TRIBUTE TO KAMAU McBARNETTE
From Grenada – Forward Ever UK
The sad news of the death of Kamau McBarnette was announced today from St. Georges, Grenada. He was 63 years of age. Kamau died at Grenada’s General Hospital surrounded by family and loved ones after a period of illness. The UK comrades of Grenada – Forward Ever send condolences to his family, friends and comrades everywhere.
Kamau was an early member of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Grenada from the 1970s and an active participant in the overthrow of the Gairy regime on the 13 March 1979. Following this he then played a leadership role in the successes of the Grenada Revolution and the Peoples Revolution Government of Grenada.
One of his key roles was that of a manager and broadcaster for Radio Free Grenada (RFG), the main means of communication for the Revolution. RFG reported on the gains of the Revo’, led by the people, directly to the people of Grenada. With the gift of a transmitter from the German Democratic Government, sited at Beausejour, his work was broadcasted across the Caribbean.
Following the killing of Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister, along with other leaders of the Revolution on the 19th October the US invaded Grenada and seized several thousand revolutionaries. Seeking to discredit the Revolution the US forces then brought 19 leading figures of the NJM and Peoples Revolutionary Army before a hastily created court in a blatant show trial.
Kamau was one of 16 men and one woman, the Grenada 17, who were subsequently “convicted” of murder. This process was heavily criticised by many, including UK judges and Amnesty International, for the many breaches in legal principles of fairness.
After serving 26 years in prison, Kamau was released in 2009 and went on to write two much-admired books. The first, My Mother and I, described Grenada’s history and the second, Operation Desert Rat, a caricature of his prison life and those of his incarcerated comrades.
We await further information, which we will post as soon as received.
The Executive Committee
Grenada – Forward Ever
15 January 2020