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Grenada

island government british coup

Grenada, island country in the West Indies, one of the smallest independent countries in the Western Hemisphere. Its area is 133 sq mi (345 sq km).

Land and climate

The island of Grenada is the southernmost of the Windward Islands, 90 mi (145 km) north of Trinidad. The state consists of the main island, which is mountainous, and the southern group of the Grenadine islands. The climate is semitropical.

People and economy

The population is descended from African slaves and European settlers. Exports include nutmeg, cocoa, mace, sugar, cotton, coconut, lime oil, and bananas. Tourism is becoming an important source of income.

History

Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1498, Grenada was first colonized by the French but became British in 1762. It achieved internal self-government in 1967 and became fully independent within the British Commonwealth in 1974. After a bloodless coup in 1979 a left-wing government was installed. In the course of an army-supported coup in 1983, prime minister Maurice Bishop and several other leaders were slain. The United States then sent troops, aided by units from other Caribbean nations, to protect about 1,000 U.S. citizens on the island and to restore constitutional government. In 1997, Grenada and Cuba came to an agreement regarding technical and economic cooperation.

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