The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
The early morning Marxist coup d’état preceding the Revolution in Grenada on 13 March 1979 saw the start of the creation of paper records of state that spanned at least four years.
They have been described as the most important collection in the world of how a communist revolution works. Every department kept proper and good records of everything possible. Among the collection were agreements and secret agreements with Iran, Libya, Cuba, USSR, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, North Korea, and just about every communist and rogue country in the world at that time. Maurice Bishop’s diaries and diaries of other people are part of the collection.
All Bishops speeches are documented, every law he established, every person imprisoned recorded, all the central committee minutes of meetings — much more than any Grenadian would ever imagine.
In fact, there were between 5 and 6 tons of documentation, estimated as 500,000 sheets of paper. This collection is so important that it should be regarded as a world treasure, a world heritage.
Grenada’s Keith Mitchell government must hold a major part of the blame for the security of these records; they have always regarded them as not important because of the US microfiche records in Maryland.
When the Americans invaded Grenada in 1983 they captured all the public and private records and took them to the Records Office in Maryland, USA. There they sorted those records, indexed them and boxed them in a method that made them easy to identify and record. They also took what they believed to be the most important documents and created microfiche copies of those documents. They returned the original documents in good order, properly logged, listed and boxed for storage to Grenada.
Grenada’s National Archive officially closed in 2011, though it hadn’t functioned since 2004 following hurricane Ivan, the storm passed over Grenada on Sept. 7, almost destroying every building on the island.
Those documents are supposedly still stored in the old library depository where it is said they are rotting and being eaten by termites. It is said they are being neglected and will shortly be little less than a pile of scrap paper to be burnt.
What is more disturbing is a report that I recently received that officials are now claiming that the whereabouts of the archive is not currently known, that the collection has disappeared.
If that is true it is perhaps part of a Marxist plot to destroy those records, it is well known that the Cubans always had a problem with these records being publicly available. I have voiced and written hundreds of times how the Marxist’s are trying to alter history in the Caribbean and in this case Grenada in particular, perhaps they have had a major success with the “Grenada Revolution Collection”.
Whatever has befallen the records is a disgrace on the part of the Government of Grenada; they obviously cannot be trusted with any heritage of the Grenadian people and in this case heritage of the Caribbean and even the World.
Fortunately, the U.S. Government still has the microfiche records, so the communists, if they have a hand in this debacle, haven’t completely won the struggle to destroy the “revo” records. But that’s not the same as the originals being available to students and historians. I cannot stress more the importance of these original documents, of this collection, the world’s most important record of a communist overthrow anywhere in the world.
I have a list of the boxed records that were returned to Grenada, with references and what each file box contained. Unfortunately, it is large and cannot be included here, but I know what they should have. Let’s just hope that some of these records that now may have an extremely high monetary value are not sitting in someone’s home, having been pilfered from the collection.
I hope that the local newspapers take this matter up, because this must be made public nationally and internationally, the subject is that important.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
Peter, what about our own historical records which have also been neglected. Many may still be rotting in the damp Courthouse vault.
For decades — and perhaps even today — we never employed a professionally trained librarian or archivist to properly catalogue, classify, store, or preserve the hundreds of thousands of records, reports, documents, etc. that are supposed to be under our care and protection.
They say knowledge is power. I suppose this explains why our written and printed legacy is so neglected.
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