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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS ANTIGUANS AND BARBUDANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

CAPITAL: St. John's

FLAG: Centered on a red background is a downward-pointing triangle divided horizontally into three bands of black, light blue, and white, the black stripe bearing a symbol of the rising sun in yellow.

ANTHEM: Begins "Fair Antigua and Barbuda, I salute thee."

MONETARY UNIT: The East Caribbean dollar (ec$) is a paper currency of 100 cents, pegged to the US dollar. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar, and notes of 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars. ec$1 = us$0.37037 (or us$1 = ec$2.7; as of 2004).

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: Imperial measures are used, but the metric system is being introduced.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1st Monday in May; CARICOM Day, 3 July; State Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Whitmonday.

TIME: 8 am = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

The state of Antigua and Barbuda, part of the Leeward Islands chain in the eastern Caribbean, is approximately 420 km (261 mi) se of the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 180 km (110 mi) n of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. The total land area of 440 sq km (170 sq mi) includes Antigua (280 sq km/108 sq mi); Barbuda (161 sq km/62 sq mi); and uninhabited Redonda (1.3 sq km/5 sq mi), located 40 km (25 mi) to the sw. This total area comprises slightly less than 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. The total coastline is 153 km (95 mi). Antigua and Barbuda's capital city, St. John's, is located on the northwestern edge of the island of Antigua.

TOPOGRAPHY

Partly volcanic and partly coral in origin, Antigua has deeply indented shores lined by reefs and shoals; there are many natural harbors and beaches. Boggy Peak (402 m/1,319 ft), in southwestern Antigua, is the nation's highest point. Antigua's northeastern coastline is dotted by numerous tiny islets; the central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda, a coral island with a large harbor on the west side, rises to only 44 m (144 ft) at its highest point. Redonda is a low-lying rocky islet.

CLIMATE

Temperatures average 24°c (75°f) in January and 29°c (84°f) in July, with cooling tradewinds from the east and northeast. Rainfall averages 117 cm (46 in) per year; September through November is the wettest period. The islands have been subject to periodic droughts and to autumn hurricanes.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Most of the vegetation is scrub, but there is luxuriant tropical growth where fresh water is available. Many varieties of fruits, flowers, and vegetables are grown. Palmetto and seaside mangrove are indigenous, and about 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) of red cedar, white cedar, mahogany, whitewood, and acacia forests have been planted. Barbuda is heavily wooded, with an abundance of deer, wild pigs, guinea fowl, pigeons, and wild ducks. Pineapple plantations can be found throughout Antigua.

ENVIRONMENT

Water management is the principal environmental concern. A water shortage due to limited freshwater resources is exacerbated by limited rainfall and drought. The existing water supply is threatened by pollution from distilleries, food processing facilities, and other industrial operations. Deforestation resulting from the nation's energy demands, combined with agricultural development, contributes to soil erosion, as rainfall, which is concentrated in a short season, quickly runs off, compounding the water shortage problem on the islands. The nation's main city, St. John's, has developed a problem with waste disposal. Untreated sewage from resort hotels travels in open sewage lines across the land and empties into the sea. Construction of a desalination plant in 1970 relieved some of the water shortage.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda supports a Historical, Conservation, and Environmental Commission. There are four main protected areas, including the offshore islands of North Sound and Codrington Lagoon of Barbuda, the latter of which is a Ramsar wetland site. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 2 species of birds, 5 types of reptiles, 11 species of fish, and 4 species of plants. Endangered species in the nation included the Antiguan ground lizard, the West Indian whistling duck, and the Antiguan racer.

POPULATION

The population of Antigua and Barbuda in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 80,000, which placed it at number 182 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 8% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 26% of the population under 15 years of age. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 20052010 was expected to be 1.4%, a rate the government viewed as satisfactory. The projected population for the year 2025 was 87,000. The population density was 182 per sq km (471 per sq mi).

The UN estimated that 37% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 1.54%. The capital city, St. John's (Antigua), had a population of 28,000 in that year. The majority of the populace resides on the island of Antigua.

MIGRATION

The United Kingdom has been the historic destination of Antiguan emigrants, but in recent years St. Martin, Barbados, the US Virgin Islands, and the US mainland have been the principal recipients of the outflow. The primary motive for emigration is the search for work. The net migration rate in 2005 was -6.11 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views both the immigration and emigration levels as too high.

ETHNIC GROUPS

Antiguans are almost entirely of African descent. There are small numbers of persons of British, Portuguese, Lebanese, and Syrian ancestry.

LANGUAGES

English is the official and commercial language. An English patois is in common use.

RELIGIONS

The dominant religion is Christianity. Over 70% of the population belongs to churches represented in the Antigua Christian Council, which include the Anglicans, Methodists, Moravians, Roman Catholics, and the Salvation Army. The Anglican Church is the dominant denomination, representing about 35% of the population. Methodists account for about 15%. The Moravians also make up about 15% of the population and Roman Catholics make up about 6% of the population. There are about 400 Jehovah's Witnesses. Communities of non-Christians are fairly small. Rastafarianism has an estimated 1,0001,500 adherents. The Baha'i faith has about 50 members. As estimate on the number of Muslims practicing in the country was unavailable. St. John's, as capital, serves as the episcopal seat of both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. Christian holidays are celebrated as public holidays. The Antigua Christian Council actively promotes tolerance and mutual understanding among religious denominations. The Council has also served as an advocate for peace, particularly during political elections. In early 2004, the council presented a "Code of Ethics" that denounced any use of violence and verbal abuses during March elections; all of the candidates signed the code. The United Evangelical Association unites most of the nation's independent evangelical churches.

TRANSPORTATION

In 2002, there were 1,165 km (724 mi) of highways, of which 384 km (239 mi) were paved. In 1995, there were 302 motor vehicles per 1,000 population. The railway consists of 77 km (48 mi) of narrow-gauge track, used mainly to haul sugar cane. The islands have no natural deepwater harbors; a deepwater facility was constructed at St. John's in 1968. The merchant fleet in 2005 consisted of 980 ships (1,000 GRT or over), totaling 5,873,626 GRT. In 2005, there were three airports, two of which had paved runways. Vere Cornwall Bird International Airport, 7 km (4 mi) northeast of St. John's, accommodates the largest jet aircraft; Coolidge Airport, also on Antigua, handles freight. There is also a landing strip at Codrington. Domestic and international scheduled flights carried 1,369,100 passengers in 2001.

HISTORY

The first inhabitants of Antigua and Barbuda were the Siboney, whose settlements date to 2400 bc. Arawak and Carib Indians inhabited the islands at the time of Christopher Columbus' second voyage in 1493. Columbus named Antigua after the church of Santa Maria de la Antigua, in Sevilla (Seville), Spain. Early settlements were founded in 1520 by the Spanish, in 1629 by the French, and in 1632 by the British. Antigua formally became a British colony in 1667 under the Treaty of Breda.

In 1674, Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua. He leased Barbuda to raise slaves and supplies for this enterprise. In 1834 slavery was abolished, but this was a mere technicality, since no support was provided for the new freemen. In 1860, Antigua formally annexed Barbuda. The Federation of the Leeward Islands served as the governing body of the islands from 1871 to 1956, and from 1958 to 1962, they belonged to the Federation of the West Indies.

Antigua became an associated state with full internal self-government as of 27 February 1967. Opposition to complete independence came from the residents of Barbuda, who sought constitutional guarantees for autonomy in land, finances, and local conciliar powers. With these issues still not fully resolved, Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981, with Vere Cornwall Bird as prime minister. (Considered a national hero for his role in leading the nation to independence, when Bird died in 1999, thousands turned out to observe a national moment of silence in his honor.). Bird and the Antigua Labor Party (ALP) won renewed mandates in every subsequent election to that of 1976 under his leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.

Antigua is an active participant in Caribbean affairs. In May 1987, the prime ministers of the members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) agreed on a merger proposal, creating a single nation out of their seven island states. A national referendum in each of the states was planned for ratification of the accord, but the referendums were defeated and the seven nations remained separate.

In its fifth general election as an independent nation, on 23 March 2004, Antigua and Barbuda experienced a peaceful change of government. The United Progressive Party (UPP), led by Winston Baldwin Spencer, won 13 of the 17 elected seats. The opposition, led by Robin Yearwood, retained four seats. Winston Baldwin Spencer was named prime minister in 2004. The next election was scheduled for 2009.

GOVERNMENT

Universal adult suffrage on the islands dates from 1951, and ministerial government from 1956. The bicameral legislature gained its present form in 1967, and the United Kingdom granted formal independence to Antigua and Barbuda in November 1981. Under the constitution, the chief of state is the reigning British monarch. A local governor-general, appointed on the advice of the prime minister, is the chief of state's representative in Antigua and Barbuda. Since 10 June 1993, Governor-General Sir James B. Carlisle has represented Queen Elizabeth II. The bicameral legislature consists of a 17-member House of Representatives, elected from single-member constituencies for up to five years by universal adult suffrage at age 18; and a 17-member Senate, appointed by the governor-general, of whom 11 (including at least one inhabitant of Barbuda) are named on the advice of the prime minister, 4 on the advice of the leader of the opposition, 1 at the governor-general's discretion, and 1 on the advice of the Barbuda council. The governor-general appoints the prime minister, who must have the support of a majority of the House, and the cabinet.

The prime minister as of 2004 was Winston Baldwin Spencer, with the next elections scheduled for 2009. The prime minister, in addition to his role as prime minister, holds a number of other governmental posts, including minister of defense; minister of external affairs; minister of legislature, privatization, printing, and electoral affairs; minister of telecommunications and gambling; minister of public works, sewage, and energy; and minister of urban development and renewal.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The United Progressive Party (UPP) took over power in 2004 formerly held by the Antigua Labor Party (ALP) since 1946, except for a period from 1971 to 1976, when the Progressive Labor Movement (PLM), led at the time by George H. Walter, held a parliamentary majority. As of 2004 the UPP, a coalition of the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM), the Progressive Labor Movement (PLM), and the United National Democratic Party (UNDP), was lead by Winston Baldwin Spencer. Other active political parties in 2004 included the Antigua Labor Party, led by former Prime Minister Lester Bryant, and the Barbuda's People's Movement.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The island of Antigua has six parishes and two dependencies, Barbuda and Redonda. Twenty-nine community councils, each with nine members, five elected and four appointed, conduct local government affairs.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

English common law and local statutory law form the basis for the legal system, which the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, based in St. Lucia, administers; it also provides a High Court and Court of Appeal. Final appeals may be made to the Queen's Privy Council in the United Kingdom. A court of summary jurisdiction on Antigua, which sits without a jury, deals with civil cases involving sums of up to ec$1500; three magistrates' courts deal with summary offenses and civil cases of not more than ec$500 in value. The Industrial Court, for arbitration and settlement of trade disputes, was reintroduced in 1976. On 9 June 2003, Caribbean leaders met in Kingston, Jamaica, to ratify a treaty to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The first session of the CCJ was scheduled for November 2003. Eight nationsBarbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobagoofficially approved the CCJ, although 14 nations, including Antigua and Barbuda, were planning to use the court for appeals.

The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention. The suspect must be brought before a court within 48 hours of arrest or detention. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence. The government respects these provisions in practice.

ARMED FORCES

As of 2005, there was a Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force of some 170 active personnel (Army, 125; Navy, 45) and 75 reservists. The Navy has three patrol craft. The military budget in 2005 was $4.81 million.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Antigua and Barbuda joined the United Nations on 11 November 1981. It belongs to several specialized UN agencies, such as FAO, ICAO, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, UNESCO, the World Bank, and WHO. The country joined the WTO 1 January 1995. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the ACP Group, CARICOM, the CDB, G-77, the ICFTU, the World Confederation of Labor, and the World Federation of Trade Unions. It is also a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, the OECS, the OAS, the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL). In cooperation on environmental issues, Antigua and Barbuda is part of the Basel Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, the London Convention, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Sugar and cotton production historically were the mainstays of Antigua and Barbuda's economy. This changed in the 1960s when tourism became the main industry. The sugar industry has become insignificant and cotton output has declined. Antigua and Barbuda's reliance on tourism has made its economy quite vulnerable to natural disasters and global politics. As the production of sugar declined in the 1980s, the country's public sector debt skyrocketed. In the 1990s, the tourism industry was ravaged when five major hurricanes hit the islands. Tourism suffered an additional setback in 2001 and 2002 following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. As of 2004, the tourism industry had recovered, and logged more than 750,000 visitors, mostly from Europe and the United States, although the industry slowed again in 2005. About 500,000 of the visitor arrivals in 2004 came via cruise ship.

The economy of this small eastern Caribbean island-nation continues to be precarious. Antigua and Barbuda together consist of less than 300 square miles of land, and the nation had a population of 68,722 in July 2005. A troubling report from the International Monetary Fund in 2004 documented the nation's difficulties: debt was 137% of GDP, and salaries of government workersabout 37% of the total work forcewere eating up 60% of public revenue.

The International Monetary Fund noted in early 2006, however, that the government had introduced significant economic reforms, many of which have been designed to curb public sector corruption and to overhaul the country's tax system. The international lending authority is generally quite optimistic about Antigua and Barbuda's future.

The economy is primarily service-based. Tourism, financial services and government services are Antigua and Barbuda's major employers. Tourism accounts for more than half of the nation's GDP. What agricultural production remains is directed primarily to the domestic market. Farming faces water and labor shortages, as the lure of higher wages draws more people to tourism and construction. Tourism has helped stimulate the construction industry in recent years, leading to the development of enclave-type assembly plants where bedding, handicrafts, and electronics components are assembled for export.

GDP for Antigua and Barbuda was $815.2 million in 2004. In 2004, agriculture accounted for 3.2% of GDP and employed 11% of the labor force, while services, including tourism accounted for 76.8%. Antigua and Barbuda's small assembly plants made up the remaining 19.2% of GDP. The GDP growth rate fell to 3.5% in 2000, and hovered as of 2002 at about 3%, as the islands felt the effects of a worldwide slowdown in tourism. However, with the recovery of tourism, GDP rose to 5.2% in 2004. Although GDP growth slowed to 3% in 2005, the IMF anticipated that a rebound in tourism and construction activity associated with the 2007 Cricket World Cup would help stimulate Antigua and Barbuda's economy.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Antigua and Barbuda's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $750.0 million. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $11,000. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 3%. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 0.4%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 3.9% of GDP, industry 19.2%, and services 76.8%.

In 2001 approximately 36% of household consumption was spent on food, 8% on fuel, 3% on health care, and 18% on education. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings.

LABOR

The total labor force in 2002 was estimated at 30,000. About 82% of the employed labor force worked in occupations connected with tourism or other services; 7% in industry, and 11% in agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing. The unemployment rate was estimated at 11% in 2001.

Around 75% of the workforce is unionized. Workers have a recognized right to strike unless either party in a dispute requests mediation. Employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination are routinely ordered to make compensation payments to an affected worker, although the employer will not be required to rehire the worker.

The law provides for a maximum 48-hour workweek, but most people work 40 hours on the average. In 2002, the minimum wage averaged us$2.22 per hour, but generally wages are paid according to experience and skill level. The vast majority of employed persons earned substantially more than the minimum. There is a minimum working age of 16, which is entirely enforced by the Labor Ministry. In addition, those under the age of 18 are prohibited from working later than 10 pm and must have a medical clearance. All forms of compulsory or forced labor (including slavery) are forbidden. Although specific regulations and laws regarding occupational health and safety have yet to be promulgated by the government, workers can leave a workplace deemed to be dangerous, without facing jeopardy to their jobs.

AGRICULTURE

Some 30% of land on Antigua is under crops or potentially arable, with 18% in use. Sea-island cotton is a profitable export crop. A modest amount of sugar is harvested each year, and there are plans for production of ethanol from sugarcane. Vegetables, including beans, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, plantains, squash, tomatoes, and yams, are grown mostly on small family plots for local markets. Over the past 40 years, agriculture's contribution to the GDP has fallen from over 404%. The decline in the sugar industry left 60% of the country's 66,000 acres under government control, and the Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging self-sufficiency in certain foods in order to curtail the need to import food, which accounts for up to 25% by value of all imports. Crops suffer from droughts and insect pests, and cotton and sugar plantings suffer from soil depletion and the unwillingness of the population to work in the fields. Mango production in 2004 was 1,430 tons.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Livestock estimates in 2004 counted 14,300 head of cattle, 19,000 sheep, and 36,000 goats; there were some 5,700 hogs in the same year. Most livestock is owned by individual households. Milk production in 2004 was an estimated 5,350 tons. The government has sought to increase grazing space and to improve stock, breeding Nelthropp cattle and Black Belly sheep. There is a growing poultry industry. In 1992, the European Development Bank provided us$5 million to the government to help develop the livestock industry.

FISHING

Most fishing is for local consumption, although there is a growing export of the lobster catch to the United States and of some fish to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Antiguans consume more fish per capita (46 kg/101.4 lb) per year live weight than any other nation or territory in the Caribbean. The main fishing waters are near shore or between Antigua and Barbuda. There are shrimp and lobster farms operating, and the Smithsonian Institution has a Caribbean king crab farming facility for the local market. The government has encouraged modern fishing methods and supported mechanization and the building of new boats. Fish landings in 2003 were 2,587 tons; the lobster catch, 243 tons. Exports of fish commodities in 2003 were valued at us$1.4 million.

FORESTRY

About 11% of the land is forested, mainly by plantings of red cedar, mahogany, white cedar, and acacia. A reforestation program was begun in 1963, linked with efforts to improve soil and water conservation.

MINING

Few of the islands' mineral resources, which included limestone, building stone, clay, and barite, were exploited until recently. Limestone and volcanic stone have been extracted from Antigua for local construction purposes, and the manufacture of bricks and tiles from local clay has begun on a small scale. Barbuda produced a small amount of salt, while phosphate has been collected from Redonda.

ENERGY AND POWER

Electric power produced in 2002 totaled 0.099 billion kWh, all from fossil fuels, and based on a capacity of 27,000 kW. Consumption of electricity was 0.092 billion kWh. The Antigua Public Utilities Authority, run by the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, operates generating stations at Cassada Gardens and Crabbes Peninsula. Gas is now produced and refined locally. Offshore oil exploration took place during the early 1980s.

As part of the government's energy conservation program, incentives are offered for the manufacture and use of solar-energy units, and there are import surcharges on automobiles with engine capacities exceeding 2,000 cc. Under study as alternatives to fossil fuels are wind power, surplus bagasse from the sugar refinery, and fast-growing tree species. Imports of refined petroleum products in 1994 surpassed 3,000 barrels per day, mostly in the form of jet fuel, distillates, and gasoline.

INDUSTRY

Most of the industrial activity in Antigua and Barbuda is assembly-based, although the islands also produce rum, refined petroleum, and paints. Other items, such as furniture, handicrafts, and electrical components, are primarily for export. The government encourages investment in manufacturing establishments, and most industries have some government participation.

Industry accounted for 19.2% of GDP in 2002. Manufacturingwhich accounts for approximately 5% of GDPcomprises enclave-type assembly for export with major products being bedding, handicrafts, and electronic components. The industrial park, located in the Coolidge Area, produces a range of products such as paints, furniture, garments, and galvanized sheets, also mainly for export.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Technological services for the fishing industry, such as the introduction of depth finders and hydraulic gear, are provided by the government. An extramural department of the University of the West Indies offers technical courses, as does Antigua State College. The University of Health Sciences at St. John's, founded in 1982, has a school of medicine.

DOMESTIC TRADE

The economy in Antigua and Barbuda is primarily service based with a focus on tourism. General business is usually conducted from 8:30 am to 4 pm, MondaySaturday, except for Thursday afternoon, when many shops close. Banks are open from 8 am to noon five days a week, and on Friday additionally from 3 to 5 pm. St. John's is the main commercial center with many small shops and a few larger supermarkets. Fresh seafood and produce are sold in Saturday morning markets.

FOREIGN TRADE

Antigua and Barbuda are part of the US Caribbean Basin Initiative that grants duty-free entry into the United States for many goods. Antigua and Barbuda also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. However, with tourism as its primary industry, trading relationships between Antigua and Barbuda and other nations are relatively small. The islands import considerably more items than they export. Imports, for instance, totaled $369 million in 2004 compared with $20 million for exports. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Antigua and Barbuda's exports would grow by 7.7% and imports would increase by 3.3% in 2005.

Most of what the country exports goes to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (24%), the United States (10%), Barbados (21%), and Trinidad and Tobago (7%). Imports include food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, and oil. Major providers are the United States (27%), the United Kingdom (10%), and the OECS (1%).

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

Foreign investment in tourism-related construction has helped to compensate for the trade imbalance that Antigua and Barbuda face. However, the dependence on imports is of concern to many experts on Antigua and Barbuda's economy, and the country has begun to take steps to increase its level of exports. The IMF projected that 2005 exports will increase by 7.7% while imports will rise more slowly to 3.6%.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that in 2004 the purchasing power parity of Antigua and Barbuda's exports was $214 million. Imports accounted for $735 million.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

There were eight commercial banks in 1994, five of which were foreign, including the Bank of Antigua and the Stanford International Bank. The Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank, wholly owned by the government, began operations in 1975. Currency is issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The financial industry suffered in Antigua and Barbuda in 1999, due to fears of money laundering by drug cartels. The government passed the Money Laundering Prevention Amendment in order to protect foreign investment in the sector.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $125.8 million. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $577.6 million.

INSURANCE

There are several life insurance companies on the islands.

PUBLIC FINANCE

Since the abolition of the income tax on residents, government revenues have been derived mainly from indirect taxes, principally customs and excise duties and consumption taxes. A major source of revenue is the US's military bases.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2000 Antigua and Barbuda's central government took in revenues of approximately $123.7 million and had expenditures of $145.9

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 15.0 356.0 -341.0
United States 3.2 176.1 -172.9
Montserrat 2.0 2.0
Saint Kitts and Nevis 1.7 1.7
France-Monaco 1.1 3.3 -2.2
United Kingdom 1.1 22.3 -21.2
Dominica 1.0 3.5 -2.5
Jamaica 0.9 2.7 -1.8
Trinidad and Tobago 0.8 21.4 -20.6
Saint Lucia 0.8 2.2 -1.4
Barbados 0.5 6.7 -6.2
() data not available or not significant.
Current Account -102.6
   Balance on goods -290.8
     Imports -335.6
     Exports 44.8
   Balance on services 217.2
   Balance on income -34.5
   Current transfers 5.6
Capital Account 13.9
Financial Account 84.6
   Direct investment abroad
   Direct investment in Antigua and Barbuda 47.7
   Portfolio investment assets -2.9
   Portfolio investment liabilities 0.7
   Financial derivatives
   Other investment assets -10.8
   Other investment liabilities 49.9
Net Errors and Omissions 11.7
Reserves and Related Items -7.7
() data not available or not significant.

million. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately - $22.2 million. Total external debt was $231 million.

TAXATION

The profits tax for corporations in 2003 was 40%. Incorporated businesses are taxed at 2% of gross income with the first $4,160 of income per month tax-exempt. The income tax, introduced in 1924, was abolished for residents at the end of 1976. Taxes on residential property are based on current replacement values, and in 2003 were subject to surcharges of 020% depending on zoning regulations. Hotels are taxed at preferential rate of 0.2% of taxable value while other commercial property is taxed at 0.75% of taxable value. Other taxes include taxes on life and general insurance premiums, and on property transfers.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

Antigua and Barbuda adheres to the common external tariff schedule of CARICOM; rates (which range up to 35%) are generally ad valorem, based on the cost, insurance, and freight value, and a wide range of goods is permitted duty-free entry. Additional special rates are applied for tobacco, cement, petroleum products, vans and trucks, and certain types of timber.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

The government's efforts to improve the investment climate have met with some success. Antigua and Barbuda offer tax holiday periods of 10 to 15 years, and rebates of 2550% to export-oriented industries. The country also allows imports of machinery, equipment, spare parts, and raw materials duty free to companies who meet government requirements. The offshore financial sector has grown aggressively, offering tax-haven facilities to international business companies, trusts, banks, and insurance companies. In addition, the country has no capital gains or personal income tax. In addition to local tax and duty concessions, manufacturers have access to the United States, European, Canadian, and Caribbean markets through the Lomé Convention, Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), CARICOM, and other agreements.

In 1997 and 1998, the reported inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) was $22.9 million and $27.4 million respectively. Increases in 1999 and 2000 to $36.5 million and $33.2 million reflected growth in the islands' technology sector when the Internet gaming company Starnet Communications International moved its headquarters to St. John's. Internet gaming is treated like a financial institution under the law. FDI increased steadily, rising to $106 million in 2004.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Because of its reliance on tourism, Antigua and Barbuda's prospects for economic growth will depend on the economic fortunes of the industrialized world, particularly the EU and United States. However, the hurricanes and global slowdown in tourism following the 11 September 2001 attacks have prompted Antigua and Barbuda to begin diversifying the economy in recent years. The island-nation encourages growth in transportation, communications, Internet gambling, and financial services.

Antigua has the largest tourist sector in the Leeward and Windward Islands. Frequent cruise ship arrivals at the St. John's Harbour and the Deep Water Harbour play a major part in boosting tourism.

There has been a substantial decrease in agriculture's contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP), falling from 40% to just slight more than 3% since the 1960s. However, the Ministry of Agriculture has been implementing policies to encourage farmers to increase output in an effort to decrease imports of agricultural products. The trade imbalance severely endangers the Antiguan and Barbadian economy in the event of decreased tourism revenues.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Social insurance was implemented in 1972, with a social assistance system enacted in 1993. All employees and self-employed between the ages of 16 and 59 are covered, with a few minor exceptions. The program is funded by contributions from employees and employers. It provides old age, disability, and survivor benefits. The cost of a medical insurance scheme that includes maternity benefits is shared equally between employers and employees. Workers' medical services are provided directly through public health facilities.

Although there are no legal restrictions on women's roles in society, traditional expectations tend to limit their activities outside the home, especially in rural areas. Women are well represented in public service, accounting for more than half of the work force. Domestic violence against women is a serious problem, but the legal system is often lenient when addressing this issue. Police are reluctant to intervene, and many abused women refuse to testify for fear of retaliation. Nongovernmental organizations were increasingly advocating women's rights and providing support to abused women. Child abuse also appeared to be prevalent.

Human rights are generally respected by the government, although prison conditions are poor.

HEALTH

Four institutions are maintained for the care of the sick and aged. Holberton Hospital, with 135 beds, is the only public acute care facility. The only private hospital is Adelin Medical Center. Other facilities include the Fiennes Institute for the aged, with 100 beds, and the Mental Hospital, with 150 beds. In addition, 9 health centers and 18 dispensaries are located throughout the country. As of 2004, there were an estimated 17 physicians, 328 nurses, and 18 dentists per 100,000 people.

The infant mortality rate in 2005 was estimated at 22 per 1,000 live births, up from 12 in 1998. The average life expectancy was 71.9 years in 2005. As of 1995, 100% of the population was immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus and 94% against measles, mumps, and rubella. The leading causes of death included cancer, cardiovascular disease, and trauma.

By the end of 2003, 271 cases of HIV/AIDS had been reported. As of that year, the annual incidence of AIDS was 209 per million people. The government approved a national policy on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in 1997.

HOUSING

The housing stock in Antigua and Barbuda is continually threatened by natural disasters, particularly by severe hurricanes which seem to hit the country every three to five years. The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) advises on suitable sites, rehabilitates houses in the event of disaster, develops new housing tracts, and redevelops blighted areas. In March 2003, the government announced that plans were in place for CHAPA to build a number of affordable housing developments on private lands and to institute a Housing Improvement Mortgage program to make it easier for citizens to purchase these homes. At least six housing developments are planned as part of a three-year program to meet increased demand for housing. Most of these planned homes are single family dwellings with two or three bedrooms.

EDUCATION

Education for children between the ages of 5 and 16 years is compulsory. Primary education begins at the age of five years and normally lasts for seven years. Secondary education lasts for five years, with three years of lower secondary, followed by two years of upper secondary. In 2001, there were about 13,000 students enrolled at the primary schools and 5,000 students at the secondary schools. About 1,000 secondary school age students were enrolled in vocational programs. As of 2000 the primary pupil-teacher ratio was an estimated 19 to 1; the ratio for secondary school was about 13:1. The government administers the majority of the schools. In 2003, estimated spending on education was about 3.8% of the GDP. In 2000, about 38% of primary school students were enrolled in private schools.

There currently are three colleges. The University of Health Sciences, Antigua, was founded in 1982. It had, in the 1990s, an enrollment of 46 students and 16 teachers. The University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies (Antigua and Barbuda) was founded in 1949 and offers adult education courses, secretarial skills training programs, summer courses for children, and special programs for women. In 1972, the technical and teacher's training colleges merged and formed the Antigua State College.

The University of the West Indies has campuses in Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica, and it maintains extramural departments in several other islands, including Antigua. Those interested in higher education also enroll at schools in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe and Canada. The adult literacy rate is approximately 89%.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The largest library is the Antigua Public Library located in St. John's with 50,000 volumes. The library at the University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies on St. John's has 10,000 volumes. The American University of Antigua College of Medicine has been establishing a fairly good sized library, primarily for use by the students and faculty. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is at St. John's, as is Betty's Hope, a historic sugar plantation. A Dockyard Museum is housed in the Naval Officer's House at English Harbor.

MEDIA

The islands' automatic telephone system, operated by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority, had approximately 38,000 mainline telephones in 2002. The same year, there were about 38,200 mobile phones in use. International telephone and telex services are supplied by Cable and Wireless (West Indies), Ltd.

In 2001, the first independent radio station, Observer, began operations. This station is operated by the owners of the Observer newspaper. In 2005, there were six main radio broadcast stations. ABS Radio is run by Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service, Crusader Radio is owned by the United Progressive Party, and Caribbean Radio Lighthouse is operated by the Baptist church. The only television station, ABS Television, is operated by the government. In 1997 there were about 36,000 radios and 31,000 television sets in use throughout the country. In 2003, there were about 1,665 Internet hosts within the country serving about 10,000 users.

The Workers' Voice, the official publication of the ALP and the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, appears weekly and has a circulation of 6,000 as of 2002. The Outlet, published weekly by the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, has a circulation of 5,000. The Nation, with a circulation of about 1,500, is published by the government and appears weekly.

The constitution ensures the freedom of expression and press, and the authorities are said to generally respect these rights in practice. However, the government dominates all electronic media, thereby restricting to some degree opposing political expression and news.

ORGANIZATIONS

Four employers' organizations represent workers' interests in Antigua and Barbuda. The Antigua Chamber of Commerce has its headquarters in St. John's. The Antigua Cotton Growers Association was founded in 1985.

Many missionary, charity, and family health organizations have operations on the islands, including Planned Parenthood, the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, the Inter-American Foundation, the American Bible Society, and the People-to-People Health Foundation. There is a chapter of Lions Clubs International. The Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities was founded in 1995.

Youth organizations include the Girls Brigade, Red Cross Youth, Young Women's Christian Association, Girl Guides, Young Men's Christian Association, and Youth for Christ. There are also a few national sports organizations, such as the Athletic Association of Antigua and Barbuda and the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association.

There are national chapters of the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and UNICEF.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Tourism is the main source of revenue in Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua's plethora of beachessaid to number as many as 365and its charter yachting and deep-sea fishing facilities have created the largest tourist industry in the Windward and Leeward Islands. The international regatta and Summer Carnival are popular annual events. Cricket is the national pastime; local matches are played Thursday afternoons, Saturdays, and Sundays. All visitors, except nationals of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, must have a valid passport to enter Antigua and Barbuda.

A wide range of hotels and restaurants served approximately 232,000 tourists in 1999. Receipts from tourism climbed to us$290 million that year.

In 2005, the US Department of State estimated the daily expenses in Antigua and Barbuda at us$222.

FAMOUS ANTIGUANS AND BARBUDANS

The first successful colonizer of Antigua was Sir Thomas Warner (d.1649). Vere Cornwall Bird, Sr. (191099) was prime minister from 198194. (Isaac) Vivian Alexander ("Viv") Richards (b.1952) is a famous cricketer. Jamaica Kincaid (b.1949), author of Autobiography of My Mother (1996), was born Elaine Potter Richardson; she changed her name when she moved to the United States.

DEPENDENCIES

Antigua and Barbuda has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Berleant-Schiller, Riva. Antigua and Barbuda. Oxford: Clio, 1995.

Calvert, Peter. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Latin America. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2004.

Coram, Robert. Caribbean Time Bomb: The United States' Complicity in the Corruption of Antigua. New York: Morrow, 1993.

Davis, Dave D. Jolly Beach and the Preceramic Occupation of Antigua, West Indies. New Haven, Conn.: Dept. of Anthropology, Yale University, 2000.

Etherington, Melanie. The Antigua and Barbuda Companion. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Interlink Books, 2003.

Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.

Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2000.

Philpott, Don. Antigua and Barbuda. Ashbourne, Eng.: Landmark, 2000.

Simmons, Diane. Jamaica Kincaid. New York: Twayne, 1994.

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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Major City:
St. John's

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report for Antigua and Barbuda. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

ANTIGUA (pronounced An-tee-ga) is a three-island nation located about 1,200 miles southeast of Miami. The country consists of the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, and the uninhabited island of Redonda. Each of these islands is unique. Antigua's topography is varied. In the north and west, the gently undulating terrain consists of limestone, marls, and sandstone. In the south and east, the land is of volcanic origin, with high ridges and forests common to many other Caribbean islands. Thirty-two miles to the north, Barbuda is a 62-square mile flat island composed of limestone, ancient coral reefs, and sand. It has a 14-mile long beach. Twenty miles west lies Redonda, a solitary volcanic cone jutting directly out of the sea to a height of over 1,000 feet. Steep cliffs surround the area of less than one-half square mile.

Among Antigua's attractions are 365 beautiful white sand beaches. Tourists arrive by cruise ship, yachts, and airliners to relax in the sea, sun, and surf, or enjoy all kinds of water sports. In the off-season, it is possible to find many uninhabited beaches. History buffs will find Antigua rich in human events, agriculture, and strategic importance.

MAJOR CITY

St. John's

St. John's, with a population of 24,000 (2000 estimate) is the capital of Antigua and Barbuda. It is situated on Deep Water Harbor, where as many as five Caribbean cruise ships dock for the day, adding hundreds of tourists to the daily activity. From this protected location nearly all commerce occurs; from the quaint fish market to the modern mini-mall, people come to trade and transact business. In daytime, people scurry about in the narrow streets, taking time to greet friends along the way. On cool evenings, people stroll leisurely in the refreshing sea breeze.

Clothing

Antiguans dress in moderation and are conditioned to tropical living. As a result, it is common for men to work in blue jeans and long sleeve shirts, and women in synthetic fabric dresses. It is acceptable for tourists to wear shorts. However, American women living in Antigua find dresses or slacks more appropriate. North Americans who are not accustomed to living in tropical climates should bring lightweight clothing. Cotton or cotton-blend garments are the most comfortable. Antigua has a few fine-quality clothing stores, but clothing is expensive. Expatriates should bring an ample supply of shoes as local varieties are not well made and sizes are different from U.S. standards. In the heat and humidity, shoes one-half size larger are more comfortable.

Clothing and accessories suitable for men include wash-and-wear business suits, sport jackets, shirts worn with or without ties, sport shirts, and slacks. Shirt jacs or a guayabera, and slacks are popular. Working attire for women is usually a modest suit, a cotton dress, or a blouse and skirt. Stockings are not normally worn. Hats are not normally worn except occasionally to church or at a sunny beach. Antiguan women are fashion conscious and like to dress for cocktail and dinner parties. Nights are occasionally cool, so a lightweight cotton sweater or shawl is useful. For children, normal U.S. summer wear is suitable, with lightweight jackets or cardigans for cool evenings. All schools, including preschool, require uniforms. Girls wear simple one-piece dresses, or skirts and blouses. Boys wear slacks and shirts. In secondary schools, a tie completes the dress code. Uniforms are made and sold locally.

Supplies & Services

In general, it is possible to buy most anything in Antigua. However, prices are often highly inflated. Stocks are often small and selections are poor compared to the U.S. American expatriates often order most items via catalogs. St. John's offers an interesting variety of stores and boutiques. Specialties include straw goods, pottery, batik and silk-screened fabrics and jewelry incorporating semiprecious Antiguan stones. China, crystal, watches and perfumes are obtainable at duty-free prices. Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay are the two main shopping areas in St. John's. Many expatriates also making shopping trips to St. Martin's or Puerto Rico.

The number of establishments offering basic services is limited. Dry-cleaning services are poor. Many people restrict the need for drycleaning because of the expense, and availability of cotton and synthetic substitutes. Shoe and leather repair service is good, and some crafters do custom work. Barbershops are adequate and charge reasonable prices. A wide range of hair care services are available, including permanents, tints, and stylings. Many hairdressers are expatriates. Dressmakers vary in skill, but some can take a length of fabric and fashion anything from sundresses to formal wear. Some repair work is good, but the standard of most is uneven, particularly if unsupervised. Progress is often slow and further hampered by periodic unavailability of materials and electrical failures. Repair work on cars, electronic equipment, and household appliances varies in quality, because of the lack of expertise and unfamiliarity with certain electronic devices.

Food

St. John's has four supermarkets, several well-stocked minimarkets, and numerous small stores. Many canned and packaged goods are U.S. name brands, the rest are from Europe or nearby islands. Imported dairy products are safe; local products are not. Most eggs are imported. Cattle, hogs, and chickens are raised and processed locally. All are safe to eat if cooked properly. Cuts vary widely from those in U.S. meat markets. Beware of frozen packaged meats in smaller stores; power failures are frequent and meat lockers may not have generator backup. Local bakeries make fresh breads and pastries. Packaged cereals may not be fresh, and grain products are subject to bug infestations.

Fresh seafood is always available at the Saturday morning market; for other times, it is wise to establish contact with a local fisherman. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also sold at the Saturday market and stores. Most are imported, since the economy does not have an agricultural base. Most stores sell wines, hard liquor, and brand name soft drinks. Diet foods and products are rarely available.

A local cuisine specialty is roti. It is an unleavened bread shell folded in half and filled with a curry gravy, vegetables, and a meat. Roti made from conch meat is considered a delicacy. Barbudan lobsters are excellent. Cockles are an island favorite, especially around Whit's Day. Numerous downtown restaurants cater to the professional community. Antigua has a U.S.-based fast-food chicken restaurant.

For dining out, it is possible to choose from a variety of hotel restaurants, offering everything from smorgasbords to full course meals. Most specialties are "the catch of the day" seafoods. Also, ethnic restaurants featuring Italian, French, Chinese, British, and American cuisine exist. Dress is casual at restaurants, but hotels are slightly more formal. Hotels that cater to tourists may inflate some prices.

Domestic Help

Domestics are available for laundry and household chores. Some families with large gardens may also hire a part-time gardener. Reliable employees can usually be found through friends. However, it is best to hire on a temporary basis at first and set out the terms of employment.

Wages are governed by law; minimum wage is generally EC $20 a day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., five days a week. Workers have one paid holiday a month. Domestic help is entitled to all local holidays, and a Christmas bonus is suggested. All workers over 18 years of age must register. Employers pay social security and medical insurance that is accumulated by a deduction of 5.5% from employee wages and an employer contribution of 7.5%. Employers provide either transportation or bus fares.

Education

The children of American expatriates attend local schools. Schooling is adequate through high school. However, American history and geography are not taught. Many parents select private schools as they are perceived to have a higher quality of education. Schools in St. John's follow the British educational system and are in session from September until the last week in June. Instruction is in English. Teachers and teaching assistants may be hired locally or recruited from neighboring islands or the expatriate community. All schools have open play areas and all-purpose playing fields; however, they do not have closed auditoriums. Some extracurricular activities are available such as scouting, cricket, basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

Schools in Antigua cannot support special educational requirements. Children with learning disabilities, or physical, behavioral, or emotional handicaps should be placed in U.S. schools.

Recreation

As in most Caribbean countries, cricket is Antigua's national sport. Soccer (locally called football) and basketball are played in the off-season. A local board game, called warri, is played on a board with hollowed pockets. Two opponents move warri beans about, seeking to capture the opponents' beans. Warri is popular with cabbies and bus drivers awaiting fares.

Antigua has two golf courses open for year-round play. Cedar Valley Golf Club has an 18-hole championship course. This challenging course has narrow fairways, deep roughs, and hilly terrain. Clubs and accessories are available at the recreation building. Half Moon Bay Hotel, located on the opposite side of the island, has a 9-hole course more hospitable to casual players. Equipment can be rented.

All water sport activities abound. It is possible to rent sailboats, both large and small. Powerboating is used mainly for fishing, but in some places, powerboats are used for parasailing, water skiing, and sightseeing. Small craft and inexperienced pilots should not operate in the open Atlantic. Coral reefs and shoals encircle Antigua, and novices must learn to identify and navigate these hazards. Antigua's clear waters offer abundant marine flora and fauna.

St. John's offers many sight-seeing opportunities. St. John's has an old fort that can be readily explored. Fort James, built in 1703, guarded the entrance to St. John's Harbor. Many of the original buildings no longer exist, but some buildings that remain date back to 1749. The fort still has ten cannons. Each weigh about two and one half tons and can propel a cannonball one and one half miles. Another tourist attraction is St. John's Cathedral. Built in 1722, the cathedral's interior is encased in wood to protect it from hurricane and earthquake damage.

In addition to sights in St. John's, there are points of interest throughout the island. Nelson's Dockyard, built in 1784 as the headquarters of Admiral Horatio Nelson, is situated in one of the safest landlocked harbors in the world. Today, the Dockyard has been restored to its original state and houses a museum that is very popular among visitors. Indian Town, one of Antigua's national parks, features Devil's Bridge, carved out by the forces of the Atlantic Ocean. Clarence House, the Governor's residence, is open to the public when the Governor is absent. The house was once the home of the "Sailor King," William IV, when he was Duke of Clarence.

Many old sugarcane mills are familiar landmarks throughout the island. Betty's Hope is one of the oldest plantation sites in Antigua, dating back to 1655. It was Antigua's foremost sugar plantations for large-scale sugar cultivation and innovative processing methods. The Sugar Factory had twin stone windmill towers, a laborers' village, and an extensive water catchment system. Most buildings are in ruins, but restoration plans are underway.

Antigua hosts several international events. In late July, Antigua hosts a ten-day Carnival. Visitors come from all over the world. It is a time when people celebrate the people's emancipation and freedom from subjugation. During "J'Ouvert," a Carnival highlight, everyone comes together jumping and jamming to the pulsing, rhythmic sounds of steel pan and brass bands. Carnival Monday is a riot of color. The elaborate costumes are combinations of sequins, feathers, beads, and glitter, often towering ten to fifteen feet in the air. Each represents countless hours of painstaking work to design and create.

Antiguan Sailing Week has evolved into one of the world's top sailing regattas. It attracts many spectators to watch the excitement of the races and to join in the parties that follow. Sailing Week, which begins the last week in April and continues during the first week in May, is a blend of international, regional, and local yachts. Many colorful sails catch the wind as yachts jostle to pass each other on the sea. Races are organized into different categories.

Entertainment

St. John's has limited forms of entertainment. One popular discotheque occasionally offers performances by regionally well-known groups. Apart from this, nightlife is confining. The one movie theater, in the shopping district, offers a mix of martial arts movies, "B" movies, and an occasional recently released film. Video clubs are coming to Antigua, but prices are high.

Many hotels offer live entertainment on particular nights. Steel drums and reggae bands, along with other musical groups, are featured. Casino gambling is popular; however, odds heavily favor the house.

Among expatriates, cocktail parties, small suppers, or dining out are common ways to entertain. Community fund-raising events are held throughout the year. The American Women's Club coordinates philanthropic and community activities. Most people find the life-style on Antigua limiting and feel a periodic need to leave the island. Many expatriates also enjoy golf, bridge, and special hobbies.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Antigua is roughly oval in shape, 10 miles by 12 miles, with a land area of 108 square miles. Although Antigua is volcanic in origin, it also has extensive limestone geology. Various coral reefs surround the island. Antigua's shores are washed by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Caribbean Sea on the west. This makes Antigua unique and diverse in both terrestrial and marine flora and fauna. Boggy Peak, at 1,330 feet, is the highest prominent landmark. Barbuda, which is not commercialized or overly developed, promises a nearly unspoiled fishing, snorkeling, and scuba-diving paradise. Most of the 1,500 Barbudans live in the town of Codrington.

Antigua's climate is heavily influenced by the easterly trade winds and sea currents that are present all year. Drier than most other Caribbean islands, Antigua and Barbuda's climate is tropical, with low humidity and an average rainfall of 42 inches. Most homes in Antigua have cisterns, and the island has numerous ponds, reservoirs, and catchment systems to store rain water, which until recently was the only natural fresh-water source on the island. During the cool season, December-February, night temperatures range from 60°F to 65°F. Average daytime temperatures are 76°F, December-April, and 85 ° F in August and September.

Although the official hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30, August and September are the two most active months. At this time, tropical storms form in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and spend days building their wind velocities as they approach the Caribbean. On September 16, 1989, Hurricane Hugo passed within 40 miles south of Antigua, causing extensive damage to the entire island. Historically speaking, the threat of a major hurricane hitting Antigua is small; the last direct strike was in 1952.

Population

The people of Antigua and Barbuda are almost exclusively of black African origin. Antiguans and Barbudans are largely descendants of African slaves who were transported from West Africa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Several minorities are also represented. These persons are the descendants of Lebanese and Syrian traders, British colonial settlers, and Portuguese laborers. Statistically, life expectancy is 68 years for males and 73 years for females (2001 estimates). The educational requirement is a compulsory 9 years, and the literacy rate is roughly 90%. Antigua and Barbuda has an estimated population of 64,500; 98% live on Antigua. Redonda is uninhabited.

History

The earliest known human-made artifacts have been carbon dated at least to 1775 B.C. These people have been named the "Siboney," the Stone People. Their society was that of nomadic food gatherers having no agriculture or permanent settlements.

About the time of Christ, an agricultural society made its way up the chain of islands from South America. They brought with them new plants such as peanut, pineapple, cotton, and tobacco plants.

Later, A.D. 1200-1300, two Amerindian societies with opposing lifestyles coexisted; the peaceful and pottery-making Arawaks, and the fierce and warlike Caribs. Arawaks came here for clay, a resource in short supply elsewhere and essential for making pottery. The Caribs are thought to have exploited another earth resource, flint, a hard mineral necessary in the making of arrowheads and spear points.

The first Western explorer believed to have discovered Antigua was Christopher Columbus. In his second voyage in 1493, Columbus was sailing from the south when he spotted Antigua on the horizon. It was at this time that he named Antigua after a sainted miracle worker, Santa Maria de Antigua, from Seville Cathedral, Spain. Columbus did not stop or set foot on Antigua, he continued northbound to Hispaniola, convinced that gold and spices existed there.

For the next 200-300 years, there was great imperial rivalry for control and possession of the Caribbean islands. The Spanish Armada, the Dutch and French fleets, and British Navy all had a military presence.

The English successfully colonized Antigua in 1632. Although the island was held briefly by the French in 1666, Antigua remained thereafter under British control.

Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674 and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for the plantation. Barbuda's only settlement is named for him. Sir Codrington and others brought slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantation. To exploit the land for sugar cane production, plantation owners cleared the forest and woods. Today, many Antiguans attribute frequent droughts to the island's early deforestation. Antigua's profitable sugar plantations were soon the envy of other European powers. To defend the island's growing wealth, the British built several large forts. The ruins of these forts are notable tourist attractions.

Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834, but they remained bound to their plantation owners. A lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing limited economic opportunities for the freed men. Poor labor conditions continued until 1939, when a member of a Royal Commission urged the formation of a trade union movement. The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird, who became the union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections, thus beginning a long history of electoral victories. In 1971, general elections swept the Progressive Labor Movement into power, but Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976. Prime Minister Bird's ALP government has led the country since, winning a renewed mandate in the 1989 general election.

Government

Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the British Commonwealth. As head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a Governor General, who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party of the House, and the Cabinet conducts affairs of state. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member popularly elected Upper House or Senate appointed by the Governor General (mainly on the advice of the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition) and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament, which has a normal term of five years.

Constitutional safeguards include freedoms of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Like its English-speaking neighbors, Antigua and Barbuda has an outstanding human rights record. Its judicial system is modeled on British practice and procedure, and its jurisprudence on English Common Law.

The flag of Antigua and Barbuda is 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 sun rising in the black band.

Arts, Science, Education

The longest established gallery is The Art Center at English Harbor. It only displays local art, but it has influenced the development of art in the Caribbean. The island's newest addition is the Seahorse Studio's Art Gallery. This studio was established in 1985 to provide graphics and layout services for local businesses. In addition to Caribbean art displays are unique gold and bronze marine crafts made in Antigua by "The Goldsmitty." The Island Arts Foundation has four galleries in Antigua, and six associate galleries throughout the islands. Island Arts offers the widest variety of Caribbean art anywhere in the region. It is a nonprofit company devoted to economic support of Caribbean-based artists. Coates College and The Art Gallery both feature local artists' exhibits year round. Harmony Hall of Jamaica has a branch studio on Antigua at Brown's Bay. Exhibitions change every three to four weeks, November to March. Aiton Place has art pieces at numerous fine hotels.

The Antigua Arts Society, a group of local and regional artists, actively provides direction and promotes growth in all art forms. The Society sponsors regional art fairs and showings.

Antigua has four museums. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has tours, book libraries, and computer libraries open to visitors and residents. It is also a research area for foreign students. The museum has direct links with several universities, such as Tulane, Brown, Northern Illinois, and Cambridge. Students can research in areas from geology and archeology to sociology and communications. A second museum, the Museum of Marine and Living Art, offers a stunning collection of seashells and relics salvaged from old shipwrecks.

The oldest museum in Antigua was established in 1953 at English Harbor. The Dockyard Museum is near the waterfront and deals with naval history. Antigua was Britain's major Caribbean naval base for much of the colonial period. The museum has large ship models on loan from the British National Maritime Museum.

The newest museum is on the road to Shirley Heights. This once was the largest fort, and its main function was to reinforce Antigua's defenses. It now houses the Military and Infantry Museum.

In Antigua, public education is free and compulsory for children ages five-16. The education system is modeled after British schools. Parents provide books and uniforms for the three local coeducational elementary schools. One is secular, a second is Roman Catholic, and a third is Lutheran. Tuition varies according to the school's funding.

Antigua has two Roman Catholic high schools, one for girls and one for boys. Both schools are highly regarded. Uniforms are required, and a demerit system governs discipline and conduct. Classes in history, geography, and literature are regional in nature.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has campuses in Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica, and maintains extramural departments in several other islands including Antigua. Antiguans interested in higher education enroll at UWI campuses, or schools in Britain, the United States, Europe, and Canada.

The Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation offers many interesting programs, free to the public. Spanish lessons are provided for adults at all conversational and grammatical levels. Sewing lessons are offered throughout the year. Occasionally, cooking, music, and art classes are also given.

Commerce and Industry

Sugar cultivation, long dominating Antigua and Barbuda's economy, was a major export until 1960, when prices fell dramatically and crippled the industry. By 1972, the industry was largely dismantled. The agricultural pattern in Antigua has shifted to a multiple cropping system. Though fruit and vegetable production predominates, the Antiguan government has encouraged investment in livestock, cotton, and export-oriented food crops.

Currently, the economy is based on services rather than manufacturing. Tourism is the economic backbone and main source of foreign exchange. Over 150,000 cruise ship visitors and 250,000 overnight visitors arrive each year.

In the private sector, domestic and foreign investments are encouraged. Private businesses benefit from a stable political environment, good transportation to and from the island, and a pleasant climate. Government policies also provide liberal tax holidays, duty-free import of equipment and materials, and subsidies for training local personnel. The country's reasonably sound infrastructure is an added incentive.

Nontraditional exports have grown in recent years. Foreign investors, lured by Antigua's good transportation connections to North America and Europe, have set up light manufacturing industries on the island, primarily in the finished textile and electronic component assembly sectors. Some of the newer industries produce durable household appliances, paints, furniture, mattresses, metal and iron products, and masonry products for the local market as well as for export.

Barbuda supports a tremendous diversity of unexploited native habitats, including a bird sanctuary. It is hoped that development will focus on preserving these natural attributes.

Redonda's economic importance lies in the past. In 1860, Redonda was worked for its valuable bird guano, and later for aluminum phosphate. At the outbreak of World War I, mining operations ceased. After the war, technological advances made during the war made further mining uneconomical. Today, the island's only inhabitants are the birds. Redonda's quarry works stand alone, mute testimony to a bygone day.

Transportation

Americans need private cars. Most Americans buy cars here, as right-hand drive vehicles are more appropriate for local driving. Japanese cars predominate locally; other Asian Pacific Rim cars make up the difference. There is a 100% duty rate for locally purchased or imported cars. U.S. Government employees are exempt from this tax. Landrovers are popular, especially for exploring the island or towing a boat. Many people consider air-conditioning indispensable, particularly in the rainy, hot season. Fuel-injected or sport cars are not recommended due to the inferior quality and low octane of imported gasoline.

Auto mechanics and repair shops service locally sold cars satisfactorily, but parts are generally unavailable for other imports. Expatriates should bring an ample supply of spare parts with them, including a dry-charged battery, fanbelts and hoses, a tune-up kit, fuel and water pumps, windshield wiper blades, oil, gasoline and air filters, headlights, indicator lamps, and an extra set of tires.

An Antiguan drivers license is required for all drivers. To obtain a license, present a valid U.S. drivers license to the local constabulary. A three-month temporary permit is issued and should be used until the permanent license is received. The U.S. drivers license is also returned.

Antiguan roads are not well maintained. Potholes are numerous, and roads are narrow and steep in hilly areas. Newcomers should exercise extreme care when driving in Antigua. The accident rate is very high because of poor road conditions, excessive speeding and passing by some residents, and because Americans are unfamiliar with driving on the left. Speed limit signs are infrequent and poorly observed or enforced. Taxis and buses frequently stop in the middle of the road for passengers. Road markings, such as center lines, are absent. In the city of St. John's, only a few streets are identified with signs. Rural roads do not have signs. Caution should be observed when driving in rural areas because livestock often wander aimlessly into traffic.

For those who do not have their own cars, taxis and rental cars are the main source of transportation. It is important to negotiate fares before getting into a cab because the cabs are not metered. Some comfortable, newer buses and minivans commute between St. John's and outlying communities. However, they are often overcrowded and driven recklessly. Several car rental firms offer mostly small Japanese models for rent by the day, week, or month. Rates are expensive.

Vere Cornwall Bird International Airport handles all international flights. Nonstop connections to Antigua from London, New York, Miami, Puerto Rico, Toronto, Frankfurt, Guadeloupe, Baltimore, and St. Maarten are available. Connections from several U.S. cities are routed through San Juan, Puerto Rico. Regularly scheduled air service is provided by British Airways, American Airlines, British West Indies Airways, Air Canada, and Continental Airlines. The regional airline, Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) provides service from Antigua and Barbuda to many locations within the Caribbean.

Communications

Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Hugo and is slowly repairing and upgrading its telephone equipment. Phones often stop working, and service is slow and unreliable. Long-distance, direct-dialing is available to most of the world.

The government-operated Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABBS) has one radio station and a television station. A privately owned radio station, Radio ZDK, broadcasts from St. John's. The format of Radio ZDK consists primarily of local news and features and sometimes includes prerecorded programs from U.S. satellite services. Antigua's one Christian broadcast radio station, Caribbean Radio Lighthouse, is affiliated with the Baptist Church. Many Americans enjoy listening to GEM-94, which broadcasts from the island of Montserrat. This satellite syndicated station features contemporary and oldies music.

Because it experiences little electromagnetic interference, Antigua is an ideal location for shortwave reception. Stations from around the world, including BBC Caribbean and Radio Deutsche Welle, can be received. The Voice of America also has a relay station on Antigua that broadcasts daily. Programming is mainly regional and world news, with some special music features and world reports aired on the weekends.

Antigua has three weekly publications that publish local and regional events but do not cover social and international events. Freedom of the press is guaranteed by law. The Nation and The Worker's Voice are government owned and abridged. The Outlet is privately owned and unabridged.

U.S. paperbacks and magazines are readily found. The Miami Herald and USA Today are available one day late. Bookshops, although small, sell a wide range of paperback novels, some reference books, and hardcovers at about twice U.S. prices. The small public library in St. John's has a good reference section. Library fees are reasonable.

Health

Antigua has some qualified doctors who were trained in the U.S. or Britain. However, specialists in pediatrics, surgery, ear, nose, and throat, cardiology, oncology, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, and more advanced internal medicine are limited. Emergency obstetrical care is not immediately available. Holberton Hospital is old and inadequate. Nursing care is limited.

Current community health requirements fall below U.S. standards. In St. John's, open gutters carry untreated waste. Sewage treatment is inadequate, and the limited public restroom facilities are unclean. The weekly garbage pickup is deposited into open dump sites.

In St. John's, water is treated and has been safe to drink. However, the distribution system is old, and broken water mains can lead to contamination. If this occurs, unpotable water must be boiled and filtered before use. Homes have cisterns as an alternative source.

Infectious hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and intestinal parasites are common. Tropical weather and high humidity are conducive to skin and fungal infections.

Frequent power outages can result in food spoilage. Therefore, exercise caution when purchasing frozen foods. Meats purchased in Antiguan markets should be thoroughly cooked. Some large predatory fish that feed from the reef environment food chains contain a neurotoxin, which can produce diarrhea, vomiting, muscle aches, numbness, tingling of the mouth and extremities, itching, and severe headaches. Neurological symptoms can last a few days or longer.

Although none of the following inoculations is required for entry, they are highly recommended. Visitors and expatriates should be inoculated against typhoid, polio, tetanus, and hepatitis. Children should be have measles, mumps, rubella, and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) shots, and an oral polio vaccine (OPV).

Although no special preparation of fruits and vegetables is required, visitors and expatriates should be aware of some toxic plants. The manchineel is a tropical American tree that has a poisonous fruit and a poisonous milky sap that causes skin blisters on contact. Three other common ornamental plants with a similar alkaline sap are the candelabra cactus, the frangipani bush, and the poinsettia. They too can cause skin redness and irritation.

Antigua and Barbuda do not have poisonous snakes since the introduction of the mongoose. However, there are scorpions, centipedes, and tarantulas. Their sting or bite is toxic and painful, and immediate care should be sought. The islands also have rodents and flying and crawling insects. Certain types of coral formations (the fire coral) can cause severe skin irritation, and spiny sea urchins can cause major foot infections if stepped on and left untreated. Visitors should also be aware that the stings of Portuguese man-of-war and the scorpion fish can be very painful and possibly deadly. Broken glass and sharp metal objects are often found at old ruins and abandoned sites. Caution should be exercised when exploring these areas.

Gradual exposure to the tropical sun's rays is the best protection against painful sunburn. Gradually increasing the length of exposure time each day will build up a protective tan. A hat should be worn between 11 am and 2 pm as the sun is most intense during this period. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or better should be worn.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan. 1 New Year's Day

Feb. 14 Valentine's Day

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Mar/Apr. Easter Monday*

May. Labor Day*

May. Queen's Official Birthday

June Whitsunday*

June Whitmonday*

Aug. Carnival*

Nov. 1 State Day

Dec. 25 Christmas Day

Dec. 26 Boxing Day

*variable

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Passage, Customs & Duties

A valid passport or certified birth certificate and picture identification, such as a driver's license, are required of U.S. citizens entering Antigua and Barbuda. A return ticket is sometimes requested. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying. There is no fee for entering the country, but there is a departure tax. U.S. citizens entering with documents other than U.S. passports should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. It can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel.

The possession, use, or sale of non-prescription controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc., is expressly forbidden. Bring prescriptions in their original containers with prescription labels attached.

Americans living in or visiting Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados. Travelers may contact the Embassy to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. The Embassy is located in the Canadian Imperial Band and Commerce (CIBC) Building on Broad Street, telephone (246) 436-4950, web site http://www.usembassy.state.gov/posts/bb1/wwwhemb1.html. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, telephone (246)431-0225 or fax (246)431-0179, web site http://www.usembassy.state.gov/posts/bb1/wwwhcons.html. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone (268)463-6531, fax (268)460-1569, or e-mail[email protected]. The Consular Agent's hours of operations are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays (please call for an appointment).

Pets

Only pets currently residing in Britain may be imported, accompanied by appropriate veterinary certificates, into Antigua and Barbuda. This rule offers no waivers or relaxations. Pets from the U.S. can be sent to Britain for six months' quarantine. This is, however, extremely costly. Mongrel dogs and cats abound in Antigua, and many strays need homes. Antigua has an American veterinarian. The most common endemic parasites treated are tapeworm, hookworm, and heartworm. Rabies is not present on the island.

Firearms & Ammunition

Prior approval by the Chargé d'Affaires is required to import weapons and ammunition. In addition to obtaining the prior approval of the Chargé, all authorized weapons must be registered and licensed by the Police Commissioner. Separate applications must be made for the licensing of each gun including air rifles and pellet guns. Licenses are issued for a twelve-month period.

Currency, Banking and Weights and Measures

The official currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean (XCD) dollar. All currency is graced with the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II. Paper bill denominations are in the amounts of 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollar notes. Coins are minted in 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, and 25-cent denominations and a EC$1 coin. The official exchange rate in May 2002 was 2.70XCD to $1 U.S.

Travelers checks and major credit cards are honored at many hotels, restaurants, and most businesses. Personal checks drawn on U.S. accounts are not generally accepted.

Antigua has no personal income taxes or general sales taxes. However, hotel and restaurant bills include a 7% government tax, and many restaurants also add a 10% gratuity.

The U.S. standards of measurement are the most widely observed in daily commerce. However, since virtually everything is imported, metric units are often used in food stores and appliance centers.

Disaster Preparedness

Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

RECOMMENDED READING

The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country: Ali, Arif. A Little Bit of Paradise,

Antigua and Barbuda. London: Hansib Publications, 1988.

Antigua & Barbuda. New York:Chelsea House, 1988.

Crewe, Quentin. Touch the Happy Isles. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Book Publishers, 1988.

Dyde, Brian. Antigua and Barbuda: The Heart of the Caribbean. London: MacMillan Caribbean, 1990.

Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. New York: New American Library, 1989.

Michener, James A. The Caribbean. New York: Random House, 1989.

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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

Antigua and Barbuda is located in the "Heart of the Caribbean" between the Greater and Lesser Antilles, about 402 kilometers (250 miles) east-southeast of Puerto Rico or 60 kilometers (37.5 miles) north of Guadeloupe. This territory consists of several islands, the largest being Antigua (281 square kilometers, or 108 square miles), Barbuda (161 square kilometers, or 62 square miles), and Redonda (1.6 square kilometers, or 0.5 square miles). The smaller islands include Guiana Island, Bird Island, and Long Island. The combined area of this multi-island state is 442 square kilometers (171 square miles) making the territory about 2 and a half times the size of Washington, D.C. Antigua's coastline measures 153 kilometers (95 miles). The country's capital, St. John's, is located on the northwestern coast of Antigua. The main towns include Parham and Liberta on Antigua, and Codrington on Barbuda.

POPULATION.

As of July 2000, the population of Antigua was estimated at 66,422, which means that the 1991 population of 63,896 increased by 3.95 percent. In 2000 the birth rate was reported as 19.6 births per 1,000 population while the death rate was 5.99 deaths per 1,000 population. In 2000, it was estimated that the population was growing at a rate of 0.73 percent per annum. The population is expected to reach 82,000 by 2010. Migration has been identified as the main reason for the relatively slow population growth. The net migration rate in 2000 averaged 6.32 migrants per 1,000 population.

The population density is 150 people per square kilometer (389 per square mile). As of 1999 about 37 percent of the population lived in the urban areas. About 91 percent of the population are of African descent. Other races found in relatively small numbers include Amerindian/Carib, East Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Lebanese, and Syrian.

Close to 67 percent of the country's population are in the age group 15-64. The population is young, with 28 percent of the population aged 0-14 years and only 5 percent aged 65 years and over. In the late 1980s, about one-fifth of all births were to mothers aged under 19 years. Hence, the government, with the aid of the UNFPA Peer Counselling and Youth Health Services Project, has been teaching teens the use of contraceptives, among other birth control techniques, in an effort to reduce teenage pregnancies.

There are about 3,000 residents of Montserrat living in Antigua and Barbuda. These persons are evacuees who fled the island because of the volcanic eruption in 1997.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

Sugar production dominated the economy of Antigua and Barbuda for centuries. Sugar declined in importance after World War II and by the early 1970s it was almost irrelevant to the economy. Thereafter, islanders have dabbled in a variety of agricultural activities, but with limited rainfall there was not much success. Tourism therefore emerged as the major economic activity and, except for the ravages of hurricanes, this sector has experienced steady growth.

The economy is based on an open and free enterprise system. Since the mid-1980s there has been an upsurge of huge trade deficits , however, which have led to arrears in payments to foreign investors, which in turn reduced foreign capital inflows. In the first half of the 1990s economic growth slowed sharply (from an average of 8 percent in 1984-89 to 2 percent in 1990-95), mainly because the large public investment in tourism-related projects started in the 1980s could not be sustained.

In the late 1990s the growing offshore financial sector came under scrutiny from some European countries. The sector was affected in 1999 when the United States and United Kingdom applied sanctions on the government in an effort to compel more stringent controls on money laundering . Yet Antigua and Barbuda was not named in 2000 among the so-called "non-co-operative tax havens " by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), a 29-nation grouping of some of the world's wealthiest nations.

As the 21st century opened, tourism continued to be the mainstay of the economy, accounting for over 40 percent of GDP. Recovery in the tourism sector has resulted from rehabilitation efforts and new marketing strategies. There have also been some recent attempts to strengthen the manufacturing sector.

Overall economic growth for 1998 was 3.9 percent, and expanded to about 4.6 percent in 1999. Inflation has been moderate, averaging 3 to 4 percent annually, since 1993. It is apparent that economic growth in the medium-term will be tied to income growth in the industrialized regions, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, where most tourists originate.

Antigua and Barbuda's external debt continues to grow, increasing from US$357 million in 1998 to US$433.7 million in 1999. The large debt has had a negative effect on the economy because these loans must be repaid in a short period at very high interest rates. Debt payment accounted for 21.52 percent of the country's 2000 budget. Economic aid averages around US$2 million annually.

While most firms in Antigua and Barbuda are locally owned, overseas companies own most of the hotels. Among the largest companies are Cable and Wireless Antigua Ltd., the state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), and the Antigua Brewery, which is 80 percent foreign-owned. The state-owned Central Marketing Authority regulates the importation and distribution of basic food items. There are a good number of reputable International Business Companies (IBCs) registered in Antigua, including international banks, trusts, insurance firms, and corporations.

To foster industrial development, the government has adopted a policy of providing local and foreign investors with incentives such as duty -free imports, tax holidays , and other exemptions. A recent government initiative is the establishment of a " Free Trade Zone ."

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy whose parliament is fashioned on the British Westminster system. The Bird family has governed the country for over 30 years. The Antigua Labour Party (ALP), first led by Vere C. Bird and then by his son Lester B. Bird, has won all but the 1971 elections since universal adult suffrage was granted in 1951. In the most recent general elections held in March 1999 the ALP captured 12 of the 17 seats, thereby increasing its majority by 1 seat. The other political parties in parliament are the United Progressive Party (UPP), led by Baldwin Spencer, with 4 seats, and the Barbuda People's Movement (BPM), led by Hilbourne Frank, with 1 seat. The other parties are the Barbuda National Party (BNP), the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), and the Barbuda Independence Movement (BIM). The next general election is due to take place by 2004.

The government appears committed to encouraging private-sector growth principally in tourism and the offshore sector. The offshore sector includes IBCs such as banks located in the host country that operate in foreign countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. IBCs opt to set up in these "tax havens" or "free zones" to benefit from the smaller rate of taxation charged there in comparison to the countries where many of their customers actually live. Moreover, the regulations governing IBCs' operation in the tax havens are often less restrictive than in the larger countries in which they also operate. The government has a policy of selling land for tourist and residential projects while it leases land for agricultural purposes.

Antigua and Barbuda has been rated as the least-taxed country in the Caribbean by a variety of regional and extra-regional financial institutions. Only 17 percent of the country's GNP comes from taxes, while other Caribbean countries get around 27 percent of their GNP from tax revenues on average. In 2000 the government introduced a new 2 percent tax on gross sales of EC$50,000 per year. This tax replaced a 25 percent business tax on profits. Some hotels had threatened to close while the commercial sector ceased importing goods from abroad, except for perishables, to cajole the government into rescinding the tax. However, the government has stood its ground. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has suggested to the government that it should introduce a value-added tax (VAT) as a step towards increasing tax revenues. There is no personal income tax in Antigua and Barbuda. While the government was reporting cash-flow problems as recently as January 2001, the prime minister has made it clear that his government will not resort to personal income tax to ease its financial problems.

The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) assists with surveillance on drug trafficking, and recently signed an agreement with the Canadian armed forces for assistance. The U.S. Air Force has a tracking station on Antigua.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Antigua has had an impressive road network since colonial times, mainly because of its relatively flat terrain. There are in excess of 250 kilometers (155 miles) of roads, about 25 percent of which can be classified as highway. Buses usually operate on a limited service, and taxis charge fixed rates. The number of motor cars continues to grow annually as the country has one of the highest per capita incomes in the anglophone (English-speaking) Caribbean. There are 77 kilometers (48 miles) of railroad tracks in the country, used almost exclusively for transporting sugar cane.

The island's lone international airport, V. C. Bird International, is located north-east of St. John's. It is serviced by several international airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada, Air France, and BWIA. Antigua also has an excellent seaport which accommodates containerized cargo with state-of-the-art

Communications
Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Antigua & Barbuda 28,000 (1996) 1,300 (1996) AM 4; FM 2; shortwave 0 36,000 2 31,000 16 8,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Jamaica 353,000 (1996) 54,640 (1996) AM 10; FM 13; shortwave 0 1.215 M 7 460,000 21 60,000
St. Lucia 37,000 1,600 AM 2; FM 7; shortwave 0 111,000 3 32,000 15 5,000
aData is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
bData is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
cData is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

equipment. Heritage Quay pier in St. John's was constructed solely to accommodate cruise ships.

Electricity is produced by the state-owned Antigua Public Utility Authority (APUA). In 1999 the company produced 90 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). All electricity is produced from oil as the island does not have hydro plants or any other type of generation plants.

Domestic telecommunications services are provided by the APUA while the British-based multi-national Cable and Wireless, through Cable and Wireless Antigua Ltd., provides international telecommunications services. In 1994 it was estimated that the country had about 20,000 telephone lines in use. International traffic is moved via a submarine fibre optic cable as well as an Intelsat earth station. Cable and Wireless, through its Carib-surf subsidiary, is the main Internet service provider with about 6,000 Internet subscribers. In January 2001, Antigua Computer Technology (ACT) was launched as the second Internet service provider with a start-up capacity to connect at least 1,000 subscribers. The country has 2 television broadcast stations and an estimated 31,000 television sets.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

The services sector, in particular tourism and offshore financial services, dominate the economy. Consequently, the economy is heavily dependent on visitor arrivals from the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, between January and September 2000 the pace of economic activity was much slower compared to the similar period for 1999, principally because of a decline in the number of visitors. However, it is expected that a marketing effort to be funded by the government and private sector will lead to an increase in stay-over arrivals from North America and Europe (particularly the United Kingdom) in 2001 and beyond. A major threat to tourism has been hurricane and storm damage from 1994 to 1999.

AGRICULTURE

The collapse of the sugar industry in the 1970s left the government in control of 60 percent of Antigua's 66,000 acres of sugar cane plantations. The main agricultural exports include cotton to Japan and fruit and vegetables to other Caribbean territories. Hot peppers and vegetables are exported to the United Kingdom and Canada. Other agriculture products are bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, livestock, and pineapples.

Agriculture accounts for a rather insignificant part of the economy, making up 4 percent in 1996 and falling to 3.6 percent in 1998. According to the Americas Review 1999, there were 2,000 persons employed in agriculture in 1999. However, it appears that cultivation is on the rise. In 1998 there were 279.8 acres of land planted with vegetables. In 1999 there were 340.1 acres under cultivation, 73.3 acres of which were planted with onions. In 1999 alone some 319,275 pounds of vegetables were produced. The government has received the assistance of the European Development Fund to develop the livestock subsector.

Problems confronting the agricultural sector include soil depletion and drought. Antigua does not have any rivers and is short on groundwater. Consequently, drinking water is collected from rainfall or imported from neighboring territories. Several hotels have seawater desalination facilities. The state also supplements its water distribution service with desalinated water.

Some 3 million pounds of fish are caught per year, according to 1997 figures. At that time Barbuda alone was exporting 260,000 pounds of lobster annually. Fish hauls increased in 1998, an indication that this sector has recovered significantly from hurricane damage sustained between 1995 and 1998. The East Caribbean Central Bank reported in 1999 that fish as well as crop production were the main contributors to agriculture in 1999. There are a few shrimp and lobster farms on Antigua. In addition, the Smithsonian Institute runs a project which farms Caribbean king crabs for domestic consumption.

INDUSTRY

MANUFACTURING.

Manufacturing is not a major contributor to the economy. However, output from manufacturing rose by 5.5 percent in 1998 and 5 percent in 1999. Between 1996 and 1998, manufacturing contributed an average of just over 2 percent of GDP.

An industrial park located at Coolidge near the V. C. Bird International airport produces exports such as paints, galvanized sheets, furniture, paper products, and the assembly of household appliances, vehicles, and garments. Local manufacturers are provided with incentives such as tax and duty-free concessions.

Manufacturers can export to the United States, European, Canadian, and Caribbean markets as a result of trade agreements such as the Lomé Convention, the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM).

In 1999 the government signed an agreement with the People's Republic of China to use local cotton in the manufacture of textiles for the export market. A factory is to be constructed to facilitate this project.

CONSTRUCTION.

Much of the buoyancy in the economy over the last few years has been due to the steady growth in the construction sector. Private and government investments have facilitated this growth. Construction contributed on average 11 percent of GDP between 1996 and 1998.

SERVICES

TOURISM.

Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of Antigua and Barbuda and is the leading sector in terms of providing employment and creating foreign exchange. In 1999 it contributed 60 percent of GDP and more than half of all jobs. According to the Americas Review 1998, tourism contributed 15 percent directly and around 40 percent indirectly to the GDP in 1998. Real growth in this sector has moved from an average of 7 percent for the period 1985-89 to 8.24 percent for the period 1990-95. There was slow growth between 1995 and 1998.

Figures released by the East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in 2000 show that total visitor arrivals increased steadily from 470,975 in 1995 to 613,990 in 1998. In 1999 total visitor arrivals declined by about 4.1 percent to 588,866, yet the number of visitors staying at least 1 night or more increased by 1.9 percent over 1998 to total 207,862. Arrivals via cruise ships in 1999 dropped to 325,195, a fall of 3.4 percent over 1998. The fall-off in cruise passengers was mainly the result of one of the larger cruise ships being out of service for a brief period. Most of the tourists in 1999 came from the United Kingdom and the United States. Visitor expenditures have increased steadily since 1990, with total expenditures of EC$782.9 million.

To combat increasing competition from other Caribbean destinations, the government and the Antigua Hotel and Tourist Association have established a joint fund to market the country's appeal as a tourist destination. The Association has agreed to match the proceeds from a 2 percent hotel guest levy introduced by the government.

At the start of March 2001, the Antigua Workers Union (AWU), the trade union which represents close to 7,000 workers in the tourism industry, described tourism as an industry in crisis. The AWU claimed the industry is on the decline because some airlines are pulling out of the country, and government was not spending enough money to promote tourism. While the government has conceded that it was not spending enough on marketing because of cash flow problems, it has rejected the AWU's contention that the industry is in crisis.

FINANCIAL SERVICES.

Antigua and Barbuda is advertised as "an attractive offshore jurisdiction." The country was the first to sign the United Nations' anti-money laundering pact. This agreement came out of a conference in 1999 which urged worldwide offshore financial centers to introduce laws to tighten their policing of money laundering activities. The United Kingdom exerted considerable pressure on Antigua and Barbuda to reform laws to combat money laundering, even issuing an advisory in April 1999 to British financial institutions that Antigua and Barbuda's anti-money laundering laws were wanting. Antigua and Barbuda responded to this concern, and a subsequent joint United States and United Kingdom review reported they were satisfied that the country had taken positive steps to check illegal activity in this sector. In September 2000 the government of Antigua and Barbuda announced that it had strengthened its surveillance of money laundering and drug trafficking.

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Antigua & Barbuda
Exports Imports
1975 .020 .067
1980 .026 .088
1985 .017 .166
1990 .021 .255
1995 .030 .299
1998 N/A N/A
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.
Exchange rates: Antigua & Barbuda
East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1
2001 2.7000
2000 2.7000
1999 2.7000
1998 2.7000
1997 2.7000
1996 2.7000
Note: The exchange rate has been fixed since 1976.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

RETAIL. The retail sector is dominated by the sale of food and beverages, clothing and textiles, and vegetables. The main markets are located in the capital, St. John's. There are many street vendors and duty-free shops. The government has been taking steps to improve this sector. A US$43.5 million vendors' mall and market has been built to provide better facilities for retailers in the capital. In addition, a US$27 million fisheries complex now provides improved facilities for fish processing and retailing. A growing area of computer business on Antigua is Internet casinos.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

This small multi-island state imports most of its food as well as other goods that it does not manufacture. In 1998 the value of imports was as much as 9 times the value of exports. In 1998 total exports amounted to US$38 million while imports stood at US$330 million.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) comprised 26 percent of the country's exports, Barbados took in 15 percent, Guyana 4 percent, and Trinidad and Tobago 2 percent. The United States imported only .03 percent. Of imports, some 27 percent came from the United States, 16 percent from the United Kingdom, 4 percent from Canada, and 3 percent from the OECS.

The country is a party to several trade agreements, including the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) with the United States, Caribcan with Canada, the Lomé Convention (a cooperation agreement between the EU and the ACP, the latter consisting of several African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries), and the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM).

MONEY

The exchange rate of the East Caribbean dollar has remained steady since 1976 at 2.70 to the U.S. dollar. This is partly because the agreement establishing the East Caribbean Central Bank, which regulates the currency, requires all countries that use the currency to agree to de-valuation .

The country does not have its own stock exchange. Instead, it is part of the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE). An associate institution of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the ECSE is scheduled to start trading in 2001. The fully automated exchange will be linked via local telecommunications providers and will employ an electronic book-entry system for recording the ownership of securities.

To assist with its development, the ECSE has received US$2 million in grants, counter-part loans, and money from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The funds were channeled through the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

POVERTY AND WEALTH

According to Sub-Regional Common Assessment of Barbados and the OECS, some 12 percent of the population lived below the poverty line in the 1990s. This is much less than the average in the eastern Caribbean. Research has shown that the level of poverty was 17 percent in Grenada in 1998, 19 percent in St. Lucia in 1995, and 31 percent in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 1996. About 35 percent of the eastern Caribbean is classified as poor (i.e., people in these countries earn less than

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Antigua & Barbuda N/A 4,057 5,164 6,980 8,559
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Jamaica 1,819 1,458 1,353 1,651 1,559
St. Lucia N/A 2,076 2,150 3,542 3,907
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.
Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Antigua & Barbuda 36 3 8 3 18 9 23
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Jamaica 24 7 3 1 9 8 48
St. Lucia 40 5 11 4 17 11 11
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

US$15-25 per day). Indicators point to the possibility of increasing poverty in Antigua unless the slowdown in the economy is reversed and more employment is provided.

The GDP per capita in 1998 was US$8,559. The Human Development Report 2000 gave Antigua and Barbuda a Human Development Index (HDI) ranking of 37th among the United Nations' 174 members. The HDI is computed by the UN and ranks its member nations based on an index which takes into account a country's health-care system, life expectancy, school enrollment, adult literacy rate, educational attainment, and per capita income to arrive at a score.

Antigua and Barbuda enjoys one of the highest employment rates in the Caribbean, and the second-highest wages and salaries per capita in the region. Life expectancy in 1999 was 75 years, about the same as in the United States.

The population benefits from national insurance and contributory pension schemes. Poor and elderly persons receive public assistance. The Antigua Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) provides medical benefits to workers who contribute to it. However, at the beginning of 2001, the government was pressured to investigate alleged financial wrong-doing at the MBS. This has weakened confidence in the scheme. Workers are increasingly questioning the ability of the scheme to adequately finance health care in light of the charges of financial wrongdoing.

The government has operated a series of statewide free health clinics since the colonial period and these have expanded in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the government intends to introduce minimum user fees, it has promised to make provisions for the poor. The government also provides education at all levels.

WORKING CONDITIONS

The total active labor force in 1998 was about 30,000. Of this figure 8,319 were immigrant workers. In 1998 the government employed 10,984 persons, or about 38.3 percent of the total labor force, a trend that has gone as far back as 1994.

The unemployment rate fell from 9 percent in 1997 to 5 percent in 1998. During the latter part of 2000, the government announced a freeze on employment after cash flow problems made it difficult for it to meet its wage and pension bills, which amount to as much as US$5.1 million monthly.

The lowest age for employment is age 16. Children do not form part of the labor force, but they usually assist on family agricultural plots in the afternoon after school and during school vacations. The government has a youth skills training program which provides on-thejob training.

As much as 45.5 percent of the country's workforce are women. More significantly, close to 60 percent of all public sector employees are women. Most women who work are employed in the hotel industry and in teaching.

The leading trade unions in Antigua and Barbuda are the Antigua Workers' Union, the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, the Antigua and Barbuda Public Service Association, the Antigua and Barbuda Union of Teachers, and the Leeward Islands Air Line Pilots' Association. A 1975 labor code governs labor relations in the country. There was some industrial unrest in the airline industry and commercial sector during 1999 and 2000.

In 1997 the government granted public sector workers a 6 percent increase in wages and salaries for the period 1997-2000. In 1998 private sector workers had wage increases averaging around 4 percent. These wage hikes were long overdue and were granted to meet the rise in the cost of living.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

1632. English settlers arrive from St. Kitts and colonization begins.

1674. The first large-scale sugar plantation established.

1736. Major slave uprising led by Prince Klaas.

1834. Complete freedom granted to slaves.

1939. The first trade union is formed on advice of British officials.

1943. Vere C. Bird becomes president of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union.

1951. Universal adult suffrage introduced; the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) led by Vere C. Bird comes to power.

1967. Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda become an associated state with Britain.

1971. ALP voted out of office.

1972. Sugar industry goes into dormancy.

1974. Antigua and Barbuda joins CARICOM.

1976. ALP returned to office.

1981. Antigua and Barbuda obtains its political independence from Britain.

1994. Vere C. Bird hands over ALP to his son, Lester Bird.

1995-99. Series of hurricanes damage the islands' infrastructure .

FUTURE TRENDS

The government has pointed to the need for new and varied sources of revenue, especially since the tourism industry is likely to face competition in the not too distant future from Cuba, which has larger hotels, good facilities, and is located closer to the United States. There is also the threat posed by the OECD to the offshore finance sector. This organization has placed enormous pressure on the government to tighten its regulatory control over the sector and such action could result in its stagnation.

The IMF has recommended that the country adopt a comprehensive macro-economic program with medium-to long-term plans for improving government finances. The government fears that an IMF Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), which advocates cutting down the size of the public sector, will lead to unemployment, which in turn can lead to poverty and crime. Thus, the government has declined to participate in the IMF program and has instead opted to devise its own economic restructuring program with the aid of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

With its cash flow problems, Antigua and Barbuda may reduce the size of the public sector, which presently employs close to 11,000 persons. It may also take at least some of the IMF's advice and toughen its fiscal policy , implement reforms to increase efficiency and governance in the public sector, and work out a suitable repayment plan with its creditors. With revenue being lost through reduced tariffs , the administration may be looking to the VAT to fill the gap. However, government officials have hinted that the 2001 national budget, to be presented to Parliament in March of that year, will include reductions in duty-free concessions in an effort to address the cash-flow problem. In 2000 close to US$37 million was granted in such concessions.

DEPENDENCIES

Antigua and Barbuda has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Americas Review, 17th edition. New Jersey: Hunter, 1998; 18th edition, 1999.

Antigua and Barbuda: Statistical Annex. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 1999. <http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk=3344.0>. Accessed August 2001.

Caribbean Development Bank Annual Report 1999. Bridgetown, Barbados: Caribbean Development Bank, 1999.

The Caribbean Handbook 2000. St. John's, Antigua: FT International, 2000.

East Caribbean Central Bank Economic and Financial Review. Vol. 20, No. 3, September 2000.

East Caribbean Central Bank Report. St. Kitts, West Indies: ECCB, 2000.

"Small States, Big Money." The Economist. September 23, 2000.

"Sub-Regional Common Assessment of Barbados and the OECS: The UN Development System for the Eastern Caribbean, January 2000." United Nations Development Programme for Barbados and the OECS. <http://www.bb.undp.org/pub/pub_text.html>. Accessed August 2001.

United Nations Development Program. Human Development Report 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>. Accessed August 2001.

Cleve Mc D. Scott

CAPITAL:

St. John's.

MONETARY UNIT:

East Caribbean dollar (EC$). One Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) equals 100 cents. Paper currency comes in denominations of EC$100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Coins are in denominations of EC$1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 cents.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Petroleum products, manufactures, food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactures, chemicals, oil.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$524 million (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$38 million (1998 est.). Imports: US$330 million (1998 est.).

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Official name: Antigua and Barbuda

Area: 440 square kilometers (170 square miles) total area; Antigua, 280 square kilometers (108 square miles); Barbuda, 161 square kilometers (62 square miles); Redonda, 1.3 square kilometers(5 square miles)

Highest point on mainland : Boggy Peak (402 meters/1,319 feet)

Lowest point on land: Sea level

Hemispheres : Northern and Western

Time zone: 8 a.m. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 14.4 kilometers (9 miles) from east to west; 22.4 kilometers (14 miles) from north to south

Land boundaries : No international boundaries

Coastline: 153 kilometers (95 miles)

Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles); exclusive economic zone: 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles)

1 LOCATION AND SIZE

Antigua and Barbuda, a dependency of the United Kingdom, is part of the Leeward Islands, in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea. Its total area, which is nearly two-andone-half times that of Washington, D.C., includes the islands of Antigua (280 square kilometers/108 square miles) and Barbuda (161 square kilometers/62 square miles), and the uninhabited island of Redondo (1.3 square kilometers/5 square miles). The country is divided into six parishes.

2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES

Antigua and Barbuda has no territories or dependencies.

3 CLIMATE

Temperatures average 29°C (84°F) in July and 24°C (75°F) in January, a result of the cooling trade winds from the east and northeast. Rainfall averages 117 centimeters (46 inches) per year, with September through November being the wettest months. The islands are subject to both the occasional summer drought and autumn hurricanes, although the low humidity gives them one of the most temperate climates in the world.

Season Months Average Temperature: °C (°F)
Summer April to October 2430°C (7586°F)
Winter November to March 2227°C (7281°F)

4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS

Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands, is partly volcanic and partly coral in makeup. Many islets line its northeastern coast, and its central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda is a coral island. Redonda is a rocky, low-lying islet.

5 OCEANS AND SEAS

Antigua and Barbuda is located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The open Atlantic Ocean lies to the north and east. The island of Guadeloupe lies to the south, on the far side of the Guadeloupe Passage from Antigua.

Seacoast and Undersea Features

There are many coral reefs near Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua is surrounded by an almost continuous band of coral. Devil's Bridge, an unusual formation on Antigua's northeastern shore, is a natural arch created by the erosion of limestone over time.

Sea Inlets and Straits

The coastline of Antigua features many small bays.

Islands and Archipelagos

Redonda, a rocky outcropping less than two square kilometers (less than one square mile) in area, lies 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Antigua. Redonda is uninhabited. Guiana Island, a tiny island off the northeast coast of Antigua, provides a forest habitat for a number of nesting bird species.

Coastal Features

Antigua and Barbuda is famous for its beaches, particularly those on Antigua itself. When advertising to attract vacationers, the country claims it has 365 beaches.

Antigua has deeply indented shores lined by shoals and reefs, with many natural harbors. Barbuda has large stretches of both white and pink sand beaches. Codrington Lagoon, enclosed by a narrow finger of land that stretches northward, lies in northwest Barbuda.

6 INLAND LAKES

Antigua and Barbuda lacks any lakes of significant size.

7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS

Antigua and Barbuda lacks any large rivers.

8 DESERTS

There are no deserts on Antigua and Barbuda.

9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN

Antigua has a central plain that is relatively fertile due to the volcanic ash in the soil. Like other parts of the island with the same soil composition, it supports some agriculture, as well as tropical vegetation.

10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES

Antigua is a partly volcanic island, but there have been no eruptions in recent history. Its highest elevations are in the southwestern part of the island. This is where Boggy Peak (402 meters/1,319 feet), the tallest mountain on the island, is located. There are no significant elevations on either Barbuda or Redonda.

11 CANYONS AND CAVES

There are a number of large caves, both above and under ground, on Barbuda, including an underground cave that extends for 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) at Two Foot Bay.

12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS

There are no plateaus or monoliths on Antigua and Barbuda.

13 MAN-MADE FEATURES

There are no significant man-made features affecting the geography of Antigua and Barbuda.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Frigate Bird Sanctuary, in Barbuda's Codrington Lagoon, is home to more than 170 bird species, including its namesake, the frigate bird (fregata magnificens ).

14 FURTHER READING

Books

Corum, Robert. Caribbean Time Bomb; the United States' Complicity in the Corruption of Antigua. New York: Morrow, 1993.

Dyde, Brian. Antigua and Barbuda; the Heart of the Caribbean. Macmillan Caribbean Guides. London: Macmillan, 1993.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Background Notes. Antigua and Barbuda. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, 2001.

Vaitilingham, Adam. Antigua:The Mini Rough Guide. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.

Web Sites

Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda. http://www.Antigua-barbuda.org/ (accessed June 5, 2003).

Official Travel Guide. http://www.geographia.com/Antigua-barbuda/ (accessed June 5, 2003).

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Antigua and Barbuda
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 66,422
Language(s): English
Literacy rate: 89%

The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, located east-southeast of Puerto Rico between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981. The government is a constitutional monarchy. Great Britain appoints a Governor General, who in turn appoints a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister presides over a Senate and a House of Representatives. The population is estimated at 65,000 with an 89-percent literacy rate. English is the official language, but many local dialects are spoken. Tourism is by far the largest source of revenue, accounting for more than half of the gross domestic product. Remaining revenue comes from agriculture, fishing and light industry. Efforts to develop an offshore financial sector have been stymied by sanctions and money laundering scandals.

Although the constitution guarantees press freedom, the media industry is nearly entirely controlled by the Prime Minister or members of his family. When one of the country's daily newspapers, the Daily Observer, started a radio station that aired political messages from the opposition, the editor and publisher were arrested for operating a radio station without a license. Print media, however, is generally allowed to operate unhindered. The country's press center is Antigua, which at just over 100 square miles is nearly double the size of Barbuda and claims 98 percent of the population. Every major newspaper publishes from its capital, St. John's. There are two dailies, the Antigua Sun and the Daily Observer, both of which are available online. Weekly publications include The Nation's Voice, The Outlet, and The Worker's Voice.

There are six radio stations, four AM and two FM, serving 36,000 radios. Two television stations broadcast to 31,000 televisions. Sixteen Internet service providers provide online access.

Bibliography

"Antigua and Barbuda," CIA World Fact Book 2001. Available from http://www.cia.gov.

"Antigua and Barbuda," U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001. Available from http://www.state.gov.

"Antigua and Barbuda," The World Press Freedom Review 2001. Available from http://www.freemedia.at.

Antigua Daily Observer, 2002 Home Page. Available from http://antiguaobserver.com.

Antigua Sun, 2002 Home Page. Available from http://antiguasun.caribbeanads.com.

Benn's Media, 1999, Vol. 3, 147th Edition, p. 246.

Jenny B. Davis

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda (ăntē´gə, –gwə, bärbu´də), independent Commonwealth nation (2005 est. pop. 68,700), 171 sq mi (442 sq km), West Indies, in the Leeward Islands. It consists of the island of Antigua (108 sq mi/280 sq km) and two smaller islands, the more sparsely populated Barbuda (62 sq mi/161 sq km) and uninhabited Redonda (0.6 sq mi/1.6 sq km). Saint John's, on Antigua, is the capital. Antigua is a hilly island with a heavily indented coast, while Barbuda is a flat coral island dominated by a large lagoon on its western side. Most residents are of African ancestry. Anglicanism is the predominant religion. Tourism is the most important industry, and the on-line gambling and offshore financial services sectors generate additional foreign currency earnings. The last two sectors have been hurt, however, by a 2006 U.S. ban on the processing of payments to on-line gambling firms and by the 2009 collapse, due to fraud, of the bank that was the nation's largest employer. Agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing (bedding, handicrafts, and electronics) also contribute to the economy. There is a U.S. air force tracking station on the north coast of Antigua. Periodic hurricanes can cause heavy damage to the islands. The country has a parliamentary-style government with a bicameral legislature. The British monarch is the titular head of state, but primary executive power lies with the prime minister. Many inhabitants of Barbuda, culturally and politically distinct from Antiguans, have pressed for independence from the larger island.

History

Antigua was sighted by Columbus in 1493 and named for a Spanish church in Seville. The islands were successfully colonized in 1632, when the British introduced sugarcane from St. Kitts. Barbuda was colonized from Antigua in 1661. The abolition of slavery in 1834 hurt the sugar industry; sugar has not been commercially grown on the island since 1985.

Antigua, with Barbuda and Redonda as dependencies, became an associated state of the Commonwealth in 1967 and achieved full independence within the Commonwealth in 1981. The Labor party, and the Bird family, led the nation in its first decades. Vere Bird was the nation's first prime minister and was succeeded by Lester Bird, his son, in 1994. The islands suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Luis in 1995. Six consecutive terms of Labor governments ended in 2004 when the United Progressive party (UPP) won the election; Baldwin Spencer became prime minister. Spencer and the UPP remained in power after the 2009 election.

In 2009 allegations that American financier Allen Stanford had been running a Ponzi scheme had a significant effect on the country. The Stanford Financial Group was based there; it and its affiliates employed many inhabitants; and the government had received substantial loans from the group while the Birds were in power. A run on Stanford's banks led the government to seize them; other Stanford properties were also seized. The 2014 elections resulted in a Labor victory, and Gaston Browne became prime minister.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Caribbean islands in the Leeward Islands group, part of the Lesser Antilles. The capital is St John's (on Antigua). Antigua is atypical of the Leeward Islands in that, despite its height – rising to 405m (1328ft) – it has no rivers or forests; Barbuda, in contrast, is a wooded, low coral atoll. Only 1400 people live on the game reserve island of Barbuda, where lobster fishing is the main occupation, and none on the rocky island of Redondo. Antigua and Barbuda were linked by Britain after 1860, gained internal self-government in 1967, and independence in 1981. The islands are dependent on tourism, though some attempts at diversification (notably Sea Island cotton) have been successful. Other industries: livestock rearing, market gardening, fishing. Area: 440sq km (170sq mi). Pop. (2000) 65,000. See West Indies map

http://www.antigua-barbuda.org; http://www.antigua.net

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Antigua And Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Culture Name

Antiguan; Antiguan creole; creole; Barbudan

Orientation

Identification. The culture of Antigua and Barbuda (local creole pronunciation, Antiga and Barbueda) is a classic example of a creole culture. It emerged from the mixing of Amerindian (Carib and Arawak), West African, and European (primarily British) cultural traditions. Specific traces of these parent cultures as well as influences from other Caribbean islands (e.g., reggae from Jamaica) are still very evident in this emergent culture. Before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493, Antigua and Barbuda had the Carib names of Wadadli and Wa'omoni, respectively.

Location and Geography. Antigua and Barbuda are two islands in the Eastern Caribbean chain. Antigua, or Wadadli, has an area of 108 square miles, (280 square kilometers) while Barbuda, or Wa'omoni, is 62 square miles (160 square kilometers) in area, making for a twin island microstate of 170 square miles (440 square kilometers). This state includes the tiny (by Caribbean standards) island of Redonda, which has remained uninhabited. Antigua is an island of both volcanic origin and sedimentary rock (limestone) formation. Its jagged coastline is over 90 miles (145 kilometers) long, producing hundreds of beautiful white sand beaches, bays, and coves. Barbuda is of limestone formation and very flat. The highest point on the island rises to only 128 feet (39 meters). The capital of this state is Saint John's, which is located at the northwestern end of Antigua.

Demography. The population census of 1991 estimated the population of Antigua and Barbuda to be 64,252. Approximately 93 percent of this total are Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans, 0.2 percent are Portuguese, 0.6 percent are Middle Eastern, 1.7 percent are whites from Europe and North America, and 3.4 percent are mixed. The 1997 estimate by the Department of Statistics placed the population at 69,890 and projected a figure of 72,310 for 2000. These increases are the result of significant inflows of migrants from Guyana, Dominica, and the Dominican Republic. Migrants from the latter have given rise to a small Spanish-speaking community on Antigua.

Linguistic Affiliation. Given the creole nature of its culture, it is not surprising that the language spoken by the vast majority of Antiguans and Barbudans is a creole, often referred to as Antiguan creole. This makes the culture a bilingual one. The other language is standard English, which is the official language and the language of instruction. This linguistic situation derives from the colonial history of the nation, which was one of 350 years of near continuous British rule. Consequently, Antiguan creole is essentially a hybrid product of West African languages and English. Although linguists have identified African words such as nyam (eat) in Antiguan creole, the vocabulary of this language consists largely of English words and distinct creole formations (gee = give) or distinct usages of English words. As one moves up the class hierarchy, there is a gradual shift from creole to English as the first language.

Symbolism. The cultural symbols that embody the national identity of Antigua and Barbuda emerged out of the anticolonial struggles for political independence, which began in the 1930s. Consequently these symbols tend to be images that celebrate liberation from a number of oppressive conditions and periods in the history of the nation: the ending of slavery in 1834, the rise of the labor movement in the 1930s, the revival of African elements in the national culture during the 1960s, and the still ongoing enhancing of the nation's creole culture vis-á-vis Western and particularly British and American culture. Good examples of these symbols are the national anthem, the flag, and the national coats of arm, which display the sun, a pineapple, and the flowers and seas of the state. They can also be seen in more fleeting form in festivals such as carnival.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. The emergence of Antigua and Barbuda as an independent nation was the result of the confluence of a number of international currents with the local struggles for decolonization. The turning point in this history of anticolonial struggle was the series of peasant/worker insurrections that occurred in the Caribbean between 1935 and 1939, with the latter year being the one in which Antiguan and Barbuduan workers and peasants revolted. Out of this revolt came the formation of the Antigua Trades Labor Union (ATLU) in 1939. The need for such an organization was recognized by several individualsa group that included Harold Wilson, Norris Allen, Reginald Stevens, and V. C. Bird. Allen took the lead by calling the meeting at which the union was formed. Stevens was its first president and Berkeley Richards its first general secretary.

As the union got more deeply involved in the struggles of workers against sugar plantation owners, it became increasingly political. It very quickly developed a "political arm," which later became the Antigua Labor Party (ALP). This radicalization increased under the leadership of Bird, the ATLU's second president. Bird vigorously pushed a heady mix of laborism and state capitalism that came to be known locally as milk and water socialism.

Further, through its political arm, the ATLU began successfully contesting the small number of seats in the legislature that were elective. The resulting acquisition of a measure of state power changed the balance of forces in the struggles of workers with plantation owners. Between 1940 and 1951, universal adult suffrage and self-government became high-priority demands of the union. From this point on the labor movement could not be distinguished from the nationalist movement. This politicization led to new rounds of strikes and political confrontations with the planters and the elites of the colonial state. These struggles, reinforced by those in other Caribbean territories, by the struggles in African countries, and by the opposition of the United States and Russia to European colonial policies, finally pushed the British to dismantle their empire. The dismantling was executed via a process of constitutional decolonization that gradually transferred sovereignty to a set of elected leaders such as those of the ALP. Between 1950 and 1981, when Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence from Britain, there were at least five important sets of decolonizing constitutional changes that paved the way to national independence. As the leader of the ALP, Bird was the nation's first prime minister.

Ethnic Relations. Behind the late twentieth century reviving and respecifying of the place of Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans in the cultural life of the society, is a history of race/ethnic relations that systematically excluded them. Within the colonial framework established by the British soon after their initial settlement of Antigua in 1623, five distinct and carefully ranked race/ethnic groups emerged. At the top of this hierarchy were the British, who justified their hegemony with arguments of white supremacy and civilizing missions. Among themselves, there were divisions between British Antiguans and noncreolized Britons, with the latter coming out on top. In short, this was a race/ethnic hierarchy that gave maximum recognition to Anglicized persons and cultural practices.

Immediately below the British were the mulattos, a mixed race group that resulted from unions between black Africans and white Europeans. Mulattos were lighter in shade than the masses of black Africans, and on that basis distinguished themselves from the latter. They developed complex ideologies of shade to legitimate their claims to higher status. These ideologies of shade paralleled in many ways British ideologies of white supremacy.

Next in this hierarchy were the Portuguese twenty-five hundred of whom migrated as workers from Madeira between 1847 and 1852 because of a severe famine. Many established small businesses and joined the ranks of the mulatto middle class. The British never really considered Portuguese as whites and so they were not allowed into their ranks. Among Portuguese Antiguans and Barbudans, status differences move along a continuum of varying degrees of assimilation into the Anglicized practices of the dominant group.

Below the Portuguese were the Middle Easterners, who began migrating to Antigua and Barbuda around the turn of the twentieth century. Starting as itinerant traders, they soon worked their way into the middle strata of the society. Although Middle Easterners came from a variety of areas in the Middle East, as a group they are usually referred to as Syrians.

Fifth and finally were the Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans who were located at the bottom of this hierarchy. Forced to "emigrate" as slaves, Africans started arriving in Antigua and Barbuda in large numbers during the 1670s. Very quickly they came to constitute the majority of the population. As they entered this hierarchy, Africans were profoundly racialized. They ceased being Yoruba, Igbo, or Akan and became Negroes or Blacks. This racialization biologized African identities, dehumanizing and deculturing them in the process. As Negroes, it was the body and particularly its skin color that emerged as the new signifiers of identity. As a result, Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans were reinscribed in a dehumanized and racialized discourse that established their inferiority, and hence the legitimacy of their earlier enslavement and later exploitation as wage laborers.

In the last decade, Spanish-speaking immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Afro-Caribbea immigrants from Guyana and Dominica have been added to this ethnic mosaic. They have entered at the bottom of the hierarchy and it is still too early to predict what their patterns of assimilation and social mobility will be.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Antigua and Barbuda has long imported most of its food, so it is not surprising that the food eaten by Antiguans and Barbudans consists of creole dishes or specialties that reflect the cuisine of the parent cultures. In recent years, there has been a strong invasion of American fast-food chains, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken. Among the more established creole specialties of Antigua and Barbuda are rice pudding, salt fish and antrobers (eggplant; the national breakfast), bull foot soup, souse, maw, goat water, cockle (clam) water, conch water, and Dukuna. The salted cod used in making the national breakfast is not a local fish. It is an import from the United States and Canada that has been imported since before the revolt of the American colonies.

Major Industries. Sugar dominated the economy of Antigua and Barbuda for much of its history. The period of sugar dominance began in the 1660s after the failure of attempts to make money from tobacco. Between 1700 and 1775, Antigua and Barbuda emerged as a classic sugar colony. Because of its exclusive specialization in sugar, the economy was not very diverse. Consequently, it imported a lot, including much of its food from the American colonies and Britain.

After 1775, the economy entered a long period of decline that ended almost two centuries later in 1971. The revolt of the American colonies (1776), the suspension of the British slave trade (1804), the British vote to end slavery (1834), and the British conversion to free trade (1842) all combined to destroy the foundations of the sugar-based economy. The American revolution took away Antigua and Barbuda's cheap food supplies, the changes in British slave policies cut off its labor supplies, while the changes in trade policy took away its guaranteed market. The result was a decline from which sugar never really recovered, along with the need for a new leading sector.

Concerted efforts at industrialization in the 1940s and 1950s failed. Attracted to Antigua and Barbuda's many beaches, white sands, and sunny climate, wealthy Americans found it a great place to vacation. Out of this demand, tourism emerged as the new leading and rapidly growing sector of the economy. In 1958 tourist arrivals totaled 12,853; by 1970, on the eve of sugar's demise, they had risen to 67,637. In 1998 tourist arrivals reached 204,000. The impact of tourism on the growth of the national economy has been significant. In 1973 the gross domestic product (GDP) of the economy was US $73.3 million. By 1998 the GDP had reached US $423 million. In 1973 the hotel and restaurant sector accounted for 7.9 percent of the nation's GDP. By 1979, the figure had doubled to 14 percent, where it remained into the twenty-first century.

In spite of the growth in tourism and its expansive impact on the construction and transportation sectors, the economy is still not diversified. As in the sugar period, there is an overspecialization that keeps imports high, including food. By the late 1980s, the environmental impact of tourism had become a major political issue, with groups of environmentalists blocking the construction of new hotels.

The newest emerging sector is offshore banking. Because of the secretive and confidential aspects of this industry, it is emerging under clouds of controversy. The government, however, is committed, to its development.

The currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which has had a fairly steady exchange rate of approximately 2.70 with the U.S. dollar.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Like many other Caribbean societies, Antigua and Barbuda is a classic case of the superimposition of race on class and vice versa. Consequently, the class structure reflects very much the race/ethnic hierarchy described earlier. Until the rise of the nationalist movement, the dominant class was clearly the British sugar planters. They monopolized the labor of the masses of Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans, who also constituted the subordinate working class. Between these two extremes was a middle class that consisted of the same three groups that occupied the middle layers of the race/ethnic hierarchythe mulattos, Portuguese, and Syrians. The mulattos dominated the professions (law, medicine, and architecture) and the white-collar positions in banks, businesses, and the civil service. Some engaged in small enterprises, but this was primarily a white-collar/professional class. The Portuguese located themselves in the service areas of the retail sector, importing and reselling a wide variety of goods. Consequently, their stores varied from liquor shops, through groceries and gas stations, to stationery stores. Syrians were also in the retail sector importing primarily dry goods such as cloth, clothes, and other household items. Thus unlike the British planters, the latter two groups included small to medium capitalists, who employed small numbers of Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan workers.

In the postcolonial period, there have been significant changes in this class structure even though its basic categories and rank orderings have remained. At the top, hotel owners and offshore bankers have replaced the planters. These are primarily white Americans, with British investors regaining some ground. At the bottom is a working class that is still predominantly Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan. Because of recent changes in immigration policies, however, significant numbers of Afro-Guyanese and Afro-Dominican workers have been added to the ranks of this class. Thus the bottom of the class hierarchy remains primarily black even though the work has shifted from plantations to hotels.

Important changes have also occurred in the middle levels of the class hierarchy. This layer has ceased to be a predominantly mulatto class and has become one that is predominantly black. This shift was a direct consequence of changes in patterns of black social mobility produced by black control of the decolonized state. Nevertheless, the middle class still retains its mulatto, Portuguese, and Syrian components.

Political Life

Government. The political institutions of Antigua and Barbuda have gone through three basic stages: a period of colonial plantocratic democracy (16231868), a phase of colonial authoritarianism (18681939), and a period of liberal democracy (1940 present). Since the enactment of universal suffrage in 1951, elections have been contested every five years without major interruptions. But because of informal pressures and ways of accumulating power, the political system has oscillated between periods of one-party and two-party dominance, with the latter occurring from 1943 to 1967, and the former in two periods: 19681980 and 1992 to the present.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Families in Antigua and Barbuda are creole formations. Among the white upper class creolization is minimal. Patterns of marriage, family organization, and gender roles are similar to those in the West with minor local adaptations. Much the same is true of the middle classes except for the greater presence of local adaptations. Among the black working class, family life is much more a mixture of the African and European systems. Although the institutions of bridewealth (marriage payments) and lineage groups have been lost, the African view of marriage as a process occurring over many years has been retained. Without the sanction of bridewealth, family for a young couple begins in what have been called visiting relationships, which often become coresidential, and may finally issue in a formal marriage ceremony that is Christian. Like many African families, these creole families are matrifocal, centering on the mother's lineage, with strong traditions of women working outside of the home. There are, as a result, very high rates of labor force participation for Antiguan and Barbudan women.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. The religious life of Antiguans and Barbudans is predominantly Christian. In 1991, 32 percent of the population was Anglican, 12 percent was Moravian, 10 percent was Catholic, and 9 percent Methodist. This Christian orientation, however, is a creolized one that changes as we move up the class hierarchy. For most of their history, the churches of Antigua and Barbuda were colonial institutionsoverseas branches of England-based churches, whose pastors were in control. Thus, unlike the African American church, the Afro-Antiguan and Barbudan church does not have a long history of autonomous development. Autonomy came with the independence of the state.

In spite of this Anglicization, religious practices have not escaped creolization. Among Afro-Antiguans and Barbudans, traces of the African religious heritage have survived in the practice of Obeah and in inclinations toward more ecstatic modes of worship. The postcolonial period has witnessed a significant creolizing of church music, which has been influenced by calypso, reggae, and African American gospel music.

The Arts and Humanities

The more developed art forms of Antigua and Barbuda are mas (street theater), theater, calypso, steel band, architecture, poetry, and fiction. Less well developed are the arts of painting, sculpture, and carving. In the case of the more developed art forms, processes of cultural hybridization have successfully produced distinct creole formations that are expressively linked to the subjectivity and rituals of Antiguans and Barbudans.

Literature. In the area of fiction and poetry, writers include Jamaica Kincaid, Ralf Prince, Elaine Olaoye, and Dorbrene Omard.

Performance Arts. Good examples of distinct creole formations are calypso and steel band. Set to a distinct rhythmic beat, calypsos are songs of social commentary that range from the comic to the tragic. One of the major consequences of decolonization on this art form has been its expansion to include religious themes and situations. Among the calypso kings of Antigua and Barbuda are Short Shirt, Swallow, Obstinate, Onyan, and Smarty Jr.

One of the few musical instruments invented in the twentieth century, steel bands consist of a number of "pans"base pans, tenor pans, etc. They are made by pounding the basic notes out of the surface of steel drums used to transport oil. Bands range in size from about ten to one hundred pans. Developed first in Trinidad in the 1930s, the tradition spread quickly to Antigua and Barbuda. Well-known steel bands from Antigua and Barbuda include Brute Force, Hells Gate, Harmonites, Supa Stars, and Halcyon.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

The sciences are not well developed in Antigua and Barbuda. Natural sciences such as physics and chemistry are particularly weak. This is also true for the larger Caribbean region. The practice of science in the region is located primarily at the University of the West Indies, whose main campuses are in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. The university's extramural department, however, has a branch in Antigua, where the first year of the bachelor's degree in some of the social sciences can be done, with the remainder being completed at one of the main campuses. The most prominent science journals are in the social sciences, which are led by economics and political science. Among Antigua and Barbuda's outstanding contributions to the pool of regional scientists are Ashly Bryant, Percival Perry, Samuel Daniel, Ermina Oshoba, Vincent Richards, and Enoch James.

Bibliography

Davis, Gregson. Antigua Black, 1973.

Gaspar, David Barry. Bondmen and Rebels, 1985.

Henry, Paget. Peripheral Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Antigua, 1985.

Kincaid, Jamaica. Annie John, 1985.

. A Small Place, 1988.

Langhan, Mrs. Antigua and Antiguans, 1844.

Olaoye, Elaine. Passion of the Soul, 1998.

Oliver, V. The History of the Island of Antigua, 1894.

Prince, Ralf. Jewels of the Sun, 1979.

Richards, Novelle. The Struggle and the Conquest, 1967.

. The Twilight Hour, 1971.

Smith, Keithlyn. No Essay Pushover, 1994.

Tongue, Gwen. Cooking Antigua's Food, 1973.

Paget Henry

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUANS AND BARBUDANS 49

Approximately 95 percent of Antiguans and Barbudans descended from African slaves. The rest are of European, Asian, Arab, and mixed descent.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

PROFILE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the December 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Antigua and Barbuda

PROFILE

Geography

Area: Antigua—281 sq. km. (108 sq. mi.); Barbuda—161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—St. John's (pop. 30,000).

Terrain: Generally low-lying, with highest elevation 405 m. (1,330 ft.).

Climate: Tropical maritime.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s).

Population: (2005) 82,786.

Annual population growth rate: (2005) 1.7%.

Ethnic groups: Almost entirely of African origin; some of British, Portuguese, and Levantine Arab origin.

Religions: Principally Anglican, with evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic minorities.

Languages: English.

Education: (2005) Adult literacy—85.8%.

Health: (2004) Infant mortality rate—11.0/1,000. Life expectancy—men 70 years; women 74 years.

Work force: (2005) 30,000 (commerce and services, agriculture, other industry).

Unemployment: (2002) 13%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth.

Constitution: 1981.

Independence: November 1, 1981.

Government branches: Executive—governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative—bicameral Parliament. Judicial—magistrate's courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals), Privy Council in London.

Political subdivisions: Six parishes and two dependencies (Barbuda and Redonda).

Political parties: Antigua Labour Party (ALP), United Progressive Party (UPP, majority), Barbuda People's Movement (BPM).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $875.8 million.

GDP growth rate: (2005) 3.2%.

Per capita GDP: (2004) $12,586.

Inflation: (2005) 0.9%.

Natural resources: Negligible.

Agriculture: Fish, cotton, livestock, vegetables, and pineapples.

Services: Tourism, banking, and other financial services.

Trade: (2005) Exports—$58 million (merchandise) and $454 million (commercial services). Major markets—European Union (23.2%), United States (7.7%), Anguilla (7.0%), St. Kitts and Nevis (10.3%), Netherlands Antilles (23.4%). Imports—$497 million (merchandise) and $197 million (commercial services). Major suppliers—United States (48.9%), Netherlands Antilles (10.2%), European Union (11.6%), Trinidad and Tobago (10.9%), Canada (3.7%).

Exchange rate: EC$2.70 = U.S. $1.

HISTORY

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people"), whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks—who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles—succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.

Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493, naming the larger one “Santa Maria de la Antigua.” The English colonized the islands in 1632. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him. Codrington and others brought

slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantations. Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834, but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners. Economic opportunities for the new freedmen were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939, which saw the birth of the trade union movement in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Antigua Trades and Labour Union became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird, who was elected as the Labour Union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labour Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951, beginning a long history of electoral victories.

Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power, Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976, winning renewed mandates in every subsequent election under Vere Bird's leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.

In the last elections on March 23, 2004, the United Progressive Party (UPP) won 12 of the 17 seats in Parliament. The main opposition ALP, now led by Steadroy "Cutie" Benjamin, retained four seats.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general—mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition—and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every 5 years but may be called by the prime minister at any time. National elections were last held on March 23, 2004.

Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Governor General: James B. CARLISLE

Prime Min.: Baldwin SPENCER

Dep. Prime Min.:

Min. of Agriculture Lands, Marine Resources, & Agro-Industries: Charlesworth SAMUEL

Min. of Barbuda Affairs: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Defense: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Education, Sports, & Youth Affairs: Bertrand JOSEPH

Min. of Finance & the Economy: Eroll CORT

Min. of Foreign Affairs & International Trade: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Health: John Herbert MAGINLEY

Min. of Housing & Social Transformation: Hilson BAPTISTE

Min. of Information & Broadcasting: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Justice & Public Safety: Colin DERRICK

Min. of Labor, Public Administration, & Empowerment: Jacqui QUINN-LEANDRO

Min. of Legal Affairs: Justin SIMON

Min. of National Security: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Tourism, Culture, & CivilAviation: Harold LOVELL

Min. of Works, Transportation, & the Environment: Wilmoth DANIEL

Attorney General: Justin SIMON

Ambassador to the US: Lionel HURST

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: John W. ASHE

Antigua and Barbuda maintains an embassy in the United States at 3216 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016 (tel. 202-362-5122).

ECONOMY

Antigua and Barbuda's service-based economy grew by 3.2% in 2005, compared with 5.2% in 2004. Construction, banking and insurance, communications, and wholesale and retail trade sectors were the main contributors to economic growth. The economy is experiencing its third consecutive year of high growth, driven by a construction boom in hotels and housing, as well as projects related to the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The tourism and hospitality sector has largely recovered after the decrease in tourism following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It posted a strong performance in 2004, and in 2005 the sector was estimated at 50% of GDP. To lessen its vulnerability to natural disasters and economic shocks, Antigua has sought to diversify its economy by encouraging growth in transportation, communications, Internet gambling, and financial services.

Antigua and Barbuda's currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues the EC$, manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. The ECCB has kept the EC$ pegged at EC$2.7=U.S. $1.

Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative that grants duty-free entry into the United States for many goods. In 2005, 7.7% of its total exports went to the United States, and 48.9% of its total imports came from the United States. Antigua and Barbuda also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARI-COM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).

U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens’ standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's regulation of financial services.

The United States also has been active in supporting post-hurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as through the USAID office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exercise-related and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.

Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. The former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional Coast Guard training facility.

Antigua and Barbuda's location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the United States and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-nnarcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include overflight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).

In 2005, Antigua and Barbuda had 239,804 stay-over visitors, with nearly 28% of Antigua and Barbuda's visitors coming from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

BRIDGETOWN (E) Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006, APO/FPO APO AA 34055, 246-436-4950, Fax 246-429-5246, Workweek: Mon-Fri: 8.00–4.30, Website: http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Hillaire Campbell
AMB OMS:Honora L. Myers
ECO:Anthony Eterno
FM:Frank Mashuda
HRO:Peggy Laurance (Residence In Ft Lauderdale)
MGT:Philip A. Dubois
AMB:Mary M. Ourisman
CG:Clyde I. Howard
DCM:O.P. Garza (Tdy)
PAO:John C. Roberts
GSO:Paul A. Kalinowski
RSO:Robert W. Starnes
AFSA:Arend Zwartjes
AID:James Goggin
CLO:Kimberly Ent/Shannon Baguio
DAO:Ltc. Edgar Hernandez (Res. Caracas)
DEA:Charles Graham
EEO:Ricardo Cabrera
FAA:Dawn Flanagan (Res. Washington)
FMO:Karin Sullivan
ICASS:Chair Cdr. P. Kofi Aboagye
IMO:Ricardo Cabrera
IRS:Cheryl Kast
ISO:Norman G B Ellasos
ISSO:Ricardo Cabrera
LAB:John C. Aller
LEGATT:Samuel Bryant, Jr..
MLO LCDR:Cdr.P. Kofi Aboagye
NAS:John C. Roberts
POL:Ian Campbell
State ICASS:Cdr. P. Kofi Aboagye

The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The Ambassador and Embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade
Administration
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean

14th & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-1658, 800-USA-Trade
Fax: 202-482-0464

Caribbean/Latin
American Action

1818 N Street, NW
Suite 310 Washington, DC
20036 Tel: 202-466-7464
Fax: 202-822-0075

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

April 2, 2007

Country Description: Antigua and Barbuda is a dual island nation known for its beaches, and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available. English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.

Entry Requirements: For information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 362-5122, or consulates in Miami. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism at http://www.antigua-barbuda.org.

Sea travelers must have a valid U.S. passport (or other original proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID).

Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will often request to see a return ticket or ticket for onward travel, as well as proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of the visitor's intended stay.There is a departure tax payable when departing the country.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site, where the current Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: Petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: There are many qualified doctors in Antigua and Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to a public hospital and a private clinic and are not up to U.S. standards. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island, to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic in Antigua and Barbuda moves on the left. Major roads are generally in good condition, but drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow moving heavy equipment. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and may travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via e-mail at [email protected] antigua-barbuda.org.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Antigua and Barbuda’air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet website at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Areas of detention are very uncomfortable. There are no beds, access to sanitary facilities is limited, and food is substandard. Persons arrested on a Friday or Saturday are likely to remain in detention until regular working hours resume on Monday. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown is located in the Wildey Business Park in suburban Wildey, south and east of downtown Bridgetown. The main number for the Consular Section is (246) 431-0225; after hours, the Embassy duty officer can be reached by calling (246) 436-4950. The website for Embassy Bridgetown is http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.—4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

The U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua provides passport, citizenship and notarial services, and assists Americans in distress. The Consular Agency is located in Suite #2, Jasmine Court, Friars Hill Rd, St. John's, Antigua. Contact information is as follows: telephone 1-268-463-6531, cellular 1-268-726-6531, or email [email protected] The mailing address is P.O. Box W-1562, St. John's, Antigua. The Consular Agent is available by appointment only. The office is closed for local and U.S. Holidays.

International Parental Child Abduction

March 2007

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: Antigua and Barbuda are not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Antigua and Barbuda place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes: In Antigua and Barbuda parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems. Foreign court orders are not automatically recognized.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in Antigua and Barbuda if they potentially contradict or violate local laws and practices. For example, an order from a U.S. court granting custody to an American mother will not be honored in Antigua and Barbuda if the mother intends to take the child to live outside Antigua and Barbuda. Nor will Antigua and Barbuda courts enforce U.S. court decrees ordering a parent in Antigua and Barbuda to pay child support.

Visitation Rights: In cases where the father has custody of a child, the mother is guaranteed visitation rights. It has been the experience of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados that the father and the paternal grandparents of the child are generally open and accommodating in facilitating the right of the mother to visit and maintain contact with the child.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is recognized under Antiguan law. Children of Antigua and Barbuda parents and grandparents automatically acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship at birth, regardless of where the child was born. They are free to enter and leave the country on Antigua and Barbuda passports even if they are entitled to hold the passport of another country.

Travel Restrictions: No exit visas are required to leave Antigua and Barbuda. However, a mother may face serious legal difficulties if she attempts to take her children out of Antigua and Barbuda without the permission of the father. Immigration officials at the airport or border may ask to see such permission in writing before allowing children to exit.

Criminal Remedies: For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org.

Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in an Antiguan court should retain an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados maintains a list of attorneys willing to represent American clients. A copy of this list may be obtained by requesting one from the Embassy at:

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Consular Section
ALICO Building, Cheapside
P O Box 302
Bridgetown
Barbados
Telephone: [246] 431-0225
Fax: [246] 431-0179
Web site: www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown

Questions involving Antiguan law should be addressed to an Antiguan attorney or to the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the United States at:

Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda
3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: (202) 362-5122/5166/5211
[email protected]

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or visit its web site on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov/family. You may also direct inquiries to: Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4811; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Compiled from the August 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Antigua and Barbuda


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

Antigua—281 sq. km. (108 sq. mi.); Barbuda—161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.).

Cities:

Capital—St. John's (pop. 30,000).

Terrain:

Generally low-lying, with highest elevation 405 m. (1,330 ft.).

Climate:

Tropical maritime.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective—Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s).

Population (2004 estimate):

80,039.

Annual population growth rate (2004):

1.9%.

Ethnic groups:

Almost entirely of African origin; some of British, Portuguese, and Levantine Arab origin.

Religion:

Principally Anglican, with evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic minorities.

Language:

English.

Education:

Years compulsory—9. Literacy—about 90%.

Health:

Life expectancy—71 yrs. male; 75 yrs. female. Infant mortality rate—18/1,000.

Work force (31,300):

Commerce and services, agriculture, other industry.

Unemployment (Labor Commission est. 2002):

11-13%.

Government

Type:

Constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style Parliament.

Constitution:

1981.

Independence:

November 1, 1981.

Branches:

Executive—governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), and cabinet. Legislative—a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general (mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition) and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. Judicial—magistrate's courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals, Privy Council in London).

Administrative subdivisions:

Six parishes and two dependencies (Barbuda and Redonda).

Political parties:

Antigua Labor Party (ALP, incumbent), United Progressive Party (UPP), Barbuda People's Movement (BPM).

Suffrage:

Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP (2004):

$815.2 million.

GDP growth rate (2004):

5.2%.

Per capita GDP (est. 2004):

$10,185

Natural resources:

Negligible.

Agriculture (2004, 3.2% of GDP):

Products—fish, cotton, livestock, vegetables, and pineapples.

Services:

Tourism, banking, and other financial services.

Trade:

Exports (2004)—$20 million. Trade partners (2000)—OECS (24%), U.S. (10%), Trinidad and Tobago (7%), Barbados (21%). Imports (2004)—$369 million. Trade partners (2000)—U.S. (27%), U.K. (10%), OECS (1%).


HISTORY

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people"), whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks—who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles—succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.

Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493, naming the larger one "Santa Maria de la Antigua." The English colonized the islands in 1632. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him. Codrington and others brought slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantations.

Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834 but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners. Economic opportunities for the new freedmen were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939 when a member of a royal commission urged the formation of a trade union movement.

The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird, who became the union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951, beginning a long history of electoral victories.

Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power, Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976, winning renewed mandates in every subsequent election under Vere Bird's leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.

In the last elections on March 23, 2004, the United Progressive Party (UPP) gained a 13-seat majority, while the opposition, now led by Robin Yearwood, retained four seats.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general—mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition—and a 17-member popularly elected House of

Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every 5 years but may be called by the prime minister at any time. National elections were last held on March 23, 2004.

Antigua and Barbuda has a multiparty political system with a long history of hard-fought elections, three of which have resulted in peaceful changes of government.

Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 11/30/2005

Governor General: James B. CARLISLE
Prime Min.: Baldwin SPENCER
Dep. Prime Min.: Min. of Agriculture Lands, Marine Resources, & Agro-Industries: Charlesworth SAMUEL
Min. of Barbuda Affairs: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Defense: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Education: Bertrand JOSEPH
Min. of Finance & the Economy: Eroll CORT
Min. of Foreign Affairs & International Trade: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Health, Sports, & Youth Affairs: John Herbert MAGINLEY
Min. of Housing, Culture, & Social Transformation: Hilson BAPTISTE
Min. of Information & Broadcasting: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Justice: Colin DERRICK
Min. of Labor, Public Administration, & Empowerment: Jacqui QUINN-LEANDRO
Min. of Legal Affairs: Justin SIMON
Min. of National Security: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Tourism & Civil Aviation: Harold LOVELL
Min. of Works, Transportation, & the Environment: Wilmoth DANIEL
Min. Without Portfolio: Aziz FARES
Attorney General: Justin SIMON
Ambassador to the US: Lionel HURST
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: John W. ASHE


ECONOMY

Antigua and Barbuda's service-based economy grew by 5.2% in 2004, with tourism, financial services, and government services as the key sources of employment and income. Although the tourism sector faced setbacks from a series of violent hurricanes since 1995 and a drop off in tourism after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it has largely recovered and had a strong performance in 2004. More than three-quarters of a million people visited Antigua and Barbuda in 2004, the majority from Europe and the U.S., including over 500,000 cruise ship visitors.

To lessen its vulnerability to natural disasters and economic shocks, Antigua has sought to diversify its economy by encouraging growth in transportation, communications, Internet gambling, and financial services.

Antigua and Barbuda's currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues the EC$, manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. The ECCB's primary monetary policy goal is to maintain the long-standing currency peg of US$1=EC$2.7.

Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative that grants duty-free entry into the U.S. for many goods. In 2001, 22% of its total exports of $17 million went to the U.S. and 28.5% of its $335 million total imports came from the U.S. Antigua and Barbuda also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).

As a member of CARICOM, Antigua and Barbuda supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force, which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.


U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens' standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's regulation of financial services. The U.S. also has been active in supporting posthurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and through the newly opened USAID satellite office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exercise-related and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.

Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. The former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional Coast Guard training facility. The U.S. Space Command continues to maintain a space-tracking facility on Antigua. The U.S. Embassy in Antigua closed on June 30, 1994.

Antigua and Barbuda's location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include over flight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).

In 2004, Antigua and Barbuda had 245,456 stay-over visitors, with around one-third from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.

The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The Ambassador and Embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.

The U.S. Embassy in Barbados is located in the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown (tel: 246-436-4950; fax: 246-429-5246). Consular Agent Juliet Ryder is located at Hospital Hill, English Harbor, Antigua, tel: (268) 463-6531.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

BRIDGETOWN (E) Address: CIBC Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown; APO/FPO: APO AA 34055; Phone: 246-436-4950; Fax: 246-429-5246; Workweek: Mon-Fri: 8.00 - 4.30

AMB:Mary E. Kramer
AMB OMS:Nancy Doe
DCM:Mary Ellen T. Gilroy
DCM OMS:Joann M. Liner-Collins
CG:Clyde I. Howard
POL:Sheila J. Peters
COM:David Katz (res. Santo Domingo)
MGT:Leo F. Voytko
AFSA:Vincent Wing
AID:Rebecca J. Rohrer
CLO:Georgetta M. Carroll
DAO:Bill Delehunt; Cdr Matt Crawley (both res. Caracas)
DEA:Hollis A. Williams
ECO:John M. Ashworth
EEO:Marilyn R. Gayton
FAA:Dawn Flanagan (res. Washington)
FMO:Vincent Wing
GSO:Paul A. Kalinowski
ICASS Chair:Peter Kilfoyle
IMO:Ricardo Cabrera
IRS:Cheryl Kast
LAB:Alfred Anzaldua
LEGATT:Susan R. Chainer
MLO:Peter Kilfoyle
NAS:Patricia Aguilera
PAO:Julie A. O'Reagan
RSO:Robert W. Starnes
Last Updated: 10/22/2005

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14TH & CONSTITUTION AVENUE, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-1658, 800-USA-Trade
Fax: 202-482-0464

Caribbean/Latin American Action
1818 N Street, NW
Suite 310
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-466-7464
Fax: 202-822-0075


TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

January 13, 2005

Country Description:

Antigua and Barbuda is a dual Caribbean island nation known for its beaches, and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available. English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

Valid or expired U.S. passports are accepted. Otherwise, a certified birth certificate and picture identification, i.e., a driver's license, are required of U.S. citizens. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will often request to see a return ticket. There is a departure tax payable when departing the country. U.S. citizens entering with documents other than U.S. passports should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. Travelers will not be allowed to return to the United States without sufficient evidence of identification and U.S. citizenship, and it can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel. For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 362-5122, or consulates in Miami. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism at http://www.antigua-barbuda.org.

Safety and Security:

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers out-side the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

Petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

There are many qualified doctors in Antigua & Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to a public hospital and a private clinic and are not up to U.S. expectations. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island, to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Antigua and Barbuda is on the left. Major roads are generally in good condition, but drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow moving heavy equipment. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via the Internet at http://www.interknowledge.com/antigua_barbuda.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Antigua and Barbuda as not being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for the oversight of Antigua and Barbuda's air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances:

Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Areas of detention are very uncomfortable. There are no beds, access to sanitary facilities is limited and food is substandard. Persons arrested on a Friday or Saturday are likely to remain in detention until regular working hours resume on Monday. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Embassy is located in the First Caribbean International Bank Building on Broad Street, telephone 1-246-436-4950, website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, telephone 1-246-431-0225 or fax 1-246-431-0179, website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. Hours of operation are 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone 1-268-463-6531, fax 1-268-460-1569, or email [email protected] The Consular Agent's hours of operations are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays (please call for an appointment). The Consular Agency in Antigua is temporarily closed but is expected to reopen by the end of 2004. Consular business will be handled by American Embassy Barbados until it reopens.

International Parental Child Abduction

February 2006

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov

Disclaimer:

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

General Information:

Antigua and Barbuda are not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Antigua and Barbuda place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes:

In Antigua and Barbuda parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems. Foreign court orders are not automatically recognized.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments:

Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in Antigua and Barbuda if they potentially contradict or violate local laws and practices. For example, an order from a U.S. court granting custody to an American mother will not be honored in Antigua and Barbuda if the mother intends to take the child to live out-side Antigua and Barbuda. Nor will Antigua and Barbuda courts enforce U.S. court decrees ordering a parent in Antigua and Barbuda to pay child support.

Visitation Rights:

In cases where the father has custody of a child, the mother is guaranteed visitation rights. It has been the experience of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados that the father and the paternal grandparents of the child are generally open and accommodating in facilitating the right of the mother to visit and maintain contact with the child.

Dual Nationality:

Dual nationality is recognized under Antiguan law.

Children of Antigua and Barbuda parents and grandparents automatically acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship at birth, regardless of where the child was born. They are free to enter and leave the country on Antigua and Barbuda passports even if they are entitled to hold the passport of another country.

Travel Restrictions:

No exit visas are required to leave Antigua and Barbuda. However, a mother may face serious legal difficulties if she attempts to take her children out of Antigua and Barbuda without the permission of the father. Immigration officials at the airport or border may ask to see such permission in writing before allowing children to exit.

Criminal Remedies:

Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in an Antiguan court should retain an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados maintains a list of attorneys willing to represent American clients. A copy of this list may be obtained by requesting one from the Embassy at: U.S. Embassy Bridgetown Consular Section ALICO Building, Cheapside P O Box 302 Bridgetown Barbados Telephone: [246] 431-0225 Fax: [246] 431-0179 Web site: www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown *The workweek for the Embassy is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and 1-2pm. Questions involving Antiguan law should be addressed to an Antiguan attorney or to the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the United States at:mailto:[email protected] of Antigua and Barbuda 3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016 Telephone: (202) 362-5122/5166/5211 [email protected]

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children's Issues at 202-736-7000, visit the State Department home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov, or send a nine-by-twelve-inch, self-addressed envelope to: Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520-2818; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

1 Location and Size

2 Topography

3 Climate

4 Plants and Animals

5 Environment

6 Population

7 Migration

8 Ethnic Groups

9 Languages

10 Religions

11 Transportation

12 History

13 Government

14 Political Parties

15 Judicial System

16 Armed Forces

17 Economy

18 Income

19 Industry

20 Labor

21 Agriculture

22 Domesticated Animals

23 Fishing

24 Forestry

25 Mining

26 Foreign Trade

27 Energy and Power

28 Social Development

29 Health

30 Housing

31 Education

32 Media

33 Tourism and Recreation

34 Famous Antiguans and Barbudans

35 Bibliography

CAPITAL: St. John’s

FLAG: Centered on a red background is a downward-pointing triangle divided horizontally into three bands of black, light blue, and white, the black stripe bearing a symbol of the rising sun in yellow.

ANTHEM: Begins “Fair Antigua and Barbuda, I salute thee.”

MONETARY UNIT: The East Caribbean dollar (ec$) is a paper currency of 100 cents, pegged to the U.S. dollar. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar, and notes of 5, 10, 20, and 100 dollars. ec$1 = us$0.37037 (or us$1 = ec$2.7; as of 2004).

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: Imperial measures are used, but the metric system is being introduced.

HOLIDAYS: New Year’s Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1st Monday in May; CARICOM Day, 3 July; State Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Whitmonday.

TIME: 8 am = noon GMT.

1 Location and Size

The state of Antigua and Barbuda is part of the Leeward Islands chain in the eastern Caribbean. The total land area, which includes the uninhabited island of Redonda, is 443 square kilometers (171 square miles), slightly less than 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. The total coastline is 153 kilometers (95 miles). Redonda is located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Antigua. The capital city, Saint John’s, is located on the northwestern edge of the island of Antigua.

2 Topography

Partly volcanic and partly coral in origin, Antigua has deeply indented shores lined by reefs and shoals. There are many natural harbors and beaches. Boggy Peak (402 meters/1,318 feet), in southwestern Antigua, is the nation’s highest point. The lowest point of the country is at sea level (Caribbean Sea). Antigua’s northeastern coastline is dotted by numerous tiny islets, while the central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda is a coral island with a large harbor on the west side. Redonda is a low-lying rocky islet.

GEOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Geographic Features

Area: 443 sq km (171 sq mi)

Size ranking: 182 of 194

Highest elevation: 402 meters (1,318 feet) at Boggy Peak

Lowest elevation: Sea level at the Caribbean Sea

Land Use*

Arable land: 18%

Permanent crops: 5%

Other: 77%

Weather**

Average annual precipitation: 117 centimeters (46 inches)

Average temperature in January: 24°c (75°f)

Average temperature in July: 29°c (84°f)

* Arable Land: Land used for temporary crops, like meadows for mowing or pasture, gardens, and greenhouses.

Permanent crops: Land cultivated with crops that occupy its use for long periods, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruit and nut orchards, and vineyards.

Other: Any land not specified, including built-on areas, roads, and barren land.

** The measurements for precipitation and average temperatures were taken at weather stations closest to the country’s largest city.

Precipitation and average temperature can vary significantly within a country, due to factors such as latitude, altitude, coastal proximity, and wind patterns.

3 Climate

Temperatures average 24°c (75°f) in January and 29°c (84°f) in July. Rainfall averages 117 centimeters (46 inches) per year.

4 Plants and Animals

Most of the vegetation is scrub, but there is luxuriant tropical growth where fresh water is available. Many varieties of fruits, flowers, and vegetables are grown. Palmetto and seaside mangrove trees are native to the islands. About 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) of red cedar, white cedar, mahogany, whitewood, and acacia forests have been planted. Barbuda is heavily wooded, with an abundance of deer, wild pigs, guinea fowl, pigeons, and wild ducks. Pineapple plantations can be found throughout Antigua.

5 Environment

Water management is the principal environmental concern. The existing water supply is threatened by pollution from distilleries, food-processing facilities, and other industrial operations. Deforestation contributes to soil erosion as rainfall, which is concentrated into a short season, quickly runs off, adding to the water shortage problem on the islands.

The nation’s main city, Saint John’s, has developed a problem with waste disposal. Untreated sewage from resort hotels travels in open sewage lines across the land and empties into the sea.

There are four main protected areas, including Barbuda’s offshore islands of North Sound and Codrington Lagoon. Endangered species in the nation include the Antiguan ground lizard, the West Indian whistling duck, and the Antiguan racer.

6 Population

The population in 2005 was estimated at 80,000 and is projected to be 87,000 by the year 2025. The overall population density was 182 persons per square kilometer (471 persons per square mile). Saint John’s, the capital, has an estimated population of 28,000 in 2005.

7 Migration

The United Kingdom has been the traditional destination of people leaving Antigua (emigrants). In recent years emigrants have moved to other Caribbean islands, such as Saint Martin, Barbados, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. mainland. The primary motive for emigration is the search for work. The net migration rate in 2005 was estimated at -6.11 migrants per 1,000 population.

8 Ethnic Groups

Antiguans are almost entirely of African descent. There are small numbers of persons of British, Portuguese, Lebanese, and Syrian ancestry.

9 Languages

English is the official language. An English patois (dialect) is in common use.

10 Religions

The dominant religion is Christianity, and the Church of England is the dominant denomination. Other Protestant groups, including Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Moravians, and Nazarenes, account for the next largest group. Roman Catholics make up a small percentage of the Christians. Minority religions include Islam, Baha’i, and Rastafarianism.

11 Transportation

In 2002, there were 1,165 kilometers (724 miles) of highways, of which 384 kilometers (239 miles) were paved. There were about 15,000

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Name: Winston Baldwin Spencer

Position: Prime minister of a constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament

Took Office: 24 March 2004

Birthplace: Green Bay, Antigua

Birthdate: 8 October 1948

Religion: Christian

Education: Oxford University, England, studied labor and economics; Oslo University, Norway, studied labor and industrial relations

Spouse: Jacklyn Spencer

Children: Son Juno and daughter J’Nai

Of interest: He was born in a working-class community and has been a labor activist his whole life.

motor vehicles registered. The railway consists of 77 kilometers (48 miles) of narrow-gauge track. The merchant fleet in 2005 consisted of 980 ships with a cargo capacity of 5.8 million gross registered tons. Vere Cornwall Bird International Airport, outside Saint John’s, accommodates the largest jet aircraft. Domestic and international scheduled flights carried 1,369,100 passengers in 2001.

12 History

Arawak and Carib Indians inhabited the islands in 1493, the year that Christopher Columbus made his second voyage. Antigua formally became a British colony in 1667. In 1674, Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate, leasing Barbuda to raise slaves and provide supplies for Antigua. In 1860, Barbuda was annexed to the island of Antigua. The islands were governed under the Federation of the Leeward Islands from 1871 to 1956, and under the Federation of the West Indies from 1958 to 1962.

Antigua achieved full self-government as of 27 February 1967. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on 1 November 1981.

In the mid-1990s, the United States and Antigua signed several laws to counteract narcotics trafficking in Antigua and Barbuda.

In late September 1998, Antigua was hit by high winds from Hurricane Georges. Building roofs and landscape plantings were damaged.

By 2004, Antigua and Barbuda had held five general elections since independence. In March 2004, Winston Baldwin Spencer was elected prime minister. The next election was scheduled for 2009.

13 Government

The British monarch, as head of state, is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor-general. The two-chamber legislature consists of a seventeen-member House of Representatives, elected for up to five years, and a seventeen-member Senate, appointed by the governor-general. The prime minister, who must have the support of a majority of the House, is appointed by the governor-general, as is the cabinet.

The prime minister, Winston Baldwin Spencer, assumed the post in March 2004. The next elections were scheduled for 2009.

The island of Antigua has six parishes and two dependencies, Barbuda and Redonda. Twenty-nine community councils conduct local government affairs.

14 Political Parties

In 2004, with the election of Winston Baldwin Spencer as prime minister, the United Progressive Party (UPP) replaced the Antigua Labour Party (ALP), which had held power since 1946, except for a period from 1971 to 1976 when the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) held a parliamentary majority. Other political groups include the Barbuda’s People’s Movement, a coalition of three small opposition political parties.

Yearly Growth Rate

This economic indicator tells by what percent the economy has increased or decreased when compared with the previous year.

15 Judicial System

Antigua and Barbuda is under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, based in Saint Lucia, which also provides a High Court and Court of Appeals. Final appeals may be made to the Queen’s Privy Council in the United Kingdom. A court of summary jurisdiction on Antigua deals with civil cases.

In 2003, Caribbean leaders met in Jamaica to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Although 8 nations have officially approved the CCJ, 14 other nations, including Antigua and Barbuda, were planning to use the court for appeals.

16 Armed Forces

There is a Royal Antigua and Barbuda Defense Force of some 170 personnel that forms a part

Components of the Economy

This pie chart shows how much of the country’s economy is devoted to agriculture (including forestry, hunting, and fishing), industry, or services.

of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Security System.

17 Economy

Since the 1960s, tourism has dominated the economy, replacing sugar and cotton production. Tourism now accounts for well over half of the gross domestic product (GDP). Antigua and Barbuda has the largest tourism industry in the Windward and Leeward Islands.

18 Income

In 2005, Antigua and Barbuda’s gross domestic product (GDP) was around us$750 million, or about us$11,000 per person. The annual growth rate of the GDP was approaching 4%. The average inflation rate in 2002 was 0.4%.

19 Industry

Industrial activity has shifted from the processing of local agricultural products to consumer and export industries that use imported raw materials. Industrial products include rum, refined petroleum, pottery, paints, garments, furniture, and electrical components. Industry accounted for 22% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005.

20 Labor

The total labor force was estimated at 30,000 in 2002. About 82% of the employed labor force worked in occupations connected with tourism or other services; 7% in industry; and 11% in agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing. In 2002, the minimum wage averaged us$2.22 per hour.

The minimum working age is 16, and the law is enforced by the Ministry of Labour, which conducts periodic workplace inspections. Around 75% of the workforce is unionized.

21 Agriculture

About 30% of the land on Antigua is potential farmland, with 18% in use. Sea-island cotton is a profitable export crop. A modest amount of sugar is harvested each year and there are plans for production of ethanol from sugarcane. Vegetables, including beans, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, plantains, squash, tomatoes, and yams, are grown mostly on small family plots for local markets. The Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging self-sufficiency in certain foods to cut dependence on food imports. (Food imports account for about 25% of all imports in terms of value.) Crops suffer from drought and insect pests, and cotton and sugar plantings suffer from soil depletion and the unwillingness of the population to work in the fields. Mango production in 2004 was 1,430 tons.

22 Domesticated Animals

In 2004, Antigua and Barbuda has 14,300 head of cattle, 19,000 sheep, 36,000 goats, and some 5,700 hogs. Most livestock is owned by individual households. Milk production in 2004 was an estimated 5,350 tons. The government has sought to increase grazing space and to improve stock, breeding Nelthropp cattle and Black Belly sheep. There is a growing poultry industry.

23 Fishing

Most fishing is for local consumption, although there is a growing export of the lobster catch to the United States and of some fish to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Antiguans annually consume the most fish per person per year (46 kilograms/101.4 pounds) of any Caribbean nation or territory. The main fishing waters are near shore or between Antigua and Barbuda. There are also shrimp and lobster farms. The Smithsonian Institution has a Caribbean king crab farming facility for the local market. The government has encouraged modern fishing methods and supported mechanization and the building of new boats. Fish landings in 2003 were 2,587 tons. The lobster catch was 243 tons. Exports of fish commodities in 2003 were valued at us$1.4 million.

24 Forestry

About 11% of the land is forested, mainly by plantings of red cedar, mahogany, white cedar, and acacia. A reforestation program was begun in 1963 to improve soil and water conservation.

Yearly Balance of Trade

The balance of trade is the difference between what a country sells to other countries (its exports) and what it buys (its imports). If a country imports more than it exports, it has a negative balance of trade (a trade deficit). If exports exceed imports there is a positive balance of trade (a trade surplus).

25 Mining

Few of the islands’ mineral resources, including limestone, building stone, clay, and barite, were exploited until recently. Limestone and volcanic stone have been extracted from Antigua for local construction. The manufacture of bricks and tiles from local clay has begun on a small scale. Barbuda produced a small amount of salt, while phosphate has been collected from Redonda.

26 Foreign Trade

Primary exports include petroleum products, manufactured goods and materials, and machinery and transport equipment. Imports include food, live animals, machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, and oil.

Selected Social Indicators

The statistics below are the most recent estimates available as of 2006. For comparison purposes, data for the United States and averages for low-income countries and high-income countries are also given. About 15% of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in high-income countries, while 37% live in low-income countries.

IndicatorAntigua and Barbuda Low-income countriesHigh-income countriesUnited States
sources: World Bank. World Development Indicators. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2006; Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006; World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.
Per capita gross national income (GNI)*$11,100 $2,258$31,009$39,820
Population growth rate0.6% 2%0.8%1.2%
People per square kilometer of land182 803032
Life expectancy in years: male70 587675
female75 608280
Number of physicians per 1,000 people0.2 0.43.72.3
Number of pupils per teacher (primary school)n.a. 431615
Literacy rate (15 years and older)89% 65%>95%99%
Television sets per 1,000 people470 84735938
Internet users per 1,000 people260 28538630
Energy consumed per capita (kg of oil equivalent)n.a. 5015,4107,843
CO2 emissions per capita (metric tons)4.69 0.8512.9719.92
* The GNI is the total of all goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a year. The per capita GNI is calculated by dividing a country’s GNI by its population and adjusting for relative purchasing power.
n.a.: data not available >: greater than <: less than

The country exports mostly to the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States), the United States, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Its major import providers are the United States, United Kingdom, and the nations of the OECS.

27 Energy and Power

Electric power produced in 2002 totaled 0.099 billion kilowatt hours. Gas is produced and refined locally. All primary energy consumption is petroleum based.

28 Social Development

A social security fund provides compulsory coverage of persons between the ages of 16 and 59 years. Medical insurance includes maternity benefits. The government operates daycare centers for children under five years of age. Domestic violence legislation was passed by parliament in 1999.

29 Health

There are four hospitals to care for the sick and aged. In addition, 9 health centers and 18 dispensaries are located throughout the country. In 2005 there were an estimated 20 doctors, 328 nurses, and 18 dentists for every 100,000 people.

The infant mortality rate in 2005 was estimated at 22 per 1,000 live births. The average life expectancy was 71.9 years (70 years for men and 75 years for women).

The leading causes of death included cancer, cardiovascular disease, and trauma. By the end of 2003, there had been 271 cases of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) reported.

The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) rehabilitates houses in the event of disaster, develops new housing tracts, and redevelops deteriorating areas. In March 2003, the government announced that plans were in place for CHAPA to build a number of affordable housing developments on private lands. CHAPA also planned to institute a housing improvement mortgage program to make it easier for citizens to purchase these homes.

31 Education

Education is required for children between the ages of five and sixteen years. Primary education begins at the age of five years and normally lasts for seven years. Secondary education lasts for five years. As of 2000, there were 72 primary and secondary schools. In 2001, there were about 13,000 students enrolled at the primary schools and 5,000 students at the secondary schools.

There currently are three colleges. The University of Health Sciences, Antigua, was founded in 1982. The University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies (Antigua and Barbuda), founded in 1949, offers adult education courses, secretarial skills training programs, summer courses for children, and special programs for women. In 1972, the technical and teacher’s training colleges merged and formed the Antigua State College.

The University of the West Indies has campuses in Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica, and it maintains facilities on several other islands, including Antigua. Those interested in higher education also enroll at schools in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, and Canada. Antigua’s adult literacy rate is estimated at 89% and is among the highest in the Eastern Caribbean.

32 Media

The islands’ automatic telephone system had approximately 38,000 mainline telephones and 38,200 cellular phones in use as of 2002. International telephone and telex services are supplied by Cable and Wireless (West Indies), Ltd.

Seven broadcasting stations—six radio and one television—were in operation in 2005. In 2001, the first independent radio station, Observer, began operations. This station is operated by the owners of the Observer newspaper. In 1997 there were about 36,000 radios and 31,000 television sets in use throughout the country. With around 1,665 Internet service providers, about 10,000 people subscribed to Internet service in 2003.

The Workers’ Voice, the official publication of the ALP and the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, appears weekly and has a circulation of 6,000 as of 2002. The Outlet, published weekly by the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement, has a circulation of 5,000. The Nation, with a circulation of about 1,500, is published by the government and appears weekly.

33 Tourism and Recreation

Tourism is the main source of income in Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua’s abundance of beaches, as many as 365, and its charter yachting and deep-sea fishing facilities have created the largest tourist industry in the Windward and Leeward Islands. The international regatta and Summer Carnival are popular annual events. Cricket is the national pastime. A wide range of hotels and restaurants served 232,000 tourists in 1999.

34 Famous Antiguans and Barbudans

The first successful colonizer of Antigua was Sir Thomas Warner (d. 1649). Vere Cornwall Bird Sr. (1910–1999) was prime minister from 1981 until 1994. (Isaac) Vivian Alexander (“Viv”) Richards (b. 1952) is a famous cricketer.

35 Bibliography

BOOKS

Berleant-Schiller, Riva. Antigua and Barbuda. Oxford: ABC Clio, 1995.

Etherington, Melanie. The Antigua and Barbuda Companion. Brooklyn, NY: Interlink Books, 2003.

Jinkins, Dana. Antigua and Barbuda: A Photographic Journey. Waitsfield, VT: Concepts, 1999.

Kincaid, Jamaica. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2000.

Kozleski, Lisa. The Leeward Islands: Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Eustatius, Guadeloupe,St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat. Philadelphia, PA: Mason Crest Publishers, 2004.

Philpott, Don. Antigua and Barbuda. Edison, NJ: Hunter, 2000.

WEB SITES

Aquastat. www.fao.org/ag/Agl/AGLW/aquastat/countries/antigua_barb/index.stm. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Commonwealth Country Profiles. www.thecommonwealth.org/Templates/YearbookHomeInternal.asp?NodeID=138049. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Country Pages. www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/ac/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Government Home Page. www.ab.gov.ag. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Compiled from the November 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Antigua and Barbuda

PROFILE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: Antigua—281 sq. km. (108 sq. mi.); Barbuda—161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—St. John’s (pop. 30,000).

Terrain: Generally low-lying, with highest elevation 405 m. (1,330 ft.).

Climate: Tropical maritime.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s).

Population: (2004) 80,100.

Annual population growth rate: (2004) 1.7%.

Ethnic groups: Almost entirely of African origin; some of British, Portuguese, and Levantine Arab origin.

Religions: Principally Anglican, with evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic minorities.

Language: English.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—about 85.8%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—18.86/1,000; Life expectancy—70 yrs. male; 75 yrs. female.

Work force: (30,000) Commerce and services, agriculture, other industry.

Unemployment: (Labor Commission est. 2002) 11-13%.

Government

Type: Constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style Parliament.

Constitution: 1981.

Independence: November 1, 1981.

Government branches: Executive—governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), and cabinet. Legislative—a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general (mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition) and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. Judicial—magistrate’s courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals, Privy Council in London).

Political subdivisions: Six parishes and two dependencies (Barbuda and Redonda).

Political parties: Antigua Labor Party (ALP, incumbent), United Progressive Party (UPP), Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2004) $815.2 million.

GDP growth rate: (2005) 3.2%.

Per capita GDP: (est. 2004) $10,185

Natural resources: Negligible.

Agriculture: (2004, 3.2% of GDP) Products—fish, cotton, livestock, vegetables, and pineapples.

Services: Tourism, banking, and other financial services.

Trade: Exports (2004)—$47 million. Trade partners (2004)—EU (23.8%), U.S. (19.0%), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (13.9%), Netherlands Antilles (7.6%). Imports (2004)—$451 million. Trade partners (20045)—U.S. (49.3%), Netherlands Antilles (11.9%), EU (11.1%), Trinidad and Tobago (6.4%), Canada (3.7%).

HISTORY

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney (“stone people”), whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks—who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles—succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.

Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493, naming the larger one “Santa Maria de la Antigua.” The English colonized the islands in 1632. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda’s only town is named after

him. Codrington and others brought slaves from Africa’s west coast to work the plantations. Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834 but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners. Economic opportunities for the new freedmen were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939 when a member of a royal commission urged the formation of a trade union movement. The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird, who became the union’s president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951, beginning a long history of electoral victories.

Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power, Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976, winning renewed mandates in every subsequent election under Vere Bird’s leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.

In the last elections on March 23, 2004, the United Progressive Party (UPP) gained a 13-seat majority, while the opposition, now led by Robin Yearwood, retained four seats.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general—mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition—and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every 5 years but may be called by the prime minister at any time. National elections were last held on March 23, 2004. Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/10/2007

Governor General: James B. CARLISLE

Prime Min.: Baldwin SPENCER

Dep. Prime Min.:

Min. of Agriculture Lands, Marine Resources, & Agro-Industries: Charlesworth SAMUEL

Min. of Barbuda Affairs: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Defense: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Education, Sports, & Youth Affairs: Bertrand JOSEPH

Min. of Finance & the Economy: Eroll CORT

Min. of Foreign Affairs & International Trade: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Health: John Herbert MAGINLEY

Min. of Housing & Social Transformation: Hilson BAPTISTE

Min. of Information & Broadcasting: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Justice & Public Safety: Colin DERRICK

Min. of Labor, Public Administration, & Empowerment: Jacqui QUINN-LEANDRO

Min. of Legal Affairs: Justin SIMON

Min. of National Security: Baldwin SPENCER

Min. of Tourism, Culture, & Civil Aviation: Harold LOVELL

Min. of Works, Transportation, & the Environment: Wilmoth DANIEL

Attorney General: Justin SIMON

Ambassador to the US: Lionel HURST

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: John W. ASHE

Antigua and Barbuda maintains an embassy in the United States at 3216 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 (tel. 202-362-5122).

ECONOMY

Antigua and Barbuda’s service-based economy grew by 3.0% in 2005, compared with 5.2% in 2004. Tourism, financial services, and government services are the key sources of employment and income. The tourism and hospitality sector has largely recovered after the decrease in tourism following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It posted a strong performance in 2004, and in 2005 the sector accounted for over 50% of GDP. To lessen its vulnerability to natural disasters and economic shocks, Antigua has sought to diversify its economy by encouraging growth in transportation, communications, Internet gambling, and financial services.

Antigua and Barbuda’s currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a regional currency shared among members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues the EC$, manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. The ECCB has kept the EC$ pegged at EC$2.7=US$1. Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative that grants duty-free entry into the U.S. for many goods. In 2004, 19.0% of its total exports went to the U.S., and 49.3% of its total imports came from the U.S. Antigua and Barbuda also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Eastern Caribbean’s Regional Security System (RSS).

U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens’ standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s regulation of financial services. The U.S. also has been active in supporting post-hurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as through the USAID office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exercise-related and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.

Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. The former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional Coast Guard training facility.

Antigua and Barbuda’s location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include overflight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).

In 2005, Antigua and Barbuda had 239, 804 stay-over visitors, with nearly 28% of Antigua and Barbuda’s visitors coming from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The Ambassador and Embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.

The U.S. Embassy in Barbados is located in the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown (tel: 246-436-4950; fax: 246-429-5246). Consular Agent Rebecca Simon is located at Hospital Hill, English Harbor, Antigua, tel: (268) 463-6531.

BRIDGETOWN (E) Address: Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006; APO/FPO: APO AA 34055; Phone: 246-436-4950; Fax: 246-429-5246; Workweek: Mon-Fri: 8.00–4.30.

AMB:Mary M. Ourisman
AMB OMS:Honora L. Myers
DCM:Mary Ellen T. Gilroy
DCM OMS:Joann M. Liner-Collins
CG:Clyde I. Howard
POL:Sheila J. Peters
MGT:Dean Wooden
AID:James Goggin
CLO:Monique Weekes
DAO:Edgar Hernandez (res. Caracas)
DEA:Charles Graham
ECO:Anthony Eterno
EEO:Ricardo Cabrera
FAA:Dawn Flanagan (res. Washington)
FCS:Michael McGee (Santo Domingo)
FMO:Karin Sullivan
GSO:Paul A. Kalinowski
ICASS Chair:Cdr. P. Kofi Aboagye
IMO:Ricardo Cabrera
IRS:Cheryl Kast
ISO:Manuel Dipre
ISSO:Manuel Dipre
LAB:Martina Strong
LEGATT:Samuel Bryant
MLO:Cdr.P. Kofi Aboagye
NAS:Julie A. O’Reagan(Acting)
PAO:Julie A. O’Reagan
RSO:Robert W. Starnes

Last Updated: 1/9/2007

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
14th & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 202-482-1658, 800-USA-Trade
Fax 202-482-0464

Caribbean/Latin American Action
1818 N Street, NW
Suite 310

Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-466-7464
Fax: 202-822-0075

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : October 13, 2006

Country Description: Antigua and Barbuda is a dual island nation known for its beaches, and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available. English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.

Entry/Exit Requirements: IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION—Effective January 23, 2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada are required to have a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States. As early as January 1, 2008, U.S. citizens traveling between the United States and the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on applying for a passport.

Until these new regulations take effect, valid or expired U.S. passports are accepted. Otherwise, a certified birth certificate and picture identification, e.g., a driver’s license, are required for U.S. citizens to enter Antigua and Barbuda. U.S. citizens should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. Travelers will not be allowed to return to the United States without sufficient evidence of identification and U.S. citizenship, and it can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will often request to see a return ticket or ticket for onward travel. There is a departure tax payable when departing the country. For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 362-5122, or consulates in Miami. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism at http://www.antigua-barbuda.org.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site, where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: Petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: There are many qualified doctors in Antigua and Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to a public hospital and a private clinic and are not up to U.S. standards. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island, to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en/.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic in Antigua and Barbuda moves on the left. Major roads are generally in good condition, but drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow moving heavy equipment. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and may travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via e-mail at [email protected]

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for the oversight of Antigua and Barbuda’sair carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa.

Special Circumstances: Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Areas of detention are very uncomfortable. There are no beds, access to sanitary facilities is limited, and food is sub-standard. Persons arrested on a Friday or Saturday are likely to remain in detention until regular working hours resume on Monday. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Embassy is located in the First Caribbean International Bank Building on Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados, telephone 1-246-436-4950, website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, Bridgetown, telephone 1-246-431-0225 or fax 1-246-431-0179, email [email protected], website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov/. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays. The U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua provides passport, citizenship, and notarial services, and assists Americans in distress. The Consular Agency is located in Suite #2, Jasmine Court, Friars Hill Rd, St. John’s, Antigua. Contact information is as follows: telephone 1-268-463-6531, cellular 1-268-726-6531, or e-mail [email protected] The mailing address is P.O. Box W-1562, St. John’s, Antigua. The Consular Agent is available by appointment only. The office is closed for local and U.S. Holidays.

International Parental Child Abduction : February 2007

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: Antigua and Barbuda are not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Antigua and Barbuda place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes: In Antigua and Barbuda parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems. Foreign court orders are not automatically recognized.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgements: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in Antigua and Barbuda if they potentially contradict or violate local laws and practices. For example, an order from a U.S. court granting custody to an American mother will not be honored in Antigua and Barbuda if the mother intends to take the child to live outside Antigua and Barbuda. Nor will Antigua and Barbuda courts enforce U.S. court decrees ordering a parent in Antigua and Barbuda to pay child support.

Visitation Rights: In cases where the father has custody of a child, the mother is guaranteed visitation rights. It has been the experience of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados that the father and the paternal grandparents of the child are generally open and accommodating in facilitating the right of the mother to visit and maintain contact with the child.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is recognized under Antiguan law. Children of Antigua and Barbuda parents and grandparents automatically acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship at birth, regardless of where the child was born. They are free to enter and leave the country on Antigua and Barbuda passports even if they are entitled to hold the passport of another country.

Travel Restrictions: No exit visas are required to leave Antigua and Barbuda. However, a mother may face serious legal difficulties if she attempts to take her children out of Antigua and Barbuda without the permission of the father. Immigration officials at the airport or border may ask to see such permission in writing before allowing children to exit.

Criminal Remedies: For information on possible criminal remedies, please contact your local law enforcement authorities or the nearest office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Information is also available on the Internet at the web site of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org.

Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in an Antiguan court should retain an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados maintains a list of attorneys willing to represent American clients. A copy of this list may be obtained by requesting one from the Embassy at:

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Consular Section
ALICO Building, Cheapside
P O Box 302
Bridgetown
Barbados
Telephone: [246] 431-0225
Fax: [246] 431-0179
Web site: www.usembassy.state.gov/
Bridgetown

The workweek for the Embassy is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and 1-2pm.

Questions involving Antiguan law should be addressed to an Antiguan attorney or to the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the United States at: Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda; 3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20016; Telephone: (202) 362-5122/5166/5211; [email protected]

For further information on international parental child abduction, contact the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or visit its web site on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

You may also direct inquiries to: Office of Children’s Issues; U.S. Department of State; Washington, DC 20520-4811; Phone: (202) 736-9090; Fax: (202) 312-9743.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Type of Government

The government of Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional parliamentary democracy. The executive branch consists of a governor general who is head of state and a prime minister who is head of government. The legislature is bicameral, comprising the House of Representatives and Senate, each with seventeen members. The judicial branch is based on English common law.

Background

Located in the eastern Caribbean, the country of Antigua and Barbuda is made up of those two main islands and the dependency of Redonda, which are all part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago.

In 1493, when Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) sighted the larger island of Antigua on his second voyage, the island was populated by the Carib people. He named it after the church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville. Though the Spanish and French attempted settlement, permanent European settlement did not occur for well over a century, largely because of Antigua’s lack of fresh water and determined Carib resistance. In 1632 a group of Englishmen from Saint Kitts established a successful settlement, and Antigua formally became a British colony in 1667; Barbuda was not colonized until 1674.

In 1674 the sugar economy was introduced to Antigua by Christopher Codrington, who came from Barbados and established the first plantation. Cane-processing windmills were soon built all over the island; by the middle of the eighteenth century there were more than 150 of these, each demarking a sizeable plantation. With sugar cane also came traffic in African slaves, a practice which continued until 1834 when slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. Codrington leased Barbuda to raise slaves and supplies for the sugar cane enterprise. Barbuda’s only town is named after him.

In addition to its importance as an exporter of sugar, Antigua also became an important strategic port, and the British Royal Navy headquartered its Caribbean fleet there in the eighteenth century. In 1860 Antigua annexed Barbuda, and in 1871, both islands were placed under the auspices of the Leeward Islands Federation. The island’s administration was transferred to the Federation of the West Indies in 1958. Meanwhile, the economy of the islands languished as the sugar industry declined due to increased competition, reduction in world sugar prices, and over-farming.

Antigua and Barbuda remained economically underdeveloped well into the twentieth century. Farmland was always scarce on the islands, and former slaves had no access to credit with which to start new businesses. Poor islanders increasingly constructed shantytowns and attempted to provide for their families as occasional laborers. This general impoverishment gave rise to a labor union movement in the late 1930s, which effectively dovetailed with a movement for independence from England.

The Antigua Trades and Labor Union was formed in 1939, and by 1943 it was led by Vere Cornwall Bird (1910–1999), who also founded the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). In the 1951 elections, when universal adult suffrage was first instituted, the ALP became the majority party, a position that it held, with a brief hiatus in the 1970s, for over half a century. Bird established a political dynasty and ultimately led his country to full independence.

Independence came in stages. Antigua became an associated state of the United Kingdom with full internal self-government in 1967. However, residents of Barbuda initially opposed independence until they could be guaranteed a degree of economic and administrative autonomy from Antigua. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1981, and Bird became the nation’s first prime minister.

Government Structure

With its Commonwealth status, the nation of Antigua and Barbuda recognizes the British monarch as its head of state, represented on the islands by a governor general whose role is largely ceremonial. The prime minister and the cabinet, chosen from the majority party in the lower house of parliament, form the actual government and are responsible for conducting affairs of state.

The parliament is bicameral. The lower house, called the House of Representatives, has seventeen members elected every five years by universal adult suffrage, but the prime minister can call for earlier elections if needed. The House holds the bigger share of legislative power in the parliament. The Senate comprises seventeen members who are appointed by the governor general: eleven on the advice of the prime minister (this must include at least one resident of Barbuda); four on the advice of the leader of the opposition; one of the governor general’s own choosing; and one on the advice of the Barbuda Council, that island’s governing body.

The island of Antigua has six parishes and two dependencies, Barbuda and Redonda. Local government affairs are conducted by twenty-nine community councils, each with nine members, five elected and four appointed.

The judicial system is based on English common law and statutory law, as enacted by the Antigua and Barbuda parliament. The constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, and suspects must be brought before a court within forty-eight hours of arrest or detention. There are also constitutionally protected rights of privacy, freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Three magistrates’ courts deal with summary offenses and lesser civil cases, while a court of summary jurisdiction on Antigua deals with larger civil cases. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, based in Saint Lucia, provides a High Court and Court of Appeal. Since 2005 final appeals may be made to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Political Parties and Factions

Antigua and Barbuda functions under a two-party system. The dominant party in the country since the time of independence has been the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Its main rival for power is the United Progressive Party (UPP). Other minor parties include the Barbuda People’s Movement for Change, allied to the ALP, and the Barbuda People’s Movement, allied to the UPP.

The ALP, an outgrowth of the trade union movement in Antigua and Barbuda, held power from 1946 to 2004, except for a period from 1971 to 1976. With the retirement of Vere Bird in 1994, his son, Lester Bird (1938–), took over his father’s term of office as prime minister. He successfully stood for election that same year, and maintained power until 2004.

Formed in 1992 through the coalition and merger of several smaller political parties, the UPP was the opposition party throughout the 1990s and into the twenty-first century. Led by the labor activist Winston Baldwin Spencer (1948–), the party finally swept into power in 2004, winning 55 percent of the vote and taking twelve of the seventeen seats in the House of Representatives.

Major Events

The Bird political dynasty was the longest-serving elected government in the Caribbean. During the course of their long term in power the country prospered through tourism and the establishment of financial services. However, there were also many allegations of corruption leveled at the government and the country for activities related to drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and money laundering. Lester Bird’s brother was arrested for cocaine smuggling, and the country was put on several international watch lists for money laundering. In 2000 Antigua and Barbuda, along with other Caribbean nations, agreed to reforms to aid in the battle against money laundering.

Despite such challenges and difficulties, the ALP remained in power until 2004. Shortly after the UPP took power, income tax, eliminated in 1975, was reintroduced to help reduce the country’s deficit. Beginning in 2003, the country also fell into an ongoing dispute with the United States over the legality of Internet gambling, which had become a large part of the Antigua and Barbuda economy.

Twenty-First Century

The main challenges to a stable government in Antigua and Barbuda are corruption and the creation of a strong economic base. In 2000 the government instituted policies to prevent money laundering, which has helped to restore the nation’s financial reputation and increase foreign investment. The country’s other main source of income is tourism, accounting for more than 50 percent of GDP. The tourism industry has declined since 2000, significantly reducing government revenues and thereby halting development programs. Internet gambling proved for a time to be vital to the country in its attempt to move away from tourism as its main source of foreign currency. With the U.S. ban in 2003, however, such gaming operations were reduced from 100 to 36, and the number of employees in Antigua and Barbuda shrank from 5,000 to 2,500. The outcome of an international court case brought against the United States by Antigua and Barbuda will thus have important long-term effects for the country.

Berleant-Schiller, Riva, Susan Lowes, and Milton Benjamin. Antigua and Barbuda . Oxford: Clio, 1995.

Coram, Robert. Caribbean Time Bomb: The United States’ Complicity in the Corruption of Antigua . New York: William Morrow, 1993.

Gaspar, David. Bondsmen and Rebels: A Study of Master-Slave Relations in Antigua . Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Dependency of the United Kingdom

  • Area: 170 sq mi (440 sq km): Antigua, 108 sq mi (280 sq km); Barbuda, 62 sq mi (161 sq km); Redonda, 5 sq mi (1.3 sq km). / World Rank: 187
  • Location: Part of the Leeward Islands, Caribbean Sea, in the Northern and Western Hemispheres,261 mi (420 km) southeast of Puerto Rico, 110 mi (180 km) north of Montserrat and Guadeloupe
  • Coordinates: 17° 03′ N, 61° 48′ W
  • Borders: No international boundaries
  • Coastline: 95 mi (153 km)
  • Territorial Seas: 12 NM (exclusive economic zone: 200 NM)
  • Highest Point: Boggy Peak, 1,319 ft (402 m)
  • Lowest Point: Sea level
  • Longest Distances: 14 mi (22.4 km) N-S / 9 mi (14.4 km) E-W
  • Longest River: None
  • Natural Hazards: Subject to hurricanes and periodic drought
  • Population: 66,970 (2001 est.) / World Rank: 192
  • Capital City: St John's in the northwest on the island of Antigua
  • Largest City: St. John's, 24,000 (2000)

OVERVIEW

Antigua is both partly volcanic and partly coral in make-up, giving it deeply indented shores lined by shoals, reefs, and natural beaches. It is the largest of the British Leeward Islands. Its northeastern coast is lined by many islets and its central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda is a coral island that has a large natural lagoon in the northwest. Redonda is a rocky, low-lying islet.

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS

Despite Antigua being a partly volcanic island, there have been no eruptions in recent history. The highest elevations are in the southwestern part of the island. This is where Boggy Peak (1,319 ft / 402 m), the tallest mountain on the island, is located.

Neither Barbuda nor Redonda have any significant elevations.

INLAND WATERWAYS

Antigua and Barbuda lack any large rivers or lakes of significant size.

THE COAST, ISLANDS, AND THE OCEAN

Oceans and Seas

Antigua and Barbuda are located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The open Atlantic Ocean lies to the north and east. There are many coral reefs in the vicinity of Antigua and Barbuda. The island of Guadeloupe lies to the south, on the far side of the Guadeloupe Passage from Antigua.

The Coast and Beaches

Antigua and Barbuda is famous for its beaches, estimated at 365, particularly those on Antigua itself. The most noteworthy feature of Barbuda's coastline is the natural lagoon on the western side of the island.

CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

Temperature

Temperatures average 84°F (29°C) in July and 75°F (24°C) in January, a result of the cooling trade winds from the east and northeast.

Rainfall

Rainfall averages 46 in (117 cm) per year with September through November being the wettest months. The islands are subject to both the occasional summer drought and autumn hurricanes, although the low humidity makes it one of the most temperate climates in the world.

Vegetation

The sandy soil on much of the islands has only scrub vegetation. Some parts of Antigua are more fertile–most notably the central plain–due to the volcanic ash in the soil. These areas support some tropical vegetation, and agricultural uses. The planting of acacia, mahogany, and red and white cedar on Antigua has led to as much as 11 percent of the land becoming forested, helping to conserve soil and water.

HUMAN POPULATION

The mid-July 2001 estimate is 66,970 for both of the inhabited islands combined, although the greatest number live on Antigua. An estimated 37 percent of the total are urban dwellers, and claim African descent, although persons of European and Middle Eastern origins also live here. The Anglican Church claims about 45 percent of the population; other Protestant denominations, 42 percent; and the Roman Catholics, 8.7 percent. Minority religions include Islam and Baha'i.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Most fishing is for local consumption, but the US and neighboring islands receive lobster from Antigua and Barbuda. Recent exploitation of mineral resources—limestone on Antigua, salt on Barbuda, and phosphate on Redonda—has opened up new manufacturing possibilities for local usage.

Parishes – Antigua and Barbuda
POPULATIONS FROM 1991 CENSUS
Name Population Area (sq mi) Area (sq km)
Barbuda 1,200 62.0 160.6
Redonda N/A 0.5 1.3
Saint George 4,500 10.2 26.4
Saint John 35,600 26.2 67.9
Saint Mary 5,300 25.1 65.0
Saint Paul 6,100 17.7 45.8
Saint Peter 3,600 12.8 33.2
Saint Phillip 3,000 16.0 41.4
SOURCE : Geo-Data 1989 ed. and; Johan van der Heyden. Geohive, http://www.geohive.com (accessed July 2002).

FURTHER READINGS

Corum, Robert. Caribbean Time Bomb; the United States'Complicity in the Corruption of Antigua. New York: Morrow, 1993.

Dyde, Brian. Antigua and Barbuda; the Heart of the Caribbean. London: M Caribbean, 1993.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Background Notes. Antigua and Barbuda. Washington, D.C., 2001.

Vaitilingham, Adam. Antigua; the Mini Rough Guide / compiled by Adam Vaitilingam. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

At a Glance

Official Name: Antigua & Barbuda

Continent: North America

Area: 170 square miles (440 sq km)

Population: 66,970

Capital City: St. John's

Largest City: St. John's (36,000)

Unit of Money: East Caribbean dollar

Major Languages: English

Literacy: 96%

Land Use: 18% arable, 9% meadow, 11% forest, 62% other

Natural Resources: None

Government: Executive lead by a governor-general

Defense: 3.3 M

The Place

Antigua and Barbuda is made up of three separate islands. Together they have a total of 95 miles (153 km) of coastline. Antigua is the main island and has an area of 108 square miles (280 sq km). It reaches a maximum of 1,330 feet (405 m) above sea level. There are no forests or rivers in Antigua. Bordered by the Caribbean Sea on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Antigua enjoys a warm climate year-round.

Barbuda is the second-largest island and covers just 62 square miles (161 sq km). Located about 25 miles (40 km) north of Antigua, Barbuda is a very different island. It is made of coral and is fairly flat, reaching just 143 feet (44 m) above sea level. Much of Barbuda's land is covered by forest. There is a lagoon on the western side of the island that borders Barbuda's only settlement.

The third island of the country is called Redonda, and it is located about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Antigua. Redonda is actually a giant uninhabited rock measuring .05 square miles (1.3 sq km). It rises about 1,000 feet out of the Caribbean Sea.

The People

Most of the people of Antigua and Barbuda are direct descendents of African slaves brought to the islands to work on the sugar crops during colonial times. Some Europeans, such as British, and Portuguese, as well as Lebanese, also live on the islands.

Life in Antigua and Barbuda is pleasant. Extended families are very important to the cultural life on the islands. There is little internal conflict in the country, and no great difference between the social classes. Over the last several decades, women have moved up in society and many now hold college degrees and good jobs.

More than 80% of the residents are employed by commerce and tourism services. Because there are few natural resources on the islands, Antiguans and Barbudans rely on the tropical climate and sandy beaches to bring in revenue. About 11% of the population works in agriculture and grows cotton, fruits, and vegetables. Some 7% work in industry.

About 64% of Antiguans and Barbudans live in rural areas. The country has a population density of 384 people per square mile (148 people per sq km). The average life expectancy is 71 years, and there is 1 doctor for every 3,750 people.

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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Compiled from the November 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.


Official Name:
Antigua and Barbuda


PROFILE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: Antigua—281 sq. km. (108 sq. mi.); Barbuda—161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—St. John's (pop. 30,000).

Terrain: Generally low-lying, with highest elevation 405 m. (1,330 ft.).

Climate: Tropical maritime.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s).

Population: (2001 Antiguan census) 75,401.

Annual population growth rate: (1999) 1.1%.

Ethnic groups: Almost entirely of African origin; some of British, Portuguese, and Levantine Arab origin.

Religions: Principally Anglican, with evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic minorities.

Language: English.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—about 90%.

Health: Life expectancy —71 yrs. male; 75 yrs. female. Infant mortality rate—18/1,000.

Work force: (31,300) Commerce and services, agriculture, other industry.

Unemployment: (Labor Commission est. 2002) 11-13%.

Government

Type: Constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style Parliament.

Constitution: 1981.

Independence: November 1, 1981.

Branches: Executive —governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), and cabinet. Legislative—a 17-member Senate appointed by the Governor General (mainly on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition) and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. Judicial—magistrate's courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals, Privy Council in London).

Administrative subdivisions: Six parishes and two dependencies (Barbuda and Redonda).

Political parties: Antigua Labor Party (ALP, incumbent), United Progressive Party (UPP), Barbuda People's Movement (BPM).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.


Economy

GDP: (2002) $710 million.

GDP growth rate: (2002) 2.7%.

Per capita GDP: (est. 2000) $9,690.

Natural resources: Negligible.

Agriculture: (2001, 4% of GDP) Products—cotton, livestock, vegetables, and pineapples.

Services: Tourism, banking, and other financial services.

Trade: (est. 2001) Exports—$17 million. Trade partners (2000) OECS (24%), U.S. (10%), Trinidad and Tobago (7%), Barbados (21%). Imports $375 million—U.S. (27%), U.K. (10%), OECS (1%).




HISTORY

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people") whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.


Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493 naming the larger one "Santa Maria de la Antigua." The English colonized the islands in 1632. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him. Codrington and others brought slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantations.


Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834 but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners.

Economic opportunities for the new freedmen were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939 when a member of a royal commission urged the formation of a trade union movement.


The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird who became the union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951 beginning a long history of electoral victories.


Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power, Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976 and the party has won renewed mandates in every subsequent election.


During elections in March 1994, power passed from Vere Bird to his son, Lester Bird. In the last elections in March 1999, the ALP gained a 12-seat majority, while the opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) led by Baldwin Spencer retained four seats, and the Barbuda People's Movement (BPM) retained one seat.




GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general — mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition — and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every 5 years but may be called by the prime minister at any time. National elections are anticipated to occur prior to March of 2004. Antigua and Barbuda has a multiparty political system with a long history of hard-fought elections, two of which have resulted in peaceful changes of government. The opposition, however, claims to be disadvantaged by the ruling party's longstanding monopoly on patronage and its control of the electronic media.

Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.


Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 11/21/02


Governor General: Carlisle, James B.

Prime Min.: Bird, Lester

Dep. Prime Min.: Yearwood, Robin

Min. of Agriculture, Lands, & Fisheries: Bird, Vere, Jr.

Min. of Caricom & OECS Affairs: Bird, Lester

Min. of Defense: Bird, Lester

Min. of Education, Culture, & Technology: Williams, Rodney

Min. of External Affairs: Bird, Lester

Min. of Finance: Bird, Lester

Min. of Health & Social Improvement: St. Luce, John

Min. of Home Affairs, Urban Development, Renewal, & Social Development: St. Luce, John

Min. of Information & Public Broadcasting: Yearwood, Guy

Min. of Justice & Legal Affairs: Bird, Lester

Min. of Labor, Public Safety, & Cooperatives: Benjamin, Steadroy

Min. of Legislature, Privatization, Printing, & Electoral Affairs: Bird, Lester

Min. of Planning, Implementation, & Public Service: Browne, Gaston

Min. of Public Utilities, Aviation, International & Local Transport, & Housing: Yearwood, Robin

Min. of Public Works, Sewage, Energy, Urban Development, & Renewal: Bird, Lester

Min. of Social Improvement, Urban Development, Renewal, & Community Development: St. Luce, John

Min. of State in the Ministries of Information, Broadcasting, & Public Works: Walker, Bernard

Min. of State in the Office of the Prime Minister: Michael, Asot

Min. of Telecommunications & Gaming: Bird, Lester

Min. of Tourism & Environment: Joseph, Molwyn

Min. of Trade, Industry, & Business Development: Browne, Gaston

Min. of Youth Empowerment, Sports, Community Development, & Carnival: Yearwood, Guy

Attorney General: Thom, Gertel

Ambassador to the US: Hurst, Lionel

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Lewis, Patrick



Antigua and Barbuda maintain an embassy in the United States at 3216 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016 (tel. 202-362-5122).




ECONOMY

Antigua and Barbuda's economy is service-based, with tourism, financial and government services representing the key sources of employment and income. Tourism also is the principal earner of foreign exchange in Antigua and Barbuda. However, a series of violent hurricanes since 1995 resulted in serious damage to tourist infrastructure and periods of sharp reductions in visitor numbers. Antigua and Barbuda's tourist sector continues to recover from past hurricanes and a downfall in numbers after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. In 2002, more than half a million tourists visited Antigua and Barbuda, the majority from Europe and the U.S. Cruise ship arrivals numbered over 300,000, more than half the total number of arrivals. Tourism receipts totaled $240 million in 2002. The economy grew at a rate of 2.7% in 2002.


To lessen its vulnerability to natural disasters, Antigua has sought to diversify its economy. Transportation, communications, and financial services are becoming important.


Antigua is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). All members of the ECCU share a common currency issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries.


Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. In 2001, its exports totaled $17 million, of which 22% went to the U.S. Antigua and Barbuda imported 28.5% of its goods from the U.S. Overall, imports totaled $335 million in 2001. It also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).




FOREIGN RELATIONS

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).


As a member of CARICOM, Antigua and Barbuda supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force, which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.



U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens' standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's regulation of financial services. The U.S. also has been active in supporting posthurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and through the newly opened US AID satellite office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exerciserelated and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.


Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. The former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional Coast Guard training facility. The U.S. Space Command continues to maintain a space-tracking facility on Antigua. The U.S. embassy in Antigua closed on June 30, 1994.


Antigua and Barbuda's location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers. To address these problems, the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include overflight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).


In 2002, Antigua and Barbuda had 198,000 stay-over visitors, with over 60,000 from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Bridgetown (E), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Bldg., Broad Street • P.O. Box 302 or FPO AA 34055, Tel (246) 436-4950, Fax 429-5246 and 429-3379, Telex 2259 USEMB BG1 WB, Marine Sec. Guard, Tel 436-8995; CON Fax 431-0179; AID Tel 228-8584, Fax 228-8589; PAO Fax 429-5316; MLO Fax 427-1668; LEGATT Fax 437-7772; NAS Fax 431-0262; DEA Fax 436-7524.

AMB: Earl N. Phillips, Jr.
AMB OMS: E. Lakita Carden
DCM: Marcia S. Bernicat
POL/ECO: Paul Belmont
ECO: Y. Viki Limaye
COM: Terry Sorgi (res. Santo Domingo)
CON: Robert Fretz
MGT: Leo Voytko
RSO: Daniel Becker
PAO: Kathleen L. Boyle
IRM: Charles O'Malley
AID: Ronald Stryker
DAO: LTC David Robles
MLO: CDR Christopher Sinnett
REA: David Alarid (res. San Jose)
AGR: Margie Bauer (res. Miami)
LAB: [Vacant]
LEGATT: Susan R. Chainer
IRS: Cheryl Kast (res. Mexico City)
FAA: Dawn Flanagan (res. Miami)
DEA: Hollis Williams

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 24, 2003


The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The ambassador and embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.


Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Trade Information Center
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230


Caribbean/Latin American Action
1818 N Street, NW
Suite 310
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-466-7464
Fax: 202-822-0075

Eastern Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 111
St. Michael, Barbados
Tel: 246-436-9493
Fax: 246-9494
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ecamcham.org




TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
March 21, 2003

Country Description: Antigua and Barbuda is a dual-island nation known for its beaches, and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourism and yachting facilities are widely available. English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.


Entry and Exit Requirements: Valid or expired U.S. passports are accepted. Otherwise, a certified birth certificate and picture identification, e.g., a driver's license, are required of U.S. citizens. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will sometimes request to see a return ticket. There is no fee for entering the country, but there is a departure tax. U.S. citizens entering with documents other than U.S. passports should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. Travelers will not be allowed to return to the United States without sufficient evidence of identification and U.S. citizenship, and it can be time -consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel.


In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initi ated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202)362-5122, or consulates in Miami or New York. Additional information may be found on the Internet at http://www.antigua_barbuda.org or at http://www.undp.org/missions/antigua_barbuda.


Crime: Petty street-crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to An tigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a troublefree journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.


Medical Facilities: There are many qualified doctors in Antigua & Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to a public hospital and a private clinic and are not up to U.S. expectations. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost many thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.


When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have, when a medical emergency occurs, found it lifesaving. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas health care provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.


Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of Public Transportation: fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor


Traffic in Antigua and Barbuda moves on the left. Major roads are generally in good condition, but drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow-moving heavy equipment. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights. More detailed information on roads and traffic safety can be obtained from the Antigua Tourist Board, telephone (268) 462-0480, or the Director General of Tourism, telephone (268) 462-1005.


For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via the Internet at www.interknowledge.com/antigua_barbuda.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's civil aviation authority as Category 2 — not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for the oversight of Antigua and Barbuda's air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies are ongoing, the Antigua and Barbuda air carriers currently flying to the U.S. will be subject to heightened FAA surveillance. No additional flights or new service to the U.S. by Antigua and Barbuda's air carriers will be permitted unless they arrange to have the flights conducted by an air carrier from a country meeting international safety standards.


For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. In addition, DOD does not permit its personnel to use air carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. Local exceptions may apply. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.


Customs Regulations: Antigua and Barbuda customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Antigua and Barbuda of items such as firearms, agricultural products, and unprescribed drugs. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in Washington or one of Antigua and Barbuda's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Areas of detention are very uncomfortable. There are no beds, access to sanitary facilities is limited and food is substandard. Persons arrested on a Friday or Saturday are likely to remain in detention until regular working hours resume on Monday.


Disaster Preparedness: Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone 1-888-407-4747.


Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: Americans living in or visiting Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados. Travelers may contact the Embassy to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. The Embassy is located in the Canadian Imperial Bank and Commerce (CIBC) Building on Broad Street, telephone (246) 436-4950, website http://www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, telephone (246) 431-0225 or fax (246) 431-0179, website www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown. Hours of operation are 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone (268) 463-6531, fax (268)460-1569, or e-mail [email protected] The Consular Agent's hours of operations are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays (please call for an appointment).


International Parental Child Abduction
June 2003


The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, American Citizen Services. For more information, please read the Guarding Against International Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov


Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of a specific foreign country is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.


General Information: Antigua and Barbuda are not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Antigua and Barbuda place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda with dual national children should bear this in mind.


Custody Disputes: In Antigua and Barbuda parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems. Foreign court orders are not automatically recognized.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in Antigua and Barbuda if they potentially contradict or violate local laws and practices. For example, an order from a U.S. court granting custody to an American mother will not be honored in Antigua and Barbuda if the mother intends to take the child to live outside Antigua and Barbuda. Nor will Antigua and Barbuda courts enforce U.S. court decrees ordering a parent in Antigua and Barbuda to pay child support.


Visitation Rights: In cases where the father has custody of a child, the mother is guaranteed visitation rights. It has been the experience of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados that the father and the paternal grandparents of the child are generally open and accommodating in facilitating the right of the mother to visit and maintain contact with the child.


Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is recognized under Antiguan law. Children of Antigua and Barbuda parents and grandparents automatically acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship at birth, regardless of where the child was born. They are free to enter and leave the country on Antigua and Barbuda passports even if they are entitled to hold the passport of another country.


Travel Restrictions: No exit visas are required to leave Antigua and Barbuda. However, a mother may face serious legal difficulties if she attempts to take her children out of Antigua and Barbuda without the permission of the father. Immigration officials at the airport or border may ask to see such permission in writing before allowing children to exit.


Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in an Antiguan court should retain an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados maintains a list of attorneys willing to represent American clients. A copy of this list may be obtained by requesting one from the Embassy at:

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Consular Section
ALICO Building, Cheapside
P O Box 302
Bridgetown
Barbados
Telephone: [246] 431-0225
Fax: [246] 431-0179


Website: www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown


*The workweek for the Embassy is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and 1-2pm.


Questions involving Antiguan law should be addressed to an Antiguan attorney or to the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the United States at:


Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda
3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Telephone: (202) 362-5122/5166/5211
[email protected]

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

POPULATION 71,500
ANGLICAN 45 percent
MORAVIAN 12 percent
METHODIST 9.1 percent
SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST 8.8 percent
ROMAN CATHOLIC 8 percent
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES 1.45 percent
RASTAFARIAN 0.8 percent
OTHER 14.85 percent

Country Overview

INTRODUCTION

Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation in the northern Caribbean Sea with a total land area of just 171 square miles (442 square kilometers). It is made up of two inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, as well as a small, uninhabited rock island named Redonda (with an area of 0.5 square miles). Part of the chain of Leeward Islands in the West Indies, Antigua and Barbuda lies 250 miles east of Puerto Rico. The islands Antigua (the largest of the Leeward Islands) and Barbuda (primarily a nature preserve) are now important tourist destinations.

Religion is a powerful force in the Caribbean, and the tension in Antigua and Barbuda between its two main religious traditions, Christianity and West African beliefs (especially Dahomean and Yoruba), has formed the basis for the country's major social and economic divisions. As on other islands of the Caribbean, these differences have been resolved in part by a syncretism (combining) between the beliefs of the European Protestant elite (especially Anglican and the Moravian churches, which have widespread influence) and those of the African peasantry and urban workers.

Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive on Antigua in 1493. He named it after Santa Maria de la Antigua, a cathedral in Seville, Spain. Slaves were freed in 1834. Although Antigua and Barbuda attained independence as a parliamentary democracy on 1 November 1981, the head of state is still Queen Elizabeth II.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

Antigua and Barbuda is seen as tolerant of religious differences, and its constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Although most Antiguans describe themselves as "Protestant," nearly half specify that they are Anglican, the result of a major wave of Anglican proselytizing between 1919 and 1940. Some of this Anglican membership is nominal, as many Antiguans are syncretists who combine Anglicanism (and the other Protestant denominations) with West African beliefs. Also common in Antigua and Barbuda is Obeah, the institutionalized magic of the West Indies. Although Obeah is illegal, authorities normally ignore its practice.

Major Religion

ANGLICANISM

DATE OF ORIGIN 1632 c.e.
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 32,175

HISTORY

The Anglican Church arrived in Antigua with the first English colonists in 1632, when Sir Thomas Warner led a group of free English and indentured servants from Saint Christopher (Saint Kitt's). After successfully defending themselves against raids from Caribs and the French, the settlers quickly established parishes and vestries (church councils). Barbuda was colonized by settlers from Antigua in 1661.

African slaves were first brought to Antigua in 1671 to work on the sugar plantations. Free Antiguans could be married by Anglican priests, but mixed-race consensual unions could not be formalized. It was illegal for ministers to perform marriages for the slave population until a uniform marriage code was adopted with the abolition of slavery in 1834. Most of the present population is descended from African slaves.

In 1962 the church authority in the British Virgin Islands was transferred from the bishop of Antigua to the Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1969 Curacao (in the Netherlands Antilles) was transferred from the diocese of Antigua to that of Venezuela. In 1979 the celebration of the Eucharist was revised, and an agreement was reached that would approve the ordination of women.

EARLY AND MODERN LEADERS

The diocese of Barbados, of which Antigua was a part, was formed in 1824 with William Coleridge as bishop. The diocese of Antigua and Guyana was established in 1842. The province of the West Indies was not created until 1883; its first archbishop was named in 1895. The two archbishops who have come from Antigua are Edward Hutson in the 1920s and O.U. Lindsay in the 1990s. The current archbishop, Rev. Drexel Wellington Gomez, Lord Archbishop of the West Indies in Nassau, Bahamas, assumed control of the nation's church in 1998.

MAJOR THEOLOGIANS AND AUTHORS

The theological schools of the Caribbean are located on other islands, primarily Barbados, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. These schools tend to be ecumenical in nature. In 1913 the Rev. J. B. Ellis, formerly warden of Jamaica Church Theological College, wrote a book entitled The Diocese of Jamaica, which includes information on Anglicanism in Antigua.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP AND HOLY PLACES

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, located in the capital city of St. John's, is large and impressive, particularly its twin spires. Two previous churches were located on the same site. The first was a wooden structure built in 1681, but it was replaced by a brick structure in 1720. The current stone cathedral was consecrated in 1848. Other churches include St. Paul's (Falmouth), St. Phillip's (Newfield), St. Peter's (Parham), and St. George's (Fitches Creek).

WHAT IS SACRED?

Anglicans in Antigua and Barbuda view the sacred in the same manner as Anglicans in other parts of the world.

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

In Antigua and Barbuda the standard Christian holidays of Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, and All Souls are observed by Anglicans. There is nothing distinctive about how these holidays are celebrated.

MODE OF DRESS

Anglicanism in Antigua and Barbuda does not require a particular mode of dress for the laity. Nuns are now rare in the Anglican church, and those who remain no longer wear a habit. Priests tend to wear cooler, more relaxed clothing compared with their counterparts in colder climates.

DIETARY PRACTICES

Anglicanism prescribes no special dietary practices in Antigua and Barbuda.

RITUALS

There is nothing particularly distinctive about the way Antiguans observe Anglican rituals, such as Matins, Holy Eucharist, and Vespers (called Evensong or Evening Prayer after the tradition of the modern American Episcopal church). This has been especially true since the 1960s, when the Antiguan church came under the authority of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

RITES OF PASSAGE

Anglicans in Antigua and Barbuda recognize the same rites of passage, such as First Communion and confirmation, as do Anglicans elsewhere the world.

MEMBERSHIP

Although in the spirit of ecumenism Anglican membership is open to all, it is obtained through baptism and confirmation. Some Anglicans counted on the census are sycretists, combining both Christian and traditional West African beliefs and practices.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

In the late eighteenth century Beilby Porteus, the bishop of London, formed the Incorporated Society for the Conversion, Religious Instruction and Education of the Negroes as a means of bringing Christianity to slaves. In 1799 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel sent a catechist to Antigua. The first bishops in the Caribbean, Christopher Lipscombe and William Coleridge, attempted to counter the discriminatory practices they found among ministers serving the black population.

The Anglican Church has established several universities throughout the province of the West Indies. Not the least of these was Codrington College, which, although on Barbados, has a strong Antiguan connection, as it was founded by Christopher Codrington of Antigua. Its ecumenical training also draws Methodist, Moravian, and African Methodist Episcopal students.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

Marriage is encouraged by the church. As elsewhere in the Caribbean, some women, including Anglicans, are thought to pursue economic security by having children with more than one man.

POLITICAL IMPACT

In England during the mid-seventeenth century, the Puritan rule of Oliver Cromwell caused many Anglicans to go to the Caribbean by choice or as exiles. The restoration of the English monarchy in 1660 returned England to Anglicanism, which subsequently became the religion of English territories, including Antigua, and also their governing hierarchy.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

Positions in the community traditionally held by the clergy are being assumed today by psychiatric, social, and welfare workers, undermining the authority of the clergy. To counteract this trend, modern theological training in the Caribbean is attempting to balance spiritual and pastoral concerns.

CULTURAL IMPACT

Although much popular culture today is influenced by Rastafarianism, Anglicanism remains a cultural force in the country. The double spires on St. John's Cathedral, for example, are considered a local architectural accomplishment. The Cathedral Cultural Centre (at St. John's Cathedral) has held important cultural events, including the debut of The Sweetest Mango (2001), the first full-length feature film produced in Antigua and Barbuda.

Other Religions

The Moravian Church, also known as the United Brethren, arrived in the Caribbean in 1731 when Anthony Ullrich, a slave from the Danish West Indies, traveled to Denmark and Germany to recruit missionaries for the black population of the Caribbean. By 1756 the missionaries had arrived on Antigua, but unlike what occurred in other parts of the Caribbean, they did not become planters. This led to better relations between the missionaries and the slaves, whose membership in the Moravian Church had reached 11,000 by 1799.

Members of the Moravian Church are expected to keep a journal of their spiritual development, which is to be completed and read by a minister at their funeral. Communion is restricted to the faithful. There are 11 Moravian churches on Antigua, and most appear to be larger and more impressive than those of the other denominations.

Methodism came to Antigua in 1760 when Nathaniel Gilbert and two of his slaves returned from hearing John Wesley speak in England. By 1774 Methodists in Antigua, who were primarily black, became affiliated with the antislavery movement. The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, with its headquarters in Antigua, became independent in 1967.

The Seventh-day Adventists in Antigua and Barbuda are part of the North Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Inc. They number nearly 5,500, or more than 8 percent of the population. They maintain eight churches, a home, a manse, and the Antigua Seventh-day Adventist School in St. Johns. A prominent local member of the religion is Governor General Sir James Carlisle, appointed by Queen Elizabeth.

The Catholic diocese of St. John's-Basseterre, Parish of Antigua, has seven churches: Holy Family Cathedral, St. Anthony's, St. Martin de Porre's, Villa Chapel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Good Shepard, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The church operates a primary school in St. John's.

The Jewish presence in Antigua and Barbuda is negligible. There may have been a small number of Sephardic Jews in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, notably the Gideon Abudiente family, which traveled back and forth between Antigua and the island of Nevis. In 1694 the Leeward Island Council and Assembly passed an act against Jew's trading in commodities and slaves. Although the law was repealed in 1701, most Jews left Antigua and Barbuda to join congregations in the British colonies of North America.

Islam has been in Antigua since 1955, when Ahmadiya missionaries arrived from Pakistan. Its presence remains small on the islands.

Michael J. Simonton

See Also Vol. 1: Anglicanism/Episcopalianism, Christianity

Bibliography

Antigua and Barbuda: 1834 to 1984—From Bondage to Freedom. St. John's, Antigua: National Emancipation Committee for Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, and Energy, 1984.

Gaspar, Barry. Bondmen and Rebels: A Study of Master-Slave Relations in Antigua. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

O'Marde, Dorbrene E., ed. A Decade of Development, 1981–1991. St. John's, Antigua: I. Archibald and Associates, 1991.

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Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Compiled from the August 2004 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Antigua and Barbuda


PROFILE

Geography

Area: Antigua—281 sq. km. (108 sq. mi.); Barbuda—161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.).

Cities: Capital—St. John's (pop. 30,000).

Terrain: Generally low-lying, with highest elevation 405 m. (1,330 ft.).

Climate: Tropical maritime.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Antiguan(s), Barbudan(s).

Population: (2001 Antiguan census) 75,401.

Annual population growth rate: (1999) 1.1%.

Ethnic groups: Almost entirely of African origin; some of British, Portuguese, and Levantine Arab origin.

Religions: Principally Anglican, with evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic minorities.

Language: English.

Education: Years compulsory—9. Literacy—about 90%.

Health: Life expectancy—71 yrs. male; 75 yrs. female. Infant mortality rate—18/1,000.

Work force: (31,300) Commerce and services, agriculture, other industry.

Unemployment: (Labor Commission est. 2002) 11-13%.

Government

Type: Constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style Parliament.

Constitution: 1981.

Independence: November 1, 1981.

Branches: Executive—governor general (representing Queen Elizabeth II, head of state), prime minister (head of government), and cabinet. Legislative—a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general (mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition) and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. Judicial—magistrate's courts, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court and Court of Appeals, Privy Council in London).

Administrative subdivisions: Six parishes and two dependencies (Barbuda and Redonda).

Political parties: Antigua Labor Party (ALP, incumbent), United Progressive Party (UPP), Barbuda People's Movement (BPM).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2002) $710 million.

GDP growth rate: (2002) 2.7%.

Per capita GDP: (est. 2000) $9,690.

Natural resources: Negligible.

Agriculture: (2001, 4% of GDP) Products—cotton, livestock, vegetables, and pineapples.

Services: Tourism, banking, and other financial services.

Trade: (est. 2001) Exports—$17 million. Trade partners (2000)—OECS (24%), U.S. (10%), Trinidad and Tobago (7%), Barbados (21%). Imports—$375 million. Trade partners—U.S. (27%), U.K. (10%), OECS (1%).


HISTORY

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people") whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks—who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles—succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.

Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493, naming the larger one "Santa Maria de la Antigua." The English colonized the islands in 1632. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, and leased Barbuda to raise provisions for his plantations. Barbuda's only town is named after him. Codrington and others brought slaves from Africa's west coast to work the plantations.

Antiguan slaves were emancipated in 1834 but remained economically dependent on the plantation owners. Economic opportunities for the new freedmen were limited by a lack of surplus farming land, no access to credit, and an economy built on agriculture rather than manufacturing. Poor labor conditions persisted until 1939 when a member of a royal commission urged the formation of a trade union movement.

The Antigua Trades and Labor Union, formed shortly afterward, became the political vehicle for Vere Cornwall Bird, who became the union's president in 1943. The Antigua Labor Party (ALP), formed by Bird and other trade unionists, first ran candidates in the 1946 elections and became the majority party in 1951, beginning a long history of electoral victories.

Voted out of office in the 1971 general elections that swept the progressive labor movement into power, Bird and the ALP returned to office in 1976, winning renewed mandates in every subsequent election under Vere Bird's leadership until 1994 and also under the leadership of his son, Lester Bird, up until March 2004, when the ALP lost power in national elections.

In the last elections on March 23, 2004, the United Progressive Party (UPP) gained a 13-seat majority, while the opposition, now led by Robin Yearwood, retained four seats.


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is represented in Antigua and Barbuda by a governor general who acts on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. Antigua and Barbuda has a bicameral legislature: a 17-member Senate appointed by the governor general—mainly on the advice of the prime minister and the leader of the opposition—and a 17-member popularly elected House of Representatives. The prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House and conducts affairs of state with the cabinet. The prime minister and the cabinet are responsible to the Parliament. Elections must be held at least every 5 years but may be called by the prime minister at any time. National elections were last held on March 23, 2004. Antigua and Barbuda has a multi-party political system with a long history of hard-fought elections, three of which have resulted in peaceful changes of government.

Constitutional safeguards include freedom of speech, press, worship, movement, and association. Antigua and Barbuda is a member of the eastern Caribbean court system. Jurisprudence is based on English common law.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/27/05

Governor General: James B. CARLISLE
Prime Min.: Baldwin SPENCER
Dep. Prime Min.: Wilmoth DANIEL
Min. of Agriculture Lands, Marine Resources, & Agro-Industries: Charlesworth SAMUEL
Min. of Barbuda Affairs: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Defense: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Education: Bertrand JOSEPH
Min. of Finance & the Economy: Eroll CORT
Min. of Foreign Affairs & International Trade: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Health, Sports, & Youth Affairs: John Herbert MAGINLEY
Min. of Housing, Culture, & Social Transformation: Hilson BAPTISTE
Min. of Information & Broadcasting: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Justice: Colin DERRICK
Min. of Labor, Public Administration, & Empowerment: Jacqui QUINN-LEANDRO
Min. of Legal Affairs: Justin SIMON
Min. of National Security: Baldwin SPENCER
Min. of Tourism & Civil Aviation: Harold LOVELL
Min. of Works, Transportation, & the Environment: Wilmoth DANIEL
Min. Without Portfolio: Aziz FARES
Attorney General: Justin SIMON
Ambassador to the US: Lionel HURST
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: John W. ASHE

Antigua and Barbuda maintain an embassy in the United States at 3216 New Mexico Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016 (tel. 202-362-5122).


ECONOMY

Antigua and Barbuda's economy is service-based, with tourism, financial, and government services representing the key sources of employment and income. Tourism also is the principal earner of foreign exchange in Antigua and Barbuda. However, a series of violent hurricanes since 1995 resulted in serious damage to tourist infrastructure and periods of sharp reductions in visitor numbers. Antigua and Barbuda's tourist sector continues to recover from past hurricanes and a downfall in numbers after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. In 2002, more than half a million tourists visited Antigua and Barbuda, the majority from Europe and the U.S. Cruise ship arrivals numbered over 300,000, more than half the total number of arrivals. Tourism receipts totaled $240 million in 2002. The economy grew at a rate of 2.7% in 2002.

To lessen its vulnerability to natural disasters, Antigua has sought to diversify its economy. Transportation, communications, and financial services are becoming important.

Antigua is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). All members of the ECCU share a common currency issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries.

Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative. In 2001, its exports totaled $17 million, of which 22% went to the U.S. Antigua and Barbuda imported 28.5% of its goods from the U.S. Over-all, imports totaled $335 million in 2001. It also belongs to the predominantly English-speaking Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Antigua and Barbuda maintains diplomatic relations with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China, as well as with many Latin American countries and neighboring Eastern Caribbean states. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Eastern Caribbean's Regional Security System (RSS).

As a member of CARICOM, Antigua and Barbuda supported efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, designed to facilitate the departure of Haiti's de facto authorities from power. The country agreed to contribute personnel to the multinational force, which restored the democratically elected government of Haiti in October 1994.


U.S.-ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA RELATIONS

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens' standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S. Government to issue a financial advisory for Antigua and Barbuda in 1999. The advisory was lifted in 2001, but the U.S. Government continues to monitor the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's regulation of financial services. The U.S. also has been active in supporting post-hurricane disaster assistance and rehabilitation through the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Office of Foreign

Disaster Assistance and the Peace Corps. U.S. assistance is primarily channeled through multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and through the newly opened USAID satellite office in Bridgetown, Barbados. In addition, Antigua and Barbuda receives counter-narcotics assistance and benefits from U.S. military exercise-related and humanitarian civic assistance construction projects.

Antigua and Barbuda is strategically situated in the Leeward Islands near maritime transport lanes of major importance to the United States. Antigua has long hosted a U.S. military presence. The former U.S. Navy support facility, turned over to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in 1995, is now being developed as a regional Coast Guard training facility. The U.S. Space Command continues to maintain a space-tracking facility on Antigua. The U.S. Embassy in Antigua closed on June 30, 1994. Antigua and Barbuda's location close to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico makes it an attractive transshipment point for narcotics traffickers.

To address these problems, the U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda have signed a series of counter-narcotic and counter-crime treaties and agreements, including a maritime law enforcement agreement (1995), subsequently amended to include over-flight and order-to-land provisions (1996); a bilateral extradition treaty (1996); and a mutual legal assistance treaty (1996).

In 2002, Antigua and Barbuda had 198,000 stay-over visitors, with over 60,000 from the United States. It is estimated that 4,500 Americans reside in the country.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

The United States maintains no official presence in Antigua. The Ambassador and Embassy officers are resident in Barbados and travel to Antigua frequently. However, a U.S. consular agent resident in Antigua assists U.S. citizens in Antigua and Barbuda.

BRIDGETOWN (E) Address: CIBC Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown; APO/FPO: APO AA 34055; Phone: 246-436-4950; Fax: 246-429-5246; Workweek: Mon–Fri: 8.00-4.30

AMB:Mary E. Kramer
AMB OMS:Bonita Estes
DCM:Mary Ellen T. Gilroy
DCM OMS:Joann M. Liner-Collins
CG:Robert L. Fretz
POL:Paul T. Belmont
COM:David Katz (res. Santo Domingo)
MGT:Leo F. Voytko
AFSA:Charles A. O'Malley
AID:Rebecca J. Rohrer
CLO:Georgetta M. Carroll
DAO:LtCol Bill Delehunt; Cdr Matt Crawley (both res. Caracas)
DEA:Hollis A. Williams
ECO:John M. Ashworth
EEO:Marilyn R. Gayton
FAA:Dawn Flanagan (res.Washington)
FMO:Vincent Wing
GSO:Alison Shorter-Lawrence
ICASS Chair:Peter Kilfoyle
IMO:Charles A. O'Malley
IRS:Cheryl Kast
LAB:Alfred Anzaldua
LEGATT:Susan R. Chainer
MLO:Peter Kilfoyle
NAS:Patricia Aguilera
PAO:Julie A. O'Reagan
RSO:Daniel C. Becker
Last Updated: 1/27/2005

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Trade Information Center
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230

Caribbean/Latin American Action
1818 N Street, NW
Suite 310
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-466-7464; Fax: 202-822-0075

Eastern Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 111
St. Michael, Barbados
Tel: 246-436-9493; Fax: 246-9494
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ecamcham.org


TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

January 13, 2005

Country Description: Antigua and Barbuda is a dual Caribbean island nation known for its beaches, and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available. English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Valid or expired U.S. passports are accepted. Otherwise, a certified birth certificate and picture identification, i.e., a driver's license, are required of U.S. citizens. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will often request to see a return ticket. There is a departure tax payable when departing the country. U.S. citizens entering with documents other than U.S. passports should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. Travelers will not be allowed to return to the United States without sufficient evidence of identification and U.S. citizenship, and it can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Antigua and Barbuda and other countries. For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 362-5122, or consulates in Miami. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism at http://www.antigua-barbuda.org.

Safety and Security: For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

Crime: Petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while over-seas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1748.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: There are many qualified doctors in Antigua & Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to a public hospital and a private clinic and are not up to U.S. expectations. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island, to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web-site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Antigua and Barbuda is on the left. Major roads are generally in good condition, but drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow moving heavy equipment. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via the Internet at http://www.interknowledge.com/antigua_barbuda.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Antigua and Barbuda as not being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for the oversight of Antigua and Barbuda's air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances: Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Areas of detention are very uncomfortable. There are no beds, access to sanitary facilities is limited and food is sub-standard. Persons arrested on a Friday or Saturday are likely to remain in detention until regular working hours resume on Monday. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Antigua and Barbuda. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The Embassy is located in the First Caribbean International Bank Building on Broad Street, telephone 1-246-436-4950, website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, telephone 1-246-431-0225 or fax 1-246-431-0179, website http://bridgetown.usembassy.gov. Hours of operation are 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone 1-268-463-6531, fax 1-268-460-1569, or e-mail [email protected] The Consular Agent's hours of operations are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays (please call for an appointment). The Consular Agency in Antigua is temporarily closed but is expected to reopen by the end of 2004. Consular business will be handled by American Embassy Barbados until it reopens.

International Parental Child Abduction

January 2005

The information below has been edited from the report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, American Citizen Services. For more information, please read the International Parental Child Abduction section of this book and review current reports online at travel.state.gov

Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of a specific foreign country is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

General Information: Antigua and Barbuda are not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. American citizens who travel to Antigua and Barbuda place themselves under the jurisdiction of local courts. American citizens planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda with dual national children should bear this in mind.

Custody Disputes: In Antigua and Barbuda parents who are legally married share the custody of their children. If they are not married, by law the custody is granted to the mother unless there are known facts of inappropriate behavior, mental or social problems. Foreign court orders are not automatically recognized.

Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments: Custody orders and judgments of foreign courts are not enforceable in Antigua and Barbuda if they potentially contradict or violate local laws and practices. For example, an order from a U.S. court granting custody to an American mother will not be honored in Antigua and Barbuda if the mother intends to take the child to live out-side Antigua and Barbuda. Nor will Antigua and Barbuda courts enforce U.S. court decrees ordering a parent in Antigua and Barbuda to pay child support.

Visitation Rights: In cases where the father has custody of a child, the mother is guaranteed visitation rights. It has been the experience of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados that the father and the paternal grandparents of the child are generally open and accommodating in facilitating the right of the mother to visit and maintain contact with the child.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is recognized under Antiguan law. Children of Antigua and Barbuda parents and grandparents automatically acquire Antigua and Barbuda citizenship at birth, regardless of where the child was born. They are free to enter and leave the country on Antigua and Barbuda passports even if they are entitled to hold the passport of another country.

Travel Restrictions: No exit visas are required to leave Antigua and Barbuda. However, a mother may face serious legal difficulties if she attempts to take her children out of Antigua and Barbuda without the permission of the father. Immigration officials at the airport or border may ask to see such permission in writing before allowing children to exit.

Criminal Remedies: Persons who wish to pursue a child custody claim in an Antiguan court should retain an attorney in Antigua and Barbuda. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados maintains a list of attorneys willing to represent American clients. A copy of this list may be obtained by requesting one from the Embassy at: U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, Consular Section; ALICO Building, Cheapside; P O Box 302; Bridgetown, Barbados; Telephone: [246] 431-0225; Fax: [246] 431-0179; Web site: www.usembassy.state.gov/bridgetown. *The workweek for the Embassy is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and 1-2pm.

Questions involving Antiguan law should be addressed to an Antiguan attorney or to the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda in the United States at:Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda; 3216 New Mexico Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20016; Telephone: (202) 362-5122/5166/5211; [email protected]

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Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

The twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda is located in the Caribbean, within an archipelago of islands in the Atlantic Ocean between North and South America. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the Northern Leeward Island states. Antigua is 280 square kilometers (108.1 square miles) in area, while Barbuda is 161 square kilometers (62.1 square miles). The entire land area is approximately 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., and as of 2003 the total population was estimated to be 67,897. Ninety-five percent of its residents are younger than 65 years of age. The island of Antigua is relatively flat, with sparse vegetation and no rivers, while Barbuda is totally flat and thickly forested.

The Siboney were the first people to inhabit the islands in prehistoric times, followed by the Arawak and Carib starting in the first century. The island was named for a church in Spain, Santa Maria de la Antigua, by Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) in 1493. Antigua became a British colony in 1667 and Barbuda was annexed to it in 1860. Antigua and Barbuda became associated as a state of the United Kingdom in 1967; the nation retained that status until 1981 when it became independent.

From 1945 until 1994, except for one five-year legislative term (1971–1976), Antigua (subsequently Antigua and Barbuda) was led by Vere C. Bird (1909–1999), first as a legislative leader and then as chief minister premier, or prime minister. His son Lester Bird (b. 1938) succeeded him in 1994 and served in that capacity until his defeat by opposition leader Baldwin Spencer (b. 1948) in the March 2004 elections.

With an infant mortality rate of 20.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births and an average life expectancy of 71.31 years, the state's citizens enjoy good quality of life. Literacy is rated at between 89 and 91 percent. Most citizens are Christian, and the major denomination is the Anglican faith.

Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional democracy that, similar to many others in the region, has retained the British monarch as head of state. In sub-stance the monarch's functions are carried out by a local governor-general , a position held in 2004 by Sir James Carlisle (b. 1937). Executive authority, however, actually rests with a cabinet that is appointed by the leader of the majority party after the general elections every five years; that leader then becomes prime minister. As is the case with most of its neighbors, Antigua and Barbuda has inherited its current system of government from Britain "the Westminster-export model," as it has been termed by constitutional scholars.

Under this system of government a separation of powers exists between the legislature (the parliament), the executive (the cabinet and governor-general), and the judiciary (the magistracy, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council). It should be noted that this separation is not rigidly observed with respect to the first two branches of government.

All adults over the age of eighteen have the right to vote in Antigua and Barbuda, and the constitution provides a catalogue of guarantees and freedoms that correspond to the fundamental rights required by several international conventions. These include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought, freedom of movement; and state guarantees against discrimination, deprivation of property without adequate compensation, and arbitrary search and seizure. Two main political parties contend for the vote of the electorate, and uncensored, up-to-date news is available to Antigua and Barbuda's residents through six radio stations, two local television stations, cable programming, and the Internet.

See also: Caribbean Region.

bibliography

"Antigua and Barbuda." In CIA World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2005. <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ac.html>.

Antoine, Rose-Marie. Commonwealth Caribbean Legal Systems. London: Cavendish, 1998.

Augier, F. Roy, S.C. Gordon, Douglas G. Hall, and M. Reckord. The Making of the West Indies. London: Longman, 1970.

Crystal, David, ed. "Antigua and Barbuda." In Cambridge Paperback Encyclopedia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Cumberbatch, Jefferson. "Antigua and Barbuda." In Legal Systems of the World, Vol. 1, ed. Herbert M. Kritzer, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2002.

Famighetti, Robert, ed. "Nations of the World." In The World Almanac and Book of Facts. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac, 1997.

Gunthrop, Dale, ed. "The Member Countries." In The Commonwealth Yearbook. London: Hanson Cooke, 1997.

Schemmel, B. "Antigua and Barbuda." Rulers.<http://www.rulers.org/rula2.html#antigua_and_barbuda>.

Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Casino: The History of the Caribbean, 1492–1969. London: Andre Deutsch, 1970.

Jefferson Cumberbatch

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