Grenada country profile

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Map of Grenada

The tiny Caribbean island of Grenada is one of the smallest independent countries in the western hemisphere.

Known as the Spice island, it is the world's second-largest producer of nutmeg after Indonesia and a significant producer of mace, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. It also boasts beautiful scenery with fertile valleys, rainforests and mountain lakes and its tropical climate and excellent beaches are a big draw for tourists.

Grenada made international headlines in 1983 when a split in the governing left-wing party led to the overthrow and execution of the country's charismatic leader Maurice Bishop and provided the pretext for a US invasion of the island. Free elections were reinstituted a year later and have continued since then.

Most of the population is of African or mixed African and European descent.

FACTS

LEADER

Head of state: King Charles III, represented by a governor

Prime Minister: Dickon Mitchell

Image source, Getty Images

Dickon Mitchell's National Democratic Congress won the June 2022 general election with slightly over 51% of the popular vote and winning nine out of the fifteen available seats - defeating the veteran politician Keith Mitchell, who had served five times as Grenada's prime minister.

The 44-year-old pledged to end nepotism and corruption, which he said was hampering the growth of the tri-island nation.

Dickon Mitchell's election victory came as Grenada faces the challenge of creating job opportunities in a country grappling with high inflation and rising unemployment.

MEDIA

Image source, Getty Images

Grenada has a high level of media freedom, guaranteed in the constitution. The country has no daily newspapers; its privately-owned weeklies freely criticise the government.

A public-private partnership, the Grenada Broadcasting Network, provides radio and television stations. MTV is privately owned and there are several privately-owned radio stations.

There were 69,000 internet users by March 2019, about 63% of the population (InternetWorldStats).

TIMELINE

Some key events in the history of Grenada:

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The US and other countries from the region intervened following the 1983 coup

700 - First inhabited by Arawak-speaking Amerindians from South America who are displaced by Carib settlers.

1498 - Christopher Columbus visits the island but it remains uncolonised.

1649 - The French gain control, establish sugar estates and import thousands of African slaves.

1763 - The British assume control and vigorously expand sugar production and introduce cotton, cacao and nutmeg.

1950s - National politics develops through the labour movement. Pro-independence Grenada United Labour Party is formed.

1967 - Britain gives Grenada autonomy over its internal affairs.

1974 - Independence from Britain and Eric Gairy becomes Grenada's first prime minister.

1979 - Gairy is deposed in a coup by opposition leader Maurice Bishop, whose Marxist military council forges links with Cuba.

1983 - Bishop is overthrown in a military coup and executed. The US invades Grenada with six other Caribbean nations.

1984 - Democracy returns after 1974 constitution is reinstated and free elections are held.

2004 - Hurricane Ivan devastates Grenada, damaging 90% of the island's buildings and devastating its nutmeg crop.

2009 - The last seven of the 17 men convicted over the 1983 coup and murder of PM Maurice Bishop are released from prison after serving out their sentences.

2013 - The opposition New National Party wins a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, taking all 15 contested seats. Keith Mitchell returns as prime minister.

2022 - Dickon Mitchell's National Democratic Congress wins the June general election.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Hurricane Ivan brought devastation to Grenada in 2004, damaging most of its buildings

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