Caribbean Islands Glossary
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies
- The derivative of the metal ore bauxite (q.v.), used
to make aluminum.
- associated state(hood)
- A system of British colonial administration under which a
colony has full internal self-government while Britain retains
control over defense and foreign affairs. Associated states are
governed by a British-appointed governor and a locally elected
assembly. An associated state has more control over internal
affairs than does a crown colony (q.v.); thus, associated
statehood is one step closer to self-government. In late 1987,
Anguilla was the only remaining associated state in the
- An earthy metal ore mined for its derivative, alumina
(q.v.), used in the manufacturing of aluminum.
- Black Power movement
- A political and cultural black consciousness movement that
began in the United States in the late 1960s and later spread
throughout the Caribbean, causing widespread strikes and protests
in the early 1970s.
- A low island or reef of sand or coral. In the Bahamas it may
refer to a low sandy outlet or to an island. The customary spelling
in the United States, key, is not used in the Caribbean.
- crown colony (government)
- A system of British colonial
administration under which Britain retains control over defense,
foreign affairs, internal security, and various administrative and
budget matters. Crown colonies are governed internally by a
British-appointed governor and a locally elected assembly. In late
1987, the British crown colonies in the Caribbean consisted of the
British Virgin islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the
Turks and Caicos Islands. Prior to the Morant Bay Rebellion in
Jamaica in 1865, crown colony government was limited to Trinidad
and St. Lucia. Over the next thirty-five years, however, Britain
abolished the old representative assemblies that had flourished on
many of the islands, and the colonies were governed directly by the
Colonial Office in Britain and by a British-appointed governor on
each island who was assisted by a local council, most of whose
members were appointed by the governor. As the nineteenth century
progressed, however, an increasing number of officials were locally
elected rather than appointed. This so-called system of modified
crown colony rule began in Jamaica and was emulated in other West
Indian colonies in the 1920s and 1930s. Following the report of the
Moyne Commission in 1940, the crown colony system was further
modified to make local councils even more representative and to
give local officials more administrative responsibility.
Nevertheless, defense, foreign affairs, and internal security
remained the prerogatives of the crown.
- Eastern Caribbean
- A term used to describe the islands east of Puerto Rico and
north of Trinidad and Tobago. The Eastern Caribbean includes both
independent nations and British, French, Dutch, and United States
- economies of scale
- Decreases in the unit cost of production associated with
- 807 program
- Refers to items 806.3 and 807 of the Tariff Schedules of the
United States that allow the duty-free entry of goods whose final
product contains a certain portion of raw material or labor value
added in the United States and the Caribbean Basin.
- enclave industry
- Foreign-owned firms that manufacture products exclusively for
export. These businesses usually are labor-intensive, light
assembly operations. Host nations provide investors with a range of
benefits that typically include subsidized factory spaces in
industrial parks near ports or airports; exemptions from import
duties for raw materials, equipment, and machinery used in
manufacturing; and suspensions of capital gains, income, and real
property tax requirements for several years.
- A country's currency on deposit outside the country. Most
Eurocurrency claims are Eurodollars, which are dollar claims on
banks located outside the United States. The Eurocurrency market is
a wholesale market.
- export-led growth
- An economic development strategy that emphasizes export
promotion as the engine of economic growth. Proponents of this
strategy emphasize the correlation between growth in exports and
growth in the aggregate economy.
- financial intermediation
- The process of taking in money (borrowing) so that it can be
made available to individuals or institutions in the form of loans
- fiscal year (FY)
- The fiscal year varies throughout the Commonwealth Caribbean.
For example, in Anguilla, the Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad and
Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands the fiscal year
corresponds to the calendar year, whereas in Antigua and Barbuda,
Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica,
and Montserrat the fiscal year covers the period April 1-March 31,
and in Dominica the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. In
this volume, however, fiscal year, when used, refers to the United
States fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by
the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year.
Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the
economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and
depreciation (consumption of capital). Only domestic production is
included, not income arising from investments and possessions owned
abroad, hence the use of the word domestic to
distinguished GDP from gross national product (q.v.).
- gross national product (GNP)
- The total market value of all final goods and services produced
by an economy during a year. Obtained by adding the gross domestic
product (q.v.) and the income received from abroad by
residents less payments remitted abroad to nonresidents.
- import substitution industrialization
- An economic development strategy that emphasizes the growth of
domestic industries, often by import protection using tariff and
nontariff measures. Proponents favor the export of industrial goods
over primary products.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange
rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision
of loans to its members when they experience balance of payments
difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require
substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients.
- Lom� Convention
- A series of agreements between the European Economic Community
(EEC) and a group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states,
mainly former European colonies, providing duty-free or
preferential access to the EEC market for almost all ACP exports.
The Stabilization of Export Earnings (Stabex) scheme, a mechanism
set up by the Lom� Convention, provides compensation for ACP export
earnings lost through fluctuations in the world prices of
agricultural commodities. The Lom� Convention also provides for
limited EEC development aid and investment funds to be disbursed to
ACP recipients through the European Development Fund and the
European Investment Bank. The Lom� Convention is updated every five
years. Lom� I took effect on April 1, 1976; Lom� II, on January 1,
1981; and Lom� III, on March 1, 1985.
- Offshore banking
- Term applied to banking transactions conducted between
participants located outside the country. Such transactions
increased rapidly worldwide after the mid-1960s because of the
growth and liquidity of Eurocurrency (q.v.) markets.
- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean
- A regional body founded in 1981 by the seven former members of
the West Indies States Association (WISA), which had been created
in 1966. Original members were Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica,
Grenada, Montserrat, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St.
Vincent and the Grenadines. The British Virgin Islands later became
an associate member. Headquartered in Castries, St. Lucia, the OECS
is designed to coordinate economic, foreign policy, and defense
matters among its members and to facilitate their relations with
various international organizations. The OECS is an associate
institution of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom--
see Appendix C) and oversees cooperation of its members in several
Eastern Caribbean institutions: the Eastern Caribbean Currency
Authority, the Eastern Caribbean Common Market, the Eastern
Caribbean Central Bank, and the Eastern Caribbean States Supreme
Court. The primary administrative organs of the OECS are the
Authority of Heads of Government (the supreme policy-making body),
the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Defence and Security Committee,
and the Economic Affairs Committee. After the 1983 coup in Grenada,
the OECS members jointly requested United States military
intervention on that island. Four OECS members (Antigua and
Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
joined with Barbados in October 1982 in signing the Memorandum of
Understanding Relating to Security and Military Cooperation, which
formed the basis for the creation of the Regional Security System
- Paris Club
- A Paris-based organization that represents commercial banks in
the rescheduling of national debts.
- An Afro-Christian revivalist cult formed in Jamaica in the
early 1920s. The so-called Rastafarian Brethren emphasized
rejection of both Jamaican and European culture in favor of
eventual repatriation to Africa. Identifying Africa with Ethiopia,
Rastafarians viewed the former emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia
as God incarnate. As hope of returning to Africa dwindled,
Rastafarianism became more of a religious than a political
movement. Rastafarians developed a system of beliefs compatible
with their poverty and aloofness from society and similar to
mystical experiences found in other protest religions. Rastas (as
they are known in common parlance) have come to symbolize the
movement away from white domination and toward a heightened black
identify and pride. Rasta thought, reggae music, dance, and
literature have been popularized throughout West Indian culture.
- structural adjustment program
- A sectoral economic program designed to restructure an economy
to be more responsive to market mechanisms. Often required of
countries receiving assistance from the International Monetary Fund
- value-added tax
- An incremental tax applied to the value added at each stage of
the processing of a raw material or the production and distribution
of a commodity. It is calculated as the difference between the
product value at a given state and the cost of all materials and
services purchased as inputs. The value-added tax is a form of
indirect taxation, and its impact on the ultimate consumer is the
same as that of a sales tax.
- World Bank
- The informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund administered by the
staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the
poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed
specifically to encourage the growth of productive private
enterprises in less developed countries. The president and certain
senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The
three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries
that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank
group, member states must first belong to the International
Monetary Fund (q.v.).
NOTE: The information regarding Caribbean islands on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Caribbean Islands Section information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Caribbean Islands Section should be addressed to the Library of Congress.