Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is a much smaller Caribbean island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago.

Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia CHARLES, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean. Throughout it’s History, the fertile land of Dominica has attracted settlers and colonizers and has been the subject of the military, and often bloody squabbles of European powers. At the time of Columbus’s visit in November 1493, the island was a stronghold of the Caribs from South America who were driving out the Arawaks. In 1627 the English took theoretical possession without settling, but by 1632 the island had become a de facto French colony; it remained so until 1759 when the English captured it. In 1660 the English and French agreed to leave the Caribs in undisturbed possession, but in fact French settlers went on arriving, brining enslaved Africans with them. Dominica changed hands between the two European powers, passing back to France (1778) and again to England (1783).

The French attempted to invade in 1795 and 1805 before eventually withdrawing, leaving Britain in possession. In 1833 the island was linked to Antigua and the other Leeward Islands under a Governor General at Antigua, but subsequently became part of the Federation of the Leeward Islands Group (1940-60). Dominica joined the West Indies Federation at its foundation in 1958 and remained a member until differences among larger members led to its dissolution in 1962. Dominica became an Associated state of the United Kingdom in 1967, with full internal self-government, but Britain remained responsible for foreign policy and defence. Full Independence was achieved on November 3, 1978. Dominica is a Republic with a non-executive presidency and parliamentary government. It has a unicameral House of assembly with 30 members (21 elected, 9 appointed). Elections are held every five years, with universal suffrage for adults (18 over). The House of assembly elected the President for not more than two terms of five years. He or she appoints the prime Minister who consults the President in appointing other ministers