Decolonization in the Caribbean

American Superpower

North America 1979.1027

Decolonization in the Caribbean

America in World War II, the Cold War and today (27 October 1979)

Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean

In the 1960s and '70s, the British withdrew from most of their remaining colonies in the Americas. A brief attempt to create a West Indies Federation collapsed when Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago decided to pull out, resulting in each island group getting its own independence. Elsewhere in the region, the British and Dutch left Guyana and Suriname; and the US agreed to return the Canal Zone to Panama.

Main Events

Spring Offensive

North Vietnam launched probing attacks into South Vietnam, capturing Phước Long by early January 1975. With it now clear that there would be no US intervention, the North Vietnamese invaded the Central Highlands in March, decisively defeating the South Vietnamese at Ban Me Thuot. On 30 April, the People's Army of Vietnam and Viet Cong forces entered Saigon, bringing the war in Vietnam to an end.

Suriname independent

Dutch constituent country Suriname became fully independent as the Republic of Suriname.

Nicaraguan Revolution

The Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle in Nicaragua.

Dominica independent

The United Kingdom granted independence to the Commonwealth of Dominica.

St Lucia independent

The British associated state Saint Lucia became fully independent and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Canal Zone returned to Panama

Under terms of The Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, the Panama Canal Zone ceased to exist and the process of transferring control from United States to Panama began.

JRG coup in El Salvador

A coup by the civil-military Revolutionary Government Junta (JRG) deposed the President General of El Salvador, Carlos Humberto Romero.

St Vincent & Grenadines independent

British associated state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines became fully independent.

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