(Commonwealth of Dominica). State of Central America (751 km²). Capital: Roseau. Population: 70,000 residents (2008 estimate). Language: English (official), Creole-French. Religion: Catholics 70.1%, Protestants 17.2%, non-religious / atheists 2.9%, others 9.8%. Currency unit: East Caribbean dollar (100 cents). Human Development Index: 0.797 (77th place). Borders: Atlantic Ocean (N and E), Sea of the Antilles (S and W). Member of: Commonwealth, OAS, UN and WTO, EU associate.
According to itypetravel, the population is essentially made up of blacks (88.3%) and mestizos (7.3%); near Salybia, in a reserve on the east coast which has taken the name of Carib Territory, live some small groups of Indians (1.7%), descendants of the Caribbean people who inhabited the island at the time of its discovery. The annual growth from a negative value of the first years of the 21st century, mainly due to a modest demographic increase and a high emigration rate, has passed to a positive value (0.2% in the period 2002-2007). The country has a population density of 93 residents / km²; most Dominicans live in villages and towns in administrative districts, especially along the coast. The capital Roseau, an important commercial and port center on the southwestern coast, welcomes almost a third of the population; other notable towns are Portsmouth and Marigot.
The tropical forest, with a prevalence of Bromeliads and Euforbiacee, which alternates with the humid mountain forest rich in ferns of the higher areas, still covers two thirds of the territory. The whole island is populated by a great variety of animal species: from parrots – in particular the Amazona imperialis, called sisserou and symbol of the country, and the Amazona arausiaca, called jaco -, hummingbirds, lizards (including the Anolis oculatus, endemic), snakes, frogs, tree frogs, toads, butterflies, hermit crabs, to the rich marine fauna, with sponges, corals, tropical fish, dolphins, sperm whales, killer whales, whales. National legislation aimed at safeguarding the natural heritage has ancient origins; in fact, the establishment of the Forestry, Natural and Parks Division dates back to 1949, under which there are numerous protected areas, which cover 4.4% of the island’s territory. Among them there are three national parks as well as forest and marine reserves. Morne Trois Pitons National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Built around the volcano of the same name, the park covers an area of about 7000 hectares and includes woods, volcanic lakes, sulfur springs; the area also hosts the second active thermal lake in the world, the Boiling Lake.
Dominica was discovered by C. Columbus on November 3rd, 1493, a Sunday (hence the name).
The resistance of the Caribs delayed European colonization. French and British settlers began bringing African slaves to the island in the 17th century. In the 18th century, Dominica was disputed between France and Great Britain until it finally became a British colony in 1805. 1834 became slavery abolished. In 1838, non-whites gained a majority in parliament. In 1865, the colonial power reduced the number of elected parliamentarians to half in favor of appointed members and restricted the powers of the assembly. In 1951 universal suffrage was introduced. After Dominica had not become independent as part of the failed West Indian Federation (1958–1962), the island gained autonomy in 1967 within the framework of the West Indian Associated States and on November 3, 1978 independence under international law.
The DLP has ruled since 1961, led by Edward Oliver Leblanc (* 1923, † 2004) until 1974, Chief Minister from 1961, Prime Minister from 1967. The 1980 election brought the DFP to government under Prime Minister Maria Eugenia Charles (* 1919, † 2005) (1980-95). The 1995 elections were won by the UWP. After the election victory of an alliance of DLP and DFP in 2000, Roosevelt Douglas (* 1942; DLP) became the new Prime Minister of a DLP-DFP coalition government; After his death in October 2000, Pierre Charles (* 1954; DLP) took over this position until his death on January 6, 2004. His successor was R. Skerrit on January 8, 2004. Under his leadership, the DLP won the May 2005 elections. Skerrit In 2008, signed the agreement for Dominica to join the Latin American free trade area ALBA, which Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías initiated in 2005.
In the early parliamentary elections in December 2009, the Skerrit- led DLP won an absolute majority of the seats. He was sworn in again as Prime Minister. In October 2013, the parliament elected Charles Angelo Savarin (* 1972; DLP) as the new president of the country. The UWP had boycotted the election. Although the DLP lost 3 of its previous 18 parliamentary seats in the December 2014 elections, it remained the undisputed ruling party. R. Skerrit was able to continue working as Prime Minister.