Saint Kitts and Nevis
|Official Country Name:||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Region (Map name):||Caribbean|
The islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, located in the Caribbean Sea between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, are said to resemble a baseball bat and ball, respectively. Settled by Britain in the early seventeenth century, the country declared independence in 1983. Despite its independence, the chief of state remains the British monarch, who appoints a local Governor General. Heading the government is a Prime Minister, who presides over a unicameral, 14-seat National Assembly. The official language is English. The population is approximately 39,000, and the literacy rate is 97 percent. The economy, once dependent on sugarcane, has diversified to include tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking.
The media enjoys freedom of press and speech. Each major political party sponsors a publication, and the opposition parties freely criticize the government. Radio and television are government-owned, and there are some access restrictions levied on opposition political parties, but the government has pledged to privatize them. There is no daily newspaper. There are two independent weekly newspapers: The Leewards Times and The St. Kitts Nevis Observer. Both appear on Fridays and print in English. The Labour Spokesman, affiliated with the government's party, publishes twice weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday in English. The Democrat is backed by the opposition party and appears every Saturday, also in English.
There are four radio stations, one FM and three AM, for 28,000 radios. There is one local television station, but its antenna was destroyed during Hurricane Georges in 1998, and it is currently broadcasting via cable. There are 10,000 televisions on the island and 16 Internet service providers.
"Saint Kitts and Nevis," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov /
"St. Kitts-Nevis," Freedom House (2000). Available from http://www.freedomhouse.org .
"St. Kitts and Nevis Media Survey," UNESCO. (n.d.). Available from http://www.unesco.org .
Jenny B. Davis