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Dominica's Dignitaries Visit South Florida.

Business & Government Editors

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2001

Prime Minister Pierre Charles and Police Commissioner Matt Lestrade of Dominica plan to arrive in South Florida on Sunday, May 27th. The purpose of their visit through Wednesday, May 30th is to attend several meetings to discuss ways that Dominica might cooperate with American enterprise.

Pierre Charles, previously Communications and Works Minister, became the country's sixth prime minister in 2000. He succeeded Douglas, who had died suddenly.

During their stay, they will meet with Sheriff Ken Jenne of the Broward County Sheriffs Office, where they will also be taken on a tour of the facilities. Visits with other government officials have not yet been confirmed.

Dominica (pronounced "Dom-in-eek-a") is a mountainous island of volcanic origin of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique. The formal name Commonwealth of Dominica is often used to distinguish it from the Dominican Republic.

The largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, Dominica is perhaps most famous for its tropical rainforest as well as the many rivers and waterfalls which result from the high rainfall in the interior. Moreover, it is widely acknowledged to be both one of the best dive sites and a prime whale watching location in the region, if not the world. In 1997, Dominica became the first Caribbean country to participate in the work of Green Globe, aiming to make Dominica a model eco-tourism destination.

Explored by Columbus in 1493, Dominica was claimed by Britain and France until 1763, when it was formally ceded to Britain. This accounts for its French-creole culture with overtones of the British monarchy. Along with other Windward Isles, it became a self-governing member of the West Indies Associates States in free association with Britain in 1967.

Prime Minister Charles regards this visit as an important step towards fostering the economic growth of Dominica. He anticipates meeting with several key figures in the business community to determine how this might be accomplished.
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Date:May 23, 2001
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