from the book
The CIAs Greatest Hits
by Mark Zepezauer
Here's what the US public was told: President
Reagan woke up one day to discover that a horrible Marxist coup
had taken over the Caribbean island of Grenada. Because there
were Cuban troops on the island, the president had to send the
US military to rescue US citizens trapped there and held as virtual
There was no way to get a more accurate
picture, since the US military kept reporters from setting foot
on Grenada during the invasion; a boatload of US journalists was
turned away at gun point and all flights in and out were canceled.
Much later, long after everyone had stopped paying attention to
Grenada, it became clear that the official story was built on
a mountain of lies.
The CIA began destabilizing Grenada in
1979, when a man named Maurice Bishop ousted the eccentric thug
who ruled the island. Bishop set to work developing a better life
for Grenada's citizens and earned much popular support for doing
so. He ran afoul of the US fairly quickly, though, when he failed
to join in the quarantine of Cuba.
Bishop's mildly socialist program (private
enterprise left unmolested, but free health care, school lunches,
etc.) was the final straw. Before long, a CIA propaganda campaign
was portraying Grenada as a terrorist state allied to the Soviet
Union, its 100,000 inhabitants armed to the teeth and poised to
attack the pitifully vulnerable US.
The US invasion was planned at least two
years before it happened, and CIA acts of sabotage proliferated.
Money was given to opposition politicians and neighboring armies.
Finally, in late 1983, Bishop was overthrown by extremists in
his own party and executed, and the US invasion began. CIA agents
among the "hostages" helped coordinate the three-day
war over shortwave radio.
As for the Cuban troops we invaded to
protect our citizens from, there were 43 of them; the other Cubans
on Grenada were mostly middle-aged construction workers. The Cubans
let it be known that they would not interfere with the US "rescue,"
but the US troops fired on them and they defended themselves.
That night, the US assured Cuba that its citizens in Grenada were
"not a target"; the next day, we attacked them with
helicopter gunships. When it was all over, 81 Cubans, 296 Grenadines
and 131 Americans had been killed or wounded.
Today Grenada is back where it was before
Bishop, mired in poverty and hopelessness. But, hey, it's no longer
a threat to our very survival.