Antigua and Barbuda. It is an independent state, belonging to the Lesser Antilles, and located east of the Caribbean Sea. It is formed by three islands (of the Leeward ones): Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda, of the windward group. Its economy is fundamentally based on tourism.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the first residents of the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 BC. n. and. they were pre-ceramic Amerindians. Later, the Amerindian Arawak and Carib tribes populated the islands. The island of Antigua was originally called by the Wadadli natives.
On the island of Antigua, the ships of the navigator Christopher Columbus landed on their second voyage in 1493 and gave the island the name of Antigua. Barbuda later received its strange name from the lichen beards that adorned its palm trees.
In 1632, the United Kingdom established a colony. And in 1661, a group of settlers inhabited Barbuda.
The first Spanish and French settlers were succeeded by the English, who formed a colony in 1667 by transporting Irish Catholics to Antigua. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations in Antigua, was officially abolished in 1838 in all British colonies, but in Antigua and Barbuda it persisted until the advent of trade unions in 1939. Vere Bird was the founder of the Labor Party of Antigua (PLA), the first political party created in the country, and also the first union leader of the nascent nation. After decades of struggle, he managed to win the 1960 elections and become Prime Minister.
In 1960 a constitution was promulgated according to which Antigua and Barbuda began to govern itself through a democratically elected Parliament, but the hidden power of England was evidenced by the fact that London exercised the Antigua Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Associated Autonomous State
In 1967 it was declared an Autonomous State associated with Great Britain. The 1 of November of 1981 it became independent within the British Commonwealth of Nations and took the current name of Antigua and Barbuda. Its Governor General forms together with a Prime Minister, the Executive Branch, representing the British Crown.
Despite the opposition, which did not recognize Bird’s character as a social fighter and accused him of various alleged episodes of corruption, the leader managed to stay in power until 1994, and his son Lester Bird replaced him in the leadership of the ALP party. also assuming the leadership of the country for two successive periods, 10 years as prime minister.
A year earlier, Antigua and Barbuda adopted an alliance with the United States, through which it allows it to use its territory for military purposes in exchange for the payment of an annual rental fee. During the invasion of Granada in 1983, antiguanas troops accompanied the Americans.
Currently, the prime minister is Baldwin Spencer, who defeated Labor candidate Lester Bird in March 2004.
The economy is largely based on tourism. The agricultural production of sugar cane, cotton and fruits is also important ; as well as petroleum refining and textile, cabinetmaking and rum production. Produce some beer, clothing, cement, local crafts, and furniture. Its agricultural products also include papaya, guavas, oranges, pineapple, lemons and carrots.. Their livestock consists of bovids and sheep.
Also a source of income is the issuance of postage stamps destined mainly for philatelic collecting.
Antigua and Barbuda exports petroleum derivatives, machinery, transportation equipment and food to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (16%), Barbados (15%), Guyana (4%), Trinidad and Tobago (2%) and the United States (0.3%) (2000). It mainly imports agricultural products and petroleum products from the United States (27%), the United Kingdom (16%), Canada (4%), the OECS (3%) and other countries (50%).
The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (East Caribbean Dollar), with a parity of 2.7: 1 with the United States dollar (2009). The gross domestic product was $ 11,000 per capita in 2003 and the annual inflation rate is very low (0.4% in 2000). The country has an external debt of 231 million dollars (2002) and a moderate unemployment rate of 11% (2001).
The culture of Antigua and Barbuda has African influences. Some of these influences are seen in the masked costumes that the people of Antigua and Barbuda wear at carnival and in music, where percussion is widely used.
The most popular sports in Antigua and Barbuda are cricket (national sport), soccer, and athletics.
The country has the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, which traces the history of the country.
The typical national dish is fungi, which consists of a dish very similar to Italian polenta. Other typical Antigua and Barbuda dishes are ducana, rice, and seafood.