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Thursday 13th June
Grenada Information - Page 2
Early migrants to Grenada were the Amerindian Arawak and Carib people. Colonists from Europe arrived in the seventeenth century. The first successful European settlers were the French although conflict with the Caribs lasted for many years.

In 1783 Grenada was ceded to the Great Britain. British control of the internal government of Grenada lasted until 1967, and six years later, in 1974, Grenada finally gained independence. Links with Britain continued through Grenada's membership of the Commonwealth.

A coup in 1979 replaced the Prime Minister, Sir Eric Gairy, with Maurice Bishop. In 1983 Bishop was also overthrown. Within six days the new coup leaders were ousted by forces from the US and six Caribbean countries. The following year, a General Election was held and Herbert Blaize (New National Party) became Prime Minister.

Grenada's economy is dependent on its services sector which provides employment for the majority of the working population. Tourism is Grenada's main source of foreign exchange; the offshore financial industry also benefits Grenada's economy.

In 2004 Grenada's economy suffered a setback when Hurricane Ivan destroyed many of the country's buildings and crops. The global economic crisis also caused a slowdown in the economy in 2009 and 2010. Tourism and remittances were affected.

The Marketing and National Importing Board is responsible for the modernization and growth of the agricultural sector in Grenada. Agriculture employs around a quarter of the labour force. Products are nutmeg, mace, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, vanilla, cocoa, sugarcane, oranges, limes, grapefruits, bananas, avocados, corn, root crops and other vegetables. Fishing is a particularly important occupation on the smaller islands.

Industry in Grenada includes food and beverages, textiles, light assembly and construction. (2011)

The Grenada Arts Council aims to promote the visual arts throughout the country. Works by Grenadian artists, such as Canute Calliste, can be seen at the Annual Art Exhibition organized by the Arts Council.

In the world of literature, Merle Collins is a prominent Grenadian poet and novelist. Dr Collins' novels are Angel and The Colour of Forgetting.

The Heritage Theatre of Grenada produced "Ivan Roof-Us" after Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. Money raised from this comedy show were donated to children's organizations in Grenada and Haiti.

Other cultural events include Spice Jazz in June, the Carriacou Carnival in February and the Grenada Carnival in August.

Cricket is a very popular sport in Grenada. The National Stadium, completed in 1999, hosts international cricket as well as track and field and football.

Grenada is famous for water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling and water-skiing. The Grenada Sailing Festival takes place at the end of January and the beginning of February, and the Carriacou Regatta is an annual event at the end of July.

Grenada is also known for big-game fishing and visitors can fish for tuna and marlin. The Spice Island Billfish Tournament takes place in January.

Easter, Christmas and New Year are celebrated. Other holidays in Grenada include Independence Day (7 February - 1974), Labour Day (1 May) and Emancipation Day (2 August). Emancipation is celebrated by an annual Carnival.

News from Grenada is available from Newslink.

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