The New Today
Editorials

37 years too late!!!

There is wide circulation in Grenada a document purporting to be an admittance from a member of the Central Committee (CC) of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) that the executions on the fort during the bloody October 1983 events were the work of ultra-leftists elements within the then ruling party.

THE NEW TODAY welcome the open admittance and “confession” from Major Ian St Bernard that the murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and three Cabinet ministers in the bitter power struggle was indeed a coup that was being staged by these elements.

Mr. St Bernard did not identify the persons by name but Grenadians are fully aware that the culprits belonged to the Cell Group formed by Bernard Coard that is named Organisation for Research, Education and Liberation (OREL).

The army major will not tell the audience that this was a dangerous Marxist-Leninist group and that NJM leaders like Bishop and Unison Whiteman had called for its disbandment as a condition for continued membership in the movement.

The principal figures in OREL were Liam James, Ewart Layne, John “Chaulky” Ventour and Major Keith Roberts – the PBC Boys who all played leading roles in the events leading up to Joint Leadership within NJM between Bishop and Coard and the bloody massacre on the fort.

Mr. St Bernard had every opportunity over the past 37 years to come forward with “the confession” but remained silent while the pro-Bernard Coard faction within the NJM continued to peddle lie after lie and mamagism of the people about the events on that dreadful day in the Spice Isle.

This newspaper is aware of some of the activities of Major St. Bernard on October 19, 1983 and it makes every sense if he comes totally clean before the Grenadian people and give them a Christmas gift with more revelations.

This CC member had an encounter with the late George Louison, one of the strongest allies of Bishop within the CC within minutes of the bloody massacre on the fort and should be prepared 37 years later to finally speak the truth as this also had bearings on the army massacre.

It should also be noted that Major St. Bernard was the last NJM CC member to engage two of Bishop Allies on Fort Rupert – Foreign Minister Unison Whiteman and trade union leader, Vincent Noel after he made a phone call from Fort Frederick to resume negotiations on the crisis within the party.

It has been established that Whiteman and Noel were no longer interested in negotiations and told Major St Bernard to pass on words to Lieutenant-Colonels James and Layne along with Major Cornwall that they should go and surrender to the nearest police station.

Major St Bernard has a duty to come back to the people of Grenada and report on the reaction that came from these three leading NJM members on the demand that they should surrender.

The army Major criticised “the old line” that was told to the people for years about the executions on the fort but stopped short of telling us “the exact truth” as known by him about the killings.

Our message to Mr. St Bernard is that the situation right now is not about using the old worn out phrase of becoming “tired of the lies” but for him to move onto the next stage and tell it all to the people even 37 years later.

This newspaper has always held the view that October 19, 1983 was a coup within a coup staged by Coard’s hardline Marxist-Leninists group known as OREL – Liam “Owusu” James, Ewart “Headache” Layne, and John Ventour.

THE NEW TODAY calls on these three along with Cornwall, as well as Bernard Coard to give a proper and truthful account to the people of their whereabouts and the decisions taken by them at each stage on October 19 – the day of the killings.

The Major St. Bernard revelation along with two other publications this week have totally buried those RMC ultra-leftists who turned the guns of the Revolution on the people some 37 years ago.

Excerpts from the book, “The Assassination of Maurice Bishop, written by attorney-at-law, Godfrey Smith which were published in the Caribbean media this past week revealed for the very first time that the decision to destroy the bodies of the revolutionary leaders was given to Callistus “Iman Abdullah” Bernard by Lieutenant-Colonel Layne.

There is also an article written by Trinidadian Raffique Shah who was very close as a revolutionary to Bishop.

Shah disclosed that he and some known Bishop supporters – the late Allan Alexander who was given the responsibility to draft a new Constitution for Grenada along with George Weekes, David Abdullah and Lennox Pierre had been waiting for hours on news about Bishop and it was telling what the revolutionary opportunist Selwyn Strachan had told them.

This turn coat from Woburn who turned on Bishop and joined up with the ultra-leftists elements in the NJM for his survival and relevance dismissed them out of hand.

It is no wonder that the late Cuban leader, Fidel Castro on hearing of the news of the killings in Grenada pointed a finger directly at Coard and his clique and described them as “extremists drunk on political theory” and likened them to the “Pol Pot” of the Caribbean.

37 years later Coard and his OREL mass murderers must “confess” to the Grenadian people the true role of some other Marxists-Leninists from Jamaica grouped within the now defunct Workers Party of Jamaica (WPJ) in the demise of the Grenada Revolution and the killing of Bishop and others.

Is it by accident that President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey who moved against Bishop on the Joint Leadership issue will turn up this week on Fort George for the first time in 37 years to take part in an Ecumenical Service for those who were killed on October 19, 1983?

The RMC members have no boundaries and will go more than the extra-mile as there is still a commitment by these elements to lay their hands on power again in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique even through more deceitful means.

The demise of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas was at the hands of these RMC elements who wanted power.

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