People's Revolutionary Government (Grenada)

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People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada

1979–1983
Anthem:  Hail Grenada
Grenada in its region.svg
Capital St. George's
Common languages English
Demonym(s) Grenadian
Government Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist state under a constitutional monarchy
Monarch  
 1979-1983
Elizabeth II
Governor-General  
 1979-1983
Paul Scoon
Prime Minister  
 1979–1983
Maurice Bishop
 1983
Bernard Coard
 1983
Hudson Austin
Historical era Cold War
 Communist rule proclaimed
13 March 1979
25 October 1983
Area
348.5 km2 (134.6 sq mi)
Currency East Caribbean Dollar
ISO 3166 code GD
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Grenada.svg Grenada
Grenada Flag of Grenada.svg
Today part ofFlag of Grenada.svg  Grenada

The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) was proclaimed on 13 March 1979 after the New Jewel Movement overthrew the government of Grenada in a revolution. The government suspended the constitution and ruled by decree until a factional conflict broke out, culminating in an invasion by the United States on 25 October 1983.

New Jewel Movement political party in Grenada

The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement (NJM) was a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada that was led by Maurice Bishop. Established in 1973, the NJM issued its manifesto prior to the granting of Independence to Grenada in 1974. The movement took control of the country with a successful revolution in 1979 and ruled by decree as the People's Revolutionary Government until 1983. In 1983, its leader Maurice Bishop was killed by paramilitaries affiliated with hard-liners in his own party. This led to a military government, which was deposed by the US military in a 1983 invasion.

Grenada country in the Caribbean

Grenada is a country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself plus six smaller islands which lie to the north of the main island. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 107,317 in 2016. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops, of which it is one of the world's largest exporters. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada dove.

United States invasion of Grenada conflict in Grenada involving US and Cuban led forces

The United States invasion of Grenada began on the 25 October 1983. The invasion, led by the United States, of the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, which has a population of about 91,000 and is located 160 kilometres (99 mi) north of Venezuela, resulted in a U.S. victory within a matter of days. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, it was triggered by the internal strife within the People's Revolutionary Government that resulted in the house arrest and the execution of the previous leader and second Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop, and the establishment of a preliminary government, the Revolutionary Military Council with Hudson Austin as Chairman. The invasion resulted in the appointment of an interim government, followed by democratic elections in 1984. The country has remained a democratic nation since then.

History

The New Jewel Movement (NJM) under the leadership of Maurice Bishop was the main opposition party in Grenada during the 1970s. In 1979, the NJM overthrew the government of Eric Gairy, which had ruled the country since independence in 1974. The NJM launched an armed takeover of the radio station, police barracks, and various other key locations in Grenada while Gairy was on a trip outside the country. The armed takeover was conducted by the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA), which had been formed in secret within the NJM. [1]

Maurice Bishop Prime Minister of Grenada

Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian revolutionary and the leader of New Jewel Movement – popular efforts in the areas of socio-economic development, education, and Black liberation – that came to power during the 13 March 1979 revolution that removed Eric Gairy from office. Bishop headed the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada from 1979 to 1983, when he was dismissed from his post and shot during the coup by Bernard Coard, a staunch militaristic element in the government, leading to upheaval.

Eric Gairy Prime Minister of Grenada

Sir Eric Matthew Gairy PC was the first Prime Minister of Grenada, serving from his country's independence in 1974 until his overthrow in a coup by Maurice Bishop in 1979. Gairy also served as head of government in pre-independence Grenada as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1962, and as Premier from 1967 to 1974.

Peoples Revolutionary Army (Grenada)

The People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) was the military of Grenada between 1979 and 1983.

The NJM suspended the constitution and announced new laws. Maurice Bishop announced the formation of the PRG over radio, which organized a cabinet to run the country with Bishop as prime minister. All political organizations except for the NJM were banned, and membership in the NJM was thereafter tightly controlled.

The PRG established close relations with the government of Cuba, and with Cuban assistance began construction of a large international airport.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Literacy and health statistics improved dramatically during Bishop's tenure, but economic woes led to a crisis. In 1983, internal divisions occurred within the central committee of the PRG. A group led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, a hard-line militaristic element, [2] attempted to convince Bishop to enter into a power-sharing agreement with Coard. Eventually Coard placed Bishop under house arrest and took control of the PRG government. The removal of Bishop led to large popular demonstrations in different areas of the country. In the course of one of these demonstrations, Bishop was freed by the crowd, and eventually reached the PRA headquarters at Fort Rupert.

Winston Bernard Coard is a Grenadian politician who was Deputy Prime Minister in the People's Revolutionary Government of the New Jewel Movement. Coard launched a coup within the revolutionary government and took power for three days until he was himself deposed by General Hudson Austin.

A unit from the PRA (People's Revolutionary Army) at Fort Frederick was dispatched to Fort Rupert. Fighting broke out between that force and the civilians at Fort Rupert resulting in many deaths. Afterwards, Bishop and seven others, including several cabinet ministers, were rounded up and executed.

After the executions, a new government called the Revolutionary Military Council, led by General Hudson Austin, was formed to rule the country and the PRG ceased to exist. This government nominally ruled for six days before being ousted by the U.S. invasion of Grenada.

Related Research Articles

The recorded history of the Caribbean island of Grenada begins in the early 17th century. First settled by indigenous peoples, by the time of European contact it was inhabited by the Caribs. French colonists drove most of the Caribs off the island and established plantations on the island, eventually importing African slaves to work on the sugar plantations.

Foreign relations of Grenada

The United States, Venezuela, Cuba, and the People's Republic of China have embassies in Grenada. Grenada has been recognized by most members of the United Nations and maintains diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Canada.

Herbert Augustus Blaize PC was a Grenadian politician and leader of the Grenada National Party. When Grenada was still a British Crown Colony he served as the first Chief Minister from 1960 to 1961, and again from 1962 to 1967. He became the first Premier of the autonomous Associated State of Grenada briefly in 1967. In the first free elections following the 1983 coups and the American-led invasion of Grenada, he served as Prime Minister from 1984 until his death in 1989.

Paul Scoon Governor-General of Grenada

Sir Paul Godwin Scoon was Governor-General of Grenada from 1978 to 1992. His tenure is notable for its hectic events related to the rise and fall of the People's Revolutionary Government, as well as his personal involvement and support of the Invasion of Grenada.

Maurice Bishop International Airport airport

Maurice Bishop Airport, formerly known as Point Salines Airport, is an international airport located in the parish of St. George's. The town of St. George's is about 5 mi (8.0 km) north of the airport and is the capital of the island nation of Grenada. The airport is located on Point Salines, the most southwestern point of the island.

Hudson Austin is a former general in the People's Revolutionary Army of Grenada. After the killing of Maurice Bishop, he formed a military government with himself as chairman to rule Grenada.

The Grenada 17 are the seventeen political, military and civilian figures who were convicted of various crimes associated with the overthrow of the Maurice Bishop's government of Grenada in 1983 and his subsequent murder.

The People's Revolutionary Militia, was the militia force created by the New Jewel Movement (NJM) after it seized power to provide local security against sabotage, involve masses in political action and provide a 5,000 member reserve force for the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA). Due to equipment shortages and administrative failings, many PRM members never received uniforms or weapons training. The best trained of the militia units were the Rapid Mobilisation Companies, one of which was provided for each PRA Defence Region.

National Youth Organisation (Grenada)

The National Youth Organization was a youth organization in Grenada. NYO was the youth wing of the New Jewel Movement.

1962 Grenadian general election

General elections were held in Grenada on 13 September 1962. Herbert Blaize's Grenada National Party won six of the ten seats and Blaize was appointed Chief Minister for the second time. Blaize served as Head of Government until the next general election in August 1967, initially as Chief Minister until March 1967, and subsequently when Grenada became a fully internally autonomous Associated State, as Grenada's first Premier. Voter turnout was 72.6.

The Mongoose Gang was a private army or militia which operated from 1970 to 1979 under the control of Sir Eric Gairy, the Premier and later Prime Minister of Grenada, and head of the Grenada United Labour Party.

Jacqueline Creft was a Grenadian politician, one of the leaders of the revolutionary New Jewel Movement and Minister of Education in the People's Revolutionary Government from 1980 to 1983. She was executed in October 1983 along with Maurice Bishop, prime minister of the country and father of her son Vladimir (1977–1994).

Grenada Has not had a standing army since 1983, after the American-led invasion but it has a small force of police and paramilitary forces.

References

  1. Russell Crandall, Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama (Oxford, UK, 2006), 126.
  2. País, Ediciones El (1994-08-19). "Reportaje | 'Apocalypso now'". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-06-06.