Excellencies, Heads of Missions Accredited to Cuba.
Esteem Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
Cde. Gaston Diaz and other Representatives from the Grenada-Cuba Friendship Group.
Family and Friends of Cuban Workers who died in Grenada.
Representatives from The Caribbean Association of Cuba.
Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters.
First and foremost, allow me to join with our gracious moderators to thank you for your attendance at this morning’s activity.
We are gathered here today solemnly in remembrance of and to pay tribute to our Revolutionary Martyrs and Heroes who were killed in the line of duty on these infamous days Oct 19th and 25th of 1983, 40 years ago.
Today we remember and reflect on the lives of the late Great Revolutionary and Visionary Leader and Hero of Grenadian people Cde. Maurice Bishop, his cabinet Colleagues including Sr. Jacqueline Creft. Cde. Unison Whiteman, Cde. Norris Bain and all others who lost their lives on Oct. 19th.
We remember and pay tribute also to the 24 Cuban internationalist workers and the 45 Grenadian soldiers who were killed by the USA Armed Forces on Oct. 25th, 1983, in the line of duty, defending the Grenada Revolution.
In this context, permit me to use this old proverb which says: “Honor to whom honor deserves -Those who died for life cannot be called dead”
Long live the spirit of Maurice Bishop and the Martyrs and Heroes who Sacrificed their lives for the Grenada Revolution.
Long live their memories!
Ladies and Gentleman, the advent of the Grenada Revolution of March 13th, 1979, led by the Revolutionary and Visionary Leader Maurice Bishop, was not only a beacon of hope for the Grenadian masses. It was a great inspiration to oppressed and struggling people al over the world.
It offered a glimpse of hope, for Freedom, Self-determination, Socio-economic transformation and Prosperity for the Working Class Movement globally. No wonder why it was dubbed by President Fidel Castro as a “Big Revolution in a Small Country”. ON that dreadful day, Oct. 19th, 1983, the dreams and aspirations of the International Progressive Force was dealt a major blow with the senseless and brutal killing of Maurice Bishop and his other colleagues. This of course, led to the total collapse of the Revolution killing with it the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions.
Yes, that glimmer of hope was replaced by despair as the events of Oct. 19th, was soon followed by the events of Oct. 25th, the invasion of Grenada by the USA Armed Forces.
Today, while we rehash and reflect on the memories of that tragic era, we must remind ourselves that in battle, in any struggle, sometimes you win and sometimes you learn! And so, the best way to pay tribute to our fallen heroes is to learn the lessons and apply it in our daily labour pursuits. Some of the lessons are as follows:
- Human life is sacred- We must always value it.
- We must never allow conflicts and difference of opinion to lead us to open confrontation and violence.
- We must seek to resolve all conflicts through dialogue with compromise as the corner stone for a successful resolution.
- We must always put our country first and ensure that our actions are in its best interest.
- We must always listen to the voice of the people and act in their best interest.
- Remember, a people united can never be defeated!
So today, let us honor the memories of our Heroes and Martyrs by continuing the struggle for Justice, Freedom, Equality and socio-economic transformation and prosperity for all. For the Grenadian Revolution was about people Empowerment, Liberation and Freedom.
I use this occasion to again, lend our voices to call for the Removal of the inhuman and unjust Economic Blockade imposed by the USA and to call also for removal of Cuba from the Black List of State Sponsored Terrorism.
And also for an immediate cease fire and peaceful resolution to the war in Gaza and to agree on a Final Solution to the issue of a homeland for the people of Palestine.
Long live the spirit of The Grenada Revolution!
Long live the friendship with Cuba!
Long live the friendship between Cuba and CARICOM!
Forward ever! Backward never!