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Flag of Jamaica.svg

Jamaica (/əˈmkə/ (About this sound listen)) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people died of disease, and the Spanish transplanted African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it and renamed it Jamaica. Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on African slaves. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British utilized Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.

Selected article

The Honourable
Bruce Golding
Bruce Golding.jpg
8th Prime Minister of Jamaica
In office
11 September 2007 – 23 October 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Kenneth Hall
Patrick Allen
Deputy Kenneth Baugh
Preceded by Portia Simpson-Miller
Succeeded by Andrew Holness
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
24 January 2005 – 20 November 2011
Preceded by Edward Seaga
Succeeded by Andrew Holness
Leader of the Opposition
In office
24 January 2005 – 11 September 2007
Prime Minister Percival Patterson
Portia Simpson-Miller
Preceded by Edward Seaga
Succeeded by Portia Simpson-Miller
Member of Parliament
for Kingston West
In office
24 January 2005 – 29 December 2011
Preceded by Edward Seaga
Succeeded by Desmond McKenzie
Personal details
Born (1947-12-05) 5 December 1947 (age 70)
Chapelton, Jamaica
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Lorna Golding
Alma mater University of the West Indies (B.A)

Orette Bruce Golding (born 5 December 1947) is a former Jamaican politician who served as eighth Prime Minister of Jamaica from 11 September 2007 to 23 October 2011. He is a member of the Jamaica Labour Party which he led from 2005 to his resignation in 2011.


Selected image

Bob Marley live in concert in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 1980
Credit: Ueli Frey

Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley live in concert in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 1980.

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Did you know...

  • ...that Alexander Bustamante (pictured), the prominent Jamaican politician, was born William Alexander Clarke but took the name Bustamante to honour an Iberian sea captain who befriended him in his youth?
  • ...that Trenchtown, a neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica, gets its name from a large open-trenched sewer that ran through the neighbourhood?



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