Antigua and Barbuda


Antigua and Barbuda
an island state comprising Antigua and two smaller islands: a member of the former West Indies Associated States; formerly a British crown colony; gained independence 1981. 79,000; 171 sq. mi. (442 sq. km). Cap.: St. John's.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Introduction Antigua and Barbuda
Background: The islands of Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. Some 3,000 refugees fleeing a volcanic eruption on nearby Montserrat have settled in Antigua and Barbuda since 1995. Geography Antigua and Barbuda -
Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico
Geographic coordinates: 17 03 N, 61 48 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 443 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km) water: 0 sq km note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km land: 442 sq km
Area - comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 153 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 marine; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Boggy Peak 402 m
Natural resources: NEGL; pleasant climate fosters tourism
Land use: arable land: 18.18% permanent crops: 0% other: 81.82% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts Environment - current issues: water management - a major concern because of limited natural fresh water resources - is further hampered by the clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches; Barbuda has a very large western harbor People Antigua and Barbuda
Population: 67,448 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 28% (male 9,618; female 9,293) 15-64 years: 67.3% (male 22,695; female 22,682) 65 years and over: 4.7% (male 1,289; female 1,871) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.69% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 18.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 5.75 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: -6.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/ female total population: 0.99 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 21.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.02 years female: 73.45 years (2002 est.) male: 68.72 years
Total fertility rate: 2.29 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: Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s) adjective: Antiguan, Barbudan
Ethnic groups: black, British, Portuguese, Lebanese, Syrian
Religions: Anglican (predominant), other Protestant, some Roman Catholic
Languages: English (official), local dialects
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling total population: 89% male: 90% female: 88% (1960 est.) Government Antigua and Barbuda
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda
Government type: constitutional monarchy with UK- style parliament
Capital: Saint John's Administrative divisions: 6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip
Independence: 1 November 1981 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)
Constitution: 1 November 1981
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 James B. CARLISLE (since NA 1993) elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; prime minister appointed by the governor general cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister head of government: Prime Minister Lester Bryant BIRD (since 8 March 1994)
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17-member body appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - ALP 12, UPP 4, independent 1 elections: House of Representatives - last held 9 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2004)
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based in Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court is a resident of the islands and presides over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction) Political parties and leaders: Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three opposition parties - United National Democratic Party or UNDP, Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, and Progressive Labor Movement or PLM) Political pressure groups and Antigua Trades and Labor Union or
leaders: ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL] International organization ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-
participation: 77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM (observer), OAS, OECS, OPANAL, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Lionel Alexander HURST chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 telephone: [1] (202) 362-5211 FAX: [1] (202) 362-5225 consulate(s) general: Miami Diplomatic representation from the the US does not have an embassy in
US: Antigua and Barbuda (embassy closed 30 June 1994); the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda
Flag description: red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band Economy Antigua and Barbuda -
Economy - overview: Tourism continues to dominate the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. Weak tourist arrival numbers since early 2000 have slowed the economy, however, and pressed the government into a tight fiscal corner. The dual-island nation's agricultural production is focused on the domestic market and constrained by a limited water supply and a labor shortage stemming from the lure of higher wages in tourism and construction work. Manufacturing comprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. Prospects for economic growth in the medium term will continue to depend on income growth in the industrialized world, especially in the US, which accounts for about one-third of all tourist arrivals.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $674 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2000 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.9% industry: 19.1% services: 77% (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 30,000 Labor force - by occupation: commerce and services 82%, agriculture 11%, industry 7% (1983)
Unemployment rate: 7% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $123.7 million expenditures: $145.9 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: tourism, construction, light manufacturing (clothing, alcohol, household appliances) Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1997 est.) Electricity - production: 100 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 93 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane; livestock
Exports: $40 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum products 48%, manufactures 23%, machinery and transport equipment 17%, food and live animals 4%, other 8%
Exports - partners: OECS 26%, Barbados 15%, Guyana 4%, Trinidad and Tobago 2%, US 0.3%
Imports: $357 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil
Imports - partners: US 27%, UK 16%, Canada 4%, OECS 3%
Debt - external: $231 million (1999) Economic aid - recipient: $2.3 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 Antigua and Barbuda Telephones - main lines in use: 28,000 (1996) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,300 (1996)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: good automatic telephone system international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); tropospheric scatter to Saba (Netherlands Antilles) and Guadeloupe Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 36,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997)
Televisions: 31,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .ag Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 16 (2000)
Internet users: 5,000 (2001) Transportation Antigua and Barbuda
Railways: total: 77 km narrow gauge: 64 km 0.760-m gauge; 13 km 0.610-m gauge (used almost exclusively for handling sugarcane) (2001 est.)
Highways: total: 1,165 km paved: 384 km unpaved: 781 km note: it is assumed that the main roads are paved; the secondary roads are assumed to be unpaved (1995)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Saint John's
Merchant marine: total: 762 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,541,940 GRT/5,894,553 DWT ships by type: bulk 20, cargo 469, chemical tanker 9, combination bulk 4, container 202, liquefied gas 7, multi-functional large-load carrier 6, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 35 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 3, Colombia 1, Cuba 1, Estonia 1, Germany 747, Greece 1, Iceland 8, Latvia 1, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 1, Netherlands 22, New Zealand 2, Portugal 1, Slovenia 6, South Africa 1, Sweden 2, United Kingdom 1, United States 7 (2002 est.)
Airports: 3 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Military Antigua and Barbuda
Military branches: Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force, Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force (including the Coast Guard) Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA Military expenditures - percent of NA%
GDP: Transnational Issues Antigua and Barbuda Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: considered a minor transshipment point for narcotics bound for the US and Europe; more significant as a drug-money-laundering center

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Island state, Lesser Antilles.

It consists of three islands, Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda. Area: 171 sq mi (443 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 76,400. Capital: St. John's (on Antigua). The majority of the population are descendants of African slaves brought in during colonial times. Language: English (official). Religion: Christianity. Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar. The largest of the islands is Antigua (108 sq mi [280 sq km]), which lacks forests, mountains, and rivers and is subject to droughts. The main anchorage is the deepwater harbour of St. John's. Barbuda, 25 mi (40 km) north of Antigua, is a 62-sq-mi (161-sq-km) game reserve inhabited by a variety of wildlife, including wild deer; its only settlement is Codrington, on its western coast. Redonda, an uninhabited rock (0.5 sq mi [1.3 sq km]), lies southwest of Antigua. Tourism is the mainstay of the country's economy; offshore banking is growing. Christopher Columbus visited Antigua in 1493 and named it after a church in Sevilla, Spain. It was colonized by English settlers in 1632, who imported African slaves to grow tobacco and sugarcane. Barbuda was colonized by the English in 1678. In 1834 the islands' slaves were emancipated. Antigua (with Barbuda) was part of the British colony of the Leeward Islands from 1871 until that colony was defederated in 1956. The islands achieved full independence in 1981.

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▪ 2009

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 87,500
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Louise Lake-Tack
Head of government:
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

      The announcement in January 2008 that an extensive examination of Antigua and Barbuda's Internet gambling regulations had failed to earn the country a place on the U.K.'s “white list” meant that the country's Internet gambling companies were effectively excluded from advertising their wares in Britain. Antigua and Barbuda Finance Minister Errol Cort described the designation as “premature,” however, and expressed confidence that the country would qualify for the list in the “very near future.”

      Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda persisted throughout the year in trying to solve its long-standing Internet gambling dispute with the U.S. The World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement body in December 2007 had awarded Antigua and Barbuda $21 million annually in compensation from the U.S., which had passed a law in 2006 that banned American banks and credit-card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country. The WTO-mandated compensation took the form of trade sanctions against the U.S.

      Antigua and Barbuda was rocked by the murder in July of a British couple on their honeymoon, and it was feared that the incident could severely damage the tourist trade. The IMF predicted that Antigua and Barbuda's economy would grow by only 2.1% in 2008, compared with 6.1% in 2007.

David Renwick

▪ 2008

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 85,900
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governors-General Sir James Carlisle and, from July 17, Louise Lake-Tack
Head of government:
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

      The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favour of Antigua and Barbuda in March 2007 in its case against the U.S. for not complying with the WTO's 2005 ruling to cease discriminatory treatment of foreign Internet gambling operations. In a case first taken before the WTO in 2003, Antigua and Barbuda challenged a U.S. law that blocked non-U.S. gambling operations from operating inside U.S. borders. In May, Antigua and Barbuda called on other WTO members to support its demand for compensation from the U.S. On December 21 the WTO ruled that Antigua and Barbuda could violate U.S. copyrights on music and films up to a value of $21 million. Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda continued to take steps to ensure that the country's financial system was not used for money laundering.

      Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer spent most of the first half of 2007 engaged in a public spat with Antigua and Barbuda's premier investor, American financier Allen Stanford, following the latter's strong criticism of living conditions in several of the country's electoral constituencies, including Spencer's. A survey released at midyear found that 18% of the country's population lived below the poverty line.

David Renwick

▪ 2007

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 78,200
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

      Steadroy Benjamin was appointed the new parliamentary leader of the opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) in January 2006, after ALP MPs withdrew their support from Robin Yearwood. ALP's political leader, former prime minister Lester Bird, did not have a seat in Parliament.

       China continued to be one of Antigua and Barbuda's main benefactors in 2006, funding completion of the Mt. St. John Medical Centre, on which work had stopped in 2003. China's state-owned Exim Bank provided a $7.8 million soft loan for the project. China also agreed to contribute $21 million toward building the Sir Vivian Richards stadium, which would be used for the World Cup cricket matches in 2007.

      In August the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda broke off talks that were meant to resolve a high stakes dispute over the U.S. ban on Internet gambling that had cast a shadow over one of the country's new sources of foreign exchange. In 2005 the World Trade Organization had agreed that the U.S. ban violated global trade rules, but no action had been taken by the U.S. to lift it. Antigua was expected to notify the WTO that it would resume litigation to force the U.S. to act in the matter.

David Renwick

▪ 2006

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 77,800
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

      The new United Progressive Party (UPP) government in Antigua and Barbuda overturned one of its predecessor's key policies in April 2005 when it restored personal income tax, which would be paid by individuals earning at least EC$3,000 (about U.S.$1,110) a month. Also in April former prime minister Lester Bird, who lost his seat in the election, was nevertheless voted back as leader of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), which had governed for 28 straight years before being deposed in 2004 by the UPP. Though he faced strong competition from a former planning minister, Gaston Browne, Bird prevailed. His elder brother, however, Vere Bird, Jr., lost his bid for party chairman.

      Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said in May that he would create a special task force to curb organized crime and corruption by government officials; he blamed inaction by past ALP administrations for the upsurge in such problems.

       Venezuela deepened its relations with Antigua and Barbuda in August as part of a wider initiative by Pres. Hugo Chávez to assist Caribbean territories that were hard hit by rising inflation and foreign-exchange shortages largely caused by high oil prices. Besides soft loans for oil purchases, Antigua and Barbuda also received Venezuelan assistance for its outage-plagued electricity system.

David Renwick

▪ 2005

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 68,300
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird and, from March 24, Baldwin Spencer

      The Antigua Labour Party (ALP) was swept out of office in a historic general election in March 2004 and replaced by the United Progressive Party (UPP). Even ALP leader Lester Bird, whose family had ruled Antigua and Barbuda since independence in 1981, lost his seat, with the UPP grabbing 12 of the 17 electoral districts. ALP retained four, and the Barbuda seat went to the Barbuda People's Movement (BPM), which was sympathetic to the UPP. UPP leader Baldwin Spencer became the new prime minister and Robin Yearwood the new leader of the opposition.

      Early good news for the new government was that Antigua and Barbuda had emerged triumphant in its dispute with the U.S. over an attempt by the U.S. to ban Internet gaming. The U.S. said it would appeal the ruling by the World Trade Organization but would, in the meantime, also try to resolve the matter through negotiations. The new government engaged a forensic accountant to investigate the alleged improper use of funds by the previous administration and halted the sale of Antigua and Barbuda passports to rich foreigners.

David Renwick

▪ 2004

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 76,800
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird

      Prime Minister Lester Bird lost his Antigua Labour Party (ALP) majority in the House of Representatives for three days in June 2003 following the resignation of four ALP MPs. ALP's nine-member majority was swiftly restored, however, when one MP changed his mind and reaccepted the party whip. Nevertheless, Bird signaled that he would call a general election prior to June 2004, the constitutional deadline for the event.

      The World Trade Organization agreed to appoint a three-member disputes panel in late July to adjudicate on Antigua and Barbuda's claim that the U.S. government breached its commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services by banning U.S. residents from using credit cards, checks, or electronic bank transfers when placing bets with Internet-based gambling operations on the islands. As a result, Antigua and Barbuda suffered an estimated $33.3 million in lost license fees, the number of gaming operations was reduced from 100 to fewer than 36, and employment in the gambling industry shrank from 5,000 to 2,500.

David Renwick

▪ 2003

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 76,400
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird

      In February 2002 Antigua and Barbuda joined other Caribbean states that had been fingered by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as indulging in “harmful” tax competition and yielded to demands for transparency and the “effective exchange of information in criminal tax matters” with OECD countries. This concession saved the country from being included in a definitive OECD blacklist of offshore tax havens, which would have attracted unspecified sanctions.

      Although never on the Financial Action Task Force's list of states deemed “uncooperative” in the fight against money laundering, Antigua and Barbuda faced scrutiny on the issue during the year. Its legal and regulatory defenses against money laundering were questioned by the U.K., among others.

      In August the U.K. provided two fraud specialists and a special prosecutor to determine whether any of the 14 people named in Antigua and Barbuda's Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) investigation could be charged with criminal offenses. A commission of inquiry into how millions of dollars in public funds disappeared from the MBS had recommended that the government take action in the matter.

David Renwick

▪ 2002

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 71,500 (including evacuees from Montserrat)
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird

      Following a sharp rebuke by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over what it said was a deficit of 12% of gross domestic product in public-sector finances during 2000, Prime Minister Lester Bird in March 2001 suspended ministerial traveling allowances and announced a variable cut in public servants' salaries. In April an IMF team visited the country to discuss aspects of “tax reform” designed to help the government bring its finances back into balance.

      In May Bird fired both Attorney General Errol Cort and Minister of Health Bernard Percival for “a lapse of good judgement” regarding the government's Medical Benefits Scheme. Though Bird initially had resisted a call for a commission of inquiry into the matter, he announced in June that one would occur “to maintain public confidence in the working of the scheme.”

      In July the U.K. government lifted its two-year-old financial advisory against Antigua and Barbuda, which had been under scrutiny by British financial institutions paying “special attention” to its transactions amid allegations of money laundering. The U.S. followed suit in August.

David Renwick

▪ 2001

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 71,000 (including evacuees from Montserrat)
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird

      In 2000 Antigua and Barbuda became, in the words of its prime minister, Lester Bird, “a more reliable partner” in the battle against money laundering and drug trafficking in the Caribbean by updating parts of its anti-money-laundering legislation during the early months of the year. This was followed in April by the signing of a letter of commitment to minimum regulatory standards as approved by the United Nations Offshore Forum.

      Despite these initiatives, however, Antigua and Barbuda did not escape being included in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's blacklist, issued in June, of 15 Caribbean countries allegedly operating “harmful tax regimes.” This unflattering categorization incensed the government. Local businessmen, for their part, were upset with John St. Luce, the finance minister, for introducing a 2% turnover tax in his budget in March. The tourism industry was most concerned, claiming that the tax would make Antigua and Barbuda an even more expensive destination than it already was.

David Renwick

▪ 2000

Area:
442 sq km (171 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 69,100 (including evacuees from Montserrat)
Capital:
Saint John's
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle
Head of government:
Prime Minister Lester Bird

      Prime Minister Lester Bird of Antigua and Barbuda successfully ensured himself another five years in office when his Antigua Labour Party (ALP) won the general election on March 9, 1999. This was the ALP's sixth successive election victory. The party captured 12 seats in the 17-seat House of Representatives, one more than it previously held. The main opposition United Progressive Party took four seats, losing one to the ALP. The Barbuda People's Movement retained the Barbuda seat, as usual.

      Accusations of a lax attitude toward the problem of money laundering continued to dog the government. In April the U.S. Treasury Department advised American banks to exercise “close scrutiny” of transactions with financial institutions in Antigua and Barbuda. American authorities felt that the legislation passed by the Bird government a few months before the last election actually facilitated, rather than discouraged, money laundering. The U.S. advisory was followed by one from the government of Great Britain.

      Shortly after these admonitions, William Cooper, head of Antigua and Barbuda's American International Bank, was arrested and charged with money laundering. In June the country's veteran political leader, Vere Bird, father of the sitting prime minister, died. (See Obituaries. (Bird, Vere Cornwall ))

David Renwick

▪ 1999

      Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 64,500 (excluding evacuees from Montserrat)

      Capital: Saint John's

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle

      Head of government: Prime Minister Lester Bird

      The problems facing Antigua and Barbuda's offshore banking sector continued in 1998. Three such banks were closed early in the year, following similar action against eight others in 1997. In May six men were arrested in the U.S. for allegedly using an Antiguan bank to launder money improperly obtained from U.S. investors. Antigua and Barbuda, in common with other Caribbean governments, stepped up the battle against money laundering.

      Attorney and member of parliament Vere Bird, Jr., brother of Prime Minister Lester Bird, was recovering after having been shot in the jaw in late 1997 by one of his clients, Cyril Bufton. Bufton had apparently become incensed over Bird's failure to secure better terms from the government for the removal of himself and his wife from nearby Guiana Island. The government was permitting Asian investors to develop the site into a major resort complex. Various legal maneuvers by the opposition United Progressive Party failed to stop the move. Bufton was charged with attempted murder.

      In September Hurricane Georges battered the Caribbean islands, killing two people and injuring several others on Antigua.

DAVID RENWICK

▪ 1998

      Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 64,500 (excluding evacuees from Montserrat)

      Capital: Saint John's

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General James Carlisle

      Head of government: Prime Minister Lester Bird

      The offshore banking sector created major problems for Antigua and Barbuda in 1997, the government having to announce in February that it intended to close four out of five such banks owned by Russians and Ukrainians on the grounds of "irregularities" in their operations. There was some uncertainty, however, over whether existing law permitted such action.

      In August the so-called European Union Bank, which claimed to be the first offshore Internet bank, went into receivership following the disappearance of its two Russian founders. A "fraud alert" was issued for the two. U.S. officials had in 1996 identified Russian criminal elements as being active in money laundering through Caribbean offshore banking locations. Antigua and Barbuda had almost 60 registered offshore banks, but the government decided in 1997 not to issue any new licenses for the time being.

      Control of local government in Barbuda passed to the Barbuda People's Movement in March when the party captured all five seats under the country's partial election system, which takes place at two-year intervals. The party already controlled the other four seats on the Barbuda Council.

DAVID RENWICK
      This article updates Antigua and Barbuda.

▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda comprises the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 64,400. Cap.: Saint John's. 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; governor-general in 1996, James Carlisle; prime minister, Lester Bird.

      The damage inflicted by hurricanes on the Antigua and Barbuda economy in 1995 caused the government to tighten spending in 1996. An austerity program set to begin in April included a two-year pay freeze for civil servants and a 10% pay cut for government ministers. No new government employees were to be recruited in the foreseeable future, and official borrowing from commercial banks would be undertaken only for self-liquidating projects. Savings of EC$20 million a year were expected from these measures. "Selected government holdings" were to be privatized to meet financial commitments.

      In May, Prime Minister Lester Bird reshuffled his Cabinet, causing raised eyebrows by naming his brother, Vere, to a government advisory job. In 1990 an inquiry commission headed by Louis Blom-Cooper had declared Vere unfit to hold public office. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This article updates Antigua and Barbuda.

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda comprises the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 63,900. Cap.: Saint John's. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.26 = £ 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1995, James Carlisle; prime minister, Lester Bird.

      Antiguans marked the opening of the new year with a spirited demonstration in January against new taxes. First mooted in 1994 but delayed until 1995, the taxes included higher fees for public services and a levy on incomes to finance education. One-day token strikes followed in February and March, but the government refused to budge, its only concession being not to impose any new taxes in the 1995 budget.

      The island's first political family, the Birds, were in trouble again in May when Prime Minister Lester Bird's younger brother, Ivor, was found guilty of being in possession of cocaine and fined EC$200,000. The leniency of the sentence surprised most Antiguans. The fine was paid by his father, former prime minister Vere Bird.

      An increasing number of crimes against tourists forced the government to institute joint police and army patrols in tourist areas.

      Antigua received a heavy blow in September from Hurricane Luis, which left in its wake destruction estimated at U.S. $300 million. Sixty percent of the building stock was damaged, including leading hotels, which would affect the tourist industry's performance in 1995. The U.S. joined other nations in sending relief supplies to the island.

      (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Antigua and Barbuda.

▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda comprises the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 66,000. Cap.: Saint John's. 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, James Carlisle; prime ministers, Vere Cornwall Bird and, from March 9, Lester Bird.

      Antigua and Barbuda's veteran leader, Vere Cornwall Bird, retired in February after decades in politics, and the parliament was dissolved to make way for a general election. His son Lester Bird took over leadership of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) from his father and succeeded in keeping the party in power in the election, which took place in March. The ALP won 11 of the 17 seats in the House of Representatives, a reduction from the 15 it had controlled in the previous parliament but a victory nonetheless. The United Progressive Party, an amalgam of three separate opposition parties, took five seats, and the Barbuda People's Movement retained its traditional one seat.

      One of the ALP seats went to Vere Bird, Jr., Lester's older brother, who had been removed from the Cabinet by his father in 1990 after a commission of inquiry had recommended that he be disbarred from public office. He had been implicated in an illegal arms transshipment scandal involving the sending of Israeli weapons to Colombian drug barons. Bird had maintained his innocence, and the incident did not appear to affect his popularity with the electorate. He was, however, notably absent from the new Cabinet. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Antigua and Barbuda

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Antigua and Barbuda comprises the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 442 sq km (171 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 66,000. Cap.: Saint John's. 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; governors-general in 1993, Sir Wilfred E. Jacobs and, from June 10, James Carlisle; prime minister, Vere Cornwall Bird.

      The government remained adamant, when the 1993-94 budget was presented in March 1993, that a personal income tax would not be reintroduced into Antigua and Barbuda in the foreseeable future. Finance Minister Molwyn Joseph forecast a 2.5% growth rate for the year.

      Civil servants received support from the High Court in March when the judges ruled that legislation barring government employees from publishing political information or expressing political views was illegal. In April government authorities cracked down on foreign drug couriers, who had increasingly been using Antigua and Barbuda as a transshipment point. New laws were introduced allowing confiscation of the assets of those found guilty of trafficking.

      In August a controversial book by American author Robert Coram accused the government of "corruption." Such accusations did not inhibit the members of the governing Antigua Labour Party from electing Foreign Affairs Minister Lester Bird as their new political leader. Bird would take over from his father, 83-year-old Vere Bird, who was scheduled to step down before the general election in March 1994. In June, James Carlisle was sworn in as the new governor-general. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article The Antigua and Barbuda.

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Introduction
Antigua and Barbuda, flag of islands that form an independent state in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, at the southern end of the Leeward Islands chain. There is one dependency, the small island of Redonda. The capital is St. John's (Saint John's), on Antigua.

 Antigua's coastline is intricate, with bays and headlands fringed with reefs and shoals; several inlets, including Parham and English Harbour, afford anchorage for shipping, and St. John's has a deepwater harbour. The island has an area of 108 square miles (280 square km). It is mostly low and undulating, but in the west there are volcanic rocks that rise to 1,330 feet (405 metres) at Boggy Peak. An absence of mountains and forests distinguishes Antigua from the other Leeward Islands. Because there are no rivers and few springs, droughts occur despite a mean annual rainfall of some 40 inches (1,000 mm). The average January temperature is around 77 °F (25 °C); that of August, 82 °F (28 °C). Summer highs can reach 90 °F (32 °C).

      Barbuda, formerly Dulcina, lies 25 miles (40 km) north of Antigua. A coral island, flat and well-wooded, with highlands rising to 143 feet (44 metres) at Lindsay Hill in the northeast, it is 62 square miles (161 square km) in area. Barbuda is without streams or lakes and receives less rainfall than Antigua. Codrington, the only settlement, lies on a lagoon to the west. The climate is similar to that of Antigua.

       Redonda, an uninhabited rock, lies 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Antigua. It rises sheer to a height of 1,000 feet (305 metres) and is 0.5 square mile (1.25 square km) in area. Phosphate deposits are located there.

      The majority of the population is of African descent. Most of Antigua's inhabitants live in St. John's. The language is English, and nearly three-fourths of the people are Protestant, one-third of whom are Anglican. There are also a number of Moravians, Methodists, and Roman Catholics.

Economy
      Agriculture, once the mainstay of the economy, has been largely supplanted by tourism. Sugar was long the dominant crop on Antigua, but its production is now insignificant. Barbuda was never involved in the sugar plantation system, its inhabitants always having been fishermen and subsistence farmers. Their traditional system of land tenure is threatened by tourism development. Fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, mangoes, and eggplants, are now cultivated on the islands. Manufacturing plays a small role in the economy; most activity involves processing agricultural products and making clothing and textiles and concrete blocks. An international airport is near St. John's.

Government and society
      Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy. The British monarch is nominal head of state, represented by a governor-general. The constitution allows for a Senate and a House of Representatives. Executive power is vested in a Council of Ministers headed by the prime minister. Primary and postprimary education is compulsory.

      Antigua was visited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus (Columbus, Christopher), who named it for the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Sevilla (Seville), Spain. It was colonized by English settlers in 1632 and remained a British possession although it was raided by the French in 1666. The early colonizers were also attacked by Carib Indians, who were once one of the dominant peoples of the West Indies. At first tobacco was grown, but in the later 17th century sugar was found to be more profitable.

      The nearby island of Barbuda was colonized in 1678. The crown granted the island to the Codrington family in 1685. It was planned as a slave-breeding colony but never became one; the slaves who were imported came to live self-reliantly in their own community.

      The emancipation in 1834 of slaves, who had been employed on the profitable sugar estates, gave rise to difficulties in obtaining labour. An earthquake in 1843 and a hurricane in 1847 caused further economic problems. Barbuda reverted back to the crown in the late 19th century, and its administration came to be so closely related to that of Antigua that it eventually became a dependency of that island.

      The Leeward Islands colony, of which the islands were a part, was defederated in 1956, and in 1958 Antigua joined the West Indies Federation. When the federation was dissolved in 1962, Antigua persevered with discussions of alternative forms of federation. Provision was made in the West Indies Act of 1967 for Antigua to assume a status of association with the United Kingdom on February 27, 1967. As an associated state, Antigua was fully self-governing in all internal affairs, while the United Kingdom retained responsibility for external affairs and defense.

      By the 1970s Antigua had developed an independence movement, particularly under its prime minister George Walter, who wanted complete independence for the islands and opposed the British plan of independence within a federation of islands. Walter lost the 1976 elections to Vere Bird, who favoured regional integration. In 1978 Antigua reversed its position and announced it wanted independence. The autonomy talks were complicated by the fact that Barbuda, long a dependency of Antigua, felt that it had been economically stifled by the larger island and wanted to secede. Finally, on November 1, 1981, Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence, with Vere Bird as the first prime minister. The state obtained United Nations and Commonwealth membership and joined the Organization of East Caribbean States. Bird's party won again in 1984 and 1989 by overwhelming margins, giving the prime minister firm control of the islands' government.

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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