13. mars 1979 tok Maurice Bishop makten i Grenada gjennom en revolusjon. Det diktatoriske og korrupte regime til Eric Gairy ble kastet. Politikken ble endret. Man satte for eksempel fokus på mer grasrotbevegelser og nasjonal uavhengighet. Dette ble dårlig mottatt i USA.
Inntil revolusjonen hadde USA hatt et godt forhold til Grenada (Gairy var i USA under revolusjonen), men dette surnet mer og mer ettersom tiden gikk. Allerede sommeren 1981 trente USA på invasjonen i en operasjon kalt «Amber and the Amberdines».
Maurice Bishop ble henrettet 19. oktober 1983 – 6 dager før USA invaderte øystaten. Det er fortsatt uklart nøyaktig hva som skjedde da Bishop ble henrettet. Men vi vet at USA har viktige dokumenter om hendelsen, som de fikk tak i under invasjonen.
Her følger en artikkel jeg kom over om Bishops politikk i de fire årene han hadde makten. Den er på engelsk, men det burde ikke være noe problem.
The experience of Grenada in the eastern Caribbean is useful in demonstrating that alternative paths to development do not have to be revolutionary in the Marxist political sense. In March 1979, Maurice Bishop, a UK-trained lawyer, overthrew what was regarded as the dictatorial and corrupt regime of Eric Gairy. Maurice Bishop led the New Jewel Movement (NJM), the principal theme of which was anti-Gairyism allied with anti-imperialism. The movement also expressed its strong commitment to genuine independence and self-reliance for the people of Grenada.
On the eve of the revolution, Grenada suffered from a chronic trade deficit, strong reliance on aid and remittances from nationals based overseas, dependence on food imports and very substantial areas of idle agricultural land. After the overthrow of Gairy, the NJM formed the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), the movement taking a basic human needs approach as the core of its development philosophy. The PRG stated its intention of preventing the prices of food, clothing and other basic items from rocketing, along with its wish to see Grenada depart from its traditional role as an exporter of cheap produce. The Government also set up the National Cooperative Development Agencyin 1980, the express aim of which was to engage unemployed groups in villages in the process of ‘marrying idle hands with idle lands’.
Between 1981 and 1982, two agro-industry plants were completed, one producing coffee and spices, the other juices and jams. A strong emphasis was placed on encouraging the population to value locally grown produce together with local forms of cuisine, although the scale of this task was clearly appreciated by those concerned. The PRG also pledged itself to the provision of free medicines, dental care and education.
Finally, it was an avowed intention of the People’s Revolutionary Government to promote what Bishop referred to as the New Tourism, a term which is now widely employed in the literature. New Tourism meant the introduction of what the party regarded as sociologically relevant forms of holiday-making, especially those which emphasised the culture and history of the nation, and which would be based on local foods, cuisine, handicrafts and furniture-making. Such forms of tourist development, it was argued, should replace extant forms based on overseas interests and the exploitation of the local environment and sociocultural history.
The salient point is that, throughout the period, 80 per cent of the economy of Grenada remained in the hands of the private sector, and a trisectoral strategy of development that encompassed private, public and cooperative parts of the economy was the declared aim of the PRG. In this sense, the so-called Grenadian Revolution was nothing of the sort. The economy of Grenada grew quite substantially from 1979 to 1983, at rates between 2.1 and 5.5 per cent per annum. During the period, the value of Grenada’s imported foodstuffs fell from 33 to 27.5 per cent. Even the World Bank commented favourably on the state of the Grenadian economy during the period from 1979.
For many it was a matter of great regret that Maurice Bishop was assassinated in October 1983, and the island invaded by US military forces, because this saw the end of the four-year experiment in alternative development set up in this small Commonwealth nation. This deprived other small dependent Third World states of the fully worked-through lessons of grassroots development that Grenada seemd to be in the process of providing.
Artikkelen er skrevet fra et utviklingsperspektiv, som sier noe om bakteppet til USAs invasjon av landet. Grenada hadde en uavhengig økonomisk politikk, og hadde relasjoner til Cuba og Sovjet. Relasjonene til England var derimot mye sterkere. Reagans grunn for å invadere Grenada var at amerikanske studernter der var i livsfare, og at Grenada var en sikkerhetstrussel mot USA. Studentene sa selv at de ikke var i fare, med mindre USA invaderte. Den andre grunnen trenger ingen videre kommentar.