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Introduction: Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern...

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History: The island's indigenous Arawak people were expelled or exterminated by Caribs in the 14th century. Columbus landed there in November 1493. Spanish ships frequently landed on Dominica during the 16th century, but fierce resistance by the Caribs discouraged Spain's efforts at settlement.

In 1635, France claimed Dominica. Shortly thereafter, French missionaries became the first ...

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International Relations: Relations with Neighbours

Dominica, due to its proximity, has forged strong relationships with the French Departments of Martinique and Guadeloupe. There are sizeable Dominican populations on both islands. Dominica takes its CARICOM and OECS responsibilities seriously and is an active participant in both organisations.

Relations with the International Community

In January 2008 Dominica joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). ALBA was spearheaded by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and in addition to Dominica has Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Saint ...

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The Commonwealth Caribbean islands make up a large subcomponent of the hundreds of islands in the Caribbean Sea, forming a wide arc between Florida in the north and Venezuela in the south, as well as a barrier between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Varying considerably in size, the islands, which are the isolated upper parts of a submerged chain of volcanic mountains, are scattered ...

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Area Handbook Series
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