DOMINICA: Poor Little Paradise

A banana republic's birthday

There were gifts aplenty last week at a birthday party for the world's newest nation, which happens to be a real banana republic. The tiny Commonwealth of Dominica (pop. 78,000), a 290-sq.-mi. speck in the Lesser Antilles, earns 70% of its $12 million export revenues from the serviceable fruit, and it has replaced Queen Elizabeth II as head of state with a ceremonial President. Nonetheless, the Queen's younger sister, a newly thinned-down Princess Margaret, presided over the independence ceremonies that made Dominica the Western Hemisphere's 30th sovereign state. As the Union Jack was hauled down in...

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