11 November 2012 | Hog Island, Grenada
This week we had a lovely anchorage off Hog Island is the South of Grenada. This scenic area of lush green palm-studded islands, sandy beaches and calm seas, also holds reminders of a more turbulent past. You may recall that in 1983 the then Head of State, Maurice Bishop, was dreaming of making Grenada into a socialist state, courting Fidel Castro and throwing anyone who disagreed with him into jail. This was the cause of great alarm for the OECS - Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the American Government and Bishop's second in command - Bernard Cohen. Cohen organized a coup and threw Bishop in jail. A large number of Grenadians sprung Bishop from jail and in the process Bishop was executed. In the meantime, America organized a so-called "rescue mission" to supposedly rescue American and foreign Medical students in St George, while Cuban gunships gathered on this southern shore.
Today Grenada is an independent, democratic state. The people, while relatively poor in a material sense, seem well informed, hard working and very friendly. The government appears to have its many problems. (This summer the opposition tried to vote through a no confidence vote for the current leadership.) And interestingly, Bishop is held up by many as a hero while are Americans are heartily welcomed. Grenada receives massive support from Hugo Chavez while also courting capital investors, i.e a new hundred million dollar Sandals resort.
Sitting at this very peaceful anchorage on this picture perfect day, Havana, Caracas and Washington seem so far away, yet in some ways not so far at all. There is a saying here however that "in Grenada the sun will always shine." We see it in the faces and spirit of her people everyday.