You are here -allRefer - Reference - Country Study & Country Guide - Caribbean Islands >

allRefer Reference and Encyclopedia Resource

allRefer    
allRefer
   


-- Country Study & Guide --     

 

Caribbean Islands

 
Country Guide
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belize
Bhutan
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Caribbean Islands
Comoros
Cyprus
Czechoslovakia
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
Georgia
Germany
Germany (East)
Ghana
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Cote d'Ivoire
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Laos
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Maldives
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Nigeria
North Korea
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Seychelles
Singapore
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Soviet Union [USSR]
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Tajikistan
Thailand
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yugoslavia
Zaire

Caribbean Islands

Strategic and Regional Security Perspectives

STRATEGIC AND REGIONAL security issues pertaining to the Commonwealth Caribbean insular subregion need to be considered, to a certain extent, within the wider context of the Caribbean Basin region. This geopolitical concept encompasses all of the Caribbean island polities, as well as the rimland countries of the United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana.

Of the Latin American rimland countries, only Venezuela, which exports petroleum to the United States through the Caribbean and has 2,816 kilometers of Caribbean coastline, has played an economic and diplomatic role of any significance to the Commonwealth Caribbean since the late 1970s. Venezuela's influence was most noticeable in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In general, however, aside from its longstanding territorial dispute with Guyana, Venezuela did not play an important security role in the Commonwealth Caribbean as of late 1987. For this reason, it is not discussed in this chapter. The only non-Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean Basin discussed here in a geopolitical context are the United States and Cuba, whose strategic or other interests have influenced the security of the English-speaking islands. The strategic interests of two extrahemispheric powers--Britain and the Soviet Union--also are examined for the same reason.

The strategic aspects of the Commonwealth Caribbean islands largely account for United States, Soviet, and Cuban interest in this subregion, as well as in the Caribbean Basin area in general. The transition to independence of the Commonwealth Caribbean islands during the period from the early 1960s to the early 1980s was accompanied by a gradual withdrawal of Britain's security and defense responsibilities. This situation created a strategic vacuum in the subregion and made the islands more vulnerable to external subversion. Since the 1960s, Cuba and the Soviet Union, in growing competition with the United States, have attempted to fill this vacuum, albeit in an incremental way in order to avoid provoking a United States response.

As German submarines demonstrated during World War II, the geography of the Caribbean Sea region is ideal for interdiction of the vital sea-lanes on which much American and world trade depend. Efforts by the United States to reinforce and resupply European allies in time of war also would be dependent on these Caribbean lifelines. Cuba and the Soviet Union have developed the military capabilities to interdict shipping on the Caribbean sea-lanes and control vital "choke points" among the numerous passages and straits in the region, as well as the Panama Canal. The Soviet Union and Cuba nearly gained a foothold in Grenada in the early 1980s, but the landing on the island of combined United StatesCaribbean forces on October 25, 1983, dealt their strategic plans for the Eastern Caribbean a major setback. The swift military action by the United States, which contrasted markedly with Britain's hesitation, enhanced United States influence in the Commonwealth Caribbean and appeared to confirm regional perceptions that the United States was assuming responsibilities once held by the British.

For the Commonwealth Caribbean islands, regional security issues are of much greater concern than strategic affairs. The English-speaking islands of the Eastern Caribbean became increasingly interested in a regional security arrangement following the 1979 coup in Grenada by Maurice Bishop's New Jewel Movement (NJM), a self-described pro-Cuban Marxist-Leninist party, and several incidents involving mercenary or other subversive activities in the region. In October 1982, five Eastern Caribbean states--Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines--signed a memorandum of understanding creating a Regional Security System (RSS). Nevertheless, in the late 1980s the English-speaking Caribbean remained a highly vulnerable area guarded mainly by police. This subregion continued to have one of the highest concentrations of pro-Western democratic governments in the world, and it looked primarily to the United States, not Britain, for economic, military, and other security assistance.

Data as of November 1987

Caribbean Islands - TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Strategic and Regional Security Perspectives


  • Go Up - Top of Page

    Make allRefer Reference your HomepageAdd allRefer Reference to your FavoritesGo to Top of PagePrint this PageSend this Page to a Friend


    Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


    Content on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. We accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities.

     

     

     
     


    About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy | Links Directory
    Link to allRefer | Add allRefer Search to your site

    allRefer
    All Rights reserved. Site best viewed in 800 x 600 resolution.