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The Lessons of Grenada

"To conquer tumult, nature's sodin force, War . . . was first devis'd."
—Sir William D'Avenant

Grenada's Communist interlude has become the subject of an intense postmortem by scholars of varying ideological hues. Historically, the small island is destined to be a symbol of the Reagan years. However much the US intervention of October 25, 1983 is vilified by the left, objective observers will remember it as the only successful manifestation of the Reagan administration's policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean. Whatever your perspective on the "Grenada Rescue Mission," there can be no doubt that the vast majority of the island's inhabitants felt that the United States had truly liberated them from a Marxist-Leninist tyranny. A pluralistic political system, regardless of its many foibles, is today thriving in Grenada. Grenada represents the only proven demonstration of the Reagan Doctrine—rolling back communism through force of arms. Admittedly, the arms in this case were carried by American soldiers and not indigenous "freedom fighters," but the policy was the same.

Grenada offers other lessons, though. The "Revo" of March 13, 1979 that brought to power the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) was a classic case of a communist coup d'etat. In fact,...

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