Lecture Notes






























The U.S. invaded Granada because it didn't like Granada's communist government.

In 1983, President Reagan was the president of the United States. As you know, he was a fierce anti-communist. One thing which bothered Reagan was Granada. Granada is a tiny island nation in the Caribbean Sea. It is pretty insignificant. It has no significant resources other than its tourism industry—its sunny weather and its beautiful white-sand beaches. However, what bothered Reagan is that Granada had a communist government.

In 1983 Reagan ordered a military invasion of the island, in order to restore an anti-communist government that had not held power for four years. Victory was achieved in a matter of weeks. The communists were thrown out, and a new, “U.S. approved” government was put into place.

World reaction to the invasion was overwhelmingly negative. The United Nations General Assembly condemned the invasion as a “flagrant violation of international law.” The Security Council also voted to condemn the invasion, but the resolution failed to pass because it was vetoed by the United States, which cast the sole negative vote.


Check Your Understanding

  1. Why did President Reagan order an invasion of Granada in 1983?
  2. Was the 1983 U.S. invasion of Granada legal, according to international law? Explain your answer. 
  3. How was the United States able to evade punishment for its invasion of Granada in 1983?
  4. How does the U.S. invasion of Grenada illustrate the need for Security Council reform? For example, does it show an abuse of power? How could this abuse be prevented in the future? Explain.