The first airstrip in Grenada opened in 1943 on the windward (northeast) side of the island. Beginning in the 1970s, one of the airlines providing flights was Cubana de Aviación, commonly called Cubana. In March of 1979, Grenada experienced a coup lead by Maurice Bishop. While he was the prime minister, the socialist had strong political and economic ties with Cuba and other communist countries. That ended abruptly when Bishop was executed by another uprising in 1983. Within a week, U.S. forces landed on this airstrip to restore political order. Pearls Airport closed the following year when the Maurice Bishop International Airport opened in the southwest corner of Grenada. Pearls Airport is now abandoned. At the end of the runway is a decrepit Cuban plane and a Soviet crop duster. Both were destroyed by U.S. forces.