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Grenada

1997 Grenada

According to Countryaah, in January 1974, a widespread "anti-independence strike" was launched, aimed at preventing Gairy from taking full power in the country. After being completely paralyzed for weeks, Gairy sent his "mongoose gangs" onto the scene. It was paramilitary groups that the Prime Minister had personally trained with tonton macoutes from Haiti as an example. The attacks on the left ended with the strike and independence was proclaimed the following week.

Gairy used his newfound total power to his own advantage. He distributed public positions to members of his own party, while giving his paramilitary group the name "Defense Force" - the country's only armed corps. His mongoose gangs were trained by military advisers from the dictatorship in Chile and the number of members increased with released prisoners from the prison in St. George's.

1979 Cup brings NJM to power

At the December 1976 election, the NJM went for election in an alliance with the National Party of Grenada and the United People's Party. The alliance succeeded in increasing its mandate from 1 to 6 out of Parliament's 15 seats. When Gairy was out of the country at the beginning of March 1979, on March 13, NJM succeeded in conducting a bloodless coup d'etat and taking over power in the country. The population was predominantly tired of Gairy's despotic rule, and the new rulers therefore received an overwhelming popular backing that enabled the establishment of a provisional revolutionary government led by attorney and NJM leader Maurice Bishop.

During its 4 years in power, the popular revolutionary government succeeded in developing mass organizations, building a form of mixed economy, expanding the public sector, and building an agro-industry and state farms. The government recognized the private sector and supported its expansion in areas consistent with the government's overall economic policy.

But because of its socialist orientation and close relations with Nicaragua, Cuba and Panama, the NJM was a thorn in the eye of the United States and some of Grenada's conservative neighboring countries, which did everything to destabilize the government. The United States conducted threatening naval exercises in the waters around Grenada and the CIA conducted a series of bomb attacks aimed at NJM leaders. The NJM had begun to build a modern airport that could take transatlantic aircraft in order to expand the country's tourism, but the United States claimed the airport had military strategic purposes and should be used to transfer Cuban troops to Africa. The superpower therefore implemented an economic strangulation policy towards the country.

Anti-imperialism and freedom of alliance therefore quickly became the guiding principle of the government's foreign policy, and special attention was paid to the development of relations with the socialist world. Cuba agreed to contribute to the construction of the new international airport.

 

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