Latin America & Caribbean

St Vincent and the Grenadines profile - Timeline

A chronology of key events:

1300 - Carib Indians of South America conquer the indigenous Arawak Indians.

Image caption St Vincent's Arnos Vale cricket ground

1498 - Christopher Columbus visits the main island on St Vincent's Day.

1627 - St Vincent granted to Britain's Lord Carlisle.

1783 - Treaty of Versailles recognises St Vincent as a British colony.

1795-97 - Britain, with French support, deports 5,000 caribs to Belize following an uprising.

1812 - First recorded eruption of La Soufriere volcano which resulted in many casualties.

1834 - Slavery abolished, forcing plantation owners to free more than 18,000 slaves; foreign labourers indentured.

1902 - Second eruption of La Soufriere volcano results in the death of 2,000 inhabitants.

1951 - St Vincent granted universal adult suffrage.

1958-62 - St Vincent a member of the British-sponsored West Indies Federation.


1969 - St Vincent granted internal self-government, with Britain retaining responsibility for foreign and defence affairs.

1979 October - St Vincent and the Grenadines become independent with Milton Cato of the centre-left St Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) as prime minister.

1979 December - Revolt on Union Island by a group that wanted more power in the country's new government put down.

1981 - Workers stage a general strike in protest at new industrial relations legislation against the background of an economic recession.

Mitchell elected

Image caption Former PM James Mitchell won four general elections

1984 - James Mitchell becomes prime minister after his centre-right New Democratic Party (NDP) wins a surprising victory in the general election.

1989 - Mitchell returned to office after his NDP won all parliamentary seats.

1994 - Mitchell and the NDP returned to office once again, but with a reduced majority.

1998 - Mitchell and the NDP scrape a fourth term.

2000 - Mitchell resigns and is succeeded by his finance minister, Arniham Eustace.

2000 - Anti-government protests and industrial action are sparked by a proposal to increase pensions for parliamentarians.

Labour government

2001 March - Opposition leader Ralph Gonsalves becomes prime minister in elections brought forward from 2003 because of anti-government protests in 2000.

2003 February - St Vincent and the Grenadines is admitted to the Non-Aligned Movement of developing nations.

2003 June - The country is removed from a list of nations deemed uncooperative in the fight against money-laundering.

2005 December - Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party win a second term in general elections.

"No" to republic

2009 November - Voters reject the proposal to replace the monarchy with a republic in a constitutional referendum.

2011 January - Main opposition New Democratic Party denies allegations by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves it was involved in a plot to assassinate him.