Grenada's U.N. ambassador, Caldwell Taylor, returned to New York today after a week in hiding and denounced both the "butchers who savagely murdered" prime minister Maurice Bishop and any "quislings" willing to serve under the invasion force that deposed them.
To the United States, Taylor said: "You cannot choose a government for us. Whoever thinks they have the right to foist 'democracy' on us will have to fight me. I am not on the side of any proconsul."
He said the people of Grenada would have ousted Gen. Hudson Austin and his Revolutionary Military Council--whom he called Bishop's murderers--without an invasion. And Grenadans will just as inevitably reject any proposed provisional government, he insisted. "Democracy is not something you throw down like manna from heaven."
But Taylor was careful not to attack Grenadan Governor General Sir Paul Scoon--"a friend"--who has been called upon by the neighboring Caribbean countries that participated in the invasion to form a provisional government.
Just before Taylor's emotional U.N. press conference, the Dominican mission delivered to the president of the Security Council a cable bearing Scoon's signature. It said that no person or group has been authorized to speak for Grenada at the United Nations and that none should be permitted to do so without the governor general's authorization.
Taylor said he had not seen the message and would not comment on it except to say he still considers himself Grenada's legal U.N. representative.
He said he went into hiding after Bishop's death last week because he feared the "Austin gang" would kill him. His deputy, Ian Jacobs, addressed the council and the Organization of American States in Washington earlier this week on behalf of the Revolutionary Military Council.
The Security Council session began shortly after Taylor spoke to reporters. It was scheduled to hear about 30 speakers and proceed to a late-night vote on a resolution "deeply deploring the armed intervention in Grenada."
But the moment the meeting began, American representative Charles Lichenstein challenged the legitimacy of the Grenadan delegation. After a one-hour recess the issue was resolved when the Grenadans agreed not to take their seats for the time being.
Among the first speakers was U.S. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick who argued that the U.S. invasion was necessary to put down "an authentic reign of terror" on Grenada. The view that the use of force is necessarily a violation of the U.N. Charter "is a delusion and a snare," she said.
Under the charter, Kirkpatrick said, the use of force is justified to defend "such values as freedom, democracy and peace. The charter does not require that peoples submit supinely to terror nor that their neighbors be indifferent to their terrorization."
The resolution before the council, sponsored by Guyana, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe, was modified to eliminate a condemnation of the intervention and two references to it as an invasion. It does not mention the United States by name. The object was to win the broadest possible support and to isolate the United States and its Caribbean allies. The United States was expected to veto the resolution.
Despite the modifications, American officials expressed the hope that a number of delegations--including Britain, the Netherlands, Zaire and Togo--would abstain. They maintained there was an outside chance of enough additional abstentions to deprive the sponsors of the required nine-vote majority on the 15-nation council, and thus avert the veto.
But most diplomats expected that the outcome in the council would resemble the debate, in which only those nations that joined in the invasion defended it while more than 20 others called it a violation of the norms of international law.
The resolution's sponsors have suggested that if the United States is forced to veto, they would move the issue to the General Assembly for a broader debate. Assembly resolutions cannot be vetoed, but they are not legally binding on governments.
In the Security Council debate, Cuban Ambassador Raul Roa Kouri said the United States was guilty of "cowardly, treacherous and base aggression" in Grenada.
French Ambassador Luc de la Barre de Nanteuil said America's justifications for the invasion "do not seem to us to be acceptable."
The U.N. ambassadors of Jamaica and Antigua said the new Grenadan regime threatened the entire Caribbean region.