|Official Country Name:||Saint Lucia|
|Region (Map name):||Caribbean|
|Language(s):||English, French patois|
Saint Lucia is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago. Originally inhabited by the Carib people, Britain and France both claimed the territory as their own. Through the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, it changed possession between the two European nations 14 times. It was finally ceded to Britain in 1814, and in 1979, Saint Lucia declared independence. The population is approximately 160,000, and English is the official language, although French patois is also spoken. The literacy rate is 67 percent. Saint Lucia is an independent state within the Commonwealth of Great Britain, meaning the head of state is the British monarch, represented locally by a Governor General. The Governor General appoints a Prime Minister to act as the Head of Government. There is a bicameral Parliament with an 11-member Senate and a 17-member House of Assembly. The mainstay of the economy is bananas, but tourism and construction are gaining in importance as banana production declines. The government is working to develop the country's manufacturing industry and an offshore financial sector.
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, but some censorship occurs, most recently involving the ban of certain books. There are five privately owned newspapers, but none publish daily. The St. Lucia Star appears every Wednesday and Saturday. Its print circulation is 3,000, and it is available online. The Voice prints three times a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The Mirror appears on Friday, and One Caribbean and The Crusader publish on Saturday.
There are nine radio stations, one AM and seven FM, serving 111,000 radios. There are two commercial television stations and one community antenna broadcasting to 32,000 televisions. There are 15 Internet service providers.
"About Star Publishing Co.," St. Lucia Star (2002). Available from http://www.stluciastar.com .
Jacinta Raggie, St. Lucia Tourist Board Information Systems Officer, , April 28, 2002.
"Saint Lucia," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov .
"Saint Lucia," Commission on Human Rights. (n.d.). Available from http://www.humanrights-usa.net .
Jenny B. Davis