New Jewel Movement

The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement (NJM) was a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada that was led by Maurice Bishop. Established in 1973, the NJM issued its manifesto prior to the granting of Independence to Grenada in 1974.[1] The movement took control of the country with a successful revolution in 1979 and ruled by decree as the People's Revolutionary Government until 1983. In 1983, its leader Maurice Bishop was killed by paramilitaries affiliated with hard-liners in his own party. This led to a military government, which was deposed by the US military in a 1983 invasion.

New Jewel Movement
LeaderMaurice Bishop
Founded11 March 1973
Merger ofJoint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (JEWEL), Organization for Revolutionary Education and Liberation (OREL), and Movement for Assemblies of the People (MAP)
NewspaperThe New Jewel
Political positionFar-left
SloganEn Avant Jambes, En Arrière Jamais!
"Forward Ever, Backward Never!"


The New JEWEL Movement (NJM) was formally established on 11 March 1973 as an alliance of the Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (JEWEL), Organization for Revolutionary Education and Liberation, and the Movement for Assemblies of the People (MAP),[2] [3] led by young lawyer Maurice Bishop. The NJM's initial manifesto was largely drafted by MAP's major intellectual, Franklyn Harvey, who had been heavily influenced by the writings of C.L.R. James.[4] From 1973 to 1979, the NJM was an opposition political party active in Grenada. During the 1970s, the political situation in Grenada became increasingly polarized and violent. For the 1976 general elections the organisation formed an electoral coalition known as the People's Alliance with the Grenada National Party and the United People's Party. However, the alliance lost to the ruling Grenada United Labour Party in elections which were branded fraudulent by international observers.[3] In the late 1970s, the NJM formed the National Liberation Army (NLA), also known as "the 12 Apostles".


In 1979, the NJM launched a revolution against the government of Eric Gairy while he was out of the country. The NJM gained control of the military barracks, radio station, government buildings and police stations in the country. Maurice Bishop then suspended the constitution and announced that the NJM was now a provisional revolutionary government, the People's Revolutionary Government, with himself as Prime Minister. After the revolution, the NJM described itself as a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party. The party did not consider itself to be a communist party because it did not believe that either the NJM or Grenada had reached a level of development where it would be possible to achieve communism. The NJM pursued policies to reach a point where a communist party could be formed, but considered itself to be unready due to the party not being led by a proletarian class and due to the low level of education in Marxist-Leninist politics.

Shortly after taking power, the government looked to Cuba for assistance because Bishop had been refused aid and a meeting with American President Ronald Reagan. Cuban construction workers were brought in to assist in the construction of a new international airport. The government also created a modest police force, often misportrayed as an army, with Cuban assistance.

During this period, the government did not hold elections or produce a new constitution to replace the one that had been suspended. The NJM was the sole political party to exist. Positions in the government and the new police force were only open to those who had established their support for Marxist principles.

The leaders of the U.S. government, and several other Caribbean nations, expressed discontent over the NJM government, such as its relations with Cuba and alleged military expansion.

Bishop's fall and the American invasion

In 1983, a dispute developed within the NJM. Bishop, while popular with the people, had strong critics within the party and the army. His critics, led by deputy prime minister Bernard Coard, attempted to convince Bishop to enter into a power-sharing agreement with Coard, wherein they would be co-equal rulers of the country. Bishop rejected this idea, and the split at the top level of the NJM led to serious political problems within the party and the government. Eventually, Coard ordered Bishop put under house arrest.

The removal of Bishop led to demonstrations in various parts of the country. The demonstrations grew to a point where Bishop was eventually freed. In unclear circumstances, Bishop made his way to the army headquarters. Eventually a military force from elsewhere in Grenada arrived at the headquarters and fighting broke out. Many civilians were killed. Bishop, along with government ministers, Fitzroy Bain, Norris Bain, Evelyn Bullen, the reportedly pregnant Jacqueline Creft, Keith Hayling, Evelyn Maitland, and Unison Whiteman were lined up in a courtyard against a wall for a considerable period of time. They were then executed by a firing squad.

Bishop's execution was followed by the formation of a military government under Hudson Austin. Austin announced a four-day total curfew under which anyone who left their home without authorization for any reason would be subject to summary execution. Six days later, the United States invaded Grenada and overthrew the government. With the removal of the NJM government, the former Grenadian constitution re-entered force.

Seventeen political and military officials of the military government (the Grenada 17) were later tried and convicted of being responsible for the deaths of Bishop and the other seven executed persons.

Foreign policy

The New Jewel Movement worked closely with Cuba to provide assistance to left-wing revolutionary movements such as the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) in South-West Africa and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) in El Salvador.[5]


  1. ^ "The Manifesto of the New Jewel Movement", The Grenada Revolution Online.
  2. ^ Burrowes, Reynold. Revolution and Rescue in Grenada: An Account of the U.S. Caribbean Invasion, Greenwood Press. 1998
  3. ^ a b Nohlen, D. (2005), Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p. 302. ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  4. ^ Marable, Manning. African & Caribbean Politics: From Kwame Nkrumah to Maurice Bishop, Verso Press. 1987
  5. ^ Domínguez, Jorge I. (1989). To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-89325-5. pp. 165-166

External links

1976 Grenadian general election

General elections were held in Grenada on 7 December 1976. The result was a victory for the Grenada United Labour Party of Eric Gairy, which won nine of the 15 seats, whilst the opposition People's Alliance (a coalition of the New Jewel Movement, the Grenada National Party and the United People's Party won the remainder. However, the elections were marred by fraud (and branded fraudulent by international observers), as Gairy's secret police, known as the Mongoose Gang, had been threatening the opposition. Voter turnout was 65.2%.Three years later Gairy was overthrown by the New Jewel Movement, a move which was supported by the majority of the population.

Bernard Coard

Winston Bernard Coard (born 10 August 1945) is a Grenadian politician who was Deputy Prime Minister in the People's Revolutionary Government of the New Jewel Movement. Coard launched a coup within the revolutionary government and took power for three days until he was himself deposed by General Hudson Austin.

Chrysler Thomas

Chrysler Thomas (September 12, 1934 – February 11, 2013) was a Grenadian politician. Thomas served as a member of the Parliament of Grenada representing the Saint Patrick East constituency from December 1976 until the overthrow of the government by the New Jewel Movement on March 13, 1979. He also served as the Ministry of Agriculture while a member of the House of Representatives of Grenada.Thomas was born as the oldest of three children on September 12, 1934, in Mt. Rose, Saint Patrick Parish, Grenada. He married his wife, Agatha Wells, on Trinidad against the will of his parents the marriage produced had four children. His wife, Agatha, died in 1973 and he married his second wife, Lydia Jack, with whom he had two children.Thomas was arrested and imprisoned by the People's Revolutionary Government (PRC), led by Maurice Bishop, on March 15, 1979, two days after the revolution. He was held as a political prisoner by the PRC for nearly two years. He fled to the United States following his release from prison. He joined his wife, Lydia, in New York City's borough of Brooklyn, where she had moved after his arrest. Thomas found employment as a security officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.Thomas died in New York City on February 11, 2013, at the age of 78.

Eric Gairy

Sir Eric Matthew Gairy PC (18 February 1922 – 23 August 1997) was the first Prime Minister of Grenada, serving from his country's independence in 1974 until his overthrow in a coup by Maurice Bishop in 1979. Gairy also served as head of government in pre-independence Grenada as Chief Minister from 1961 to 1962, and as Premier from 1967 to 1974.

Foreign relations of Grenada

The United States, Venezuela, Cuba, and the People's Republic of China have embassies in Grenada. Grenada has been recognized by most members of the United Nations and maintains diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Canada.

Grenada is a member of the Caribbean Development Bank, CARICOM, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and the Commonwealth of Nations. It joined the United Nations in 1974, and the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization of American States in 1975. Grenada also is a member of the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).

Franklyn Harvey

Franklyn Harvey (February 14, 1943 – May 16, 2016) was a Grenadian academic, activist and professional, a founder of the New Jewel Movement and principal author of their manifesto. He had a significant influence on the development of the Caribbean new left throughout the 1960s and 1970s and later, in the animation of hundreds of municipal and community projects all around the world. When the NJM took over the government of Grenada on March 13, 1979, Harvey's contributions to their manifesto began to take concrete form across the island.


Grenada ( (listen) grih-NAY-də) is a country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself plus six smaller islands which lie to the north of the main island. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 107,317 in 2016. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops, of which it is one of the world's largest exporters. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada dove.

Before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous Arawaks and later by the Island Caribs. Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. Although it was deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish ever landed or settled on the island. Following several unsuccessful attempts by Europeans to colonise the island due to resistance from the Island Caribs, French settlement and colonisation began in 1650 and continued for the next century. On 10 February 1763, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. British rule continued until 1974 (except for a period of French rule between 1779 and 1783). From 1958 to 1962, Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies. On 3 March 1967, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an Associated State. Herbert Blaize was the first Premier of the Associated State of Grenada from March to August 1967. Eric Gairy served as Premier from August 1967 until February 1974.

Independence was granted on 7 February 1974, without breaking formal ties with the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first Prime Minister of Grenada, with Queen Elizabeth as Head of State. In March 1979, the Marxist–Leninist New Jewel Movement overthrew Gairy's government in a popular bloodless coup d'état and established the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop as Prime Minister. On 19 October 1983, hard-line Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and his wife Phyllis, backed by the Grenadian Army, led a coup against the government of Maurice Bishop and placed Bishop under house arrest. Bishop was later freed by popular demonstration and attempted to resume power, but he was captured and executed by soldiers, and replaced with a military council chaired by Hudson Austin. On 25 October 1983, forces from the United States and the Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) invaded Grenada in a U.S.-led operation code-named Operation Urgent Fury. The invasion was highly criticised by the governments of Britain, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, along with the United Nations General Assembly. Elections were held in December 1984 and were won by the Grenada National Party under Herbert Blaize, who served as Prime Minister until his death in December 1989.

Grenada–Soviet Union relations

Grenada-Soviet relations refers to the relations between Grenada, and the Soviet Union. Diplomatic relations between Grenada and the Soviet Union were severed in November 1983 by the Governor General of Grenada. Eventually in 2002, Grenada re-established diplomatic relations with the newly formed Russian Federation.

History of Grenada

The recorded history of the Caribbean island of Grenada begins in the early 17th century. First settled by indigenous peoples, by the time of European contact it was inhabited by the Caribs. French colonists drove most of the Caribs off the island and established plantations on the island, eventually importing African slaves to work on the sugar plantations.

Control of the island was disputed by Great Britain and France in the 18th century, with the British ultimately prevailing. In 1795, Fédon's Rebellion, inspired by the Haitian Revolution, very nearly succeeded, and was crushed with significant military intervention. Slavery was abolished in the 1830s. In 1885, the island became the capital of the British Windward Islands.

Grenada achieved independence from Britain in 1974. Following a coup by the Marxist New Jewel Movement in 1983, the island was invaded by United States troops and the government overthrown. The island's major crop, nutmeg, was significantly damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Hudson Austin

Hudson Austin (born 26 April 1938) is a former general in the People's Revolutionary Army of Grenada. After the killing of Maurice Bishop, he formed a military government with himself as chairman to rule Grenada.

Jacqueline Creft

Jacqueline Creft (1946 – October 19, 1983) was a Grenadian politician, one of the leaders of the revolutionary New Jewel Movement and Minister of Education in the People's Revolutionary Government from 1980 to 1983. She was executed in October 1983 along with Maurice Bishop, prime minister of the country and father of her son Vladimir (1977–1994).

List of heads of government of Grenada

The following article contains a list of heads of government of Grenada, from the establishment of the office of Chief Minister in 1960 to the present day.

Maurice Bishop

Maurice Rupert Bishop (29 May 1944 – 19 October 1983) was a Grenadian revolutionary and the leader of New Jewel Movement – popular efforts in the areas of socio-economic development, education, and Black liberation – that came to power during the 13 March 1979 revolution that removed Eric Gairy from office. Bishop headed the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada from 1979 to 1983, when he was dismissed from his post and shot during the coup by Bernard Coard, a staunch militaristic element in the government, leading to upheaval.

Mongoose Gang

The Mongoose Gang was a private army or militia which operated from 1970 to 1979 under the control of Sir Eric Gairy, the Premier and later Prime Minister of Grenada, and head of the Grenada United Labour Party.Officially, Mongoose Gang members were called Special Reserve Police (S.R.P.) or Volunteer Constables. Therefore, the terms "police aides" and "Mongoose Gang" were sometimes used synonymously and interchangeably; although it should be added that the names of certain persons were unmistakably identified as members of the Mongoose Gang as distinct from also being police aides. At the 1975 Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada, Nugent David, a former Commissioner of Police, confirmed that a group of men known as the Mongoose Gang were among the police aides. To his knowledge, Moslyn Bishop and his brother Willie Bishop were reputedly leaders of the gang.According to David the police aides were under his jurisdiction because they assisted the police with their duties although they were not recruited normally as policemen who were required to undergo tests for educational and physical fitness; but they were paid through the office of the Commissioner. David said he did not know how or by whom the recruitment of police aides was done except that he knew the recruitment took place in St. George's and that after he assumed the post of acting commissioner of Police he heard from policemen that the men were selected by the Premier, Eric Gairy. As he understood the functions of the police aides, their main duties were guard duties and at times they assisted the police in searches, but they were subject to no discipline or control similar to that of the Police Force nor were any regulations ever made with respect to them. He added that in his knowledge none of the police aides was issued with firearms although he knew that some of them possessed and carried firearms on guard duty.The Mongoose Gang was responsible for silencing critics, breaking up demonstrations and murdering opponents of the Gairy regime, including Rupert Bishop, the father of Maurice Bishop in January 1974. Maurice Bishop himself was beaten by members of the Mongoose Gang two months previously, in November 1973, and jailed. The violence of the Mongoose Gang and the Grenadian police became a more important factor than the state of the economy in generating unrest.In November 1974, 10 months after Grenada's independence from Great Britain, Bishop's New Jewel Movement issued a People's Indictment calling for "power to the people" and declaring that "the Gairy Government was born in blood, baptized in fire, christened with bullets, is married to foreigners, and is resulting in death to the people".In the 1976 Grenadian general election, the Grenada United Labour Party won nine of the 15 seats, whilst the opposition People's Alliance (a coalition of the New Jewel Movement, the Grenada National Party and the United People's Party) won the remainder. However, the elections were marred by fraud (and branded fraudulent by international observers), as the Mongoose Gang had been threatening the opposition.By 1977 Gairy began receiving advice from General Augusto Pinochet of Chile on how to deal with civil unrest. His police and military also received "counter insurgency" training from the Pinochet regime. The New Jewel Movement retaliated by developing links with Fidel Castro and his Marxist government in Cuba.The Mongoose Gang was used against protesters during the 1977 General Assembly of the Organization of American States hosted by Grenada.In 1979, a rumour circulated that Gairy would use the Gang to eliminate leaders of the New Jewel Movement while he was out of the country.

In response, Bishop overthrew Gairy in March of that year while the latter was visiting the United States.

The Mongoose Gang then ceased to operate; the Gang's leader, Mosyln Bishop, a taxi driver, was subsequently sentenced later that year to fourteen years in prison for attempting to murder three people in November 1973.The name 'Mongoose Gang' originated in the 1950s, when the local health officials sought to eliminate the mongoose as a pest, and paid people who brought in mongoose tails as proof of killing the animals. The men who were employed in such work became known as the 'mongoose-gang'. Later, the name shifted to refer to gangs of political thugs on Grenada.

The Mongoose Gang has often been compared to the Tonton Macoute of Haiti.

National Youth Organisation (Grenada)

The National Youth Organization (abbreviated NYO) was a youth organization in Grenada. NYO was the youth wing of the New Jewel Movement.

People's Revolutionary Government (Grenada)

The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) was proclaimed on 13 March 1979 after the New Jewel Movement overthrew the government of Grenada in a revolution. The government suspended the constitution and ruled by decree until a factional conflict broke out, culminating in an invasion by the United States on 25 October 1983.

People's Revolutionary Militia

The People's Revolutionary Militia (French: Milice Révolutionnaire Populaire), was the militia force created by the New Jewel Movement (NJM) after it seized power to provide local security against sabotage, involve masses in political action and provide a 5,000 member reserve force for the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA). Due to equipment shortages and administrative failings, many PRM members never received uniforms or weapons training. The best trained of the militia units were the Rapid Mobilisation Companies, one of which was provided for each PRA Defence Region.Shortly after the overthrow and execution Maurice Bishop, the People's Revolutionary Militia began arming some of its members for civil war.

Richard Hart (Jamaican politician)

Richard Hart (13 August 1917 – 21 December 2013) was a Jamaican historian, solicitor and politician. He was a founding member of the People's National Party (PNP) and one of the pioneers of Marxism in Jamaica. He played an important role in Jamaican politics in the years leading up to Independence in 1962. He subsequently was based in Guyana for two years, before relocating to London in 1965, working as a solicitor and co-founding the campaigning organisation Caribbean Labour Solidarity. He went on to serve as attorney-general in Grenada under the People's Revolutionary Government in 1983. He spent the latter years of his life in the UK, where he died in Bristol.

Hart was the author of several notable books on Caribbean history – including Towards Decolonisation: Political, Labour and Economic Developments in Jamaica 1939–1945 (1999), Slaves who Abolished Slavery: Blacks in Rebellion (2002) and The Grenada Revolution: Setting the Record Straight (2005) – and he lectured on the subject at universities in the West Indies, the US, Canada and Europe. Professor Rupert Lewis of the University of the West Indies' Mona campus once described Hart as "the most consistent Caribbean activist".

United States invasion of Grenada

The United States invasion of Grenada began on the 25 October 1983. The invasion, led by the United States, of the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, which has a population of about 91,000 and is located 160 kilometres (99 mi) north of Venezuela, resulted in a U.S. victory within a matter of days. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, it was triggered by the internal strife within the People's Revolutionary Government that resulted in the house arrest and the execution of the previous leader and second Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop, and the establishment of a preliminary government, the Revolutionary Military Council with Hudson Austin as Chairman. The invasion resulted in the appointment of an interim government, followed by democratic elections in 1984. The country has remained a democratic nation since then.

Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1974. The Marxist-Leninist New Jewel Movement seized power in a coup in 1979 under Maurice Bishop, suspending the constitution and detaining a number of political prisoners. Among Bishop's core principles were workers' rights, women's rights, and the struggle against racism and Apartheid. Under Bishop's leadership, the National Women's Organization was formed which participated in policy decisions along with other social groups. Women were given equal pay and paid maternity leave, and sex discrimination was made illegal. Organisations for education (Center for Popular Education), health care, and youth affairs (National Youth Organization) were also established.

In 1983, an internal power struggle began over Bishop's relatively moderate foreign policy approach, and on 19 October, hard-line military junta elements captured and executed Bishop and his partner Jacqueline Creft, along with three cabinet ministers and two union leaders. Subsequently, following appeals by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Governor-General of Grenada, Paul Scoon, the Reagan Administration in the U.S. quickly decided to launch a military intervention. U.S. President Ronald Reagan's justification for the intervention was in part explained as "concerns over the 600 U.S. medical students on the island" and fears of a repeat of the Iran hostage crisis.

The U.S. invasion began six days after Bishop's death, on the morning of 25 October 1983, just two days after the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. The invading force consisted of the U.S. Army's Rapid Deployment Force (the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers); U.S. Marines (22nd MAU); U.S. Army Delta Force; U.S. Navy SEALs, and ancillary forces totaling 7,600 U.S.troops, together with Jamaican forces, and troops of the Regional Security System (RSS).

USAF Pararescue and TACP personnel from the 21St Tass, Shaw AFB were attached to various other Special Operations Units during the Grenada conflict. The invasion force defeated Grenadian resistance after a low-altitude airborne assault by Rangers on Point Salines Airport at the south end of the island, and a Marine helicopter and amphibious landing on the north end at Pearls Airport. The military government of Hudson Austin was deposed and replaced by a government appointed by Governor-General Paul Scoon.

The invasion was criticized by many countries including Canada. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher privately disapproved of the mission and the lack of notice she received, but publicly supported the intervention. The United Nations General Assembly, on 2 November 1983 with a vote of 108 to 9, condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law". Conversely, it enjoyed broad public support in the United States and over time, a positive evaluation from the Grenadian population, who appreciated the fact that there had been relatively few civilian casualties, as well as the return to democratic elections in 1984. The U.S. awarded more than 5,000 medals to its soldiers for merit and valor.The date of the invasion is now a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, which commemorates the freeing, after the invasion, of several political prisoners who were subsequently elected to office. A truth and reconciliation commission was launched in 2000 to re-examine some of the controversies of the era; in particular, the commission made an unsuccessful attempt to find Bishop's body, which had been disposed of at Hudson Austin's order, and never found.

For the U.S., the invasion also highlighted issues with communication and coordination between the different branches of the United States military when operating together as a joint force, contributing to investigations and sweeping changes in the form of the Goldwater-Nichols Act and other reorganizations.

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