Saint Kitts And Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Introduction Saint Kitts and Nevis
Background: First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Geography Saint Kitts and Nevis -
Location: Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates: 17 20 N, 62 45 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km) water: 0 sq km land: 261 sq km
Area - comparative: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 135 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: tropical tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
Terrain: volcanic with mountainous interiors
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
Natural resources: arable land
Land use: arable land: 16.67% permanent crops: 2.78% other: 80.56% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: hurricanes (July to October) Environment - current issues: NA Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a three-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island People Saint Kitts and Nevis
Population: 38,736 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.4% (male 5,827; female 5,571) 15-64 years: 61.9% (male 11,980; female 12,005) 65 years and over: 8.7% (male 1,383; female 1,970) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.01% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 18.61 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 9.04 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: -9.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/ female total population: 0.98 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 15.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.29 years female: 74.26 years (2002 est.) male: 68.49 years
Total fertility rate: 2.39 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Kittitian(s), Nevisian(s) adjective: Kittitian, Nevisian
Ethnic groups: predominantly black some British, Portuguese, and Lebanese
Religions: Anglican, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
Languages: English
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school total population: 97% male: 97% female: 98% (1980 est.) Government Saint Kitts and Nevis
Country name: conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
Government type: constitutional monarchy with Westminster-style parliament
Capital: Basseterre Administrative divisions: 14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
Independence: 19 September 1983 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
Constitution: 19 September 1983
Legal system: based on English common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996) elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; the governor general is appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995) and Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five- year terms) election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SKNLP 8, CCM 2, NRP 1 elections: last held 6 March 2000 (next to be held by July 2005)
Judicial branch: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (based on Saint Lucia; one judge of the Supreme Court resides in Saint Kitts and Nevis) Political parties and leaders: Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsey GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-
participation: 77, IBRD, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Izben Cordinal WILLIAMS chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636 FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740 Diplomatic representation from the the US does not have an embassy in
US: Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador in Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red Economy Saint Kitts and Nevis -
Economy - overview: Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the St. Kitts economy until the 1970s. Although the crop still dominates the agricultural sector, activities such as tourism, export- oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy. As tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange, a decline in stopover tourist arrivals following the September 11 terrorist attacks has eroded government finances. The government revised estimates of 2001 growth down to 1% and faces dim recovery prospects in 2002, given the depressed state of the tourism industry, low sugar prices, and a growing budget deficit.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $339 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,700 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3.5% industry: 25.8% services: 70.7% (2001) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 18,172 (June 1995) Labor force - by occupation: NA
Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1997)
Budget: revenues: $85.7 million expenditures: $95.6 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 95 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 88.35 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish
Exports: $51.7 million (2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco
Exports - partners: US 68.5%, UK 22.3%, Caricom countries 5.5% (1995 est.)
Imports: $141.3 million (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels
Imports - partners: US 42.4%, Caricom countries 17.2%, UK 11.3% (1995 est.)
Debt - external: $140 million (2000) Economic aid - recipient: $5.5 million (1995)
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Currency code: XCD
Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications Saint Kitts and Nevis Telephones - main lines in use: 17,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 205 (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment: good interisland and international connections domestic: interisland links to Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) are handled by VHF/UHF/SHF radiotelephone international: international calls are carried by radiotelephone to Antigua and Barbuda and switched there to submarine cable or to Intelsat; or carried to Saint Martin (Guadeloupe and Netherlands Antilles) by radiotelephone and switched to Intelsat Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 1, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 28,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus three repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 10,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .kn Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 16 (2000)
Internet users: 2,000 (2000) Transportation Saint Kitts and Nevis
Railways: total: 58 km narrow gauge: 58 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts to serve sugarcane plantations (2002)
Highways: total: 320 km paved: 136 km unpaved: 184 km (2000)
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: Basseterre, Charlestown
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 2 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001) Military Saint Kitts and Nevis
Military branches: Saint Kitts and Nevis Defense Force (including Coast Guard), Royal Saint Kitts and Nevis Police Force (including Special Service Unit) Military expenditures - dollar $NA
figure: Military expenditures - percent of NA%
GDP: Transnational Issues Saint Kitts and Nevis Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe

* * *

▪ 2009

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2008 est.): 51,300
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      Like most other Caribbean territories that were not hydrocarbon producers, Saint Kitts and Nevis was actively pursuing nontraditional energy sources, and in January 2008 a company called West Indies Power launched a drilling program in Nevis to access geothermal energy. The company expected to drill five wells, which were forecast to provide enough steam to produce the 50 MW of power that Nevis needed.

      Prime Minister Denzil Douglas insisted in January that Saint Kitts and Nevis had no intention of severing diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favour of those with China. An embassy was opened in Taipei the same month. Saint Kitts and Nevis was one of the few Caribbean states that continued to recognize Taiwan in preference to China.

      In April the government described as “outrageous and unjustifiable” the call by the U.S.-based organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for tourists to boycott the country. PETA claimed that the local Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine “deliberately” mutilated animals as part of the teaching process, but the government insisted that the school violated no laws governing the treatment of animals.

      In September, Saint Kitts and Nevis celebrated the 25th anniversary of its independence from the U.K. That same month, the government issued a statement that it remained determined to carry out court-ordered sentences of death by hanging. The first execution took place on December 19.

David Renwick

▪ 2008

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2007 est.): 50,400
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      A Saint Kitts and Nevis government spokesman said in February 2007 that the twin-island state was expected to save about $1 million following the introduction of energy-saving light bulbs from Cuba as part of the latter's program to provide assistance to English-speaking Caribbean territories. The close relations between the two countries were reinforced in early March when Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas led a five-day official visit to Havana.

      Foreign citizenship held by members of the Saint Kitts and Nevis parliament became an issue in August when it was alleged that those who fell into that category were in violation of the constitution. At least four members of the National Assembly were identified as having dual citizenship. The matter was brought to the attention of Gov.-Gen. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian by a small opposition party. One of those alleged to be culpable was the national security minister, Dwyer Astaphan, against whom a legal motion was filed in August. Astaphan, who also held Canadian citizenship, would be required to resign if he was found to be in breach of the constitution.

      Saint Kitts and Nevis announced in September that it was assessing various options for developing its renewable-energy sector.

David Renwick

▪ 2007

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2006 est.): 49,100
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      The Saint Kitts and Nevis government noted in April 2006 that 1,680 banks and other financial institutions were on its offshore register at the end of 2005, a “big increase” over the previous number. The country had made steady progress in the financial-services sector since its removal from the international “blacklists” promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

      The national parliament instituted a process of constitutional reform in May when it approved the establishment of a number of committees to oversee the process. A series of “national consultations” were planned to elicit the public's views on the weaknesses of the present constitution.

      The Nevis Reformation Party won three of the five seats in the Nevis Island Assembly elections in July and thus took over control of the local government body from the Concerned Citizens Movement, which had run Nevis for 14 years. NRP leader Joseph Parry assumed the post of Nevis's premier on July 11.

 In August Saint Kitts and Nevis became the 102nd country to ratify the International Criminal Court based in The Hague. The next month Foreign Minister Timothy Harris attended the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana, where Saint Kitts and Nevis formally joined the organization.

David Renwick

▪ 2006

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2005 est.): 46,600
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

       Taxpayers in Saint Kitts and Nevis breathed a sigh of relief in February 2005 when Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Denzil Douglas decided not to reintroduce personal income tax in the national budget. Fuel prices, however, were increased in light of rising world oil costs.

      A milestone in the history of Saint Kitts and Nevis came in March with commencement of the last sugar harvest. The industry had sustained Saint Kitts and Nevis and most other insular Caribbean territories for generations, but the steady erosion of preferential markets in the European Union had undermined its viability in the Caribbean. The final sugar crop was expected to be about 12,000 metric tons. The government was considering 20 different investment projects that could provide alternative employment for sugar workers.

      Saint Kitts and Nevis bucked the trend among Caricom ( Caribbean Community and Common Market) countries in 2005 by reaffirming its intention to retain diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than establish formal ties with China. Prime Minister Douglas in May described the territory's association with Taiwan as special. Taiwan agreed to provide a $12 million aid package, which would help build the modern stadium required for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

David Renwick

▪ 2005

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2004 est.): 46,300
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      In August 2004 the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development agreed to provide about $5.5 million to Saint Kitts and Nevis for a second cruise-ship pier at Port Zante. Prime Minister Denzil Douglas noted that the pier would enhance the territory's tourism industry. In September Saint Kitts and Nevis accepted a $1.4 million check from Taiwan to help fund construction of a new world-class sports complex. The money was the first installment of a $12 million assistance package agreed to during Douglas's visit to Taiwan in November 2003.

      Tough new anticrime measures were announced in August in an attempt to curb a growing wave of lawlessness. The previous month an armed gang had attacked a Brinks security vehicle and stolen more than $133,000 (a record haul in Saint Kitts), while 17 murders had been committed in the first eight months of the year. The government's response was to institute joint police-army patrols, stop-and-search operations, and expanded sea surveillance.

      Douglas won reelection to a third term in National Assembly voting on October 25 as his Saint Kitts-Nevis Labour Party captured seven of Saint Kitts's eight seats. The Concerned Citizens Movement gained two of the three seats on Nevis.

David Renwick

▪ 2004

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2003 est.): 46,400
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      The potential breakup of the twin-island state of Saint Kitts and Nevis became an issue once more in February 2003 when Nevis's two political parties—the governing Concerned Citizens Movement and the opposition Nevis Reformation Party—said that they would revive an initiative to seek autonomy for the island. In 1998 Nevis residents had voted 62% in favour of independence, but the measure needed 67% approval in order to pass. The two territories had been united since independence from Britain in 1983, but Nevis had its own Island Assembly that looked after local matters.

      In June the Assembly took the matter a step farther when it unanimously accepted Nevis Premier Vance Amory's resolution to seek full independence for the island. The rest of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) bloc expressed its strong opposition to the move at the annual Caricom meeting in July.

      In September Prime Minister Denzil Douglas was appointed chairman of the Small States Forum, which addressed issues of concern to microstates worldwide.

David Renwick

▪ 2003

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2002 est.): 46,200
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      Prime Minister Denzil Douglas pledged in April 2002 to readjust the focus of Saint Kitts and Nevis's offshore financial services policy away from an emphasis on tax exemption to other attractions that a “reputable” offshore location could offer. That same month the country was removed from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's blacklist of centres posing “harmful tax competition.” In June the country, having agreed to pass all the necessary legislation to facilitate the prevention of money laundering, was also removed from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) blacklist.

      In May Saint Kitts and Nevis joined those countries, led by Japan, that wanted the International Whaling Commission to allow the full resumption of commercial whaling and added its name to a statement that accused antiwhaling countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. of “intolerance” to different cultures.

      Along with four of its fellow smaller Caribbean Community and Common Market countries, Saint Kitts and Nevis moved a step closer in May to the liberalization of its telecommunications market when it agreed to revoke the exclusive rights to landline telephony held by the U.K.'s Cable and Wireless.

      The premier of Nevis, Vance Amory, revived the subject of greater autonomy for his part of the federation when he held discussions with a broad spectrum of the community in September.

David Renwick

▪ 2002

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2001 est.): 38,800
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Cuthbert Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      Prime Minister Denzil Douglas reshuffled his cabinet in August 2001 in an effort to instill new dynamism into government programs. He kept the key portfolios of finance and national security for himself.

      St. Kitts and Nevis saw its hope of being removed from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) list of states not doing enough to combat money laundering dashed when the task force met in September. St. Kitts and Nevis expected to be given a clean bill of health, but despite the country's establishment of a Financial Services Commission to oversee the offshore banking industry, the FATF was unsatisfied with the overall effort to identify tainted funds.

      The Concerned Citizens Movement, led by Vance Amory, was returned to office in the September local elections in Nevis. The party had consistently been elected to run local affairs in Nevis since 1992. It won four of the five seats in the Island Assembly, with the Nevis Reformation Party retaining one.

      Following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., Prime Minister Douglas extended to all New York City and Washington, D.C., firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical service workers the offer of a free one-week vacation in St. Kitts.

David Renwick

▪ 2001

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(2000 est.): 38,800
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Cuthbert Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), led by Denzil Douglas, made a clean sweep of all eight St. Kitts seats in the March 2000 general election for the National Assembly. The Nevis-based parties retained three seats—two for the Concerned Citizens Movement and one for the Nevis Reformation Party.

      In St. Kitts the People's Action Movement (PAM), which had held one seat in the previous National Assembly, was eliminated from the parliament. The PAM had spent 15 years in government prior to the 1995 election, when the SKNLP was returned to power. A commission of inquiry had been looking into Finance Ministry operations during the PAM's tenure in office and found PAM administrations culpable in several respects, including having guaranteed a bank loan of $25.3 million to a private company that had proposed to establish an intra-Caribbean hydrofoil service, which unceremoniously collapsed a year after trial runs had begun.

      In October PAM leader Kennedy Simmonds retired and was succeeded by former party chairman Lindsay Grant, who pledged to press the government for electoral reform.

David Renwick

▪ 2000

Area:
269 sq km (104 sq mi)
Population
(1999 est.): 42,800
Capital:
Basseterre
Chief of state:
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Cuthbert Sebastian
Head of government:
Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      Following widespread destruction by Hurricane Georges in September 1998, St. Kitts and Nevis received help from various sources in 1999 to fund its ongoing restoration program. France pledged EC$1,000,000 (about U.S.$370,000) for rebuilding work at the local hospital, while the International Monetary Fund approved emergency assistance of U.S.$2,300,000.

      In July the government appointed a commission of inquiry into the operations of the Ministry of Finance during the People's Action Movement government from 1980 to 1995. British Queens Counsel Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, who had recently completed an investigation of the activities of previous administrations in St. Lucia, was named sole commissioner. Among other matters, the inquiry was looking into the handling of a U.S.$1 million Taiwanese loan.

      In September the country moved a step closer to constitutional change, principally designed to accommodate the wishes of Nevis for greater autonomy, when a select committee of the National Assembly was appointed to review the recommendations of a special task force on the question. Nevis voters had rejected full secession from the federation in an August 1998 referendum but only by a narrow margin.

David Renwick

▪ 1999

      Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 42,300

      Capital: Basseterre

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Cuthbert Sebastian

      Head of government: Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      Nevis's threatened secession from the St. Kitts and Nevis federation dominated the political agenda in 1998. The possible breakup alarmed leaders of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom); even the U.S. government expressed concern.

      Ultimately, the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) administration, led by Nevis Premier Vance Amory, failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority in the secession referendum held in August. The "yes" vote, however, was 61.7%—a clear indication of the unhappiness in Nevis with the policies of Denzil Douglas's government in St. Kitts. Caricom appointed a mission to visit St. Kitts and Nevis to restore the relationship between the two parts of the state.

      In July the death penalty was reintroduced in St. Kitts and Nevis when David Wilson, convicted in 1996 of a 1994 murder, was executed.

      Over 80% of the housing stock was estimated to have been destroyed by Hurricane Georges, which swept through St. Kitts and Nevis in September. Overall damage was assessed at close to $40 million.

DAVID RENWICK

▪ 1998

      Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 41,800

      Capital: Basseterre

      Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-General Cuthbert Sebastian

      Head of government: Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

      The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), headed by Vance Amory, premier of Nevis, was returned to power in the Nevis Assembly election in February 1997, retaining the three seats it had held in the previous house. The Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) kept its two seats.

      After threatening to secede from the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis for some time, the CCM finally took the plunge in October, when it presented a motion to the Nevis Assembly calling for separation from St. Kitts. The motion received the support of the NRP. A referendum to confirm the resolution was to be held in Nevis within six months. A bill to establish a St. Kitts and Nevis defense force was accepted by the National Assembly in July. Prime Minister Denzil Douglas said the force would be used particularly in counternarcotics operations.

DAVID RENWICK
      This article updates Saint Kitts and Nevis.

▪ 1997

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Kitts and Nevis comprises the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 39,400. Cap.: Basseterre. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.25 = £ 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1996, Cuthbert Sebastian; prime minister, Denzil Douglas.

      In June 1996 St. Kitts-Nevis faced its most serious constitutional crisis since the secession of Anguilla 25 years earlier. Vance Amory, premier of Nevis, declared that he had instructed the territory's legal department to prepare a bill for secession from the twin-island federal state. His decision appeared to have been influenced by the central government's insistence on asserting control over much of Nevis's affairs, including financial matters.

      Prime Minister Denzil Douglas responded to Amory by warning of the risks of “fragmentation.” Under the federal constitution a referendum in Nevis was required for secession to be legal.

      (DAVID RENWICK)

      This article updates Saint Kitts and Nevis.

▪ 1996

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Kitts and Nevis comprises the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 39,400. Cap.: Basseterre. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.27 = £ 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1995, Sir Clement Arrindell; prime ministers, Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds and, from July 7, Denzil Douglas.

      In the general election in July 1995, the People's Action Movement (PAM), after 15 years in power, found itself decisively defeated by the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), led by Denzil Douglas. SKNLP won 7 of the 11 seats, PAM retained only one seat, and two smaller parties picked up the rest. Even Prime Minister Kennedy Simmonds lost his seat. The election had been called only 20 months after the previous election in November 1993, which had produced an inconclusive result and sparked social unrest.

      The government called in British police advisers during the year to help reorganize the local police force, following an upsurge in drug-related crime. St. Kitts and Nevis, like other Caribbean countries, had found itself becoming a transit point in the illegal drug trade.

      In September, St. Kitts and Nevis suffered the same fate as many other Caribbean territories when it was battered by Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn. Damage to industrial installations, utilities, homes, and public institutions like hospitals was estimated at U.S. $70 million. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Kitts and Nevis.

▪ 1995

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Kitts and Nevis comprises the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi). Pop. (1994 est.): 41,800. Cap.: Basseterre. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.30 = £ 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1994, Sir Clement Arrindell; prime minister, Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds.

      The dead heat between the incumbent People's Action Movement (PAM) and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) in the November 1993 general election created a climate of political and social instability that lasted well into 1994. The SKNLP did not take kindly to the fact that the governor-general had invited PAM to remain in office as a minority government. With the four seats it won and the support promised by the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) with one seat, PAM could count on only five votes in the 11-seat National Assembly. The SKNLP, which also won four seats, insisted on new elections early in 1994, but that demand was rejected by the PAM leader, Prime Minister Kennedy Simmonds. Demonstrations by SKNLP supporters in the aftermath of the election forced the government to impose a state of emergency for 10 days. After being sworn in, SKNLP members boycotted all sittings of the Assembly, making it easier for the minority government to function.

      Political disagreements did not seem to affect the economy, however, as the 1994 sugar harvest promised to reach 22,500 tons, compared with 21,258 tons in 1993. During the year the country "graduated" from World Bank concessionary lending because of its improved level of per capita national income. A prison riot and jailbreak in Basseterre in November after two sons of a prominent official received bail on charges related to drug and arms trafficking called attention to these problems, which were on the rise in the eastern Caribbean. (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Kitts and Nevis.

▪ 1994

      A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, St. Kitts and Nevis comprises the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Area: 269 sq km (104 sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.): 41,800. Cap.: Basseterre. Monetary unit: Eastern Caribbean dollar, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a par value of EC$2.70 to U.S. $1 (free rate of EC$4.10 = £ 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1993, Sir Clement Arrindell; prime minister, Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds.

      In elections on November 29 the ruling People's Action Movement (PAM) lost its majority in the National Assembly. Followers of the Labour Party, which won a majority of the vote but the same number of seats as PAM, subsequently rioted, leading the government to declare a state of emergency.

      In June the government received an infusion of capital for its development program from an unusual source—the Kuwaiti Investment Fund, which had extended its reach to the Eastern Caribbean. For a project to double the country's water-storage capacity, U.S. $6.6 million would be made available. Another loan agreement was successfully concluded in October, this time with the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA). The IDA extended $20 million for a 27.4-km (17-mi) road program in St. Kitts and seaport rehabilitation in Nevis.

      Like most other territories in the region, St. Kitts and Nevis had a drug-transshipment problem, and in August it signed a narcotics-control agreement with the U.S. whereby the U.S. agreed to provide $137,500, part of which would go toward the purchase of a high-speed boat. In the same month, the government strengthened the Proceeds of Crime Act, which permitted the forfeiture of the property of those found guilty of trafficking and money laundering.

      (DAVID RENWICK)

      This updates the article Saint Kitts and Nevis.

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▪ islands, West Indies
Introduction
officially  Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis,  also called  Saint Christopher and Nevis, 
Saint Kitts and Nevis, flag of  state composed of two islands of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. Their combined area is 104 square miles (269 square kilometres). The capital is Basseterre on the island of Saint Kitts.

Physical and human geography

The land
 Saint Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis) is 23 miles (37 kilometres) long and five miles wide, is oval in shape, and has an area of 68 square miles (176 square kilometres). A volcanic mountainous ridge down the centre forms a semicircle around a plain in the southeast. Mount Liamuiga (formerly Mount Misery), with a lake in its forested crater, is the highest point (3,792 feet [1,156 metres]). The soil (except in the mountains) is light and porous. Most of the beaches are of black volcanic sands. The island is well watered and fertile, with a cool, healthy climate. The average temperature is 80° F (27° C), and the annual rainfall averages 55 inches (1,397 millimetres).

      Nevis, surrounded by coral reefs, lies two miles southeast of Saint Kitts across a channel known as The Narrows. The island is circular, and it consists almost entirely of a mountain, Nevis Peak (3,232 feet), which is flanked by the lower Round Hill (1,014 feet) on the north and by Saddle Hill (1,850 feet) on the south. Its area is 36 square miles (93 square kilometres). The soil of Nevis is clay studded with volcanic boulders. The climate is similar to that of Saint Kitts. (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

The people
 The population is largely black, with a small mulatto minority and other mixtures. There are also very small East Indian and white groups. The official language is English. The main religious denominations are Anglican and Methodist, with small groups of Moravians and Roman Catholics. Both Saint Kitts and Nevis have traditionally had high levels of emigration, offsetting natural increases and enabling the islands to maintain a fairly stable population. Remittances from emigrants form an important source of foreign exchange.

The economy
      The narrow coastal plain of St. Kitts, the skirts of the mountains, and the Basseterre Valley are devoted to the cultivation of sugarcane (mainly on large estates), which is the chief product and export. The government has nationalized all sugar plantations and has also purchased the sugar factories. Nevis grows chiefly cotton, vegetables, and coconuts. Light industries in Saint Kitts and Nevis produce items mainly for export from imported materials. Products include electronic equipment, batik-dyed fabrics, and other clothing and furniture. Tourism is also an important sector of the economy. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago are the principal trading partners. There is a deepwater port at Basseterre, and Golden Rock International Airport on Saint Kitts provides service to other islands and to the United States and Canada. Newcastle Airfield on Nevis provides interisland air service.

Administration and social conditions
      Since independence in 1983, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has been an independent member of the Commonwealth, with the British monarch as its head of state. An appointed governor-general represents the crown. The prime minister, who together with other ministers is a member of the Cabinet, is the head of government. The monarch and the National Assembly constitute the parliament, some of whose members are appointed. The island of Nevis enjoys a certain amount of autonomy within the federal structure; it has its own legislature, and the constitution provides for it to secede from the federation if certain procedures are followed. There is universal adult suffrage.

      Education is compulsory for all children from the age of five to 16. There are several hospitals and many health centres throughout the islands. Tropical diseases have been virtually eliminated. Most of the state's cultural activity is concentrated in the capital, Basseterre.

History

Early settlement
      Christopher Columbus visited Saint Kitts (Saint Kitts and Nevis) on his second voyage in 1493 and found it inhabited by warlike Caribs. He named it Saint Christopher for his patron saint. The name was shortened to Saint Kitts by settlers under Sir Thomas Warner, who, arriving from England in 1623, established the first successful English colony in the West Indies at Old Road on the west coast. The French also settled on the island in 1627 under Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc. Divided during the 17th century between warring French and English colonists, Saint Kitts was given to Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and remained in British possession despite the capture in 1782 of Brimstone Hill by the French. The island was restored to Great Britain by the Treaty of Versailles in 1783.

      Nevis was also sighted by Columbus in 1493. The island's name derives from Columbus' description of the clouds atop Nevis peak as las nieves, or “the snows,” when he sighted the island. It was settled by the English in 1628 and soon became one of the most prosperous of the Antilles. Although it suffered from French and Spanish attacks in the 17th and 18th centuries, it maintained a sound economic position until the mid-19th century.

Federation and independence movements
      The islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla were united by federal act in 1882 and became an independent state in association with the United Kingdom on Feb. 27, 1967. The islands were granted full internal self-government, with the United Kingdom retaining responsibility for defense and foreign affairs.

      After the islands had assumed the status of associated states, Anguilla complained of domination by the Saint Kitts administration. In May 1967 the Anguillans ejected the Saint Kitts police and established their own council. In July of the same year, they proclaimed their independence. After unsuccessful negotiations, the Anguilla Act of July 1971 placed Anguilla directly under British control. On Feb. 10, 1976, Anguilla was granted a constitution and its union with Saint Kitts and Nevis was formally severed in 1980.

      A constitutional conference was held in London in 1982, and, in spite of disagreement over special provisions for Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis became independent on Sept. 19, 1983. A drop in world sugar prices hurt the nation's economy through the mid-1980s, and the government sought to reduce the islands' dependence on sugar production and to diversify the economy.

Gladstone E.M. Mills Janet D. Momsen

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

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Universalium. 2010.

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