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The West Indies Federation was formed in 1958 from several British Colonies, as an attempt to create a unified independent state. However, by 1961 Jamaica became dissatisfied with the Federation's failure to become independent, and by mid 1962 had left it. After this, the future of the Federation became unknown, and salvage attempts were attempted. By late 1962 the future of the federation was greatly in question.
Great Nuclear War
However, with the Great Nuclear War, the local sugar and tourists trades had collapsed, and all contact with the United Kingdom was lost. The leaders of the West Indies Federation met in Port of Spain and declared a new constitution. Assuming the monarchy exctinct, the Federation declared itself a republic, declaring Governor-General Lord Hailes as temporary President, though with Prime Minister Grantly Herbert Adams holding almost all power. The new constitution also bound the Federation more tightly together, allowing better trade, free-movement and power moved to the Federal Government.
With the success, the Federation offerred Jamaica membership again, but it refused. However, a suprise came in 1963 when British Guiana, struggling by itself, requested membership. Whilst some feared the large state may swallow the union, it was accepted, increasing the population of the Federation by 25%. Too quell distrust of the large addition, Guyana was split into two Federal Areas, though they remained closely linked.
Further suprise came in 1965 when the former unicorporated US Territory of Puerto Rico approached the Federation. Also struggling, Puerto Rico requested membership of the Federation. Whilst there were some protests due to the cultural differences, it was decided to allow Puerto Rico to join, as it was not likely to swallow the nation due to its small size.
In 1977. relations with Belize were firmly established, and, after holding a referendum, applied to join the Federation, and on the 1st January 1978 it was admitted.
The Federation is made up of seventeen federal states. They are:
The state of Bermuda, due to its distance from the other states, has greater autonomy over its affairs.
MilitaryThe Armed forces of the West Indies Federation is the West Indies Armed Services. The largest branch is the Navy, followed by the Army and Air Force. The headquarters are in Chaguaramas, and is administered by the Ministy of Defence. The WIAS is based around the old British System, but much of the equipment is that which could not be evacuated from the US Virgin Islands prior to its ascension. As such it has a number of heavy tanks and arms. Some personnel from the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico also serve.
The West Indies Navy (WIN) is the largest section of the WIAS, followed by the Army (WIA) and finally the West Indies Air Force (WIAF). The WIN is mainly patrol boats, though has a few small frigates, whilst the WIAF is mainly made up of patrol craft and a few light fighters. The WIA is primarily infantry, as well as transport and a few tanks and artillery.
The West Indies Federation has close links with the Netherlands Antilles and French Community, and alongside them has spoken against the Dominican Republic's occupation of Haiti.