|Official Country Name:||Cayman Islands|
|Region (Map name):||North & Central America|
This series of three Caribbean Islands between Cuba and Honduras was originally sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1503 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. Ships from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, and France used the islands for watering and provisioning.
The Cayman Islands enjoy the press freedoms of British citizens. The Caymanian Compass is the national daily newspaper. It is published Monday through Friday by the Cayman Free Press Ltd., which lists circulation at ten thousand. The Cayman Net News publishes a weekly tabloid-style print newspaper. Its online edition is updated regularly every Tuesday and Thursday and contains unique content.
There are five FM radio stations and one AM radio station for approximately 36,000 radios. There are about 7,000 televisions in the country and four local television stations. There are 16 Internet service providers.
The islands came under British rule when Oliver Cromwell's army captured Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655, and British continued to colonize the islands via Jamaica through the nineteenth century. When Jamaica became an independent state in 1962, however, the Cayman Islands remained a British dependency. Population is estimated at forty thousand, with a literacy rate of approximately 98 percent. English is the official language, but Jamaican Patois and dialects of Spanish are also spoken. The chief of state is the British monarch, represented locally by an appointed official called the Governor and President of the Executive Council, which is the cabinet. There is a unicameral, eighteen-seat Legislative Assembly. Caymanians enjoy a high standard of living predominantly due to tourism—especially diving—and offshore banking industries.
Cayman Islands Web site. 2002. Available from www.caymanislands.ky .
Cayman Islands Government . 2002. Retrieved February 28, 2002, Available from www.gov.ky .
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Fact Book 2001 . 2001. Available from www.cia.gov .
Cayman News Net . 2002. Available from www.caymannetnews.com .
Jenny B. Davis