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News > Latin America

The US Deployed Its 'Urgent Fury' Against Grenada In 1983

  • U.S. soldiers in Grenada, 1983.

    U.S. soldiers in Grenada, 1983. | Photo: Twitter/ @joeywreck

Published 25 October 2021

The military invasion aimed to overthrow the Socialist government led by Maurice Bishop.

On October 25, Latin America remembers 38 years of the U.S. invasion of Grenada, a military action that left 70 dead and 358 people wounded.


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President Ronald Reagan ordered the operation "Urgent Fury" with the excuse of protecting the lives of U.S. citizens on the island. The real reason for the operation, however, was the fear that socialist ideals and influence were expanding throughout the continent.

At that time, the White House launched a smear campaign against Grenada's President Maurice Bishop, the leader of the Marxist "New Jewel Movement" party that removed Eric Gairy from office in March 13, 1979. As soon as his administration began, the Reagan administration exercised several pressure mechanisms to isolate Grenada internationally. 

On Oct. 13, 1983, Bishop was overthrown and later executed. Shortly after the U.S. seized the opportunity to launch an air and ground military operation with over 8,000 soldiers, who targeted the remnants of the Leftist social and political movement that Bishop once lead.

The international community condemned the violent acts, which were not sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Unfortunately, this was not the last time the U.S. invaded a Latin American country under the guise of "protecting democracy" as it did the same in Panama in 1989.

During Bishop's four years of government, Grenada experienced social improvements. Healthcare became a human right, low-income housing was established for the first time, food production soared, and adult illiteracy was reduced to less than 5 percent.  The U.S. aggression also killed 24 Cuban volunteers that were working in construction projects.

"It was impossible to imagine anyone more noble, modest, and unselfish. He could never have been guilty of being authoritarian. If he had any defect, it was his excessive tolerance and trust," Fidel Castro said about Bishop during a speech to honor the Cuban victims.

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