The Burning Spear 1981

BUF Tours Revolutionary Grenada

Source: The Burning Spear. Vol. 8 No. 8 November, 1981;
Transcribed: for by David Adams.

(The following article was submitted to The Spear by the International Affairs Section of the National Black United Front. The Spear will carry more articles on the NBUF tour in its December issue.)

A group of 25 members and supporters of the National Black United Front (NBUF) returned this past September from a fact-finding and solidarity tour of Trinidad and Grenada.

This tour, first in a series, was sponsored by the International Affairs Section of the National Black United Front.

The group of 25 represented various regions of the U.S. and included community activists, students, teachers, and health professionals.

The group departed the U.S. amid the news of the U.S. military maneuvers on the island of Vieques. NBUF issued a statement condemning these maneuvers as a threat to peace and stability in the Caribbean and specifically as threatening to the island nation of Grenada.

According to informed sources, the maneuvers - code named "Ocean Venture 81" include practice for invasion of a Caribbean nation similar to Grenada.

The group spent the first part of the tour as guests of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), in Trinidad. NJAC, a progressive movement in Trinidad, is one of several contending political parties in the upcoming national elections.

The Peoples Revolutionary Government (PRG) hosted the group in Grenada. The PRG, under the leadership of the New Jewel Movement, has been in power since the March 13, 1979 revolution.

In both countries, the group became familiar with current political and economic conditions through tours, meetings with organizations and government officials, talks with ordinary citizens and attendance and participation in mass rallies and public meetings.

Since the 1979 revolution in Grenada, NBUF has consistently sought to educate the Black community in America about the Grenada revolution and to counter the negative propaganda against the Caribbean nation. For the 25 persons, the trip was instructive as it provided insight into the problems faced by developing countries as well as the problems existing in countries such as Trinidad, wealthy from oil resources yet many people must sleep in the streets while plans are made to provide air-conditioned stables for horses.

A highlight of the Grenada trip was a meeting with the Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, and Minister of National Mobilization, Selwyn Straughon, for a lengthy and extensive discussion on a variety of issues.

It was readily apparent in Grenada that the people are ready to defend the gains of their revolution. Grenada and the people of Grenada pose absolutely no threat to the U.S. The current war posturing of the Reagan administration is totally uncalled for against a nation of 110,000 people. The warmth, friendship and beauty of Grenada are available to all. The police state propaganda (e.g. Marah's C.B.S. TV program), was found to be a total lie; anyone is welcome in Grenada.

The NBUF plans to continue and expand concrete support for the Grenadian revolution by adopting one long-range project - a newly built school which lacks materials and school supplies. Through on-going fundraising events, NBUF plans to send the necessary materials or funds to purchase supplies. An immediate project is to purchase a 16mm film projector.

NBUF urges all concerned people to join in our efforts to secure the success of the Grenadian revolution by taking up any of these actions: 1) visit the country and see firsthand, 2) buy airport bonds for the new airport, and 3) subscribe to the Free West Indian newspaper.