It’s that time of the year when Grenadians reflect on the significance of the date March 13 on the local calendar.
It was on this day 42 years ago that the left-leaning New Jewel Movement (NJM) under the leadership of British-trained barrister-at-law, Maurice Bishop used force of arms to bring about regime change in Grenada with a coup d’etat against the elected Grenada United Labour Party (GULP government of Prime Minister Eric Gairy.
Today, the revolutionaries refer to March 13 as the day that Grenada got real independence for the first time as they proceeded to chart a new course of governance on the island with a Marxist model of development that received substantial economic and military assistance from Cuba and several countries in Eastern Europe that fell under the Empire of the then Soviet Union.
The supporters of Gairy and several other Grenadians will always look back on the day 42 years ago as probably the darkest period in our history based on the ugly side of the Revolution which was marked by suspension of the Constitution, as well as imprisonment of political opponents without charge or trial, massive human rights abuses and curtailment of press freedom.
There is virtually a new group that is engaged in activities to try and keep alive the flame of the Revolution which turned sour four-and-a-half years after its birth as a group of hardliners who considered themselves to be more Marxist than anyone else on the island seized power in a bloody palace coup in which Prime Minister Bishop was executed.
It is unfortunate that the hardliners are back in the driving seat and holding onto the Grenada Revolution as their own since those who were in the forefront of the activities over the years like Dr. Terrance Marryshow, Peggy Nestfield and Einstein Louison among others have disappeared from the scene.
The hardliners whose loyalty was to Bernard Coard during the Revolution have now formed themselves into a group known as “The 42nd Anniversary Celebrations Committee” and will be holding an event Saturday to commemorate the NJM seizure of power from the Gairy regime.
The problem with these hardline Marxist-Leninists is that they see themselves as an elitist group in the society and superior to everyone else in the country in terms of education and as such have no respect for anyone else but themselves.
THE NEW TODAY is still at a loss in trying to find out what these Coardites are trying to celebrate in Grenada when they not only killed the Revolution by executing The Leader and three Cabinet Ministers but also murdered several other Grenadians who were opposed to them.
The reality of the situation is that this is the only group known in the English-speaking Caribbean to have led a Revolution and then turn around and took action on their own accord to smash up and overthrow their own revolution.
42 years later not one Coardite can provide any shred of evidence that Imperialism or “The Yankees” had a hand in turning back the Grenada Revolution.
It was all due to these “Wolves in Sheep Clothing” who attempted to hijack the Revolutionary process from Bishop and install their ideological and spiritual leader, Bernard Coard at the helm of the process through a hurriedly put together arrangement called Joint Leadership.
THE NEW TODAY suspect that the Coardites felt that if Bishop had remained in power to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Grenada Revolution it would have been hard to dislodge him from power as he would have by then consolidate his position in the leadership of the country.
Within the next year or so, Prime Minister Bishop would have opened the International airport at Point Salines and President Fidel Castro was due to visit the island for the first time as a show of support for the revolutionary process underway in St. George under the man that they often referred to as his son.
It should also be noted that Coard had resigned from the Central Committee of the NJM and George Louison had taken over as a chief ideologue of the party and the Marxist-Leninists had to invent a reason to bring Coard back into the limelight and in their desperate move to seize power engaged in activities that only served to kill the Grenada Revolution.
These Coardites have never removed the idea from their heads that one day they will regain power in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Some of the adherents to that thinking have stated that despite the setback of the Revolutionary process with the tragic events of October 19, 1983 and the subsequent collapse of world communism with the downfall of the Soviet Union that Communism will go through a reformation period and re-emerge once again to try and rule the world.
The local Coardites have engaged in many strategies of their own in the past 42 years to embed themselves into local political parties with the hope of infiltrating the leadership and getting back into State power.
The last attempt was with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) when a faction led by former General Secretary, Peter David was supposed to challenge then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for the 2008-13 government.
David and several of his allies including trade unionist Chester Humphrey, Pastor Stanford Simon, Glynis Roberts, Joseph Gilbert and others were expelled from Congress which resulted in the party losing power in 2013 as the Grenadian masses had enough of this kind of infighting and re-elected the New National Party (NNP) under Keith Mitchell back into office.
The expelled Peter David who is seen as the best face among the Coardites in the current political context in going forward, soon worked out an arrangement with Mitchell under the banner of “Project Grenada” to try and bury Congress as a political force in the country.
Today, David and his supporters have not been able to make any significant inroads in the NNP leadership and are showing signs of being disgruntled as the ageing 75-year old Dr. Mitchell is still thirsty for power and is not inclined to exit from the political arena any time soon.
There are reports coming from inside the NNP House that the former NDC General Secretary is no way close to the hierarchy of the party with Deputy Political Leader, Gregory Bowen and Education Minister Emmalin Pierre being seen as the current frontrunners as possible successors for the Mitchell throne.
The opportunistic Coardites are power hungry “to the bone” and will be plotting their next move.
THE NEW TODAY will not be surprised if some of them are not sending emissaries to Congress to bury the hatchet in a new move to try and unseat NNP and Mitchell from power.
These opportunists have no shame in getting into “bed” with anyone if there is an opportunity for them as a group to advance their political cause.
THE NEW TODAY is calling on Grenadians to watch this group now calling itself “The 42nd Anniversary Celebrations Committee” as it is packed with Coardites who are still after the elusive five letter word known as “POWER”.