Grenada: Nobody’s Backyard

I learned a lot from this episode of Throughline about an invasion that happened when I was just 9 years old. It provides a ton of context and backstory of what was happening on the island in the decades leading up to the invasion. What I didn’t realize until I looked it up was how close in time the invasion was to the Marine Corps barracks bombing in Beirut (just 2 days earlier). In the clips of Ronald Reagan speeches played during the episode, it was interesting to hear anti-communist rhetoric as the rationale for invading Grenada just a few years before the scandal we call Iran-Contra would be brought into the light.

Other Caribbean nations (Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Jamaica actually played a role in the invasion as well. Jamaica sent 150 troops via an Air Jamaica 727 who served in a peacekeeping role well after U.S. troops arrived. All six nations also voted against the U.N. resolution condemning the invasion. A UPI piece I found lists Barbados and Antigua as also providing soldiers for the invasion while St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Vincent sent police officers. The same UPI piece does a good job of putting the U.S. invasion of Grenada in historical context, noting that Haiti and the Dominican Republic were invaded and occupied for multiple years on 3 separate occasions during the 20th century.

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