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Barbados is a member state in the East Caribbean Federation, located in the extreme east of the Lesser Antilles, nearly beyond the boundary of the Atlantic Ocean. It shares maritime borders with St. Lucia to the northwest, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, and both Grenada and Tobago in the far south. The island covers an area of 431 sq km. Its capital is located at Bridgetown.
Prior to the apocalypse that was Doomsday, Barbados was a young nation, relatively new to independence. After many centuries as an English and then British colony, Errol Barrow led the nation to independence at a conference with the United Kingdom in 1966. Bajan culture was beginning to present itself to the outside world in 1983, as the tourism industry continued to boom. A growing light manufacturing industry was modernizing the island economy, once reliant on sugarcane farming. Like many Caribbean states, Barbados was looking to the future in 1983.
Though no missiles hit the island of Barbados or any of its neighbours, the widespread collapse of the world's political and economic structures resonated throughout the entire Caribbean. Barbados was no exception. Without the major trading partners of the United States and the United Kingdom, Barbados was in an instant thrown from economic stability to complete chaos. Prime Minister J.M.G. “Tom” Adams and his parliament declared a state of emergency in the wake of the global disaster.
Without a strong food crop, making contact with the neighbouring islands became a serious priority. On 27 September 1983, a single day after the global nuclear exchange, radio contact was made with the nearby island of St. Lucia. Negotiations began by radio and within a few days, the Central Antilles Survival Accord was signed, creating a relief aid exchange that brought medical supplies into Barbados and allowed the two nations to supplement their food supplies.
As time trickled on, reports began to emerge about the state of the Caribbean. Many nations, such as the French islands of Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Guadeloupe, were forming close ties and creating regional unions in order to survive. Other nations, such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were suffering from crime and rebellion in the wake of the disaster. Puerto Rico and Cuba had even been struck by actual nuclear weapons, and were suffering because of it.
The island's primary industries quickly became the main focus of the government. Serious efforts were made to expand the island's agricultural and fishery industries, in order to create a reliable food source for the population. Petroleum drilling and shale mining also received a boost from the government. After a lengthy and bleak review of the power generation situation on the island, plans were laid for the construction of a domestic shale refinery and power plant, to be completed in 1988 and 1990, respectively.
In late October of 1983, after a joint scouting expedition with St. Lucian police forces, a group of Bajan police officers were selected to begin training as a paramilitary force, along with St. Lucian officers, in order to help re-establish law on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Trade with nearby St. Lucia, through the Central Antilles Survival Accord, brought expanded the minor corn industry on the island and introduced a number of island fruit crops, such as mangoes and bananas, to the agricultural industry.
Survival And Defence
By January 1984, the St. Lucia-Barbados Protective Force, consisting of about three hundred specially trained police officers, now soldiers, was ready for deployment. They shipped out to the Grenadines on 17 January 1984, where in a single week they swept the islands and broke the resistance of the various insurrectionists in power. Authority was returned to St. Vincent, and the a fifty-man detachment was assigned to the southern Grenadines as a safeguard against Grenadian aggression.
The light manufacturing sector of Barbados began to shift rapidly, orienting from electronic components towards more basic domestic products, such as canning supplies, cigarettes, book production, paper milling, and the like. A public belief in self-sufficiency began to spread in Barbados following Doomsday, leading to a public and private boom in domestic primary and secondary industries. The investment required by this fervour led to a deeper dip in the recession of the floundering Bajan economy.
Protecting The Islands
Trinidad and Tobago, as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, petitioned to join the Central Antilles Survival Accord in early August of 1984. In a short two weeks, the parliament of Barbados voted to approve the applications of both nations. After another two weeks, the St. Lucians agreed, and the CASA was officially expanded to include both of the petitioning nations. A four nation council was set up to advise the island governments on matters of multinational importance.
On November 17th, 1984, seven hundred troops of the Cooperative Defence Force, the growing evolution of the St. Lucia-Barbados Protective Force, landed on Ronde Island, part of the northernmost section of the nation of Grenada. The island was quickly established as a basing ground for the troops, from which they orchestrated a number of military operations aimed at gaining control of the island of Grenada, prying it from the grasp of the warlords left behind by the fractured communist government.
Over the next two months, the conflict grew increasingly bloody, yet the tide was on the side of the CASA nations. On Christmas Eve of 1984, the capital city of St. George's was captured and the remaining warlords surrendered to the CDF forces. The CASA council established an interim government until democratic elections could be held, a date for which was not given. Such autocratic actions felt all too similar to the militant communist government that existed in Grenada prior to Doomsday, and protest and unrest manifested itself in the Grenadian populace very quickly.
The East Caribbean Federation
The election of 1986, the first after Doomsday, was highly contested. J.M.G Adams faced serious difficulties at home, following his decision to participate in the CASA invasion of Grenada. Polls showed that while most Bajans supported the initial invasion, they vehemently rejected the open-ended CASA interim government installed in the aftermath, viewing it as little better than an imperialist dictatorship.
Challenged by Errol Barrows and the Democratic Labour Party, J.M.G Adams and his Barbados Labour Party lost their majority in 1986. With a total of 20 seats in Parliament, Barrows became the new Prime Minister, advocating on a platform of infrastructure development, social programs, and cooperation with nearby islands. Shortly following this election, talks about unity were held in the CASA council. Seizing on the still-strong fervour of his constituency, Barrows joined St. Lucian PM John Compton in advocating for a economic and political confederacy of the CASA islands.
On January 1st, 1987, the East Caribbean Federation was created, officially consisting of the member states of St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the interim territory of Grenada.
Barbados is a parliamentary republic, and a member state of the East Caribbean Federation. There are thirty seats in the House of Assembly, with each member of the House representing about 7,500 citizens. Fourteen seats, almost half the House of Assembly, represent the capital of Bridgetown, which has a population of roughly 100,000. Two moderate political parties dominate the political scene: the Democratic Labour Party, a left-of-centre party, and the Barbados Labour Party, a more moderate left-centre party. A third party, the Barbados Conservative Party, is a minor party with stronger right-centre ideologies.
Currently, the government is formed as a majority by the Barbados Labour Party, lead by Prime Minister David Thompson. They hold fifteen seats in Parliament, currently. The Democratic Labour Party forms the opposition with eleven seats, lead by Freundel Stuart. The Barbados Conservative Party, at present, holds four seats in Parliament.
The Bajan economy, like many island economies, is dominated by a mix of agriculture and manufacturing. Sugarcane is the primary crop of Barbados, with smaller crops of corns, potatoes, yams, mangoes, and bananas making up the rest of the agricultural industry. Much of the Bajan agriculture industry is privately owned.
Manufacturing is also a major part of the economy. Much of the Bajan manufacturing sector is aimed at producing domestic products, such as canned food, drink, and cigarettes. The government is protective of these industries, and has passed legislation that allows them to remain competitive within the nation with foreign companies. The extraction and refining of oil and shale has a modestly profitable niche within the Bajan economy.
Tertiary sectors, particularly information and financial sectors, are undergoing a boom as of recent years. A number of Caribbean financial services recently relocated to Barbados, bringing a new wave of business into the economy. As of the moment, Barbados has one of the stronger economies in the Caribbean.
Barbados has no formal military of its own. The defense of Barbados and its waters are handled by a detachment of St. Lucian soldiers located on an ECDF military base in Gros Islet, St. Lucia.
Bajan culture is, and always has been, very distinctive. Barbados is considered a world hub for music, which derives from a great emphasis on the art and beauty of music in Bajan culture. Many jazz and pop festivals are held in Barbados, and a number of great singers and song-writers have emerged from the island. It is thought to be the centre of music in the East Caribbean Federation. The people of Barbados are very welcoming, and there are a great number of celebrations and festivals at different times during the year.