Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Kitts and Nevis

Introduction ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

    Carib Indians occupied the islands of the West Indies for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. In 1967, the island territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. The remaining islands achieved independence in 1983 as Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.

Geography ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

People and Society ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Government ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

    conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
    conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis
    former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
    parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Basseterre
    geographic coordinates: 17 18 N, 62 43 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    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
    19 September 1983 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 19 September (1983)
    19 September 1983
    English common law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Edmund LAWRENCE (since 2 January 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
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    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
    unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1
    highest court(s): the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) is the itinerant superior court of record for the 9-member Organization of Eastern Caribbean States which includes Saint Kitts and Nevis; the ECSC - with its headquarters on St. Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and comprised of the Court of Appeal with 3 justices and the High Court with 16 judges; sittings of the Court of Appeal and High Court rotate among the member states; 2 High Court judges reside on Saint Kitts and Nevis
    note - the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in 2003 replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London) as the final court of appeal on Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis is also a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice
    judge selection and term of office: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court chief justice appointed by Her Majesty, Queen ELIZABETH II; other justices and judges appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission; Court of Appeal justices appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; High Court judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 62
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts
    Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]
    Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]
    People's Action Movement or PAM [Shawn RICHARDS]
    Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN
    chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 686-2636
    FAX: [1] (202) 686-5740
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
    the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
    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; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism
    brown pelican
    name: "Oh Land of Beauty!"

    lyrics/music: Kenrick Anderson GEORGES
    note: adopted 1983

Economy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Energy ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Communications ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

    20,600 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    84,600 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    general assessment: good interisland and international connections
    domestic: interisland links via Eastern Caribbean Fiber Optic cable; construction of enhanced wireless infrastructure launched in November 2004; fixed-line teledensity about 40 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 170 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-869; connected internationally by the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables (2010)
    the government operates a national TV network that broadcasts on 2 channels; cable subscription services provide access to local and international channels; the government operates a national radio network; a mix of government-owned and privately owned broadcasters operate roughly 15 radio stations (2007)
    54 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    17,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 197

Transportation ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

    2 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    total: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 50 km
    country comparison to the world: 130
    narrow gauge: 50 km 0.762-m gauge on Saint Kitts for tourists (2008)
    total: 383 km
    country comparison to the world: 200
    paved: 163 km
    unpaved: 220 km (2002)
    total: 152
    country comparison to the world: 38
    by type: bulk carrier 16, cargo 81, chemical tanker 4, combination ore/oil 1, container 2, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 27, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
    foreign-owned: 73 (Belgium 1, China 1, Egypt 1, Greece 2, India 2, Japan 2, Malaysia 1, Norway 3, Pakistan 1, Russia 13, Singapore 10, Turkey 18, UAE 8, UK 1, Ukraine 8, US 1) (2010)
    Basseterre, Charlestown

Military ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

Transnational Issues ::Saint Kitts and Nevis

    joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which permits Venezuela to extend its Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea
    transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; some money-laundering activity