When opposing parties refuse to dialogue, compromise or negotiate, then inevitably war or bloodshed will take place. But war should only be a last resort not a first. When The US, a country 28,000 times the size of Grenada and 3250 times the population of Grenada decided that this little country of 133 Square mile of 100 thousand people, was a threat to them that must be destroyed and the only way to do it was through war, it shows not the strength of that country; but its weakness.
Following the internal divisions in the party and Government six days earlier which led to the brutal assassinations of Prime Minister Bishop, several Cabinet colleagues and innocent Grenadians, the US capitalized on this moment of vulnerability and seized the opportunity to do exactly as they had been planning years earlier to invade Grenada and turn back the people’s revolution. Unfortunately, that internal crisis had serious repercussions for a group of innocent Cubans who through no fault of theirs got caught up in a war and in the crossfire of the catastrophic internal events of six days earlier and the sinister motives of a US administration and its professed desire to destroy the Grenada Revolution.
The fallen Cuban comrades whose lives and sacrifices we recognize did not want war but war was brought to them. At great personal sacrifice and to their families and friends, in the name of their country and people they journeyed hundreds of miles from their homeland to give assistance to a sister country in the spirit of international solidarity to help to construct an international airport that was destined to transform the lives of the poor struggling people of Grenada on behalf of Cuba.
Cuba helps the less fortunate, the oppressed and dispossessed, those confronting disasters, those confronting catastrophic diseases, Cuba supports those who are fighting to defend their independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is what these comrades came to Grenada to do.
If there was a willingness on the part of the aggressors to dialogue, negotiate or compromise, the lives of these comrades and many others could very easily have been saved but alas the agenda was war. When given the order by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro to stand their ground and defend themselves if they were attacked, they did exactly that and in the process 24 of them perished.
We do not mourn their deaths, but celebrate their lives and their legacy. We celebrate their resilience and their determination to stand up and defend a cause, the cause of international solidarity.
The poet Francis Marion Crawford said “They fell but over their glorious grave, floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.”
As we celebrate the lives and legacy of our fallen Cuban Comrades, We again thank the Government and people of Cuba as well as their families who had been deprived of their love and support for the sterling example of resistance, selflessness and solidarity that they have provided to us and there is no question that they are true heroes of the Cuban people.
Monuments are important and the monument at MBIA will serve as a permanent reminder of the sacrifice they made not only to Grenada but to the cause of humanity. This sacred site has been erected to ensure that they will never be forgotten and we must all make sure that they are never forgotten.
Dr Terrence Marryshow