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State

Capital

Windward Federation*

(potential)

Currency unit

East Caribbean $

Connections

East Caribbean

Empire

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

The British ruled a number of islands in the eastern Caribbean, known sometimes as the Windward Islands (because sailors tended to be blown on to them by the wind, or is it the other way round?) In the 1950s the British government wished to construct a West Indian Federation before independence. But the poor communications of those days made it unattractive to the potential members, who thought along very parochial lines. After Jamaica and Trinidad left, what remained were micro-states. But now the governments realize that there are strengths in unity - much as the Europeans are finding. Common services and negotiating rights with the big powers may be easier to manage with a federal government.

What was proposed was a potential federation between Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada. It could only be formed if the citizens of the constituent states vote in favor in a referendum.

It was first proposed in the Tortola Declaration of 1987. The constitution was drafted in September 1991 by an assembly drawn from the potential members. If the referendum is held and approves the federation other Anglophone islands may join, including Barbados, Antigua and St Kitts-Nevis, perhaps Anguilla too.

However, it never was and instead there is an Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

Languages

English

Creole

Patois

 History

 Economics

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Politics

The proposed constitution was based on the United States. There would be have been a Federal president but probably the existing parliamentary system would have continued for the island assemblies.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

The islands all produce bananas as their main crop. This is threatened by the European Community and GATT (World Trade Organisation) policy of free trade. The bananas have a higher cost than those of mainland South America - they are produced on small peasant plots - and have had a privileged access to Britain and France. Abandonment of this access will have bad social effects. The US-controlled companies which market "Dollar bananas" (and control 70% of the world market) are pressing for free access to Britain and France. There is a question of the cause of the lower costs in Latin America - allegedly very poor wages, avoidance of health and safety regulation and environmentally unsound methods.

Tourism is also an important source of foreign exchange.

The World Trade Organisation has declared the European Union's policy illegal even though the bananas are better quality.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Climate effects

The islands are vulnerable to hurricanes which can destroy the crops and buildings.

Last revised 24/03/08


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