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Letters to The Editor (Jean Nellson) - Reagan Was Right on Grenada Move

Background: Invasion of Granada

On March 13, 1979 the New Jewel Movement under Maurice Bishop launched a revolution against the government of Granada to establish a people's provisional government. The Bishop government suspended the constitution, banned all other political parties, and began to rule by decree. They quickly aligned themselves with Cuba and other communist governments and began a military build-up on the island.

On October 13, 1983, a faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard seized power illegally and Bishop was placed under house arrest. Mass protests against the action allowed Bishop to escape and reassert his authority as the head of the government. He was eventually captured and murdered along with several government officials loyal to him. The army then took over, placed the Governor-General, Paul Scoon, under house arrest, and announced a four-day total curfew where anyone seen on the streets would be subject to summary execution.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) appealed to the United States, Barbados, and Jamaica for assistance in part because the U.S. government had already decided to take military action. As reasons, U.S. officials cited the murder of Bishop, general political instability in a country near its own borders, and the safety of American medical students at St. George's University on Grenada.

The invasion on October 25th and subsequent fighting involved some 7,000 U.S. troops along with 300 troops from the OECS. Well-prepared and well-positioned, the defenders put up stubborn resistance. However, the total naval and air superiority of the invading forces proved to be significant advantages for the invading forces.

The invasion enjoyed broad public support in the United States as well as in segments of the population in Grenada. October 25th is a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, to commemorate this event. Conversely, the invasion was criticized by the United Kingdom, Trinidad & Tobago, and Canada. Approximately 100 people lost their lives.

Owner/SourceRochester Democrat & Chronicle
Date9 November 1983
PlaceRochester, NY
Linked toJean Ester LEWIS; Robert Archibald NELLSON

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