Granada

In May 1801, Thomas Jefferson sent the Marines to Tripoli and Tunis to battle “Barbary pirates” who were menacing American merchants off the coast of North Africa, thereby launching the young United States’ first overseas military venture. Over the two centuries since, the list of foreign countries invaded by US forces has grown to include some 70 nations (not including the “first nations” on what became US territory itself). Some of these have become metonyms for their eras—Vietnam, Iraq. Most, though, dwell in Americans’ minds only as flickering features of news cycles from the past. One such is the small Caribbean nation of Grenada: an island that few Americans knew about before October 1983, when TV screens filled, for some days that fall, with images of paratroopers dropping between tropical palms.…  Seguir leyendo »

En su prodigioso y no poco cruel relato «Casa tomada» Julio Cortázar refiere las renuncias de un coitadiño que, a fuerza de replegarse sobre sí mismo, va abandonando pieza tras pieza todas las habitaciones de su vivienda –sin que se sepa muy claramente cuáles son las razones de tanta inhibición, de tanta retirada– hasta que termina en la calle y entregando las llaves. Si el genial escritor argentino hubiera conocido la España actual, no cabría duda de que en ella y no en otro país se inspiraba para concebir tan inquietante historia. Pero más que hablar de generalidades sobre el escapismo nacional y la indiferencia, tan española, acerca de los problemas colectivos, la conservación de tradiciones dignísimas en las que identificarnos o la respuesta serena a los innúmeros cantamañanas que pretenden apabullarnos con la importancia de sus reiterados descubrimientos del Mediterráneo, nos referiremos a un solo fenómeno: las recurrentes intentonas de grupúsculos políticos por prohibir la fiesta de la Toma de Granada –que se celebra el 2 de enero desde 1516– y que ellos consideran «racista», «xenófoba», «islamófoba», etc.…  Seguir leyendo »

Twenty-seven years ago, on 25 October 1983, US president Ronald Reagan – with the active encouragement of his allies in the Caribbean region, Dominica, Barbados and Jamaica in particular – invaded Grenada with more than 8,000 land, sea and air forces. They were responding to the execution of prime minister, Maurice Bishop, who had led the island’s revolutionary regime for four years.

The US troops battered the island for several weeks, amid fierce resistance from the Grenadian people’s revolutionary army and the 1,000 Cubans who had been building the island’s international airport.

Earlier that month, Bishop had been placed under house arrest by other members of his own party – including Bernard Coard the deputy prime minister and Hudson Austin, the head of the army – after a leadership struggle.…  Seguir leyendo »