I was in my youth during Grenada’s revolution period, or, as it is so affectionately termed, the time of the “revo.” I was barely a teenager then; unable to put into prospective what was happing to my country. Of course, what I knew then was there had been horrific and unnecessary killings. Many people lost their lives. Mothers and fathers lost their children. However, despite the continual refusal, on the part of those who have first hand knowledge of the incident, to not help us [the youths], have a better understand of what cause the upheaval during that period of our country’s history, I do believe that I have a fundamental understanding of the “revo” period.
Cuba, of course, was one of the countries that had political ties with Grenada during the “revo” times, and it is Cuba, this article is concern about. In fact, because of Cuba’s ties to the then USSR communist regime, Grenadians believed that is was the Cubans who enticed the then Grenadian Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, into accepting the USSR communist style of governance. This, most Grenadians believe, lead to the political dilemma between the socialist Maurice Bishop and the Marxist hardliners in the regime. Differences that eventually lead to the assignation of the beloved Maurice Bishop and took the lives of so many innocent Grenadians; it also prompt the United Stated, Under the Reagan regime, together with Caribbean forces to invade this small country.
This unfortunate event left many Grenadains in rage. It has wounded the relationship between Grenadains and Cuba. Many continue to grudge Cuba government to this very day. Indeed, the frustration shown by some Grenadians over Grenada leading Trade Unionist and Senator Chester Humphrey’s motion calling for the United States and the international community to end the economic blockade placed against Cuba because of its friendship with and adoption of the then USSR communist ideology underscores that feeling of resentment.
Indeed, as a Grenadian, I understand and sympathize with my Grenadian people for their lost. On the other hand, however, I give my support to Senator Humphrey. It is time that this strangling economic hold on Cuba is lifted. The cold war is over, and Cuba pose no military treat to the mighty US. Why then continue to stave 11 million people because of differences in ideology. It is undeniable that this economic scansion on Cuba has made a bad situation worst. It has not driven the Cuban government to change its ideological views. The idea that the political gain in applying scansion on Cuba would have outweighed the human pain has proven a failure. However, the apposite has been the outcome of this economic blockade.
Indeed, we can and should counsel the Cuban government on its continued imprisonment of political prisoners and its violation of human rights. However, this is no reason to justify keeping 11 million people in a state of perpetual starvation, as some Grenadians think should be the case. In fact, the United States is not a saint. It does not carry a halo over its head when it comes to political prisoners and human rights violation. The United States because of its imperialistic and exploitation goal has and continues to hold many political prisoners and other people without due process of the law. The United States is indeed a huge human rights violator.
Despite these crimes against humanity, we should rightly demand Cuba correct; Cuba, in my view, has done much more in humanitarian aid around the world than the United States. Cuba is often charge that its aid is a result of trying to make friends. This charge, I believe, is baseless. Cuba’s humanitarian assistance around the world is altruistic. Cuba gives with no strings attached. Certainly, the same cannot be said of the United States.
Cuba has not only helped Grenada during its “revo” years, but has continued to assist the Grenadian people in health, technology, education, etc. On the other hand, what assistance has the United States provided to Grenada since the fall of the revolution regime? Minuscule if any. Of course, Cuba has fallen short in many respects, but so is the moral police United States, and certainly, more so.
In retrospect, if we are concerned about human rights, we cannot let our love for a particular country to trump its obligation to protecting the rights of human beings. As Martin Luther King Jr’s so rightly pronounced, “injustice anywhere is a treat to justice everywhere,” and the Cuban have been dealt with unjustly for far to long. Thus, I am calling on the United States and the international community to support Senator Chester Humphrey’s motion and end this economic blockade place on the Cuban people.