Maurice Bishop

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Maurice Bishop in 1982

Maurice Rupert Bishop (29 May 1944 – 19 October 1983) was a Grenadian revolutionary and the leader of New Jewel Movement – a Marxist–Leninist party which sought to prioritise 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 executed during the coup by Bernard Coard, leading to upheaval.


  • As I speak before this body today, I do so as the representative of a small country which intends to speak with a resolute and principled voice on the issues of substantive concern to the world today.
    The advent of our Revolution has signalled the beginning of the end of the most dangerous and vicious stage of the colonial experience, that which we recognise as neo-colonialism. This stage had seen us exposed to various constitutional manipulations, all of which had failed to hide the reality of economic bondage under imperialism. Moreover, this neo-colonial stage has also exposed our nation to the vicious, ruthless neo-fascist dictatorship of Eric Gairy. To you here at this renowned body, this petty dictator was known as "Mr. U.F.O.," but to us in Grenada this amusingly descriptive title did not hide the reality of a dictator whose closest links were with imperialism and international criminal elements and openly fascist and dictatorial regimes.
    • "Speech before the 34th General Assembly of the United Nations, New York". (10 October 1979)
  • Our Revolution in Grenada is a people's Revolution and as such one of the fundamental principles of our Revolution is the establishment of the people's rights. Among these rights, we include the right to equal pay for men and women, the right to social and economic justice, the right to work and the right to democratic participation in the affairs of our nation.
    • "Speech before the 34th General Assembly of the United Nations, New York". (10 October 1979)
  • Non-Alignment does not imply for us that we must be neutral in the sterile and negative sense, nor does it imply that our country must regard itself as a political eunuch in the conduct of our international affairs. Our Non- Aligned policy will certainly not lead us to surrender our independence of judgement in world affairs; or to retreat from our right and duty to fully participate in international forums and discussions concerned with issues vital to our interests, concerns and principles. To the contrary, non-alignment for us is a positive concept characterising a vigorous and principled approach to international issues. It is an affirmation of that fundamental attribute of all peoples and states to sovereignty, independence and the right to freely determine their own domestic and foreign policies.
    • "Speech before the 34th General Assembly of the United Nations, New York". (10 October 1979)
  • Consistent with our opposition to colonialism, imperialism and racism, we affirm today before this great assembly our firm support for the struggles being waged by the peoples of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa under the leadership of the Patriotic Front, SWAPO and ANC for their liberation and against apartheid and racism. We recognise and applaud the principled and consistent support being given to these struggles by the Front Line States.
    We express our firmest support for and solidarity with the struggles of the people of Palestine led by their sole and legitimate representatives, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). On this basis, we reject the Camp David Agreement which does not have the support of the Palestinian people, the PLO, the Arab World or the entire democratic, progressive and Socialist World.
    We reaffirm our support for the people of Western Sahara under the leadership of the Polisario Front in their struggle for independence and self determination. We call upon the people of Korea to continue the just struggle for the reunification of their homeland. We express our firm support for Heng Samrin government and the heroic people of Kampuchea - a Government which we recognised on the 20th of August last. We support the struggles of the government and people of Belize for independence with full territorial integrity. We also wish to express our strongest solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle for independence. We fully support the ongoing and determined struggle of the government and people of Cuba in their fight to gain control over Guantanamo Bay. Our profound solidarity also goes to the government and people of Panama in their just struggle to recover the Panama Canal. We support fully the struggles of all the people of the Caribbean who are fighting for an end to colonialism. [citation needed]
  • The peace of the world is a matter that concerns not only the rich and powerful nations, some of whom produce, purchase and deploy sophisticated weapons of mass destruction, but more profoundly, the poor, weak and small nations, who are the victims of the squander and waste that are characteristic of militarism.[citation needed]
  • You can well understand the deep concern that we harbour for lasting peace. It is for this reason that we strongly support the efforts of the World Peace Council and any and all moves towards détente, peaceful co- existence and disarmament. The people of Grenada are gratified therefore that the Helsinki Final Act and now SALT II have been signed by both the U.K. and the U.S.S.R. We are however disturbed to note that reactionary elements who definitely have a vested interest in the prolongation of the arms race, have been making efforts to prevent the ratification of SALT II in the U.S. Senate. [citation needed]
  • A wind of change is blowing through the Caribbean bringing with it a new regional balance of forces as a result of the changes towards progress by the peoples of Nicaragua, Grenada, St. Lucia and Dominica - a situation that has led the U.S. Secretary of State to define the Eastern Caribbean me one of the world's "trouble spots." [citation needed]
  • The present distribution of world economic power, wealth and living standards is manifestly unjust. It derives from the long history of imperialist expansion and control of the third world. We seek to change this order and to substitute for it a New International Economic Order. [citation needed]
  • Our government is not afraid of criticism, in fact we welcome criticism. We believe that the Revolution has gained over the months some positive and constructive criticisms which have been made from time to time.
    • "Free Press and the Role of the Media", (10-12 November 1979)
  • It is the Cuban Revolution that has taught the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean how to face blockades, how to defeat criminal invasions of their territories.
    • Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Together We Shall Win, (1 May 1980).
  • Certainly, we in Grenada will never forget that it was the military assistance of Cuba in the first weeks of our revolution that provided us with the basis to defend our own revolution.
    • Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Together We Shall Win, (1 May 1980).
  • Your Revolution, Comrades, has also provided the region and the world with a living legend with your great and indomitable leader, Fidel Castro. Fidel has taught us not only how to fight, but also how to work, how to build socialism, and how to lead our country in a spirit of humility, sincerity, commitment, and firm revolutionary leadership. [citation needed]
  • We, the people of this region, demand that our region is recognised and respected as a Zone of Peace. We demand an end to all military task forces and air and sea patrols of our region.
    We demand that the people of the region must be free from aggressive military harassment of any military power. We demand an end to the Monroe Doctrine and to the Carter Doctrine and all other doctrines which are aimed at perpetuating interventionism or backyardism in the region.
    There must be an end to all attempts to use the so-called peacekeeping apparatus of the Organization of American States to militarily intervene in the region, to hold back progressive and patriotic movements.
    • Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Together We Shall Win, (1 May 1980).
  • People of Grenada, this revolution is for work, for food, for decent housing and health services, and for a bright future for our children and great grandchildren.
    The benefit of the Revolution will be given to everyone, regardless of political opinion or which political party they support.
    Let us all unite as one. All police stations are again reminded to surrender their arms to the people's revolutionary forces.
    • "A Bright New Dawn", (1979)
  • I am appealing to all the people, gather at all central places all over the country, and prepare to welcome and assist the people's armed forces when they come into the your area. The Revolution is expected to consolidate the position of power within the next few hours.
    • "A Bright New Dawn", (1979)

Quotes about Bishop[edit]

  • Weeks after the invasion, Grenadians were still smelling out and burying bodies which lay all over the island. The true casualty figures will never be known. No civilian body count is available. Even the bodies of Maurice Bishop and his slain ministers are never positively identified, no doubt to forestall any possible enshrinement by the people who loved him, no doubt to make the task of smearing his popular memory more easily accomplished. It has already begun.

External links[edit]

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