  U.S. combat troops were withdrawn from Grenada on December 15, 1983.  The U.S. government provided economic assistance ($18.5 million) to the government of Grenada in late 1983.  The U.S. government provided economic assistance ($57 million) to the government of Grenada in 1984.  Eighteen former political and military leaders, including former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and General Hudson Austin, were charged with murder and conspiracy to murder on February 22, 1984.  Parliamentary elections were held on December 3, 1984, and the New National Party (NNP) won 14 out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The Grenada United Labour Party (GULP), which won one seat in the House of Representatives, claimed election fraud.  Herbert Blaize, leader of the NNP, formed a government as prime minister on December 4, 1984. The Organization of American States (OAS) sent two observers to monitor the parliamentary elections. U.S. military support troops were withdrawn on June 11, 1985, and the CPF completed its withdrawal from Grenada on September 20, 1985.  Some 200 individuals were killed during the crisis, including 45 Grenadian soldiers, 19 U.S. military personnel, and 25 Cubans.

Post-Crisis Phase (September 21, 1985-present):  Former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and thirteen other individuals were convicted and sentenced to death on December 4, 1986.  Several former members of the New National Party (NNP), including George Brizan and Francis Alexis, established the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 1987.  Prime Minister Blaize left the NNP and formed The National Party (TNP) in August 1989. Prime Minister Blaize died on December 19, 1989, and he was succeeded as prime minister by Ben Jones of the NNP on December 20, 1989. Parliamentary elections were held on March 13, 1990, and the NDC won seven out of 15 sears in the House of Representatives.  The GULP won four seats in the House of Representatives.  Nicholas Brathwaite of the NDC formed a coalition government as prime minister on March 16, 1990.  On August 14, 1991, Prime Minister Brathwaite commuted the death sentences of former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and 13 other individuals to life imprisonment.  Sir Reginald Palmer was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on August 6, 1992.  George Brizan of the NDC was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Reginald Palmer on February 1, 1995.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 20, 1995, and the NNP won eight out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The NDC won five seats in the House of Representatives.  Keith Mitchell of the NNP was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Reginald Palmer on June 22, 1995.  Sir Daniel Williams was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on August 8, 1996.  The House of Representatives was dissolved on December 2, 1998.  Parliamentary elections were held on January 18, 1999, and the NNP won 14 out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent eight observers to monitor the parliamentary elections from January 13-19, 1999.  Parliamentary elections were held on November 27, 2003, and the NNP won eight out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The NDC won seven seats in the House of Representatives.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent observers headed by Corinne McKnight of Trinidad & Tobago to monitor the parliamentary elections from November 24 to November 28, 2003.  Parliamentary elections were held on July 8, 2008, and the NDC won eleven out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The NNP won four seats in the House of Representatives.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 38 observers to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) sent observers to monitor the parliamentary elections from July 2 to July 9, 2008.  Tillman Thomas of the NDC was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Daniel Williams on July 9, 2008.  Sir Carlyle Glean was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on November 27, 2008.  Bernard Coard, a former Deputy Prime Minister who had been serving a life sentence in prison, was released from prison on September 5, 2009.  Parliamentary elections were held on February 19, 2013, and the NNP won 15 out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives.  The Organization of American States (OAS) sent 18 observers from 13 countries led by Ambassador John Sears of the Bahamas to monitor the parliamentary elections from February 12 to February 20, 2013.  The Commonwealth of Nations (CoN) sent three observers led by Irfan Abdool Rahman from Mauritius to monitor the parliamentary elections from February 12, 2013 to February 20, 2013.  The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) sent seven observers led by Dr. Van Dijk-Silos of Suriname to monitor the parliamentary elections from February 13 to February 24, 2013.  Keith Mitchell of the NNP was sworn in as prime minister by Governor-General Carlyle Glean on February 20, 2013.  Dame Cecile La Grenade was appointed as Governor-General of Grenada on May 7, 2013.

[Sources: Banks and Muller, 1998, 366-370; Beigbeder, 1994, 232; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), January 19, 1999, November 30, 2003, February 19, 2013, February 20, 2013; Caribbean Community (CARICOM) press release, July 9, 2008, February 20, 2013; Caribbean Journal (CJ), May 7, 2013; Clodfelter, 1992, 1179-1180; Degenhardt, 1988, 137-138; Facts on File, February 9, 1974, December 11, 1976, March 16, 1979, March 30, 1979; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), March 14, 1979, March 15, 1979, March 16, 1979, March 19, 1979, October 18, 1983, October 19, 1983, October 20, 1983,October 24, 1983, October 25, 1983, October 26, 1983, October 27, 1983, October 28, 1983, October 31, 1983, November 1, 1983, November 2, 1983, November 4, 1983, November 8, 1983, November 9, 1983, November 10, 1983; Jessup, 1998, 251-252; Joyner, 1984, 131-144; Keesing’s Record of World Events, March 11-17, 1974, March 11, 1977, June 29, 1979, October 15, 1982, January 1984, May 1984, January 1985, July 1985, March 1986; Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record (LACCR), 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1984-1985; Moore, 1984, 145-168; New York Times (NYT), October 21, 1983, October 22, 1983, October 26, 1983, October 27, 1983, October 28, 1983, October 29, 1983, November 7, 1983, November 10, 1983, November 16, 1983, December 16, 1983, February 23, 1984, August 9, 1984, October 17, 1984, November 2, 1984, December 3, 1984, December 4, 1984, December 9, 1984, December 10, 1984, June 6, 1985, June 13, 1985, August 21, 1985, December 5, 1986, October 30, 1988, March 14, 1990, March 13, 1991, August 9, 1991, August 15, 1991; Organization of American States (OAS) press release, January 7, 1999, January 12, 1999, November 24, 2003, February 4, 2004, July 9, 2008; Organization of American States (OAS) statement, February 20, 2013; Tillema, 1991, 20-21; Weisburd, 1997, 234-238.]

 

Selected Bibliography

Thorndike, Tony. 1983. “The Grenada Crisis,” The World Today, vol. 39 (12), pp. 468-476.

Williams, Gary. 1996. “The Tail that Waged the Dog: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States’ Role in the 1983 Intervention in Grenada,” European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, no. 61, pp. 95-115.

Williams, Gary. 1997. “Prelude to an Intervention: Grenada 1983,” Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 29 (1), pp. 131-169.