The Reagan Era Remembered: Tropic Trouble

 Fun, Travel & Adventure  reagan-grenada-comic-castro-puppet.gif

Perhaps it’s the rum, or the heat of the tropics, but a New York Times travel writer presents a highly fanciful version of Ronald Reagan’s 1983 Grenada invasion in Sunday’s Travel section.

It’s only a few words in a piece largely devoted to current and future tourism facilities,  but Ned Martel paints an image that has nothing to do with the invasion’s reality. Like the Reagan Administration, he makes it up.

“In 1983, American satellites peered down on Point Salines, the southwest corner of Grenada, and detected a newly paved lane toward the sea, plus some nearby armaments and fuel tanks. Cubans had arrived on the island, abetting some coup plotters who captured and then executed the prime minister, and the Reagan administration realized they were watching a hostile military base under construction, some 1,500 miles southeast of Miami. Point Salines was seen as a tiny pinprick in the American sphere of influence.”

Golly!  reagan-greneda-comic.jpg

Despite the would-be Missile Crisis imagery, the “newly paved lane” was an airport being openly constructed to boost tourism, the function it serves today.

“[N]earby armaments and fuel tanks”

– perhaps, but there were no military facilities at the airport site.

“Cubans had arrived on the island…”

– they had been there, openly, for years.

“…abetting some coup plotters who captured and then executed the prime minister.”

–  Cuba denounced the overthrow and killing of Grenada’s revolutionary Prime Minister Maurice Bishop by left-wing members of Bishop’s government.

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“the Reagan administration realized they were watching a hostile military base under construction, some 1,500 miles southeast of Miami. Point Salines was seen as a tiny pinprick in the American sphere of influence.”

– See above.

Martel misses a usual touch stone, the claim that arms for the red hordes of Central America were stockpiled on the island, a charge that lost some of its punch when people realized

Grenada is three times further from the Central American isthmus than is Cuba itself

This Reagan feel-good moment has become central to the Reagan image empire as Afghanistan doesn’t quite work out, celebrated in a recently opened Reagan Library children’s exhibit where the kids can experience an Urgent Fury all their own.

The beaches are nice.

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