chapter  8
27 Pages

The Grenada Intervention and U.S. Foreign Policy

WithKai P. Schoenhals, Richard A. Melanson

Ronald Reagan's astonishing announcement of October 25, 1983, that a "rescue mission" in Grenada was underway raised a host of serious questions about US foreign policy. Grenada's relations with the small states of the eastern Caribbean never became cordial. Yet the combined security forces of the territories —except for Grenada—were negligible, and Grenada was perceived as a threat, particularly by the conservative governments of Eugenia Charles and John Compton. Some participants suggested that Grenada's new rulers, especially General Hudson Austin, reminded them of the Iranian militants who had seized the US citizens in Teheran. The people of Grenada had been subjected to "foreign intervention" because Maurice Bishop had "freely offered his island as a base for the projection of Soviet military power in the hemisphere. The European allies of the United States evinced strong initial disapproval of the intervention—disapproval made even more embarrassing by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's outspoken opposition.