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A Revolutionary Governor-General? The Grenada Crisis of 1983

  • Peter Fraser
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series (CAMCOM)

Abstract

On 19 October 1983, amidst an internecine party strife, the Prime Minister of Grenada was murdered. Six days later the island was invaded, largely by US troops. They soon arrested the Prime Minister’s opponents, and the island was then without a government. Into this breach stepped the Governor-General, Sir Paul Scoon. Using the undoubted final reserve powers of his office he assumed full executive and legislative authority in the country. Thereafter, however, he had to find the best way of relinquishing this. In the end, in December 1984, after new elections, a new government was installed and the Governor-General reverted to his more ordinary role.

Keywords

Prime Minister Central Committee Mass Organisation Party Member Legislative Power 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Kai P. Schoenhals and Richard A. Melanson Revolution and Intervention in Grenada: The New Jewel Movement, the United States, and the Caribbean (Boulder: Westview Press 1985), W. Richard Jacobs and Ian Jacobs Grenada: The Route to Revolution (Havana: Casa de las Americas 1980), and Tony Thorndike Grenada: Politics, Economics and Society (London: Frances Pinter 1985) deal with the Gairy period.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Maurice Bishop Selected Speeches 1979–1981 ed. Didacus Jules and Don Rojas (Havana: Casa de las Americas (1982) pp. 12 & 15 et seq.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Interview of 15 July 1980, reprinted in Steve Clark Grenada: A Workers’ and Farmers’ Government with a Revolutionary Proletarian Leadership (New York: Pathfinder Press 1980) p. 29.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chris Searle Grenada: The Struggle against Destabilization (London: Writers and Readers 1983) pp. 40–41.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    Cathy Sunshine & Philip Wheaton Death of a Revolution: An Analysis of the Grenadian Tragedy and the US Invasion (Washington, D.C.: Epica 1984) p. 9.Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    The Grenada Papers ed. Paul Seabury & Walter McDougall (San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies 1984) p. 73.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Trevor Munroe Grenada Revolution, Counter Revolution (Kingston: Vanguard 1983) p. 1.15 stresses this achievement.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Gregory Sanford & Richard Vigilante Grenada: The Untold Story (Lanham: Madison Books 1984) pp. 31–33.Google Scholar
  9. 29.
    Munroe pp. 100–101; Anthony Payne, Paul Sutton and Tony Thorndike, Grenada Revolution and Invasion (London: Crom Helm 1984) pp. 132–133.Google Scholar
  10. 30.
    Grenada: The World Against the Crime (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales 1983) pp. 9–10.Google Scholar
  11. 34.
    ‘Extraordinary General Meeting of full members of the NJM, Caribbean Review 12(4) 1983, p. 58.Google Scholar
  12. 41.
    Hudson Austin quoted in The Grenada Newsletter 14(13) 9 August 1986 p. 5; Coard p. 84.Google Scholar
  13. 43.
    For details Tony Gifford The Grenada Murder Trial No Case for Hanging An Analysis (London: Committee for Human Rights in Grenada 1987) and Ian Ramsay ‘Some Aspects of the Constitutional Problems of the Grenada 18 Trial’ (typescript).Google Scholar
  14. 44.
    Sanford & Seabury adopt the first; most of the defendants the second (Schoenhals inclines towards this line); Hugh O’Shaughnessy Grenada: Revolution, Invasion and Aftermath (London: Sphere 1984) chooses the third; the defendants and Schoenhals stress the fourth. Thorndike and Schoenhals provide the most nuanced explanations.Google Scholar
  15. 47.
    Sir Fred Phillips West Indian Constitutions: Post-Independence Reforms (New York: Oceana 1985) pp. 310–311.Google Scholar
  16. 58.
    William C. Gilmore The Grenada Intervention Analysis and Documentation (London: Mansell 1984) p. 95.Google Scholar
  17. 61.
    Fitzroy Ambursley & Keith Dunkerley Grenada: Whose Freedom? (London: Latin American Bureau 1984) pp. 87–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. A. Low 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Fraser

There are no affiliations available

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