It is rather unfortunate that THE NEW TODAY will have to address an important issue that touches on the demise of the Grenada Revolution that coincides with the death of Phyllis Coard, the lone woman who was among the group of seventeen persons convicted for the October 19, 1983 execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and three government ministers in the bitter power struggle for control of the then ruling New Jewel Movement (NJM).
This newspaper has been forced into action after being sent a notification by a group that has called on the U.S government in the last few days to “return the remains of the Grenadian leaders so that they can be given a proper and dignified burial”.
A little research showed that those behind this latest call are aligned to Bernard Coard and the Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) thugs who were responsible for the bloody massacre on Fort George which in those days was called Fort Rupert by the revolutionaries.
It is a known fact that the young people in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique are not aware of the recent history of the country especially those relating to the birth and demise of the Grenada Revolution.
History will not be kind to many of those in our midst who have relevant information that can help to enlighten those who are still ignorant of the facts surrounding the bloodiest period in our history since the days of slavery.
This latest salvo from the Coardites will make the unsuspecting believe that the U.S government should be held responsible for the deaths of Maurice Bishop, Unison Whiteman, Jacqueline Creft and Norris Bain and should now return the bodies.
Bishop and three other leaders of the Grenada Revolution were lined up against a wall on Fort Rupert and executed by a firing squad led by one Callistus “Iman Abdullah” Bernard who was part of a squad of soldiers who were dispatched from Fort Frederick to the army headquarters where the freed Prime Minister had taken refuge.
This squad had three armoured cars and left Fort Frederick on orders from then Lieutenant-Colonel Ewart “Headache” Layne to recapture the fort where Bishop was located after thousands of Grenadians had stormed into the official residence of the Prime Minister at Mt. Wheldale and freed him from under house arrest.
This RMC-influenced group from England would seek to hide the truth from the people to make us believe that those who were convicted for the mass murders did not have an opportunity before the U.S and Caribbean military action to overthrow these Coardites to hand over the bodies of Bishop and his colleagues to use their own word for “a proper and dignified burial”.
The RMC Gang members were engaged in deceit and tomfoolery from Day One on the whereabouts of the bodies to then head of state, the late Governor General Sir Paul Scoon and those family members who approached them for the remains of the slaughtered leaders.
Two of the principal army figures – General Hudson Austin and Major Leon “Bogo” Cornwall visited Sir Paul at Government House and the issue of the bodies of Bishop and others were discussed.
According to Sir Paul in his book, these two RMC military men misled him into believing that the bodies will receive the customary Christian burial that is part of the culture and tradition of this country.
In addition, General Austin had invited the late Medical Doctor Jenson Otway to do an autopsy on the bodies and to falsify the report in the manner in which PM Bishop and the others were killed so that the entire world will believe that the deaths took place in crossfire and not due to an execution.
It is also reported that Dr. Otway suggested that the bodies of Maurice Bishop and his fallen Comrades should be handed over to their families in sealed coffins for a proper burial to take place.
It is our understanding that the response from the General is word to the effect what bodies you are talking about the men and them are mashed up in pieces.
The Bishop killers had already disposed of the bodies as the evidence from the trial showed that Callistus Bernard had taken the remains from Fort George on the night of October 19, 1983 and brought them in a van to the army camp at Calivigny where they were placed in a hole and set on fire with the hope of burning them beyond recognition.
There are several questions that this RMC–influenced group from England must answer in order to help bring closure to the people of Grenada before they come with this campaign about the return of the remains of Bishop and the others.
Who gave the order to take Bishop and his colleagues to the Top Square on the fort after he was recaptured? Who gave the orders to execute them? Who gave the instructions to take the bodies from the fort to Camp Calivigny to destroy them?
This RMC-influenced Group has chosen to remain silent for years on the role played by the other NJM so-called Joint Leader, Bernard Coard as he and his OREL faction within the NJM made a grab for power in the whole episode that unfolded in Grenada during the October 1983 crisis.
The new foot soldiers of the mass murderers will not tell Grenadians that the late George Louison was the representative of the Bishop side in the negotiation with Bernard Coard who was engaging on behalf of the other members of the Central Committee of the NJM that was then in control of the State after putting the Prime Minister under house arrest.
Both Louison and Unison Whiteman, the former Foreign Minister accused Bernard Coard of not negotiating in good faith on the question of finding a solution to the crisis in the country as “The Masses” started to stage public demonstration in support of their leader and Prime Minister.
Bernard Coard has never publicly denied telling them that he and the other RMC who were then wielding state power were prepared to wait out the demonstrators as Eric Williams did in the 1970 army mutiny in Trinidad and what Gairy did to NJM in the pre-independence era to try and remove him from power in 1973/74.
What is the motive of the RMC Group in 2020 – some 37 years after the bloody carnage on the fort would seek to resurrect the call for the U.S to “return the remains of the Grenadian leaders so that they can be given a proper and dignified burial”?
If these Coardites/RMC are genuine why did they not join the call made back in 1983 by the Maurice Bishop & Martyrs Foundation for the return of the same bodies for a proper and decent burial?
Is it now a farce and deceit by these mass murderers and their associates to try and engage in some kind of a call on the issue of the return of the bodies?
It is the resolve of THE NEW TODAY to resist each and every effort by the RMC and their surrogates around the world to try and pull wool over the eyes of Grenadians in their desperate attempt to rewrite history and to paint the Coard Gang as the good guys.