GRENADA: ORIGINS AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE 13 MARCH COUP

Created: 4/20/1979

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ational' foreign assessment center.

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memorandum

grenada: origins and implicationsth-u

the overthrow last month of prime minister eric gairy was planned and implemented by his strongest domestic the leftist-new jewel movement (joint endeavor for welfare, education, and liberation). cuba, jamaica, the ussr, andsomeoup plans. . cuba'afoportodly offered to train theutionaries the people's revolutionary(prg) will*probablyhome-and-fol low* ther'lcodof-jamaica^-guyana; "ahd'cubrt in policy. it will,ry to cooperate with the us and other western countries in home areasi for the sake of tourism, commodity markets, and economic aid. the grenada coup has weakened the us position in the caribbean, has providedriendly basa to expand its influence in tho region, and will embolden action-prone leftistn other english-speakingjamaica

the new jewel movement (njm)

- '

- 'j.'0 by maurice -bishopack-natxonaust group, olitical party. its leaders are young, mxddle-class, well

This nemoraiuian woe prepared by^the of the Office of Political -Analysis. It wasby the NSC Staffer for Latin America. thisall reports recaived through

who have formed the most effective counter force to tho heavy emigration ofonal and icclm ic.il ly skilled youth. Their power base is chiefly among tho island'a increasingly disaffectedmedian ageho hava been particularly hard hit by rising unemployment now affecting aboutercent of the labor force, bishop and hin colleagues by skillfully exploiting the country's serious political and economic problems, gradually emerged as the most dynamic political force on the ieland. the NJM hree-party allianceoderate platform to noarercent of the vote) ard-fought election that elevated Bishop co Leader of the Opposition.

The NJM was the most effective opposition to the redoubtable Sir Eric Gairy, whosA erratic leadership, flamboyance, and poor human rights record offended growing numbers of his countrymen and virtually all other loaders of the region. Gairy, who had dominated the island's politicssed farce ond intimidation against his opponents andight although often inefficient control of government affairs. The courts banned him from politics71 for misconduct during on election campaign, and the IIK suspended Grenada's constitution2 to removeecond time for misappropriatingfunds. The UK also cut back aid to Grenada4 after Gairy apparently used the money to pay government salaries and again last year after he concluded asecurity assistance agreement with Chile. Inudicial commission supported accusations of brutality agair.st Gairy's police. MB

While the NJM made considerable gains with conventional political tactics, it alsoong record of violentwith Gairy. Bishop was beaten up by policeemonstration in3 and was arrested three times4 on politically relatod charges including conspiracy to assassinate Gairy. In the police killed Bishop's father apparently without provocation during another demonstration. irlyi police forcibly broke up opposition anti-governnent protests and in September two NJM supporters were arrested in the US on gun running

That investigation was probably theBishop, although he uy also have been impelled towardby the discouraging political setbacks .Lothe previous year. The United People-s'party andNational Party, the other -embers of the had all but deserted" '

the NJM because of its increasingly leftist positions. Without support rmm moderate groupn, Bishop wouldd groat difficulty winning tha next election. Moreover, the charges of gun. runningidelineh before then; according to both dairy's ex-forolgn minister and -

ltlnont- nothas contonded politicat-motives and not firm evidence of arms .

_aaiiaw,'lp eason foe the order to detain him.

The Cuban. Jamaican, and Guyanese Connections'

tth Prime Minister Kanley. Duncan,eading radical in the ruling People's National Party. Khttcman later saidecision

n.uli: infit Cuban andraaictii urginy-to postpone "open coo^jo^tution" with Gairy until the NJM was prop.

tt was alsoot Munroe'stry to arrange for Crenodiano receivein Cuba. No Cubans were known to havemeetings in Jamaica, but given tho.fact thatCuba's Americas Department had used Munroe as anwith tho New Jewel Movement, it seems certainwere well aware of the group's plans.

Soon thereafter, thethe Grenada-Cuba Friendship Society as ato recruit young

.Grenadians for eventual training in Cuba. In January,Lbuison-who had attended the World Youth Festival in

:Havana the previousthat the'Cubans had decided to slow the process, of recruitment and to take a" direct hand-in. the-selection of tTrohoHians for training. He implied that Up .to that point iiuGfpn. Cubaraif

.renegade state in the Caribbean. 'J?:,

pu3hedGairy

S his wni?rSnLiC?^nnCaribbeanSIit- thScans and the. t0 receiVft ^litary aid from Pinochet's

which arrived in Grenada,April, apparently also-

a?ian Qt the material hovefrom Cuba.

Cuban aircraxt"urTlMMtocTXiit

In early April, Havana hadew eomu-

f"kingGuyanadeliveries ^during the second week of txlr-i

Problems and Prospects

Bishop's People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) will be attempting to reconcile its leftist principles with the urgent need co improve Grenada's economy- The PRC made initial friendly overtures to the US, reassured moderate groups ind tried to make peace with the strict constitutionalists af the Commonwealth Caribbean. Yet it has also bitterly attacked US efforts to discourage closer Cuba-Grenada links, has shown early signs of increased ctate control of the economy, and has both suspended theand withdrawn from the regional courts system.

Grenadian moderates believe that the responsibilities of power and Bishop's leadership will temper radicalin tho PRG, much as the NJM distanced itself from some of its earlier radical stands as it advanced in tho political arena. At loast some prominent moderate Grenadians have joined the new government.

Bishop, who is unquestionably the dominant force in the government, ighly intelligent politicalthough his sympathies are clearly on the left. Iiu is not likely to take precipitous actions that would scare off foreign investors or jeopardize Grenada's commodity markets in Western and Northern Europe. He has tried hard to reassure North American tourists,oreign oxchanqe is now the island's best hope for reducingillion trade deficit. Ko appoars to recognize his need for tho private sector in any workable plan for economic recovery. ave no evidence that Cuba or any communist country is preparedocialist transformation uZ Grenada'* economy.

The PRC, however, will probably try to centralize the mixed economy and increase government participation in agriculture, the nation's chief employer. It will encourage foreign investment in agriculture and tourism but largely in Joint ventures with the governnent .which will almost certainly demand majority shares. Mff

Since the suspension of the Constitutionas been little doubt that the PRG will suonerlater try tone-party state. Dishopannounced his intention to convene a with most younger Went Indian

intellectuals, argues that the British "Westminster Model"oreign imposition irrelevant to the character and needs of Caribbean societies. The leftists believe that the transplanted British system has served vested minority interests and has excluded the masses from the government decision-making process. The PRG, therefore, will likely move to Impose its long-heralded three-tiered system of village and parish assemblies dominatedingle national assembly. Bishop may have to tack his course, since he will inevitably face opposition from moderates as he tries to excludeonal unions and parties fiom the political process. fl

In foreign policy. Bishop will follow tho lead of Cuba, Jamaica, and Guyananonalignod" course. Ho will try to stay on good working terms with the US for the sake of aid and tourism and to avoid domestic and regional problems certain to resultonfrontation with the US. He will also try to make peace with Eastern Caribbean neighbors who aro hostile to him because of his unconstitutional seizure of power. Ho will, however, neithor bow to us or regionol pressure to ease his ties with Cuba nor accept any "return to constitutionality" that would weaken his do facto control of Grenada, fl

Implications for Cuba, the US, and the Cjm.-nonwe.ilth Caribbean

Cuba has already achieved its primary objective in Grenada. It bet successfully on the group that most countries of the region sawong shot for near-term victory. Havana now has firmly in place an extremely friendlygovernment in the Eastern Caribbean, where it has long sought to extend its influence. It has another ally in the UN and the OAS and another advocate in regional^ bodies formerly hostile to tho Cuban revolution.

Having achieved this, Cuba will probablyow public profile in Grenada. It will offer technicalistance and extend modest offers of trade but willAvoid giving the impression that Cuba has inordinate influence with tho PRG. Privately, however, Cuba and Granada will strengthen their links and cooperate in propaganda efforts to win over other governments in tha Eastern Caribbean. Cuba will also encourage the PRC's belief that the OSis instinctively opposed to its socialist orientation.

The Grenada coup has seriously set back US policy in the Caribbean, even though Washington can probablyorking relationship with the PRG. Bishop and his colleagues appear toove-hate relotionship with the US that does not necessarilyramatic shift in US-Gronadian relations. Their political thinking has been influenced more by theirand "antiwar" years at North American and British Universities than by their much briefer contact with Cuba. They have widespread familial and political contacts among West Indian communities in North America, where the NJM drew its primary financial support from quarterly fund raisers. They understand and admire many aspects of US society and culture. Their hostility toward the US government is based almost exclusively in their intellectual perception of "USeabodied in powerful multinationals andhistorically and inherently opposed to socialise. M

A modus vivendi with Grenada, however, will not redress harm donebacked efforts to promote regionalor to the US image among Caribbean moderates. The ten CARICOM (Caribbean Community) countries, already weakened by the insular protectionist policies of the larger countries, have found their disunity intensified in tha wake Of tha Grenada coup. Jamaica and Guyana, socialist" victory, have shown only token patience with tho alarm expressed by the six English-speaking islands that with Grenada have participated7 in the Council of the West Indies Associated States ho Council metay after Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados recognised thedenounced the coupangerous precedent in the Commonwealth Caribbean. It later withdrew tho regional supreme court froo Grenada andwitholding notes issued by the WIAS currency board.

"WlXS haV'caawd itii ho-tllity iii reboot Wuks "and WiTV--apparently seek sowe^ccommodation with_BiAhop^_Tbe_conccrn. of the other smalVfVincent. St.t.howevur'.lsince they all have-weak securitynd most heve growing radical movements. Leaders of the islands, notably Prime MinisterJohn Compton of Saintnd Premiers Vere Bird of Antigua and.Milton

Vincent, that

western countirisjetheir fears con-corning recognition ofovornnent.j; Angered JT^W* Grenada's* Antigua have reportedly hacked outaribbean cultural festival in Havana; next Julyv^.

Political polarization has also accelerated in Jamaicand the moderates! view of the US hashe. coup3 MarxrnT-lthe.head of Jamaica's, widelyrivatePSOJJ reportedly-vents in Gren ada_hadvdemonsfcraheack .of-hope tor modexatesio^poSedT.^

ercent-rof^ his, messSge^SHcfft,

1"does not get through tohc oppositionheindependent-press, and

some church loadars-xeactcd' to the increasingly tense vpolitical envix-onraent earlier :this month.by. openly

ate>groupsave beenmall .radical groupsemboldened, and in Jamaica, Prime Minister Manley stendenciesben the_small Eastern a1 radical advance will probably be checked byviqilanee and by an inevitable beefingn Jamaica, however, Manley'sprotect the Marxist HorkeiVs Party of Jamaica andcommunist leader, Trevor Munroe. Hunroe.major contact for Cuba and tho Soviet Union withradicals, was linked last yearpd

raidedce outside Kingston. Manley reportedly covered

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