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Grenada is the second smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere (after Saint Kitts and Nevis). Grenada's government was seized by factions of a legally elected Marxist government on October 19 1983. The Coard faction imprisoned and executed the elected President, the charismatic Maurice Bishop.

Six days later the island was invaded by United States forces and those of six other Caribbean nations, which quickly captured the ringleaders and their hundreds of Cuban advisers, most of whom were laborers working on the construction of a major airport for the island which the United States completed years later. Free elections were reinstituted the following year. A publicized tactical concern of the United States was the safe recovery of U. S. nationals enrolled at St. George's University.

Economic progress in fiscal reforms and prudent macroeconomic management have boosted annual growth to 5%-6% in 1998-99; the increase in economic activity has been led by construction and trade. Tourist facilities are being expanded; tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner. Major short-term concerns are the rising fiscal deficit and the deterioration in the external account balance. Grenada shares a common central bank and a common currency with seven other members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The capital is Saint George's.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S Department of State website. Not Wikified.