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Columbus discovered the island on Sunday, 3 November 1493. He gave the name Dominica which means Sunday in Spanish. Before Columbus' arrival, Carib Indians, who still live there today, and Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants of Dominica. After some time, Spaniards started to trade with the Indians. Because the Spaniards brought many diseases like influenza and smallpox, against which the Indians had no remedies, many Indians died. The inhabitants of the island experienced many turbulent moments.

Dominica was the last Caribbean island to be colonised by Europeans, mainly because of the fierce resistance of the original inhabitants, the Caribs (Indians). France transferred possession in 1763 to the United Kingdom, which made it a colony in 1805. In the 1970s, great social unrest arose on the island.

Dominica became independent on 3 November 1978. In 1980, the then corrupt regime came to an end when Mary Eugenia Charles became Prime Minister. She was the first female prime minister of the Caribbean and ruled Dominica until 1995. Dominica is a member of the British Commonwealth. Edison James becomes the Prime Minister on behalf of the UWP ( United workers party). Dominica is led by President Eliud T Williams, elected in 2012 and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

In May 2005, Roosevelt Skerrit of Labour won the general election. In January 2009, he won again, this time with a larger majority. In December 2014, Roosevelt Skerrit repeated the feat, this time with a smaller majority. Dominica was hit by several hurricanes in 2017. In October 2018, new presidential elections were held and Charles Saverin was re-elected.


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Last updated March 2024
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