This February 7, the people of Granada celebrate a new anniversary of their independence, obtained in 1974 after more than three centuries of occupation by France and the United Kingdom.
Feeling and thinking about José Martí, 167 years after his birth
The domain of the small Caribbean country was successively traded between the European powers throughout history.
The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498, during his third voyage to America. However, the fierce resistance of the Carib Indians who inhabited it made the Spanish desist in their first efforts to colonize it.
#OtD 7 Feb 1974 Grenada achieved independence from Britain, following a turbulent period of civil unrest, including a nationwide general strike which had been ongoing since 1 January, protesting against police and paramilitary brutality pic.twitter.com/fiv6LTYasv
— Working Class History (@wrkclasshistory)
February 7, 2022
It passed into English hands and in 1650 a French company formally acquired the island and eliminated the last original settlers.
It remained under French control until 1762 when it was again occupied by the British, as part of the dispute on the American front of the Seven Years’ War.
The island of Granada became more important for European merchants when, in addition to the traditional sugar crops, nutmeg, cocoa and cotton plantations were incorporated.
Entering the second half of the 20th century, the first union was organized, of metal workers, who staged the first strikes for labor demands where incipient demonstrations also arose in favor of an independence process.
In this context, the figure of the trade unionist emerged. Eric Matthew Gairy who led the founding of the United Grenadian Labor Party (GULP), and raised his voice for independence.
With electoral advances and setbacks, the GULP became the main political force in the country for a decade, and in 1967 Gairy reached the position of prime minister. From there, he negotiated with London first a semi-autonomous status for the island, and finally full independence in 1974.
However, the union and political leader configured an authoritarian regime that would be overthrown five years later by the revolutionary forces led by Maurice Bishop, who began a broad process of socialist reforms.
Currently, Grenada is part of the British Commonwealth of Nations (Commonwealth), an organization made up of 54 formally independent nations. However, the head of state of these countries corresponds to Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by Governors General.
Within the framework of the Latin American integration processes, Grenada has approached the platforms of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in recent years.