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The Siboney were the first people to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak Indians populated the islands when COLUMBUS landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early Spanish and French settlements were succeeded by an English colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form None
Conventional short form Antigua and Barbuda

Government type
Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm

Capital
Name Saint John's
Geographic coordinates 17 07 N, 61 51 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
6 parishes and 2 dependencies*; Barbuda*, Redonda*, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mary, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Saint Philip

Independence
1 November 1981 (from the UK)

National holiday
Independence Day (National Day), 1 November (1981)

Constitution
1 November 1981

Legal system
Common law based on the English model

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Louisse LAKE-TACK (since 17 July 2007)
Head of government
Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER (since 24 March 2004)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Elections
The monarchy is hereditary; governor general chosen by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (17 seats; members appointed by the governor general) and the House of Representatives (17 seats; members are elected by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
Elections
House of Representatives - last held on 12 March 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - UPP 50.9%, ALP 47.2%, BPM 1.1%, other 0.8%; seats by party - UPP 9, ALP 7, BPM 1

Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court consisting of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal (based in Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court are residents of the islands and preside over the Court of Summary Jurisdiction); Magistrates' Courts; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice

Political parties and leaders
Antigua Labor Party or ALP [Lester Bryant BIRD]; Barbuda People's Movement or BPM [Thomas H. FRANK]; Barbuda People's Movement for Change [Arthur NIBBS]; Barbudans for a Better Barbuda [Ordrick SAMUEL]; United Progressive Party or UPP [Baldwin SPENCER] (a coalition of three parties - Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement or ACLM, Progressive Labor Movement or PLM, United National Democratic Party or UNDP)

Political pressure groups and leaders
Antigua Trades and Labor Union or ATLU [William ROBINSON]; People's Democratic Movement or PDM [Hugh MARSHALL]

International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Deborah Mae LOVELL
Chancery
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Telephone [1] (202) 362-5122
FAX [1] (202) 362-5225
Consulate(s) general Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
The US does not have an embassy in Antigua and Barbuda; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Antigua and Barbuda

Flag description
Red, with an inverted isosceles triangle based on the top edge of the flag; the triangle contains three horizontal bands of black (top), light blue, and white, with a yellow rising sun in the black band; the sun symbolizes the dawn of a new era, black represents the African heritage of most of the population, blue is for hope, and red is for the dynamism of the people; the "V" stands for victory; the successive yellow, blue, and white coloring is also meant to evoke the country's tourist attractions of sun, sea, and sand

National anthem
Name "Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee"
Lyrics/music
Novelle Hamilton RICHARDS/Walter Garnet Picart CHAMBERS
Note
Adopted 1967; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)


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  Antigua And Barbuda (Saint John's):


  GPS points from Antigua And Barbuda (Saint John's)

Marble Hill Saint John

Mount Pleasant Saint George

Grants Saint Philip

North Whelk Antigua And Barbuda (general)

Cades Reef Saint Mary


Hamiltons Dam Saint John

The Flashes Saint John




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