Today marks an amazing year for me with the blog. It’s my two year blogiversary!!
This past weekend the people of the island of Grenada celebrated their version of Thanksgiving.
October 25th marked the 32nd anniversary of Operation Urgent Fury on the island of Grenada. The 132.8 square mile island which sits at one of the southernmost points of the Caribbean archipelago, became the focal point of World News in the wake of the coup d’état which saw the death of Revolutionary leader Maurice Bishop and several members of his government by firing squad at Fort Rupert on October 19th 1983. The overthrow of a moderate government by one with strongly pro-communist leanings became the fodder of discussion amongst several regional leaders and was a major concern of then United States president, Ronald Reagan.
In order to fully understand the scope of the operation, one must first understand the occurrences leading to the discussions which would end in one of the most tactical operations of that time.
After the March 1979 coup by the New Jewel Movement which relieved then prime minister Eric Gairy of his title, the island’s constitution was suspended and the People’s Revolutionary Government was established, headed by Maurice Bishop who declared himself prime minister. The revolutionary government established ties with Cuba, Nicaragua, and several other countries in it’s attempt to develop the island nation. During their term the PRG (People’s Revolutionary Government) made several improvements in the islands systems for employment, education and empowerment of it’s citizenry. Amongst these changes were several infrastructural developments such a roadways and municipal buildings, including an international airport.
In November 1979 Bishop announced the commission of an international airport with a 10, 000 foot runway which his government along with the aid of their ally the Cuban government, who would assist in it’s construction.
This strengthening relationship with communist Cuba got the attention of regional leaders such as Jamaica’s Edward Seaga and Barbados’ Tom Adams who expressed their “concerns” to U.S. leaders. This attention caused an already chilly relationship with the United States to sour as the island’s economy began to tank as the benefits from U.S. tourism and financial aid fizzled. This forced Bishop to make the inevitable move to travel to Washington to begin diplomatic discussions with leaders there in an attempt to thwart any further sanctions.
This move did not sit well with some of the more “communist leaning” members of the PRG who deemed Bishop “not revolutionary enough” as he sought to maintain a “non-aligned” status with allies Cuba and USSR, while encouraging private-sector develpoment in order to make the island a tourist destination. Hence these Marxist party members began to plan their coup.
After his return, Bishop and several of his supporters in the party were placed under house arrest by Bernard Coard (pictured above), the PRG’s deputy Prime Minister and his wife Phyllis alongside General Hudson Austin backed by the Grenadian Army. They demanded that he either step down or enter into a power-sharing arrangement.
These actions led to street demonstrations in various parts of the island. Bishop had enough support from the population that he was eventually freed after a demonstration in the capital. When Bishop attempted to resume power, he was captured and executed by soldiers along with seven others, including government cabinet ministers.
The Coard regime then put the island under martial law with a military government in charge with General Austin as chairman. The army declared a four-day total curfew during which (it said) anyone leaving their home without approval would be shot on sight.
This new militant – blatantly communist government was not met without outside opposition. The United States government which had already charged that it had great concern about the new airport being built and it’s possible use in military operations by the Cuban and Russian forces dove into “talks” with leaders in the region. Despite Bishop’s insistence and that of the private contractors, American and European companies, and the EEC, which provided partial funding, all claimed the airstrip did not have military capabilities and the purpose of the airstrip was to allow commercial jets to land, US military analysts argued that the only reason for constructing such a long and reinforced runway was so that it could be used by heavy military transport planes.
Therefore, worried that Cuba – under the direction of the Soviet Union – would use Grenada as a re-fuelling stop for Cuban and Soviet airplanes loaded with weapons destined for Central American communist insurgents lead the pack in formulating Operation Urgent Fury.
In the predawn hours of October 25, 1983, combined forces from the United States Army, Airforce, Coast Guard and Marines alongside the Regional Security System based in Barbados invaded Grenada in an operation code named Operation Urgent Fury. The first major operation by the U. S. armed forces since the Vietnam War.
The United States government claimed these actions were taken at the behest of Dominican Prime Minister Eugenia Charles. While then Governor General of Grenada, Sir Paul Scoon, also later stated that he had also requested the invasion. At home in the U. S. it was purported that the invasion was in part to rescue the Americans medical students being held hostage on the island, a claim later refuted in a statement given by Congressman Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, stated: “Not a single American child nor single American national was in any way placed in danger or placed in a hostage situation prior to the invasion.“
Fighting continued for several days and the total number of U.S. troops reached some 7,000 along with 300 troops from the OAS. The invading forces encountered about 1,500 Grenadian soldiers and about 700 Cubans, with intelligence on the armed forces on the ground unclear and more complex than initially suggested. On the ground the line between civilians and military personnel was blurred.
Official U.S. sources state that some of their opponents were well prepared and well positioned and put up stubborn resistance.The naval and air support of the coalition forces—included helicopter gunships, tanks, and amphibious combat vehicles.
Nearly 8,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines had participated in Operation Urgent Fury along with 353 Caribbean allies of the Caribbean Peace Forces. U.S. forces sustained 19 killed and 116 wounded; Cuban forces sustained 25 killed, 59 wounded, and 638 combatants captured. Grenadian forces casualties were 45 killed and 358 wounded; at least 24 civilians were killed, 18 of whom were killed in the accidental bombing of a Grenadian mental hospital. Yet another fact that was doctored. Initial reports refuted the bombing of said hospital and denied the deaths of any locals, however recently released documentation proved that the “unmarked” hospital was accidentally bombed claiming the lives of far more than initially stated.
After the invasion, the pre-revolutionary Grenadian constitution was in effect once again and eighteen members of the PRG and the People’s Revolutionary Army (army), including the top political leadership of Grenada at the time of the execution as well as the entire military chain of command directly responsible for the operation that led to the executions, were arrested on charges related to the murder of Maurice Bishop and seven others. Fourteen were sentenced to death, one was found not guilty and three were sentenced to 45 years in prison. The death sentences were eventually commuted to terms of imprisonment. The U.S. military remained on the island to maintain democracy and assist regional forces in enforcing the constitution until the elections were held and Hon. Herbert Blaize was elected, (1984).
Since then Operation Urgent Fury remains a hotly discussed and often highly criticized move by the Reagan government – one plagued by inconsistencies, propaganda and shrouded in secrets yet to be revealed. The invasion has since been criticized by the British, Trinidadian and Canadian governments, and was deemed a “a flagrant violation of international law” by a vote of 108 in favor to 9, with 27 abstentions by the United Nations Security Council.
On the island, opinions remain mixed regarding the islands revolutionary past and the date October 25th has since been marked as a national holiday of thanksgiving.
I hope you all enjoyed my extension of my earlier Independence Day post, and Happy Thanksgiving Grenada. May the historical significance not be lost with the passage of time.
Hugs and Sunshine,
I trust everyone has been having a productive and exciting summer!
Thankfully it has not been a typical New York City summer of mugginess and near breathlessness from the humidity and heat. Whew! I am always so grateful for the rain these days even though on those days I don’t get to enjoy my summer sandals and my fresh pedi – but it is a worthy sacrifice.
Let me start again by saying thank you for checking in and sticking with me even though I am not always on here! I love hearing from all of you.
So without anymore fan fare, let’s get into it!
I hope you all had an amazing holiday weekend and have been able to take in or enjoy some of the awesome summer activities that having been going on in your respective cities!
Therefore, let me start by saying, (albeit, late):
With that said, let’s go!
On Instagram this week;
Sweet treats after a long week.
The last few episodes of Starz’s Power have been incredibly dramatic and are building to one hell of a climax – which possibly might be a cliff hanger season finale. If so, then hang onto your seats because you just don’t know what to expect with this one.
All you history buffs – have you guys checked out Tut? Yet another one I’m going to be adding to my list.
Have you guys checked out The Spoils Before Dying on IFC. I’ve been meaning to catch up and see if it’s any good. What do you think?
This one will take all millenials back to their childhood days because it has been reported that a reboot of ” Xena: Warrior Princess” is in the works with NBC. Oh-EMm-Geee!!! *Sorry! Flashbacks!
And the Emmy nominations are in! Last week the nominations for the 2015 Prime Time Emmys dropped and boy oh boy is it interesting. While many of the shows and actor nominations are returning hits from years prior, this year brings a number of new programs and actors into the fold. This year we see a number of new entrants, including AMC’s Better Call Saul, a spinoff from AMC’s hit, Breaking Bad, portraying actor Bob Odenkirk, new streaming TV originals, like Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and actors getting their first – and much deserved nods, including Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder, and Taraji P. Henson, Empire. And, of course, Game of Thrones (HBO) is taking the cake once again with a whopping 24 nominations.
Perhaps most interesting from the list of nominees is the more than 40 nominations for streaming television original series, including those from Netflix and Amazon, with almost one show or actor representing every category. The top-nominated shows included House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), and Transparent(Amazon Instant Video.)
Here are some of the top nominations;
Outstanding Drama Series – Game of Thrones (HBO), Homeland (Showtime), Downton Abbey (PBS), Mad Men (AMC), House of Cards (Netflix) and Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Better Call Saul (AMC).
Outstanding Comedy Series – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ( Netflix), Transparent (Amazon), Modern Family (ABC), Louie (FX), Parks and Recreation (NBC), Silicon Valley (HBO), and Veep (HBO).
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Jimmy McGill and Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Jeff Daniels, (The Newsroom -HBO), Kevin Spacey(House of Cards – Netflix), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan – Showtime).
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series -Taraji P. Henson( Empire – Fox.), Claire Danes (Homeland – Showtime), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Viola Davis for her role as Annalise Keating (How to Get Away With Murder – ABC), and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black – BBC America).
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Matt LeBlanc (Episodes – Showtime), Don Cheadle (House of Lies – Showtime), Louis C.K. (Louie – FX), William H. Macy (Shameless – Showtime), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent – Amazon Instant Video), Anthony Anderson (black-ish – ABC), and Will Forte from (The Last Man on Earth – Fox).
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer – Comedy Central), Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback – HBO), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie – Netflix), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie – Showtime), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation – NBC), and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in (Veep – HBO).
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Peter Dinklage(Game of Thrones), include Jim Carter (Downton Abbey – PBS), Alan Cummings (The Good Wife – CBS), and Michael Kelly (House of Cards.)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Joanne Froggat(Downton Abbey), Lena Headey ( Game of Thrones), Emilia Clarke ( Game of Thrones), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife – CBS), Christina Hendricks ( Mad Men😉 and Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black).
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – ( Ty Burrell, Modern Family;Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix); Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox), Adam Driver, Girls (HBO), Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele (Comedy Central), and Tony Hale, Veep.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Allison Janney (Mom – CBS), Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory – CBS), Niecy Nash (Getting On – HBO), Julie Bowen (Modern Family – ABC), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent), and Anna Chlumsky (Veep).
Other Awards: The Last Man on Earth, tech-friendly Silicon Valley (HBO), American Horror Story: Freak Show and Transparent were nominated for outstanding directing.
Several actors received nominations for supporting roles in American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX), including Denis O’Hare as Stanley, Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott, Sarah Paulson as Dot & Bette Tattler, Angela Bassett as Desiree Dupree, and Kathy Bates as Ethel Darling.
The Awards will air on September 20.
Alaska Governor to expand Medicaid. After failing to convince his his legislature on the necessity for expanding Medicaid, Governor Bill Walker of Alaska has decided to unilaterally accept federal funds to cover the approximately 42,000 low income residents who would benefit from the program. The Governor sees this as a “common sense” decision as it benefits not just the economy of the state but the general wellness of the population if more people have and can receive affordable benefits and coverage. I concur.
Planned Parenthood President apologizes for comments made in video. After secret video recording surfaced of Planned Parenthood official, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, discussing how the organization provides tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers, Conservative motions for tighter restrictions including elimination of federal funds, kicked into high gear again. Even speaker of the House got in on the action saying, quote, “I think i would vomit trying to talk about the video”. Theses comments and anti-family planning rhetoric prompted leader Cecile Richards, President of The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to issue her own video response, as well a an apology for her colleague’s “lack of compassion”. The official remains employed by the organization but has since been “reprimanded”. But, ha enough really been done to curb public outcry and the drone of the Conservative argument?
“Illegal Activity” clauses leave some insured, “uncovered”. In a growing number of cases, several insured and /or their family members who were injured in a “criminally negligent manner” have been refused coverage or treatment, even though said individual were not charged or convicted of any wrong doing – all due to a legal loop hole! How, you may ask. Simple. Several policies hold “exclusion clauses” that allow the insurer to deny coverage if it suspected that an injury was obtained from drug or alcohol use, felonies, self-inflicted trauma, or “hazardous” or “high-risk” behaviors. The decision to deny these claims are based on the administrators opinions of the matter and allow the insurer a great latitude. The court have upheld these denials as well – even when there has been no conviction – negating the burdens of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. These denials have left several insured in debt and in some more severe cases have resulted in fatalities after patients succumb to preventable conditions. And yet the cycle continues…
Courts rule that, Contraceptive coverage, is not a burden on religious organizations. The federal United States Court of Appeals for the 10th circuit, in Denver, took a bold stand last Thursday issuing another win for Obamacare and it’s initiative to provide contraceptive options for women. The judge decided that the option to provide contraceptive options for women they cover under medical insurance can “opt out” of providing them the service and that this in no way hinders their ability to uphold their religious practice nor makes them complicit. The decision issued another blow to challenges presented by the Roman Catholic church and their Little Sister of the Poor, order of nuns.
Another Ebola fatality reported in Liberia. In Monrovia, Liberia, a young woman who was part of the list of individuals who had been in contact with the 18-year old who was the first reported fatality after Liberia’s May 9th declaration of being Ebola free, died shortly after being admitted to an Ebola treatment unit. She is the 2nd fatality. An investigation is being conducted to determine why it was not reported that the young woman had become symptomatic while under quarantine.
Donna Karan steps down at DKI. Donna Karan is stepping down as the Chief Designer of the brand she founded after 31 years at the helm. According to LVMH, which bought Donna Karan International in 2001, Karan will remain a close adviser. Karan, will devote her time to her Urban Zen company and foundation. No earch for a successor has been announed thus far.
Tory Burch wins big in copyright trial. The designer has been awarded $41.2 million after winning a trademark infringement lawsuit against Lin & J International Inc., who the designer successfully proved had copied her trademarks and designs.The judgement, which was made by the US District Court on Friday, draws a line under a battle between the two brands that started in 2013 when Burch “sent a representative to Lin & J’s showroom in New York and that representative was shown a variety of knockoffs and told the minimum order was $350,”.She also “identified a wholesaler in Alabama who pointed to Lin & J as their supplier of thousands of units of fake jewellery.”Following initial legal proceedings, Lin & J then unsuccessfully countersued Tory Burch, accusing the New York-based company of “unfair trade practices, defamation, trademark infringement and other claims.” The breakdown of the awarded amount equates to $38.9 million in damages and $2.3 million in legal fees.
Italy makes € 20 million U.S. fashion bid. ITALY is said to be announcing a €20 million initiative to strengthen its relationship with the US regarding textiles, fashion and leather goods exports. This move has been encouraged by Italy’increasing exports to the US (which last year totalled $5.6 billion), and the country hopes to profit from “the ever-influential youth culture” since 34 per cent of the US population of 315 million is under 25.
LVMH to launch apple watch rival. LVMH’s watch division president, Jean-Claude Biver, has revealed that the French luxury conglomerate plans to launch a smart watch to compete with the Apple Watch.The device, which will cost just over £1,000, aims to attract a new generation of consumers for whom a wrist piece has become a must-have item.
LVMH, which owns the Zenith, Hublot and Tag Heuer watch brands, hopes to make the most impact with its new device in China, where it wants to focus on “winning market share, rather than being driven by specific sales and profit targets.”
Making the rounds in this news cycle:
Two African American women both found dead in their cells while in police custody, less than a week apart of each other. As family and friends of Sandra Bland began asking tough question around her mysterious “suicide” death while in police custody, after being booked during what should have been a routine traffic stop, the news broke that another African American woman also in police custody had died under the same strange circumstances. 18-year old Kindra Chapman was found unresponsive in her cell after being booked for first degree robbery. This is the third such death of a young African American woman whilst in police custody ruled as an apparent suicide by the respective officials, recall the 2014 death of mother of three Kimberlee King who was found hanging by her shirt in a cell in St. Louis? Her family is still seeking answers around her peculiar death. It begs the question can this seriously be coincidence?
In other U.S. relation news;
Cuba raises her flag in Washington at the reopening of the Cuban Embassy there. The opening of embassies in the U.S. and Cuba after approximately 54 years of embargo and tense relations between the two nations comes after an agreement struck last year putting aside decades of hostility came into force. This marks the formal restoration of diplomatic ties, and improvement of international relations within the region. Despite the historic shift, both sides admit to lingering difficulties. A flag will not be raised at the American Embassy in Havana until Mr Kerry pays a visit there on 14 August.
Making it’s way around the international news circle:
Greece pays the 2 billion arrears to the IMF. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed that Greece has cleared overdue debt repayments of €2.05bn (£1.4bn) and is no longer in arrears. The repayments, and another for €4.2bn to the European Central Bank (ECB) due on Monday, came after the EU made Greece a short-term loan of €7bn. Earlier on today, Greek banks reopened after being closed for three weeks. However, many restrictions remain and Greeks are facing price rises with an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is rising from 13% to 23% meaning Greeks will pay more on a range of goods and services, including taxis and restaurants. Below is a brief synopsis of the Greek Financial deal:
For the past three weeks, Greeks have been waiting in line at cash machines to withdraw a maximum of €60 (£41) a day, a restriction imposed amid fear of a run on the banks. From Monday, the daily limit becomes a weekly one capped at €420 (£291), meaning Greeks will not have to queue every day. However, a block on transfers to foreign banks and a ban on cashing cheques remain in place.
Bomber massacres activists in Turkey. A bomb attack has killed at least 28 people and wounded nearly 100 others in the Turkish town of Suruc, across the border from the Syrian town of Kobane. Officials say the explosion may have been caused by a female suicide attacker. The blast targeted a group of young people who planned to travel to Kobane to assist with rebuilding. Kobane has seen heavy fighting between Islamic State militants and Kurdish fighters. Turkish authorities believe IS may be responsible for Monday’s attack. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the bombing and described it as “an act of terror“.
Loft – 60 % of sale items and select full price items as part of their summer must haves
New York and Company – All dresses on sale $15, All Soho jeans B1G1 $10, New Arrivals B1G1 50% off, all clearance 50-70%off
Banana Republic – extra 40% off sale, and select date night items
Old Navy – 25% of any amount, 30% off $75, 40% off $100. Code: SUPER (online only)
Nordstrom – Anniversary Sale – up to 50% off
J. Crew Factory – 50% off summer styles,Plus, An extra 50% off clearance. Code: SALETIME (online only)
Sole Society – Summer Sale, up to 60%, (end tomorrow)
Madwell – Extra 40 % off sale styles
I am über excited to get the chance to enjoy some of the city’s awesome summer events like;
Now I don’t claim to be an aficionado or anything when it comes to food….but lord knows I loooovvveee to eat – hence I’m always in the kitchen whipping something up!
Also on my list for the rest of summer…
Checking out one of the Brooklyn museum’s latest collections, (post will soon follow), The Rise of the Sneaker Culture;
Patiently awaiting the listing for the Martin Luther King Jr. WingGate summer concert series line-up and getting in those last bits of summer before it’s time to brace for the chill of fall and winter;
And introducing you guys to some of the awesome new things to come for the blog.
This past week has zoomed by and it’s already mid week-again. I apologize again for the late weekly rewinds but it’s just been super hectic. So let’s just get right on in.
American Odyssey gets the boot after struggling to gain or maintain traction, the show which was already on the shortlist to be shelved has finally been nixed. Unable to gain the right momentum, NBC has decided to end the season. No word yet on if there will be a mid season replacement or any changes to the line up.
Chasing Life, an ABC Family original is set to return for it’s second season this month and one can only anticipate the drama and twists this season will hold for young April.
I know I usually focus my monthly recognition on the multiple Health Awareness initiatives but one of this month’s initiatives rings home for me so I wanted to something a little different.
The month of June is dedicated in part to Caribbean American Heritage. This year marks the 10th year running that the month has been dedicate to recognizing Caribbean American culture. Although as a people we differ in cultural and linguistic elements, we are united in the fact that we are all children of the diaspora with roots firmly planted in the history of the archipelago.
This past weekend was a rather eventful one, especially here stateside.
We had the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, and the celebration of International Women’s Day marked by numerous events and marches to raise awareness for women’s issues.
The celebration of advancements in women’s rights and issues of course did not go unrecognized here in New York either with Marches throughout the city.
Before we get into the turnouts ad issues still up for discussion in international women’s rights, let’s get into a brief history of the day.
According to the official International Women’s Day website, International Women’s Day; 8 March; is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
It was first developed when suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. International Women’s Day honors the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.