Grenada

Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Governor-General: Cécile La Grenade (2013)

Prime Minister: Keith Mitchell (2013)

Land area: 131 sq mi (339 sq km)

Population (2013 est.): 109,590 (growth rate 0.52%); birth rate: 16.57/1000; infant mortality rate: 10.81/1000; life expectancy: 73.5

Capital and largest city (2009 est.): St. George's, 40,000

Monetary unit: East Caribbean dollar

Current government officials

Languages: English (official), French patois

Ethnicity/race: black 82%, mixed black and European 13%, European and East Indian 5%, and trace of Arawak/Carib Amerindian

Religions: Roman Catholic 53%, Anglican 14%, other Protestant 33%

National Holiday: Independence Day, February 7

Literacy rate: 98% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2012 est.): $1.467 billion; per capita $13,900. Real growth rate: -0.8%. Inflation: 4.0%. Unemployment: 25% (2008). Arable land: 5.88%. Agriculture: bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocados, root crops, sugarcane, corn, vegetables. Labor force: 47,580 (2008); services 69%, agriculture 11%, industry 20% 2008 est.). Industries: food and beverages, textiles, light assembly operations, tourism, construction. Natural resources: timber, tropical fruit, deepwater harbors. Exports: $36.36 million (2012 est.): bananas, cocoa, nutmeg, fruit and vegetables, clothing, mace. Imports: $296.3 million (2011): food, manufactured goods, machinery, chemicals, fuel. Major trading partners: Saint Lucia, U.S., Egypt, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago (2009).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 28,400 (2010); mobile cellular: 121,900 (2006). Broadcast media:the Grenada Broadcasting Network, jointly owned by the government and the Caribbean Communications Network of Trinidad and Tobago, operates a TV station and 2 radio stations; multi-channel cable TV subscription service is available; a dozen private radio stations also broadcast (2007) Internet hosts: 71 (2010). Internet users: 25,000 (2009).

Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Roadways: total: 1,127 km; paved: 687 km; unpaved: 440 km (1999 est.). Ports and harbors: Saint George's. Airports: 3 (2012).

International disputes: none.

Major sources and definitions

Flag of Grenada

Geography

Grenada (the first “a” is a long vowel) is the most southerly of the Windward Islands, about 100 mi (161 km) from the Venezuelan coast. It is a volcanic island traversed by a mountain range, the highest peak of which is Mount St. Catherine (2,756 ft; 840 m).

Government

Constitutional monarchy. A governor-general represents the sovereign, Elizabeth II.

History

The Arawak Indians were the first to inhabit Grenada, but they were all eventually massacred by the Carib Indians. When Columbus arrived in 1498, he encountered the Caribs, who continued to rule over the island for another 150 years. The French gained control of the island in 1672 and held on to it until 1762, when the British invaded. Black slaves were granted freedom in 1833. After more than 200 years of British rule, most recently as part of the West Indies Associated States, Grenada became independent on Feb. 7, 1974, with Eric M. Gairy as prime minister.

In 1979, the Marxist New Jewel Movement staged a coup, and its leader, Maurice Bishop, became prime minister. Bishop, a protégé of Cuba's President Castro, was killed in a military coup on Oct. 19, 1983.

U.S. Invades Cuba to Thwart Cuban Military

In an effort to establish order on the island and eliminate the Cuban military presence, U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered an invasion of Grenada on Oct. 25, 1983, involving over 1,900 U.S. troops and a small military force from Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. The troops met strong resistance from Cuban military personnel on the island but soon occupied it. After a gradual withdrawal of peacekeeping forces, a centrist coalition led by Herbert A. Blaize won a parliamentary majority in 1984. The New National Party (NNP), led by Keith C. Mitchell, won a majority in the 1995 parliamentary elections. He won reelection again in 1999 and 2003.

In Sept. 2004, Grenada suffered the most damage of any country from Hurricane Ivan, which killed 39 and left thousands homeless. In July 2005, Hurricane Emily wreaked further destruction.

On July 8, 2008, the National Democratic Congress won 11 of 15 seats in parliamentary elections. Tillman Thomas was sworn in as prime minister on July 9. Sir Carlyle Glean was appointed Governor-General in November 2008.

Mitchell Becomes Prime Minister Again in 2013

Keith Mitchell returned to serve as prime minister again in 2013. He served previously as prime minister from 1995 to 2008. He became Grenada's longest serving prime minister. On May 7, 2013, Cecile La Grenade replaced Governor-General Sir Carlyle Glean.

See also Encyclopedia: Grenada.
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Grenada


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