Saint Lucia


Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia

Introduction Saint Lucia
Background: The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979. Geography Saint Lucia -
Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates: 13 53 N, 60 68 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 616 sq km water: 10 sq km land: 606 sq km
Area - comparative: 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 158 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: tropical, moderated by northeast trade winds; dry season from January to April, rainy season from May to August
Terrain: volcanic and mountainous with some broad, fertile valleys
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Mount Gimie 950 m
Natural resources: forests, sandy beaches, minerals (pumice), mineral springs, geothermal potential
Land use: arable land: 4.92% permanent crops: 22.95% other: 72.13% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: hurricanes and volcanic activity Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion, particularly in the northern region Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: the twin Pitons (Gros Piton and Petit Piton), striking cone-shaped peaks south of Soufriere, are one of the scenic natural highlights of the Caribbean People Saint Lucia
Population: 160,145 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.6% (male 25,879; female 24,695) 15-64 years: 63.1% (male 49,667; female 51,482) 65 years and over: 5.3% (male 3,134; female 5,288) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.24% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 21.37 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 5.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.64 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/ female total population: 0.97 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 14.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.82 years female: 76.64 years (2002 est.) male: 69.26 years
Total fertility rate: 2.34 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Saint Lucian(s) adjective: Saint Lucian
Ethnic groups: black 90%, mixed 6%, East Indian 3%, white 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Protestant 7%, Anglican 3%
Languages: English (official), French patois
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school total population: 67% male: 65% female: 69% (1980 est.) Government Saint Lucia
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Saint Lucia
Government type: Westminster-style parliamentary democracy
Capital: Castries Administrative divisions: 11 quarters; Anse-la-Raye, Castries, Choiseul, Dauphin, Dennery, Gros- Islet, Laborie, Micoud, Praslin, Soufriere, Vieux-Fort
Independence: 22 February 1979 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 22 February (1979)
Constitution: 22 February 1979
Legal system: based on English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Dr. Perlette LOUISY (since September 1997) elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister head of government: Prime Minister Kenneth ANTHONY (since 24 May 1997) and Deputy Prime Minister Mario MICHEL (since 24 May 1997)
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (11 seats; six members appointed on the advice of the prime minister, three on the advice of the leader of the opposition, and two after consultation with religious, economic, and social groups) and the House of Assembly (17 seats; members are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies to serve five-year terms) election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - SLP 55%, UWP 37%, NA 3.5%; seats by party - SLP 14, UWP 3 elections: House of Assembly - last held 3 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2006)
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (jurisdiction extends to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) Political parties and leaders: National Alliance or NA [George ODLUM]; Saint Lucia Freedom Party or SFP [Martinus FRANCOIS]; Saint Lucia Labor Party or SLP [Kenneth ANTHONY]; Sou Tout Apwe Fete Fini or STAFF [Christopher HUNTE]; United Workers Party or UWP [Dr. Morella JOSEPH] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ACCT, ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC,
participation: FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Sonia Merlyn JOHNNY chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 telephone: [1] (202) 364-6792 through 6795 FAX: [1] (202) 364-6728 consulate(s) general: Miami and New York Diplomatic representation from the the US does not have an embassy in
US: Saint Lucia; the US Ambassador in Barbados is accredited to Saint Lucia
Flag description: blue, with a gold isosceles triangle below a black arrowhead; the upper edges of the arrowhead have a white border Economy Saint Lucia -
Economy - overview: The recent changes in the EU import preference regime and the increased competition from Latin American bananas have made economic diversification increasingly important in Saint Lucia. The island nation has been able to attract foreign business and investment, especially in its offshore banking and tourism industries. The manufacturing sector is the most diverse in the Eastern Caribbean area, and the government is trying to revitalize the banana industry. Despite negative growth in 2001, economic fundamentals remain solid, and GDP growth should recover in 2002.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $700 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -2.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $4,400 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 7.9% industry: 19.6% services: 72.5% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 43,800 Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 43.4%, services 38.9%, industry and commerce 17.7% (1983 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15% (1996 est.)
Budget: revenues: $141.2 million expenditures: $146.7 million, including capital expenditures of $25.1 million (FY97/98 est.)
Industries: clothing, assembly of electronic components, beverages, corrugated cardboard boxes, tourism, lime processing, coconut processing Industrial production growth rate: -8.9% (1997 est.) Electricity - production: 115 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 106.95 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: bananas, coconuts, vegetables, citrus, root crops, cocoa
Exports: $68.3 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: bananas 41%, clothing, cocoa, vegetables, fruits, coconut oil
Exports - partners: UK 50%, US 24%, Caricom countries 16% (1995)
Imports: $319.4 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: food 23%, manufactured goods 21%, machinery and transportation equipment 19%, chemicals, fuels
Imports - partners: US 36%, Caricom countries 22%, UK 11%, Japan 5%, Canada 4% (1995)
Debt - external: $214 million (2000) Economic aid - recipient: $51.8 million (1995)
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code: XCD
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March Communications Saint Lucia Telephones - main lines in use: 37,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,600 (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate system domestic: system is automatically switched international: direct microwave radio relay link with Martinique and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; tropospheric scatter to Barbados; international calls beyond these countries are carried by Intelsat from Martinique Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 7 (plus 3 repeaters), shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 111,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 3 (of which two are commercial stations and one is a community antenna television or CATV channel) (1997)
Televisions: 32,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .lc Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 15 (2000)
Internet users: 5,000 (2000) Transportation Saint Lucia Railways: 0 km Highways: total: 1,210 km paved: 63 km unpaved: 1,147 km (1996)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Castries, Vieux Fort
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.) Airports: 2 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001) Military Saint Lucia
Military branches: Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (includes Special Service Unit and Coast Guard) Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA Military expenditures - percent of $NA
GDP: Transnational Issues Saint Lucia Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: transit point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

* * *

Island nation, Windward Islands, eastern Caribbean Sea.

Area: 238 sq mi (616 sq km). Population (1997 est.): 148,000. Capital: Castries. Most of the population is of African descent. Languages: English (official), French patois. Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism. Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar. Saint Lucia is of volcanic origin, and its Qualibou volcano, which continues to emit steam and gases, is a prime tourist attraction. Wooded mountains run north-south, culminating in Mount Gimie (3,117 ft [950 m]). Saint Lucia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliament of two legislative houses; its chief of state is the British monarch represented by the governor-general, and the head of government is the prime minister. Caribs replaced early Arawak inhabitants с AD 800–1300. Settled by the French in 1650, it was ceded to Great Britain in 1814 and became one of the Windward Islands in 1871. It became fully independent in 1979. The economy is based on agriculture and tourism.

* * *

▪ 2009

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 171,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Stephenson King

      The government of Saint Lucia announced in January 2008 that it was holding discussions with American oil company Hess Corp. to add a refinery to its long-standing oil-transshipment terminal in the country. (In July 2007 the 30-year-old license for the latter had been extended for 50 years.)

      Commerce Minister Guy Mayers announced in March that the government had accepted a Cuban proposal that Saint Lucia become the hub for the transit of Cuban-made goods to the eastern Caribbean. Transportation between the two countries would be upgraded, with the minister reporting that Air Cubana would convert some of its older aircraft to cargo planes for airlifting the mostly light goods involved.

      In July the World Bank approved an additional $3 million to help lessen Saint Lucia's vulnerability to natural disasters by means of improved disaster preparedness and mitigation planning. The next month, Saint Lucia decided not to participate in Operation Airbridge, a U.K.-funded drug-eradication and interdiction program, on the grounds that it would put “severe pressure” on the country's prison and justice system. Mayers, who had taken over as home affairs national security minister in a June cabinet reshuffle, argued that any successful campaign to intercept drug traffickers could increase the already-overburdened prison population by about 25%.

David Renwick

▪ 2008

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 168,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Sir John Compton and, from May 1 (acting to September 7), Stephenson King

 In September 2007, only nine months after his triumphant return to office as prime minister of Saint Lucia following his United Workers Party's (UWP) shocking defeat of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) in the December 2006 general election, Sir John Compton (Compton, Sir John George Melvin ) died at age 82. Earlier in the year he had suffered a series of strokes that left him partially paralyzed, and he had received treatment in the U.S. and Martinique. Stephenson King, who acted for Compton following his incapacitation, took over as prime minister.

      The UWP government in April made the controversial decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, much to the annoyance of China. The former SLP government had switched diplomatic recognition to China in the mid-1990s, after a postindependence period during which Taiwan was the preferred choice. The UWP insisted that it could recognize both Beijing and Taiwan, but a Chinese spokesman rejected this option.

      Acting Prime Minister King announced in July that a change of constitutional status for Saint Lucia—with a nonexecutive president to replace the queen of England as titular head of state—was to be examined as part of a general governance review.

David Renwick

▪ 2007

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 165,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Ministers Kenny Anthony and, from December 15, Sir John Compton

      Like other Caribbean states, Saint Lucia in 2006 turned to the former colonial power (in this case the U.K.) for help in fighting increased crime. Archbishop Kelvin Felix, the 73-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church in Saint Lucia, was attacked outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Castries in April by a man armed with a knife. Later that month the government reported that it hoped to obtain seven British police officers to assist the local police service in such areas as intelligence gathering, management systems, and training. A new police unit, specifically designed to protect tourists, was set up in August following a review ordered by Prime Minister Kenny Anthony into procedures adopted by the police and related agencies investigating crimes committed against visitors.

      In the December 11 general election, the United Workers Party (UWP) won 11 of the 17 seats in the House of Assembly. UWP leader Sir John Compton replaced Anthony as prime minister on December 15.

      With climate change and sea-level rises a distinct possibility for small island nations in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia in August appointed international environmental consultants to make recommendations on tackling the threat posed by climate change. The World Bank would fund the study.

David Renwick

▪ 2006

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 164,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      In March 2005, 79-year-old Sir John Compton returned as the leader of Saint Lucia's official opposition party, the United Workers' Party (UWP). Compton, who replaced Vaughan Lewis, had cofounded the UWP in 1964 and led it for three decades before relinquishing control.

      Prime Minister Kenny Anthony insisted in May that the apparent antihanging stance of the Privy Council in London—the country's final court of appeal—would not stop Saint Lucia from executing convicted murderers; four condemned men were on death row. He declared that violence had become “a tidal wave that is threatening the entire Caribbean” and needed to be deterred. At the time of Anthony's speech, Saint Lucia had already had 17 murders for the year. Anthony was criticized by the country's Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, however, for his “premature” announcement.

      A motion of no confidence in the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government was defeated in Parliament in June. The motion, filed by a newly reinvigorated UWP opposition, was inspired by the alleged improper use of funds by a government agency operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Transformation. In June the government announced that it would activate its commission to review and reform the country's constitution, which was more than 25 years old.

David Renwick

▪ 2005

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 164,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      Like many other states in the region, Saint Lucia found itself in the path of Hurricane Ivan, the most destructive storm of the 2004 hurricane season. Though the hurricane changed course and hit Grenada instead, as much as 35% of the vital banana crop was destroyed by tropical-storm-force winds.

       Antiabortion activists wrote to Pope John Paul II to request that a papal honour not be conferred on Julian R. Hunte, the country's minister of external affairs, in September. Though a staunch Roman Catholic, Hunte, as a member of Saint Lucia's parliament, had been instrumental in the passage of amendments to the criminal code that made abortion legal under certain circumstances. Hunte had a high international profile and in September completed his term as president of the 58th session of the UN General Assembly. He was replaced as minister of external affairs and returned to his previous role as St. Lucia's ambassador to the UN.

      A sharp disagreement over the role of external institutions and governments in the financing of political parties in Saint Lucia arose in September when Prime Minister Kenny Anthony challenged Vaughan Lewis, leader of the opposition United Workers' Party (UWP), over a letter the latter had written to a political organization in the U.S., requesting support for the UWP. Anthony strongly cautioned against the practice.

      Saint Lucia signed an economic and technological cooperation agreement with Beijing in September. The deal, which included $3.65 million in aid from China, was the latest in the seven-year diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

David Renwick

▪ 2004

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 162,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      In the annual budget presented in April 2003 by Saint Lucia Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Kenny Anthony, $325 million was devoted to capital and recurrent expenditure in the 2003–04 fiscal year. The amount had risen 10.3% above that of the previous year and was designed to advance infrastructure development and keep the country on the path of economic recovery.

      In September Anthony accused some Saint Lucia citizens of having made outrageously false refugee claims in order to gain admittance into Canada. This strategy had been employed over the years by people from other Caribbean territories who apparently considered their chances of migrating by normal channels slim.

      George Odlum, one of Saint Lucia's most renowned politicians, died of cancer in September. Although Odlum was noted most of his career for his left-wing views, for a time he had moderated his beliefs sufficiently to be able to serve as Saint Lucia's foreign minister. That same month Anthony met U.S. Pres. George W. Bush in New York City for discussions on Caribbean affairs.

David Renwick

▪ 2003

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 160,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Dame Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      Saint Lucia, normally among the most buoyant of the smaller Caribbean economies, faced severe economic problems during the year; banana exports were stagnant, and tourism declined by about 8%, primarily because of the effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. In addition, in September Tropical Storm Lili destroyed almost 50% of the banana crop. Real growth in 2002 was considered unlikely.

      Saint Lucia moved closer to becoming one of the air-transport hubs of the southeastern Caribbean in February when it signed an agreement with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for preclearance to its Hewanorra Airport.

      Like other Caribbean Community and Common Market states, Saint Lucia was moving to establish a Caribbean Court of Justice as the final-appeal court in an effort to abolish appeals to the London-based Privy Council. Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and opposition leader Marius Wilson sought common ground on the matter during discussions in August.

      Walter François, the minister of planning, development, environment, and housing, resigned in July after admitting that his claim to holding a doctoral degree was untrue.

David Renwick

▪ 2002

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 158,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      The opposition moved to shore up its forces in May when controversial left-winger George Odlum, who had been fired by Prime Minister Kenny Anthony from his St. Lucia Labour Party government, joined forces with former prime minister Sir John Compton and the United Workers' Party (UWP) to form the National Alliance. The partnership proved to be short-lived, however. In December elections to the House of Assembly, the Labour Party won 14 of the 17 seats. Morella Joseph resigned as UWP leader and was replaced by Marius Wilson.

      Even before the events of September 11, tourism in St. Lucia was experiencing a downturn, mainly brought on by the weakening U.S. economy. August was described by the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association as “extremely bad.” Three hotels actually closed for the summer. The decrease in tourist revenue was predicted to be as much as 18% for the year, representing a loss of $35.5 million in national income.

      In October Prime Minister Anthony came down firmly against any sale of St. Lucia bananas to Libya, as had been touted during a visit to the North African state by three Caribbean leaders in September. He insisted that St. Lucia could not “compromise” its long-standing trading relationships with other countries, particularly the U.K.

David Renwick

▪ 2001

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 157,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Pearlette Louisy
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      In March 2000 a bipartisan Constituency Boundaries Commission recommended that the number of constituencies in St. Lucia be increased from 17 to 19 before the next general election in 2002.

      Following unflattering observations about St. Lucia's financial services sector from the Financial Stability Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the government moved in September to improve the country's offshore-banking image. St. Lucia requested that the International Monetary Fund make an “assessment” of the supervisory regime for offshore activities. Phillip Pierre, the minister for financial services, hoped that the IMF findings would “throw a spanner in the work of the OECD,” which, he believed, was trying to “cripple the financial services sector in the Caribbean.”

      Vaughn Lewis, leader of the opposition United Workers' Party, resigned unexpectedly in early October, only days after he was nominated (unopposed) for reelection. He cited that his work with the University of the West Indies would take him abroad most of the time. Morella Joseph, one of two deputy political leaders, was elected party leader.

      On December 31 two men attacked worshippers in a church in Castries and set them ablaze; the two also killed an Irish nun. They said they had been sent by God to fight corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

David Renwick

▪ 2000

Area:
617 sq km (238 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 155,000
Capital:
Castries
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General George Mallet
Head of government:
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      In June 1999 it was announced that St. Lucia's capital, Castries, was to be redesigned on the basis of a plan funded by the Organization of American States. Prime Minister Kenny Anthony said Castries was “bursting at the seams” because of overrapid development.

      A commission of inquiry appointed by the current St. Lucia Labour Party government cleared former prime ministers Sir John Compton and Vaughan Lewis of allegations of corruption when in office. The inquiry, conducted by eminent British jurist Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, did, however, find evidence of a “high degree of maladministration” by the United Workers Party governments Compton and Lewis headed at different times. Blom-Cooper's report was made public in August.

      In September the House of Assembly finally approved legislation to make money laundering illegal and passed the International Business Companies Act. St. Lucia was a late entrant to the offshore finance business but said it would try to avoid mistakes some of its Caribbean neighbours may have made.

David Renwick

▪ 1999

      Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 151,000

      Capital: Castries

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General George Mallet

      Head of government: Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

      Poor prison conditions in St. Lucia were again highlighted in February 1998. Further unrest in the main penitentiary in Castries left one officer badly injured. An attempt was made to set fire to the building; weapons and drugs were also found. A new prison commissioner was appointed to reform the prison.

      In June former prime minister Sir John Compton was restored as head of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP). His successor, Vaughan Lewis, had failed to attract voter support in the 1997 general election, and the party won only one of the 17 seats contested. Compton's return, however, was not immediately beneficial. The governing St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) under Prime Minister Kenny Anthony easily retained the West Castries-Barbonneau seat in a by-election in July.

      The inquiry into alleged corruption during Compton's last administration prior to 1997 continued throughout 1998. British Queen's Counsel Sir Louis Blom-Cooper led the inquiry, taking over from former judge Monica Joseph, who had been accused of bias by both Compton and Lewis.

      Prime Minister Kenny Anthony made a visit to Tokyo in June, where he received a Japanese offer for a $7.3 million loan for the construction of a fisheries complex at the town of Vieux Fort. Plans to reconstruct and enlarge the cruise ship facility at Point Seraphin were also announced during the year.

DAVID RENWICK

▪ 1998

      Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 148,000

      Capital: Castries

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General George Mallet

      Head of government: Prime Ministers Vaughan Lewis and, from May 24, Kenny Anthony

      During its final months in office in 1997, the United Workers' Party (UWP) government of Prime Minister Vaughan Lewis introduced legislation requiring government ministers, MPs, and senior civil servants to declare their assets publicly. St. Lucia thus became the fifth Caribbean nation to adopt a form of integrity legislation.

      The UWP, which had been in power for all but 3 of the last 33 years, was severely trounced in the May general election, retaining only one seat in the 17-seat parliament. The St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), with 61.3% of the vote, won the other 16. Even UWP leader Lewis lost his seat. On May 24 Kenny Anthony, a lawyer, was sworn in as prime minister of the SLP government. Among the new government's first acts was to establish a commission of inquiry into alleged corruption under the UWP administration. A controversial decision of the new government was the establishment of diplomatic relations with China, replacing those with Taiwan.

DAVID RENWICK

      This article updates Saint Lucia.

▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Lucia is the second largest of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 144,000. Cap.: Castries. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.25 = £1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governors-general in 1996, Stanislaus A. James and, from June 1, George Mallet; prime ministers, John Compton and, from April 2, Vaughan Lewis.

      Vaughan Lewis, a former director general of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, was endorsed as the new leader of the governing United Workers' Party (UWP) in January 1996 to replace John Compton, who retired from the party leadership after more than 30 years. Lewis later won a by-election made possible by the resignation from the parliament of the UWP's deputy leader, George Mallet, and was sworn in as prime minister on April 2.

      In June Mallet was named governor-general of St. Lucia, an appointment strongly criticized by the opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) because of his former association with the UWP. The SLP threatened to boycott all events at which he served as host. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This article updates Saint Lucia.

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Lucia is the second largest of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 143,000. Cap.: Castries. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.27 = £1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1995, Stanislaus A. James; prime minister, John Compton.

      Strikes in the banana industry were a feature of the industrial scene in early 1995 as a farmers group, the Banana Salvation Committee, tried to pressure the government into reforming the St. Lucia Banana Growers' Association. The work stoppage affected production, which only added to the industry's woes, following the damage to the banana crop by Tropical Storm Debby in late 1994.

      In March, Prime Minister John Compton's government reacted to the industrial unrest by threatening to strengthen the law relating to incitement and to amend the Public Order Act to allow the police to ban demonstrations.

      Public-sector workers struck in June over a deadlocked pay dispute. The seven unions involved demanded a 30% increase, while the government offered 6%. The strike caused shortages of imported goods and kept some tourists away. It was called off in July, without the main issues' having been resolved.

      In August the commission of inquiry into the misappropriation of U.S. $110,800 in UN funds found that the government was not implicated and the fraud had been perpetrated solely by former UN ambassador Charles Flemming.

      A new political party, the Citizens' Democratic Party, was announced in September by a group of businessmen. The head of the party, which was to be publicly launched the following month, was expected to be Calixte George, managing director of the Saint Lucia Banana Growers' Association. He had announced his resignation from that position in August. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Lucia.

▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Lucia is the second largest of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 142,000. Cap.: Castries. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.30 = £1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1994, Stanislaus A. James; prime minister, John Compton.

      Unrest in the banana industry continued as 1994 began, following a work stoppage by banana farmers in late 1993. The farmers were upset over low prices being paid by the St. Lucia Banana Growers Association (SLBGA). The protests turned violent at one stage, and two people were shot after clashes with the police. The United Workers' Party government, headed by Prime Minister John Compton, responded to the farmers' demands by sacking the entire SLBGA board and agreeing to raise prices for various grades of bananas, the island's main export crop.

      The farmers' action was followed in February 1994 by that of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers' Trade Union. They struck in protest against new loading arrangements that resulted in 35-50% reductions in pay.

      Britain announced during the year that it would provide another £4.3 million in development aid for the third phase of St. Lucia's west coast road-improvement project. Additional development funding also became available at midyear, with France offering a $2 million credit line to finance small infrastructural projects and the Caribbean Development Bank loaning $8.3 million for road construction to support the continued expansion of the tourism industry. In September Saint Lucia and the other Windward Islands suffered severe damage to agriculture, including the banana crop, and infrastructure from Tropical Storm Debbie.

      (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Lucia.

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Lucia is the second largest of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 617 sq km (238 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 136,000. Cap.: Castries. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.10 = £1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1993, Stanislaus A. James; prime minister, John Compton.

      In March 1993 St. Lucia cracked down on the money laundering and organized fraud associated with the drug trade by providing heavier fines and prison terms for those found guilty of such offenses. At the same time, the regulations governing offshore banking were tightened.

      In May the country added to its already considerable port infrastructure when a new U.S. $14.8 million deepwater container terminal, one of the most modern in the Caribbean, was opened at Vieux Fort. A free zone was to be established, with a view to making the area a major Caribbean transshipment centre.

      The tourism industry took a major step in June when the former Cunard La Toc hotel reopened as the 273-room, all-inclusive Sandals La Toc after a U.S. $20 million renovation. Not everyone in St. Lucia was happy with the all-inclusive concept. In August the government was persuaded to appoint a committee to investigate the impact these hotels were having on the local hotel and restaurant sector. The St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association reported that its smaller members had suffered a 76% falloff in business in the wake of the rapid growth of all-inclusive hotels.

      (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Lucia.

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Introduction
Saint Lucia, flag of island state in the Caribbean Sea. The second largest of the Windward group in the Lesser Antilles, it is located about 24 miles (39 kilometres) south of Martinique and some 21 miles northeast of Saint Vincent. Saint Lucia is 27 miles long and has a maximum width of 14 miles. The capital and major port is Castries. Saint Lucia is a member of the Commonwealth.

Physical and human geography

The land
 

Relief (Saint Lucia) and drainage
      The island is of volcanic origin and is bisected from north to south by a central ridge of wooded mountains, the highest point being Mount Gimie (3,145 feet [958.6 metres]). Many streams flow from the mountains through fertile valleys. In the southwest are the Gros and Petit peaks (2,619 feet and 2,461 feet), two immense pyramids of rock rising sharply from the sea and enclosing a small bay. Near Petit Peak, in the crater of an ancient volcano, are the boiling sulphur springs from which the nearby town of Soufrière takes its name. A choice tourist site, the springs also contain substantial energy potential.

Plant and animal life
      The forest, which has been reduced through lumbering, contains colourful orchids and anthurium. The rich birdlife includes the Saint Lucian parrot (the endangered national bird), the Saint Lucia black finch, and the Saint Lucia oriole. There is also a lizard unique to Saint Lucia, and the agouti is common.

      Saint Lucia lies in the path of the northeastern trade winds and has a tropical maritime climate. Rainfall and temperature vary with elevation. Average annual rainfall ranges from 51 inches (1,295 millimetres) on the coast to as much as 150 inches (3,810 millimetres) in the interior. There is a dry season roughly from January to April and a rainy season from May to November. The mean temperature is about 80° F (27° C), with highs sometimes ranging into the upper 80s and lows into the upper 60s.

The people (Saint Lucia)
      No Caribs remain on the island; the vast majority of the inhabitants of the island are black and there is a small minority of mulattoes and other mixtures. The remainder are whites or of East Indian extraction. A French patois is spoken by most of the inhabitants but is being gradually supplanted by English, the official language. The main religion is Roman Catholicism, and Seventh-day Adventists and Anglicans are important minorities. The rate of population growth for Saint Lucia is slightly higher than the Caribbean average. The main population centres are Castries and Vieux Fort.

The economy
      Sugarcane was formerly the chief crop, but production ceased entirely in 1964, when most of the cane fields were converted to banana cultivation. Bananas are now the principal crop. Other crops are coconuts, cacao, citrus and other fruit, spices, cassava, and yams. There is a steady local fishing industry.

      Saint Lucia's manufacturing sector has been a major beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, a program designed to promote manufacturing in the region. An industrial free zone has been established in the south of the island near Vieux Fort; there factories produce and export electronic goods and toys. Other industries produce cardboard cartons, clothing, rum, tobacco products, coconut products, concrete blocks, and beer. Tourism has developed rapidly since 1970; in 1987 a complex for cruise ships was opened near Castries.

      The chief exports are bananas, cardboard cartons, clothing, coconut products, and electronic goods. Almost three-fourths of Saint Lucia's exports are to the United Kingdom and most of the rest to other Caribbean islands and to the United States. Imports include food, fuels, and manufactured goods.

      There is an international airport at Vieux Fort, at the southern tip of the island, and a smaller airport at Vigie for domestic and regional flights. International shipping lines operate from the ports at Castries and Vieux Fort. In addition, there is an oil transshipment terminal near Castries.

Administration and social conditions
      Saint Lucia is a constitutional monarchy with the British monarch as head of state, represented by a governor-general. The bicameral parliament consists of the House of Assembly elected by universal adult suffrage and the Senate, with members appointed on the advice of the prime minister, on the advice of the opposition leader in the House, and by the governor-general. The prime minister, leader of the majority party, heads the government.

      Saint Lucia has retained its association with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of a court of appeal and a high court.

      Primary education is free and compulsory, and there is a branch of the University of the West Indies at Castries. There is also a technical college and a teacher-training college. Many of the primary schools are parochial, principally Roman Catholic.

Health and welfare
      Several general hospitals and many health centres are distributed throughout the island. There is also a private hospital operated by a religious order at Vieux Fort.

      Several newspapers are published on the island, and radio and television broadcasts are widely received.

History

French and British territorial rivalry
      The exact date of the European discovery of Saint Lucia is not known, but it is thought to have been about 1500. The first attempts at colonization were made by the English in 1605 and 1638, but they were frustrated by sickness and the hostility of the native Caribs. A successful settlement was achieved in 1650 by French from Martinique, who made a treaty with the Caribs in 1660. In 1664 Thomas Warner, son of the governor of Saint Kitts, regained the island, but it was restored to France by the Peace of Breda in 1667. In 1674 it was claimed by the crown of France and made a dependency of Martinique.

      Another British settlement under a grant made in 1722 by George I to the Duke of Montague was frustrated by France, which had granted the island to Marshal d'Estrées in 1718, and the island was declared neutral. In 1743 the French resumed possession, retaining the island until the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty of) in 1748, in which the two countries again agreed to regard Saint Lucia as neutral. In 1762 it was captured by Admiral George Rodney and General Robert Monckton, only to be given up once more by the Treaty of Paris (1763). In 1778 it again surrendered to the British, who used its harbours as a naval base, but, by the Peace of Versailles, Saint Lucia was once more restored to France. Between 1782 and 1803 the possession of Saint Lucia passed several times between Britain and France, the British having to suppress a vigorous revolutionary party, which was aided by insurgent slaves, before gaining possession in 1803. Saint Lucia was finally ceded to Britain in 1814 by the Treaty of Paris, after which it became a crown colony. During 1838–85, together with the other islands of the Windward group, it was administered by the governor of Barbados.

      French influence on the development of Saint Lucia is illustrated by the dominance of the Roman Catholic church and the survival of a French patois. In the years following 1763, French planters came from Saint Vincent and Grenada and established cotton and sugar plantations. In 1834, when the slaves were emancipated, there were in Saint Lucia more than 13,000 black slaves, 2,600 free blacks, and 2,300 whites. Prosperity was impeded by the decline of the sugarcane industry. Improvement came with the increase of banana and cacao cultivation and the revival of sugarcane.

Independence
      Representative government was obtained by the constitution of 1924, which introduced an elective element into the legislative council; the constitution of 1936 provided for an unofficial majority in the council.

      In 1958 Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation, although its colonial status remained unchanged. Under the 1960 constitution the post of governor of the Windward Islands was abolished, and Saint Lucia became an autonomous unit within the federation, also achieving a greater degree of internal self-government. After the federation was dissolved on May 31, 1962, the status question was eventually settled by the West Indies Act of 1967, in which Saint Lucia assumed a status of association with the United Kingdom on March 1, 1967.

      Independence was finally achieved Feb. 22, 1979, with Saint Lucia remaining a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. In the first elections following independence, the left-leaning Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) defeated the more conservative United Workers' Party (UWP). The SLP governments favoured the socialist regimes of the Caribbean, establishing relations with Cuba and joining the nonaligned movement. They also helped form the Organization of East Caribbean States in 1981.

      The SLP's attempts at a mixed economy proved unable to deal with the staggering problems of the new country, especially after Hurricane Allen wiped out the banana crop in 1980. Rivalry within the party led to the resignation of two prime ministers in two years, and political instability caused the tourist trade to drop to one-half of its pre-independence level. In May 1982 the UWP was voted into power on a platform of inviting foreign investment and decentralizing government administration. The agricultural sector was gradually rebuilt after the hurricane, and the end of a recession in the United States increased tourism. The UWP retained power in elections held in 1987 and 1992.

Richard Tolson David Lawrence Niddrie Janet D. Momsen

Additional Reading
There are few works that treat all the islands of the Lesser Antilles or describe a particular island comprehensively, although a number of broad overviews are listed in the earlier section on the region. An informative geologic survey, covering locations from both the Lesser Antilles and the Netherlands Antilles, is offered in J.H. Westermann and H. Kiel, The Geology of Saba and St. Eustatius, with Notes on the Geology of St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, Lesser Antilles (1961). Guy Lasserre, La Guadeloupe: Étude géographique, 3 vol. (1978), is a detailed geography. Studies of flora include Clarissa Thérèse Kimber, Martinique Revisited: The Changing Plant Geographies of a West Indian Island (1988); and David Watts, Man's Influence on the Vegetation of Barbados, 1627 to 1800 (1966).The people of Barbados are discussed in Jill Sheppard, The “Redlegs” of Barbados, Their Origins and History (1977), which explores the history of indentured servants; Farley Brathwaite (ed.), The Elderly in Barbados (1986), a survey of social and economic conditions of the elderly; and Graham M.S. Dann (ed.), Everyday in Barbados: A Sociological Perspective (1976), which discusses social structures and recreational activity. Jean Benoist (ed.), L'Archipel inachevé: culture et société aux Antilles françaises (1972), is an anthropological study of the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, La Désirade, Marie-Galante, and Saint-Barthélemy. Stuart B. Philpott, West Indian Migration: The Montserrat Case (1973), explores the impact of migration on village population. Bonham C. Richardson, Caribbean Migrants: Environment and Human Survival on St. Kitts and Nevis (1983), focuses on migration as a response to degradation of environment. Karen Fog Olwig, Cultural Adaptation and Resistance on St. John: Three Centuries of Afro-Caribbean Life (1985), examines the society of one of the Virgin Islands.Analyses of economic conditions include Delisle Worrell (ed.), The Economy of Barbados, 1946–1980 (1982), a study of the trends of the major sectors; Bonham C. Richardson, Panama Money in Barbados, 1900–1920 (1985), which discusses the impact of remittances on a wide range of economic activities and social attitudes; Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Peasants and Capital: Dominica in the World Economy (1988), which explores patterns of land ownership and agricultural production; and C. Bourne, E.R. Lefranc, and F. Nunes (compilers), Small Farming in the Less Developed Countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean (1980), which provides information on Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, and Antigua. Studies of individual island-state economies include John S. Brierley, Small Farming in Grenada, West Indies (1974); Deirdre M. Kelly, Hard Work, Hard Choices: A Survey of Women in St. Lucia's Export-Oriented Electronics Factories (1987); and Hymie Rubenstein, Coping With Poverty: Adaptive Strategies in a Caribbean Village (1987).Historical works which concentrate mostly on slavery and plantation life include the following: Vincent T. Harlow, A History of Barbados, 1625–1685 (1926, reprinted 1969), an examination of the period of the early British colonies; Gary A. Puckrein, Little England: Plantation Society and Anglo-Barbadian Politics, 1627–1700 (1984), a revisionist economic history, particularly strong on the creolizing process; Hilary Beckles, Black Rebellion in Barbados: The Struggle Against Slavery, 1627–1838 (1984), a provocative interpretation of slave resistance. Jerome S. Handler, The Unappropriated People: Freedmen in the Slave Society of Barbados (1974), which fills a gap in historiography; Karl Watson, The Civilised Island, Barbados: A Social History, 1750–1816 (1979), a study of the mature slave society; Claude Levy, Emancipation, Sugar, and Federalism: Barbados and the West Indies, 1833–1876 (1980), on postslavery adjustments; Gordon C. Merrill, The Historical Geography of St. Kitts and Nevis, the West Indies (1958), which discusses the colonial period on the islands; Lennox Honychurch, The Dominica Story: A History of the Island, 2nd ed. (1984), a well-illustrated study covering developments up to the 1980s and benefiting from the author's personal involvement in the constitutional changes leading to independence; and George Brizan, Grenada, Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 1498–1979 (1984), the work of a Grenadian historian and politician.

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Universalium. 2010.

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