Central America and Caribbean :: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Introduction ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.

Geography ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

People and Society ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Government ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
    name: Kingstown
    geographic coordinates: 13 08 N, 61 13 W
    time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
    27 October 1979 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 27 October (1979)
    27 October 1979
    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 Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
    head of government: Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
    unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators; representatives elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 13 December 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
    election results: percent of vote by party - ULP 51.6%, NDP 47.8%, other 0.6%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7
    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 to include Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the ECSC - with its headquarters on Saint Lucia - is headed by the chief justice and is 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 Vincent and the Grenadines
    note - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 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
    New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]
    Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
    chief of mission: Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
    chancery: 3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] (202) 364-6730
    FAX: [1] (202) 364-6736
    consulate(s) general: New York
    the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation
    name: "St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"
    lyrics/music: Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL
    note: adopted 1967

Economy ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Energy ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Communications ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    22,700 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    131,800 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    general assessment: adequate islandwide, fully automatic telephone system
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity exceeds 20 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular teledensity exceeds 125 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 1-784; the East Caribbean Fiber Optic System (ECFS) and Southern Caribbean fiber optic system (SCF) submarine cables carry international calls; connectivity also provided by VHF/UHF radiotelephone from Saint Vincent to Barbados; SHF radiotelephone to Grenada and Saint Lucia; access to Intelsat earth station in Martinique through Saint Lucia (2011)
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation operates 1 TV station and 5 repeater stations that provide near total coverage to the multi-island state; multi-channel cable TV service available; a partially government-funded national radio service broadcasts on 1 station and has 2 repeater stations; about a dozen privately owned radio stations and repeater stations (2007)
    305 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    76,000 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 169

Transportation ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    total: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 1
    under 914 m:
    1 (2013)
    total: 829 km
    country comparison to the world: 187
    paved: 580 km
    unpaved: 249 km (2003)
    total: 412
    country comparison to the world: 25
    by type: bulk carrier 64, cargo 263, carrier 14, chemical tanker 4, container 18, liquefied gas 3, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 9, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 15, specialized tanker 1
    foreign-owned: 325 (Austria 1, Azerbaijan 1, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 7, Bermuda 1, Bulgaria 9, China 65, Croatia 8, Cyprus 3, Czech Republic 1, Denmark 9, Dominica 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 8, France 2, Germany 3, Greece 42, Guyana 2, Hong Kong 5, Israel 3, Italy 4, Japan 3, Kenya 2, Latvia 15, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 9, Monaco 2, Netherlands 1, Norway 13, Poland 3, Romania 1, Russia 11, Singapore 5, Slovenia 1, Sweden 10, Switzerland 7, Syria 9, Turkey 13, UAE 3, UK 6, Ukraine 12, US 18, Venezuela 1) (2010)

Military ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Transnational Issues ::Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    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; small-scale cannabis cultivation