The Caribbean: Democracy Adrift?

Issue Date October 2005
Volume 16
Issue 4
Page Numbers 159-171
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Read the full essay here.

Hurricane season arrived early this year in the Caribbean, when two record-breaking storms ripped across vulnerable island nations and left a trail of devastation in their wake. By mid-July, the one-two punch of hurricanes Dennis and Emily had killed several dozen people in Haiti, caused widespread flooding in Jamaica, and claimed 16 lives in Cuba. As the storms continued on toward North American shores, the estimated cost of restoring damaged property in the Caribbean ranged into the billions of dollars. Due to the ferocity of recent annual hurricane seasons, the small, mainly English-speaking democracies that make up the majority of Caribbean countries have begun to take the precautions necessary to minimize the impact of natural disasters. While dealing with this arduous task, governments also face the challenge of ensuring their countries’ economic well-being and political stability.

About the Authors

Daniel P. Erikson

Daniel P. Erikson is director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, the Washington-based policy forum on Western Hemispheric affairs. He is coeditor of Transforming Socialist Economies: Lessons for Cuba and Beyond (2005).

View all work by Daniel P. Erikson

Adam Minson

Adam Minson is program assistant at the Inter-American Dialogue.

View all work by Adam Minson