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Barbados is an independent country formerly a British colony and the most easterly island of the West Indies Its capital and only port of entry is BridgetownThe island is underlain with folded sedimentary deposits and a surface layer of coral attains 90 m 300 ft in thickness In the northeastern parts erosion has exposed rugged ridges and ravines The climate is warm and pleasant The average annual temperature is about 27 C 80 F and little daily or annual variation occurs A dry season from December to May alternates with a wet season The average annual rainfall is about 1500 mm 60 inBarbados is one of the worlds most densely populated countries Nearly 90 of the islands population is blackThe production of sugarcane and its by-products molasses and rum long a mainstay of the Barbadian economy has been replaced by tourism as the chief industry The development of light industry offshore banking and fishing and the diversification of agriculture have been encouraged by the governmentBarbados was settled by English colonists in 1627 To work the sugarcane plantations slaves were brought from Africa a practice abolished throughout the British Empire in 1834 Dominance by a small group of British landowners continued and a political rights movement began resulting in the founding of the Barbados Labour party BLP in 1938 and an offshoot the Democratic Labour party DLP in 1955 Barbados became independent on Nov 30 1966 Errol Barrow of the DLP the first premier was succeeded by Tom Adams of the BLP who held office from 1976 until his death in 1985 The DLP returned to power under Barrow 198687 and Lloyd Erskine Sandiford 198794 Owen Arthur of the BLP became premier after elections in 1994 and was returned to office in a landslide victory in 1999In 1997 Barbados hosted a regional summit attended by the leaders of the English-speaking Caribbean nations and US president Bill Clinton Late the following year a constitutional commission recommended that
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