Granada History

Granada History

Granada. Caribbean island, located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, located 160 km north of Trinidad and Tobago. Granada comprehensive information can be found on simplyyellowpages.

It is located at 12 ° 3 ′ N 61 ° 45 ′ W. [3] There are no large bodies of water inside the island. It has an area of 340 square kilometers, and the coastline is 121 km long. [2]

The official language is English, the form of government is a parliamentary monarchy, whose head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, since it is part of the Commonwealth.

This small country was the protagonist in 1983 of one of the many invasions that the nations of the hemisphere have suffered by the United States under the pretense of safeguarding democracy and human rights as well as protecting the lives of Americans.


The first settlers of present-day Granada were the Arawak (Arawak) aborigines, who, by the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island on August 15, 1498, had already been displaced by the Caribs. Upon arrival Columbus named her Concepción. Already in the 18th century, the island was known as Granada.

As a consequence of its aboriginal population with cannibalistic habits (the Caribs had this custom), the island was not colonized until 100 years after its discovery. [4]

These first colonizing efforts were carried out by the English, although to no avail. Around 1650 the island was bought by a French company from the English.

The new colonizers managed, with reinforcements brought from the island of Martinique, to put an end to the threat of the Caribs, the last of whom is told jumped into the sea so as not to surrender to the invaders. The origin of this name is unknown, possibly a copy of the Spanish city of Granada, like so many other colonies of the New World that acquired names of cities and provinces of the old continent.

Granada remained under French control until its forced occupation by the British in 1762 during the Seven Years’ War. Granada was formally ceded to the British Empire by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Although the French regained control of the island in 1779, the island was retaken by the British by the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. Despite heavy pressure on the British due to a pro-French revolution in 1795, Granada remained British for the remainder of its colonial period.

During the 18th century, the economy of Granada underwent a very important transition. Like the rest of the West Indies, Grenada was colonized to grow sugar, which was grown on the estates using slave labor. [5]

Around 1782, Sir Joseph Banks, the botanical adviser to King George III, brought the nutmeg to Granada. The island’s lands are excellent for this crop, which made Granada a source of spices that was also closer to Europe than the East Indies of the Dutch, gaining importance for European merchants.

The fall of the sugar plantations and the arrival of nutmeg and cocoa favored the development of small properties, developing a crop based on small landowners. Slavery was outlawed by law in 1834. In 1833, Grenada became part of the British Administration of the Windward Islands.

The governor of the Windward Islands administered the island for the remainder of the colonial period. In 1958, the Windward Islands Administration was dissolved, and Grenada then joined the Federation of the West Indies. [6]

After the demise of said federation in 1962, the British government attempted to form a small federation from its remaining possessions in the eastern Caribbean. After the failure of this English attempt in 1967 Granada became an associated state of the United Kingdom.

American Independence-Invasion

The 28 of February of 1972, general elections resulted in the victory of Eric M. Gairy, who ran under the banner of the independence of the United Labor Party of Granada (GULP). A constitutional conference was held in London in May 1973, and independence was set for February 1974, a fact that was finally consummated on February 7 despite the general strike and protests against Gairy’s secret police., actions that were supported by unions in neighboring Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. [4]

Prime Minister Gairy ruled for five years. Gairy used the power to his advantage; he distributed public offices among the members of his party and promoted the paramilitaries to the category of “Defense Corps”, the only militarized body on the island.

The mongoose squad received military training from Chilean advisers and recruited inmates released from St. George’s jail. In the December 1976 elections, the Popular Alliance – made up of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), the National Party of Granada and the United People’s Party, increased its parliamentary representation from one to six deputies, out of a total of 15. On 12 March of 1979, while Gairy was out of the country, the opposition gave a coup and took power.

The great popular support received allowed them to establish a provisional revolutionary government, led by Maurice Bishop. [7]

In four years, the revolutionary popular government promoted the creation of grassroots organizations and promoted a mixed economy regime, expanding the public sector, and encouraging agribusiness and state farms. [4] Seven hundred and eighty-four Cubans — including builders, doctors, diplomats, educators, and a few militants — arrived in Granada. [8] In addition to an airport, they built new ports for aquatic bananas and also opened many free clinics. The anti-capitalist government distributed free milk and other meals for the destitute as well as materials for home renovation. For the first time in the history of the country, first and second education became free for all.

Unemployment fell from 49 to 14 percent in three years. Cultural and sports programs were established for youth and measures to support equal status and shutdown by women.

The anti-capitalist government covered unused land to establish cooperative farms and wanted to swap cash crop agriculture for self-sufficient food production. [9] [10] The private sector was supported in areas compatible with global economic policy. However, as a result of the government’s socialist ideology, he was constantly harassed by the United States and some conservative neighbors. [7] [11]

Claiming that the modern Granada airport at Point Salines could be used by Cuba to move its military contingents to Africa, the United States launched a coordinated campaign of economic strangulation of Grenada. The anti – imperialism and non – alignment foreign policy oriented government towards the socialist world. The collaboration of Cuba was achieved to build the international airport, a vehicle to make tourist activity viable, which occupied 25% of the country’s active population.

Prime Minister Bishop faced constant pressure from the far-left sector of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), which viewed him as a traitor and sought to radicalize the political process. [12]

In October 1983, Army Chief General Hudson Austin betrayed democracy and carried out a coup to overthrow Bishop. Bishop was placed under house arrest. [13]

He was freed by a crowd of protesters, but only to be shot, shortly after, along with his partner Jacqueline Creft (the Minister of Education), the Foreign and Housing Ministers, two union leaders and 13 protesters. [14]

The United States launched the military invasion plans, which had been decided and planned for more than a year. On October 25, 1983, 5,000 Marines and Green Berets landed. [fifteen]

Hours later followed a decorative contingent of 300 policemen from six Caribbean countries: Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who lent themselves to this “international intervention for humanitarian reasons.” Due to the resistance of militiamen from Granada, as well as Cuban technicians and workers, the operation lasted longer than expected and the United States suffered several casualties in combat.

The press was prohibited from entering Granada until the resistance was eliminated, which made it impossible to verify the deaths of dozens of civilians, in attacks on a mental hospital and other non-military targets. Under rigid American military control, Sir Paul Scoon, representative of the British crown in Granada, assumed the provisional government with the task of organizing elections. [16]

In December 1984, a Chamber of Deputies was voted in, which elected Herbert Blaize, from the island of Carriacou, as Prime Minister, responsible for a coalition of parties that presented himself as the New National Party (NNP) and had ostensible support from the United States. [17]

The politician Bernard Coard, responsible for the murder of Maurice Bishop and the revolt that put an end to the revolutionary process in Granada.

Neither the OAS nor NATO dared to support the interventionist adventure. But 20 days later, Barbados saw its “collaboration” rewarded with a US aid program worth $ 18.5 million. The new government reached agreements with the IMF that reproduced the organism’s classic scheme: budget adjustments, reduction of state jobs, freezing of salaries and stimulation of large private companies.

The Regional Security System, which allows the prime minister to request the presence of foreign troops – from neighboring Caribbean countries – when threatened, was launched by Blaize in December 1986, under the pretext that it was coming to an end. the 1983 coup trial. Bernard Coard, his wife Phyllis and former Army Commander Hudson Austin were sentenced to death along with 11 soldiers. Their sentences were quickly reduced to 25 years in prison, and they were eventually released. [18]

During his first years of government, Blaize achieved considerable economic growth: 5 to 6% per year, mainly based on tourism. However, neoliberal measures increased youth unemployment, crime and drug addiction.


After Blaize’s death in 1989, Ben Jones of the National Party, backed by big business and landowners, took office. In the general elections of March 1990 – the anniversary of the coup that overthrew Eric Matthew Gairy in 1979 – Nicholas Braithwaite, the former acting head of the post-invasion government, won, and was viewed with sympathy by the United States. [19]

In 1994 there was a 30% unemployment rate and a strong emigration trend. The fall in the international prices of bananas, coconut, wood and nutmeg influenced this trend.

In the 1995 elections the ruling NDC party was displaced by Keith Mitchell, former professor of mathematics at Howard University (in Washington), and leader of the NNP. [twenty]

This victory was attributed to his promise to repeal the income tax, in force until 1986 and reimposed by the NDC in 1994. The government rejected in March 1997 a request from the Council of Churches of Granada to release the two condemned to Life imprisonment for the 1983 murder of former Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and a group of ministers and union leaders. In April, Grenada and Cuba reestablished their diplomatic relations, interrupted since the US invasion in 1983.

In the January 1999 elections, Mitchell’s NNP won all 15 parliamentary seats.

Granada was located in the period 2001 – 2002 as the Caribbean economy with the highest growth, due to the boom in tourism, foreign investment and the growth of agriculture; but unemployment, which mainly affected the youngest, did not decrease. In October 2003, marking the 20th anniversary of the Bishop assassination and the US invasion, Amnesty International published a report calling the 17 convicts the “last prisoners of the Cold War” and calling on the government to conduct an independent review of the case..

Those convicted included Bernard Coard – the ultimate culprit in Bishop’s murder. The report denounced, among other flaws, the irregularity in the selection of judges, the lack of legal representation of the accused, the presentation of dubious evidence and the obtaining of confessions under torture.

Hurricane Emily passing through Granada in July 2004 left one person dead, destroyed crops and damaged homes. [22]

The material damage it caused to the country was estimated to be around $ 110 million. In September, 90% of the territory of Granada was hit by Hurricane Ivan, which left 34 dead and some 5,000 families homeless. [23]

Only 1 in 10 buildings had been left standing, and even some of those designated as shelters were seriously damaged. The leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) called for a moratorium on Grenada’s external debt to help it recover from the natural disaster. [24]

Granada History