Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Coordinates: 13°15′N61°12′W / 13.250°N 61.200°W / 13.250; -61.200

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Contents

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Motto: "Pax et Justitia" (Latin)
"Peace and Justice"

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Location Map (2013) - VCT - UNOCHA.svg
Capital
and largest city
Kingstown
13°10′N61°14′W / 13.167°N 61.233°W / 13.167; -61.233
Official languages English
Vernacular language Vincentian Creole
Ethnic groups
Religion
Demonym(s) Saint Vincentian or Vincentian, Vincy
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  Monarch
Elizabeth II
Susan Dougan
Dr Ralph Gonsalves
Legislature House of Assembly
Independence
27 October 1969
 from the United Kingdom
27 October 1979
Area
 Total
389 km2 (150 sq mi)(184th)
 Water (%)
negligible
Population
 2016 estimate
109,643 [1] (179th)
 2011 census
109,991
 Density
307/km2 (795.1/sq mi)(39th)
GDP  (PPP)2019 estimate
 Total
$1.373 billion
 Per capita
$12,431 [2]
GDP  (nominal)2019 estimate
 Total
$864 million
 Per capita
$7,827 [2]
HDI  (2017)Increase2.svg 0.723 [3]
high ·  99th
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone UTC-4
Driving side left
Calling code +1 784
ISO 3166 code VC
Internet TLD .vc

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ( /ˌɡrɛnəˈdnz/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is an Anglo-Caribbean country in the British West Indies region of the Lesser Antilles island arc, in the southern portion of the Windward Islands, which lies in the West Indies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean. The sovereign state is also frequently known simply as Saint Vincent.

British West Indies British territories in the Caribbean, sometimes including former colonies

The British West Indies, sometimes abbreviated to the BWI, is a collective term for the British territories historically established in the Anglo-Caribbean: Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Some definitions also include Bermuda, the former British Guiana and the former British Honduras although those territories are not usually considered part of the geographical West Indies. Before the decolonization period in the later 1950s and 1960s the term was used to include all British colonies in the region as part of the British Empire. Following the independence of most of the territories from the United Kingdom, the term Commonwealth Caribbean is now used.

Lesser Antilles Archipelago in the Southeast Caribbean

The Lesser Antilles is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Most form a long, partly volcanic island arc between the Greater Antilles to the north-west and the continent of South America. The islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Together, the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles compose the Antilles. When combined with the Lucayan Archipelago, all three are known as the West Indies.

Island arc Arc-shaped archipelago formed by intense seismic activity of long chains of active volcanoes

Island arcs are long chains of active volcanoes with intense seismic activity found along convergent tectonic plate boundaries. Most island arcs originate on oceanic crust and have resulted from the descent of the lithosphere into the mantle along the subduction zone. They are the principal way by which continental growth is achieved.

Its 389 km2 (150 sq mi) territory consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines, a chain of 32 smaller islands. Some of the Grenadines are inhabited: Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, Canouan, Palm Island, Mayreau, Young Island whilst others are not: Tobago Cays, Petit Saint Vincent, Baliceaux, Bettowia, Quatre, Petite Mustique, Savan and Petit Nevis. Most of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies within the Hurricane Alley.

Saint Vincent (Antilles) Island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent is a volcanic island in the Anglo-Caribbean. It is the largest island of the country Saint Vincent and the Grenadines island chain. It is located in the Caribbean Sea, between Saint Lucia and Grenada. It is composed of partially submerged volcanic mountains. Its largest volcano and the country's highest peak, La Soufrière, is active, having last erupted in 1979.

Grenadines Place

The Grenadines are a chain of small islands that lie on a line between the larger islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. Nine are inhabited and open to the public : Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Petit St Vincent, Palm Island and Mayreau, all in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, plus Petite Martinique and Carriacou in Grenada. Several additional privately-owned islands such as Calivigny are also inhabited. Notable uninhabited islands of the Grenadines include Petit Nevis, used by whalers, and Petit Mustique, which was the centre of a prominent real estate scam in the early 2000s.

Bequia island

Bequia is the second-largest island in the Grenadines at 7 square miles (18 km2). It is part of the country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and is approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the nation's capital, Kingstown, on the main island, Saint Vincent. Bequia means "island of the clouds" in the ancient Arawak. The island's name was also 'Becouya' as part of the Grenadines.

To the north of Saint Vincent lies Saint Lucia, to the east is Barbados and Grenada lies to the south. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a densely populated country for its size (over 300 inhabitants/km2) with approximately 109,643 inhabitants. [1]

Saint Lucia Country in the Caribbean

Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was previously called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Amerindians and later, Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries.

Barbados Country in the Caribbean

Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, Barbados is east of the Windwards, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 13°N of the equator. It is about 168 km (104 mi) east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 180 km (110 mi) south-east of Martinique and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

Grenada Country in the Caribbean

Grenada is a sovereign state in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself plus six smaller islands which lie to the north of the main island. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 112,200 in July 2018. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops, of which it is one of the world's largest exporters. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada dove.

Kingstown is the capital and main port. Saint Vincent has a British colonial history, and is now part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, CARICOM, the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Kingstown Town and Capital in Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Kingstown is the capital, chief port, and main commercial centre of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. With a population of 16,500 (2010), Kingstown is the most populous settlement in the country. It is the centre for the island's agricultural industry and a port of entry for tourists. The city lies within the parish of Saint George in the south-west corner of Saint Vincent.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States intergovernmental organisation

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and territories in the Eastern Caribbean. It also performs the role of spreading responsibility and liability in the event of natural disaster.

Etymology

Christopher Columbus, the first European to discover the island, named it after St. Vincent of Saragossa, whose feast day it was on the day he first saw it (22 January 1498). [4] [5]

Christopher Columbus Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonist who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon. He led the first European expeditions to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, initiating the permanent European colonization of the Americas. Columbus discovered a viable sailing route to the Americas, a continent that was then unknown to the Old World. While what he thought he had discovered was a route to the Far East, he is credited with the opening of the Americas for conquest and settlement by Europeans.

History

Pre-colonial period

Before the arrival of Europeans and Africans in the 16th century, various Amerindian groups passed through or settled on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, including the Ciboney, Arawak, and Carib people. [6] [7] The island now known as Saint Vincent was originally named Youloumain [8] by the native Island Caribs who called themselves Kalina/Carina ("l" and "r" being pronounced the same in their language).[ citation needed ]

European arrival and early colonial period

It is thought that Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1498, giving it the name St Vincent. [4] The Caribs aggressively prevented European settlement on Saint Vincent until 1719. In the meantime a mixed African-Carib community had developed, as escaped or shipwrecked African slaves ended up on the island; they became known as the 'Black Caribs' or 'Garifuna'. [9] [10]

French and British colonisation and the First Carib War

Various attempts by the English and Dutch to claim the island proved unsuccessful, and it was the French who were first able to colonise the island, settling in the town of Barrouallie on the Leeward side of St Vincent in 1719. [11] The French brought with them enslaved African prisoners of war to work the plantations of sugar, coffee, indigo, tobacco, cotton and cocoa. [12]

Depiction of the 1773 treaty negotiations between the British and the Black Caribs SaintVincent Carib Treaty Negotiation 1773.jpg
Depiction of the 1773 treaty negotiations between the British and the Black Caribs

The British captured the island and drove out the French from Barrouallie during the Seven Years' War, a claim confirmed with the Treaty of Paris (1763). [13] On taking control of the island in 1763, the British laid the foundations of Fort Charlotte and also brought with them enslaved African prisoners of war to work on the island plantations. The Caribs however, opposed to the British presence, went into open conflict against the British, starting the First Carib War which lasted from 1772 to 1773. [14]

During the Anglo-French War (1778–1783) the French re-captured St Vincent in 1779, however the British regained control under the Treaty of Versailles (1783). [15] [16]

British colonial period and the Second Carib War

The uneasy peace between the British and the Caribs led to the Second Carib War, which lasted from 1795 to 1796. [17] The Caribs were led by Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer and they were supported by the French, notably the radical Victor Hugues from the island of Martinique. Their revolt and uprising was eventually put to an end in 1797 by British General Sir Ralph Abercromby; a peace treaty agreement was made which resulted in almost 5,000 Black Caribs being exiled to Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras, and to Baliceaux in the Grenadines. [18]

In 1806 the building of Fort Charlotte was completed.[ citation needed ]

The La Soufriere volcano erupted in 1812, resulting in considerable destruction [19] [20]

Colonial flag (to 1979) Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1907-1979).svg
Colonial flag (to 1979)

The British abolished slavery in Saint Vincent (as well as in the other British West Indies colonies) in 1834, and an apprenticeship period followed which ended in 1838. [21] [22] After its end, labour shortages on the plantations resulted, and this was initially addressed by the immigration of indentured servants; in the late 1840s many Portuguese immigrants arrived from Madeira and between 1861 and 1888 shiploads of Indian labourers arrived. [23] Conditions remained harsh for both former slaves and immigrant agricultural workers, as depressed world sugar prices kept the economy stagnant until the turn of the century. The economy then went into a period of decline with many landowners abandoning their estates and leaving the land to be cultivated by liberated slaves.

The Opobo king Jaja of Nigeria was exiled to St. Vincent after his 1887 arrest by the British for shipping cargoes of palm oil directly to Liverpool without the intermediation of the National African Company.

20th century

Residents of Saint Vincent making casabe (casava bread) in the 1910s Baking bread in the West Indies.png
Residents of Saint Vincent making casabe (casava bread) in the 1910s

In 1902, La Soufrière volcano erupted, killing 1,500-2,000 people; much farmland was damaged, and the economy deteriorated. [24] [25] [26]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines passed through various stages of colonial status under the British. A representative assembly was authorised in 1776, Crown Colony government was installed in 1877, a legislative council was created in 1925 with a limited franchise [27] , and universal adult suffrage was granted in 1951. [28] During the period of its control of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Britain made several attempts to unify the island with other Windward Islands as a single entity, with the aim of simplifying British control in the Anglo-Caribbean region through a single unified administration. [29] In the 1960s, the British again tried to unify all of its regional islands including Saint Vincent into one united single entity under British control, unified politically. The unification was to be called the West Indies Federation and was driven by a desire to gain independence from British government. However the attempt collapsed in 1962. [30]

Saint Vincent was granted "associate statehood" status by Britain on 27 October 1969. [31] This gave Saint Vincent complete control over its own internal affairs but was short of full independence in law.

In April 1979 La Soufrière volcano erupted again. Although no one was killed, thousands were evacuated and again there was extensive agricultural damage. [32]

On 27 October 1979 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became the last of the Windward Islands to gain full independence. [33] [34] The country opted to remain within the British Commonwealth, retaining Queen Elizabeth as Monarch, represented locally by a Governor-General.

Post-independence era

James Fitz-Allen Mitchell, Prime Minister from 1984-2000 Sir James Mitchell SVG.png
James Fitz-Allen Mitchell, Prime Minister from 1984-2000

Milton Cato of the centre-left Saint Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) was the country's first Prime Minister (he had been Premier since 1974), ruling until he was defeated in the 1984 Vincentian general election by James Fitz-Allen Mitchell of the centre-right New Democratic Party (NDP). [35] During Cato's time in office there was a brief rebellion on Union Island in December 1979 led by Lennox 'Bumba' Charles; apparently inspired by the recent revolution on Grenada, Charles alleged neglect of Union by the central government, however the revolt was swiftly put down and Charles arrested. [36] [37] There were also a series of strikes in the early 1980s. [38] James Mitchell remained Prime Minister for 16 years until 2000, winning three consecutive elections. [39] Mitchell was at the forefront of attempts to improve regional integration. [40] In 1980 and 1987 hurricanes damaged many banana and coconut plantations. Hurricane seasons were also very active in 1998 and 1999, with Hurricane Lenny in 1999 causing extensive damage to the west coast of the island.

In 2000 Arnhim Eustace became Prime Minister after taking over the leadership of the NDP following Mitchell's retirement; he was defeated a year later by Ralph Gonsalves of the Unity Labour Party (the successor party to the SVLP). [41] [42] Gonsalves, known as 'Comrade Ralph' due to his left-wing views, has criticised US policy against Venezuela [43] and Cuba [44] , and argued that European nations owe Caribbean nations reparations for their role in the Atlantic slave trade. [45]

On 25 November 2009, voters were asked to approve a new constitution in a referendum The new constitution proposed to make the country a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state with a non-executive President, a proposal supported by Prime Minister Gonsalves. A two-thirds majority was required, and it was defeated by 30,019 votes (55.64 per cent) to 12,493 (43.13 per cent). [46] [47]

Geography

A map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg
A map of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies to the west of Barbados, south of Saint Lucia and north of Grenada in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc of the Caribbean Sea. The islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines include the main island of Saint Vincent 344 km2 (133 sq mi) and the northern two-thirds of the Grenadines 45 km2 (17 sq mi), which are a chain of smaller islands stretching south from Saint Vincent to Grenada. There are 32 islands and cays that make up St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Nine are inhabited, including the mainland St Vincent and the Grenadines islands: Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent and Palm Island. Prominent uninhabited islands of the Grenadines include Petit Nevis, used by whalers, and Petit Mustique, which was the center of a prominent real estate scam in the early 1990s.

The capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is Kingstown, Saint Vincent. [4] The main island of Saint Vincent measures 26 km (16 mi) long, 15 km (9.3 mi) in width and 344 km2 (133 sq mi) in area. From the most northern to the most southern points, the Grenadine islands belonging to Saint Vincent span 60.4 km (37.5 mi) with a combined area of 45 km2 (17 sq mi).

The island of Saint Vincent is volcanic and heavily forested, and includes little level ground. [4] The windward side of the island is very rocky and steep, while the leeward side has more sandy beaches and bays.[ citation needed ] Saint Vincent's highest peak is La Soufrière volcano at 1,234 m (4,049 ft). [4] Other major mountains on St Vicent are (from north to south) Richmond Peak, Mount Brisbane, Colonarie Mountain, Grand Bonhomme, Petit Bonhomme and Mount St Andrew.

Government and politics

Current Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 2001 Ralph Gonsalves Ralph Gonsalves (cropped).jpg
Current Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 2001 Ralph Gonsalves

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She does not reside in the islands and is represented in the country by the Governor General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, currently Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

The office of Governor General has mostly ceremonial functions including the opening of the islands' House of Assembly and the appointment of various government officials. Control of the government rests with the elected Prime Minister and his or her cabinet. The current Prime Minister is Ralph Gonsalves, elected in 2001 as head of the Unity Labour Party.

The legislative branch of government is the unicameral House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, seating 15 elected members representing single-member constituencies and six appointed members known as Senators. The parliamentary term of office is five years, although the Prime Minister may call elections at any time.

The judicial branch of government is divided into district courts, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Privy Council in London being the court of last resort.

Political culture

The two political parties with parliamentary representation are the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Unity Labour Party (ULP). The parliamentary opposition is made up of the largest minority stakeholder in the general elections, headed by the leader of the opposition. The current opposition leader is Dr. Godwin Friday.

Military

Saint Vincent has no formal armed forces, although the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force includes a Special Service Unit as well as a militia that has a supporting role on the island.

In 2017, Saint Vincent signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. [48]

Administrative divisions

Administratively, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is divided into six parishes. Five parishes are on Saint Vincent, while the sixth is made up of the Grenadine islands. Kingstown is located in the Parish of Saint George and is the capital city and central administrative centre of the country.

LGBT rights

Homosexuality is illegal in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. [49] Section 148 of the Criminal Code states that "Any person, who in public or private, commits an act of gross indecency with another person of the same sex, or procures or attempts to procure another person of the same sex to commit an act of gross indecency with him or her, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years". [50]

Foreign relations

International and regional relationships

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines maintains close ties to the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and cooperates with regional political and economic organisations such as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and CARICOM. [51] The island nation's sixth embassy overseas was opened on August 8th, 2019 in Taipei, after Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves' official visit to the Republic of China; the other five are located in London, Washington D.C., Havana, Caracas and Brussels.

The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty

On 6 July 1994 at Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael, Barbados, as a representative of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, then (James Mitchell, who was subsequently knighted) signed the Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaties. [51] There were seven other signatories to the agreement on that day. The countries which were represented were: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

An eighth country signed the agreement on 19 August 2016, Guyana.

This treaty covered taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas. [51]

FATCA

On 30 June 2014, St. Vincent and the Grenadines signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America with respect to Foreign Account Tax Compliance (Act) or FATCA. [52]

According to the updated site as of 16 January 2017, on 13 May 2016 the agreement went to "In Force" status.

International and regional bodies to which St. Vincent and the Grenadines belong

St Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

In September 2017, at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the Prime Ministers of the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines called for UN action on alleged human rights abuses committed on Western New Guinea's indigenous Papuans. [53] Western New Guinea has been occupied by Indonesia since 1963. [54] More then 100,000 Papuans have died during a 50-year Papua conflict. [55]

Organisation of American States

The Charter of the OAS was signed in Bogota in 1948 and was amended by several Protocols which were named after the city and the year in which the Protocol was signed, such as "Managua" in "1993" forming part of the name of the Protocol. [56]

St. Vincent and the Grenadines entered the OAS system on 27 October 1981 according to the OAS website. [57]

Summits of the Americas

The last Summits of the Americas, the seventh, was held in Panama City, Panama in 2015 with the eight summit being held in Lima, Peru in 2018 according to the website of the Summits of Americas. [58]

Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)

With St Vincent and the Grenadines having at least two groups of indigenous persons [59] it is expected that there will be contributions from the SVG's on this topic at the next ILSAs. [60]

The position of the OAS with respect to indigenous persons appears to be developing over the years. The following statements appear to capture the position of the OAS with respect to the ILSA: "The OAS has supported and participated in the organisation of Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)" according to the OAS's website. The most recent "statement made by the Heads of State of the hemisphere was in the Declaration of Commitments of Port of Spain in 2009 – Paragraph 86 according to the OAS's website." [61]

The Draft American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Persons appear to be a working document. The last "Meeting for Negotiations in the Quest for Consensus on this area appeared to be Meeting Number (18) eighteen and is listed as being held in May 2015 according to the website." [62]

European nations

In 2013, Saint Vincent called for European nations to pay reparations for the slave trade. [63]

Venezuela

Saint Vincent protests Venezuela's claim to give full effect to Aves (Bird) Island, which creates a Venezuelan EEZ/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea. [4]

Economy

A proportional representation of St Vincent and the Grenadines' exports St. Vincent and the Grenadines Export Treemap.png
A proportional representation of St Vincent and the Grenadines' exports
Camden Park, St. Vincent St. Vincent, Karibik - Kingstown - Looking north from Fort Charlotte - panoramio.jpg
Camden Park, St. Vincent

Agriculture, dominated by banana production, is the most important sector of this lower-middle-income economy. The services sector, based mostly on a growing tourist industry, is also important. The government has been relatively unsuccessful at introducing new industries, and the unemployment rate remains high at 19.8% in the 1991 census [64] to 15% in 2001. [65] The continuing dependence on a single crop represents the biggest obstacle to the islands' development as tropical storms wiped out substantial portions of bananas in many years.

There is a small manufacturing sector and a small offshore financial sector serving International Businesses whose particularly restrictive secrecy laws have caused some international concern.[ citation needed ] There are increasing demands for international financial services like stock exchange and financial intermediaries financial activities in the country. In addition, the natives of Bequia are permitted to hunt up to four humpback whales per year under IWC subsistence quotas.

Tourism

The tourism sector has considerable potential for development. The recent filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies on the island has helped to expose the country to more potential visitors and investors. Recent growth has been stimulated by strong activity in the construction sector and an improvement in tourism. [66]

Transportation

Argyle International Airport is the country's new international airport. [67] The new facility opened on 14 February 2017, [68] replacing the existing E.T. Joshua Airport. The airport is on the islands east coast about 5.17 miles from Kingstown.

Communications

In 2010, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines had 21,700 telephone land lines. Its land telephone system is fully automatic and covers the entire island and all of the inhabited Grenadine islands. [65] In 2002, there were 10,000 mobile phones. [69] By 2010, this number had increased to 131,800. [65] Mobile phone service is available in most areas of Saint Vincent as well as the Grenadines.

Saint Vincent has two ISPs (Digicel, Flow) that provide cellular telephone and internet service. [70]

Demographics

The population as estimated in 2016 was 109,643. [1] The ethnic composition was 66% African descent, 19% of mixed descent, 6% East Indian, 4% Europeans (mainly Portuguese), 2% Island Carib and 3% others. [71] Most Vincentians are the descendants of African people brought to the island to work on plantations. There are other ethnic groups such as Portuguese (from Madeira) and East Indians, both brought in to work on the plantations after the abolishing of slavery by the British living on the island. There is also a growing Chinese population.[ citation needed ]

Languages

English is the official language. Most Vincentians speak Vincentian Creole. [72] English is used in education, government, religion, and other formal domains, while Creole (or 'dialect' as it is referred to locally) is used in informal situations such as in the home and among friends. [73]

Religion

Assumption Cathedral, Kingstown St. Vincent, Karibik - St. Mary's R.C. School ^ St. Mary's R.C. Cathedral - panoramio.jpg
Assumption Cathedral, Kingstown

According to the 2001 census, 81.5% of the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines identified themselves as Christian, 6.7% has another religion and 8.8% has no religion or did not state a religion (1.5%). [74]

Anglicanism constitutes the largest religious category, with 17.8% of the population. Pentecostals are the second largest group (17.6%). The next largest group are Methodists (10.9% of the population), followed by Seventh-day Adventists (10.2%) and Baptists (10.0%). Other Christians include Jehovah's Witnesses (0.6%), Roman Catholics (7.5%), Evangelicals (2.8%), Church of God (2.5%), Brethren Christian (1.3%), and the Salvation Army (0.3%).

Between 1991 and 2001 the number of Anglicans, Brethren, Methodists and Roman Catholics decreased, while the number of Pentecostals, Evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventists increased.

The number of non-Christians is small. These religious groups include the Rastafarians (1.5% of the population), Hindus and Muslims.

Culture

The island of Mustique in the Grenadines Mustiquebeaches.jpg
The island of Mustique in the Grenadines

Sport

Cricket, rugby and association football are most popular among men whereas netball is most popular among women. Basketball, volleyball and tennis are also very popular. [75]

The country's prime Football league is the NLA Premier League, which provides its national (association) football team with most players. A notable Vincentian footballer is Ezra Hendrickson, former national team captain who played at several Major League Soccer clubs in the United States and is now an assistant coach with the Seattle Sounders FC. [76]

The country regularly participates at the Caribbean Basketball Championship where a men's team and a women's team compete. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also has its own national rugby union team which is ranked 84th in the world. Other notable sports played at the regional level include track and field.

Music

Music popular in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines includes big drum, calypso, soca, chutney, steelpan and reggae. String band music, quadrille and bele music and traditional storytelling are also popular. One of the most successful St Vincent natives is Kevin Lyttle. He was named Cultural Ambassador for the Island 19 September 2013. [77]

The national anthem of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is "Saint Vincent, Land so beautiful", adopted upon independence in 1979.

Media

Saint Vincent has twelve FM radio stations including 88.9 Adoration Fm, [78] 89.1 Jem Radio, 89.7 NBC Radio, 95.7 and 105.7 Praise FM, 96.7 Nice Radio, 97.1 Hot 97, 98.3 Star FM, 99.9 We FM, 103.7 Hitz, 102.7 EZee radio, 104.3 Xtreme FM and 106.9 Boom FM. Several Internet radio stations including Chronicles Christian Radio. [79] It has one television broadcast station ZBG-TV (SVGTV) [80] and one cable television provider.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Co-operation is the parent company for SVGTV, Magic 103.7.

See also

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This article is about the demographics of the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, including population density, ethnicity, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Politics of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines takes place in the framework of a parliamentary democracy. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an independent Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as its queen, represented by a governor-general, who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party of the House of Assembly, and the cabinet conducts affairs of state. The governor-general exercises ceremonial functions, but reserve powers, under the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines constitution, can be used at the governor-general's discretion.

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The monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Vincentian government. While Royal Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council, the authority for these acts stems from the Vincentian populace, and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and Justices of the Peace.

Index of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

A constitutional referendum was held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on 25 November 2009. Voters were asked whether they approved of a new constitution which would have replaced the constitution in force since independence in 1979. The proposal was supported by only 43.13% of voters in the referendum, well short of the required two-thirds threshold. If approved, the proposed constitution would have abolished the monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, headed by Queen Elizabeth II, and would have given more power to the opposition. The referendum was the first of its kind to be held by a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

LGBT rights in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. The Penal Code makes same-sex acts illegal with a punishment up to 10 years in prison, although the law is not enforced and is being challended in the courts. In addition, it outlaws the practice of "buggery", whether homosexual or heterosexual and irrespective of whether the act was consensual. The country's laws also do not address discrimination or harassment on account of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor recognize same-sex unions in any form, whether it be marriage or partnerships. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for any of the same rights given to opposite-sex married couples.

Camillo Gonsalves Saint Vincent and the Grenadines diplomat

Camillo M. Gonsalves is a Vincentian politician, lawyer and diplomat, He was Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2007 until 2013, and went on to be appointed a member of the House of Assembly. He is the son of Ralph Gonsalves, current Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Professor of Psychology at Stockton University, Sonia V. Gonsalves.

Indo-Vincentians are an ethnic group in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who are mainly descendants of indentured laborers from the Indian subcontinent. There are about 5,900 people of Indian origin living in the country.

Afro-Vincentian people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines of African descent

Vincentians or Vincentians, are residents of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines whose ancestry lies within Africa, especially West Africa. Most Vincentians are the descendants of African people brought to the island as slaves to work on plantations.

India–Saint Vincent and the Grenadines relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

India–Saint Vincent and the Grenadines relations refers to the international relations that exist between India and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The Embassy of India in Paramaribo, Suriname is concurrently accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Nelcia Robinson-Hazell is a Black Carib poet, community organizer and activist. She has spearheaded the development of policy initiatives throughout the Caribbean on issues regarding gender and indigenous identity. Serving as the president of the National Council of Women of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, she began in the 1980s to change the organization toward political action. Recognizing a need to establish research on the needs of women, she was involved in the creation of both local and regional organizations to analyze and develop information about the socio-economic and political inequalities women faced. She created similar initiatives for indigenous peoples, beginning first in Saint Vincent and then expanding them regionally. Robinson has been involved in international directives including the World Summit for Social Development and the 1995 World Conference on Women, as well as follow-up conferences discussing such issues as poverty, economic empowerment and violence against women. She has served as a civil society representative on the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commissions and as chair of the Commonwealth Women's Network.

Mexico–Saint Vincent and the Grenadines relations

Mexico–Saint Vincent and the Grenadines relations refers to the diplomatic relations between the United Mexican States and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Both nations are members of the Association of Caribbean States, Organization of American States and the United Nations.

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