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Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean. Consisting of the main islands Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous much smaller islands, it is situated 130 km south of Grenada and 11 km off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. It shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.

The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by native Amerindian peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire, following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498. Spanish governor Don José María Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonisers more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens as separate states and unified in 1889. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.

Trinidad and Tobago has the third highest GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP) in the Americas after the United States and Canada. It is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Unlike most Caribbean nations and territories, which rely heavily on tourism, the Trinidadian economy is primarily industrial with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals; much of the nation's wealth is derived from its large reserves of oil and natural gas.

Trinidad and Tobago is well known for its African and Indian cultures, reflected in its large and famous Carnival, Diwali, and Hosay celebrations, as well being the birthplace of steelpan, the limbo, and music styles such as calypso, soca, rapso, parang, chutney, and chutney soca.

Toponymy



Historian E. L. Joseph claimed that Trinidad's Amerindian name was Cairi or "Land of the Humming Bird", derived from the Arawak name for hummingbird, ierèttê or yerettê. However, other authors dispute this etymology with some claiming that cairi does not mean hummingbird (tukusi or tucuchi being suggested as the correct word) and some claiming that kairi, or iere, simply means island. Christopher Columbus renamed it "La Isla de la Trinidad" ("The Island of the Trinity"), fulfilling a vow made before setting out on his third voyage of exploration. Tobago's cigar-like shape, or the use of tobacco by the native people, may have given it its Spanish name (cabaco, tavaco, tobacco) and possibly some of its other Amerindian names, such as Aloubaéra (black conch) and Urupaina (big snail), although the English pronunciation is .

History

Pre-colonial era

Both Trinidad and Tobago were originally settled by Amerindians who came through South America. Trinidad was first settled by pre-agricultural Archaic people at least 7,000 years ago, making it the earliest settled part of the Caribbean. Banwari Trace in south-west Trinidad is the oldest attested archaeological site in the Caribbean, dating to about 5000 BC. Several waves of migration occurred over the following centuries, which can be identified by differences in their archaeological remains. At the time of European contact, Trinidad was occupied by various Arawakan-speaking groups including the Nepoya and Suppoya, and Cariban-speaking groups such as the Yao, while Tobago was occupied by the Island Caribs and Galibi. Trinidad was known to the native peoples as 'Ieri' ('Land of the Humming Bird').

Arrival of Europeans and Spanish colonial period



Christopher Columbus was the first European to see Trinidad, on his third voyage to the Americas in 1498. He also reported seeing Tobago on the distant horizon, naming it Bellaforma, but did not land on the island.In the 1530s Antonio de Sedeño, a Spanish soldier intent on conquering the island of Trinidad, landed on its southwest coast with a small army of men, intending to subdue the Amerindian peoples of the island. Sedeño and his men fought the native peoples on many occasions, and subsequently built a fort. The next few decades were generally spent in warfare with the native peoples, until in 1592, the 'Cacique' (native chief) Wannawanare (also known as Guanaguanare) granted the area around modern Saint Joseph to Domingo de Vera e Ibargüen, and withdrew to another part of the island. The settlement of San José de Oruña was later established by Antonio de Berrío on this land in 1592. Shortly thereafter the English sailor Sir Walter Raleigh arrived in Trinidad on 22 March 1595 in search of the long-rumoured "El Dorado" ('City of Gold') supposedly located in South America. He attacked San José, captured and interrogated Antonio de Berrío, and obtained much information from him and from the Cacique Topiawari; Raleigh then went on his way, and Spanish authority was restored.

Meanwhile, there were numerous attempts by European powers to settle Tobago during the 1620-40s, with the Dutch, English and Courlanders (people from the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, now part of Latvia) all attempting to colonise the island with little success. From 1654 the Dutch and Courlanders managed to gain a more secure foothold, later joined by several hundred French settlers. A plantation economy developed based on the production of sugar, indigo and rum, worked by large numbers of African slaves who soon came to vastly outnumber the European colonists. Large numbers of forts were constructed as Tobago became a source of contention between France, Holland and Britain, with the island changing hands some 31 times prior to 1814, a situation exacerbated by widespread piracy. The British managed to hold Tobago from 1762–1781, whereupon it was captured by the French, who ruled until 1793 when Britain re-captured the island.

The 17th century on Trinidad passed largely without major incident, but sustained attempts by the Spaniards to control and rule over the Amerindians were often fiercely resisted. In 1687 the Catholic Catalan Capuchin friars were given responsibility for the conversions of the indigenous people of Trinidad and the Guianas. They founded several missions in Trinidad, supported and richly funded by the state, which also granted encomienda right to them over the native peoples, in which the native peoples were forced to provide labour for the Spanish. One such mission was Santa Rosa de Arima, established in 1789, when Amerindians from the former encomiendas of Tacarigua and Arauca (Arouca) were relocated further west. Escalating tensions between the Spaniards and Amerindians culminated in violence 1689, when Amerindians in the San Rafael encomienda rebelled and killed several priests, attacked a church, and killed the Spanish governor José de León y Echales. Among those killed in the governor's party was Juan Mazien de Sotomayor, missionary priest to the Nepuyo villages of Cuara, Tacarigua and Arauca. The Spanish retaliated severely, slaughtering hundreds of native peoples in an event that became known as the Arena massacre. As a result of this, continuing Spanish slave-raiding, and the devastating impact of introduced disease to which they had no immunity, the native population was virtually wiped out by the end of the following century.

During this period Trinidad was an island province belonging to the Viceroyalty of New Spain, together with Central America, present-day Mexico and the southwestern United States. In 1757 the capital was moved from San José de Oruña to Puerto de España (modern Port of Spain) following several pirate attacks. However the Spanish never made any concerted effort to colonise the islands; Trinidad in this period was still mostly forest, populated by a few Spaniards with a handful of slaves and a few thousand Amerindians. Indeed, the population in 1777 was only 1,400, and Spanish colonisation in Trinidad remained tenuous.

Influx of French settlers



Since Trinidad was considered underpopulated, Roume de St. Laurent, a Frenchman living in Grenada, was able to obtain a Cédula de Población from the Spanish king Charles III on 4 November 1783. A Cédula de Población had previously been granted in 1776 by the king, but had not shown results, and therefore the new Cédula was more generous. It granted free land and tax exemption for 10 years to Roman Catholic foreign settlers who were willing to swear allegiance to the King of Spain. The Spanish also gave many incentives to lure settlers to the island, including exemption from taxes for ten years and land grants in accordance with the terms set out in the Cédula. The land grant was 30 fanegas (13 hectares/32 acres) for each free man, woman and child and half of that for each slave that they brought with them. The Spanish sent a new governor, José María Chacón, to implement the terms of the new cédula.

It was fortuitous that the Cédula was issued only a few years before the French Revolution. During that period of upheaval, French planters with their slaves, free coloureds and mulattos from the neighbouring islands of Martinique, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Dominica migrated to Trinidad, where they established an agriculture-based economy (sugar and cocoa). These new immigrants established local communities in Blanchisseuse, Champs Fleurs, Paramin, Cascade, Carenage and Laventille.

As a result, Trinidad's population jumped to over 15,000 by the end of 1789, and by 1797 the population of Port of Spain had increased from under 3,000 to 10,422 in just five years, with a varied population of mixed race individuals, Spaniards, Africans, French republican soldiers, retired pirates and French nobility. The total population of Trinidad was 17,718, of which 2,151 were of European ancestry, 4,476 were "free blacks and people of colour", 10,009 were enslaved people and 1,082 Amerindians. The sparse settlement and slow rate of population-increase during Spanish rule (and even later during British rule) made Trinidad one of the less populated colonies of the West Indies, with the least developed plantation infrastructure.

British colonial era

The British had begun to take a keen interest in Trinidad, and in 1797 a British force led by General Sir Ralph Abercromby launched an invasion of Trinidad. His squadron sailed through the Bocas and anchored off the coast of Chaguaramas. Seriously outnumbered, Governor Chacón decided to capitulate to British without fighting. Trinidad thus became a British crown colony, with a largely French-speaking population and Spanish laws. British rule was later formalised under the Treaty of Amiens (1802). The colony's first British governor was Thomas Picton, however his heavy-handed approach to enforcing British authority, including the use of torture and arbitrary arrest, led to his being recalled.

British rule led to an influx of settlers from the United Kingdom and the British colonies of the Eastern Caribbean. English, Scots, Irish, German and Italian families arrived, as well as some free blacks known as 'Merikins' who had fought for Britain in the War of 1812 and were granted land in southern Trinidad. Under British rule, new states were created and the importation of slaves increased, however by this time support for abolitionism had vastly increased and in England the slave trade was under attack. Slavery was abolished in 1833, after which former slaves served an "apprenticeship" period. In 1837 Daaga, a West African slave trader who had been captured by Portuguese slavers and later rescued by the British navy, was conscripted into the local regiment. Daaga and a group of his compatriots mutinied at the barracks in St Joseph and set out eastward in an attempt to return to their homeland. The mutineers were ambushed by a militia unit just outside the town of Arima. The revolt was crushed at the cost of some 40 dead, and Daaga and his party were later executed at St Joseph. The apprenticeship system ended on 1 August 1838 with full emancipation. An overview of the populations statistics in 1838, however, clearly reveals the contrast between Trinidad and its neighbouring islands: upon emancipation of the slaves in 1838, Trinidad had only 17,439 slaves, with 80% of slave owners having enslaved fewer than 10 people each. In contrast, at twice the size of Trinidad, Jamaica had roughly 360,000 slaves.

Arrival of Indian indentured labourers



After the African slaves were emancipated many refused to continue working on the plantations, often moving out to urban areas such as Laventille and Belmont to the east of Port of Spain. As a result, a severe agricultural labour shortage emerged; the British filled this gap by instituting a system of indentureship. Various nationalities were contracted under this system, including Indians, Chinese, and Portuguese. Of these, the East Indians were imported in the largest numbers, starting from 1 May 1845, when 225 Indians were brought in the first shipment to Trinidad on the Fatel Razack, a Muslim-owned vessel. Indentureship of the Indians lasted from 1845 to 1917, during which time more than 147,000 Indians came to Trinidad to work on sugarcane plantations.

Indentureship contracts were sometimes exploitative, to such an extent that historians such as Hugh Tinker were to call it "a new system of slavery". Despite these descriptions, it was not truly a new form of slavery, as workers were paid, contracts were finite, and the idea of an individual being another's property had been eliminated when slavery was abolished. In addition, employers of indentured labour had no legal right to flog or whip their workers; the main legal sanction for the enforcement of the indenture laws was prosecution in the courts, followed by fines or (more likely) jail sentences. People were contracted for a period of five years, with a daily wage as low as 25 cents in the early 20th century, and they were guaranteed return passage to India at the end of their contract period. However, coercive means were often used to retain labourers, and the indentureship contracts were soon extended to 10 years from 1854 after the planters complained that they were losing their labour too early. In lieu of the return passage, the British authorities soon began offering portions of land to encourage settlement, and by 1902, more than half of the sugar cane in Trinidad was being produced by independent cane farmers; the majority of which were Indians. Despite the trying conditions experienced under the indenture system, about 90% of the Indian immigrants chose, at the end of their contracted periods of indenture, to make Trinidad their permanent home. East Indians entering the colony were also subject to certain crown laws which segregated them from the rest of Trinidad's population, such as the requirement that they carry a pass with them if they left the plantations, and that if freed, they carry their "Free Papers" or certificate indicating completion of the indenture period.

Few Indians settled on Tobago however, and the descendants of African slaves continued to form the majority of the island's population. An ongoing economic slump in the middle-to-late 19th century caused widespread poverty. Discontent erupted into rioting on the Roxborough plantation in 1876, in an event known as the Belmanna Uprising after a policeman who was killed. The British eventually managed to restore control, however as a result of the disturbances Tobago's Legislative Assembly voted to dissolve itself and the island became a Crown colony in 1877. With the sugar industry in a state of near-collapse and the island no longer profitable, the British attached Tobago to their Trinidad colony in 1899.

Early 20th century

In 1903 a protest against the introduction of new water rates in Port of Spain erupted into rioting; 18 people were shot dead, and the Red House (the government headquarters) was damaged by fire. A local elected assembly with some limited powers was introduced in 1913. Economically Trinidad and Tobago remained a predominantly agricultural colony; alongside sugarcane, the cacao (cocoa) crop also contributed greatly to economic earnings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In November 1919 the dockworkers went on strike over bad management practises, low wages compared to a higher cost of living. Strikebreakers were brought in to keep a minimum of goods moving through the ports. On December 1, 1919, the striking dockworkers rushed the harbour and chased off the strikebreakers. They then proceeded to march on the government buildings in Port of Spain. Other unions and workers, many with the same grievances, joined the dock worker's strike making it a General Strike. Violence broke out and was only put down with help from the sailors of British Naval ship . The unity brought upon by the strike was the first time of cooperation between the various ethnic groups of the time. Historian Brinsley Samaroo says that the 1919 strikes "seem to indicate that there was a growing class consciousness after the war and this transcended racial feelings at times."

However, in the 1920s the collapse of the sugarcane industry, concomitant with the failure of the cocoa industry, resulted in widespread depression among the rural and agricultural workers in Trinidad, and encouraged the rise of a labour movement. Conditions on the islands worsened in the 1930s with the onset of the Great Depression, with an outbreak of labour riots occurring in 1937 which resulted in several deaths. The labour movement aimed to unite the urban working class and agricultural labour class; the key figures being Arthur Cipriani, who led the Trinidad Workingmen's Association (TWA), and Tubal Uriah "Buzz" Butler of the British Empire Citizens' and Workers' Home Rule Party. As the movement developed calls for greater autonomy from British colonial rule became widespread; this effort was severely undermined by the British Home Office and by the British-educated Trinidadian elite, many of whom were descended from the plantocracy class.Petroleum had been discovered in 1857, but became economically significant only in the 1930s and afterwards as a result of the collapse of sugarcane and cocoa, and increasing industrialisation. By the 1950s petroleum had become a staple in Trinidad's export market, and was responsible for a growing middle class among all sections of the Trinidad population. The collapse of Trinidad's major agricultural commodities, followed by the Depression, and the rise of the oil economy, led to major changes in the country's social structure.

The presence of American military bases in Chaguaramas and Cumuto in Trinidad during World War II had a profound effect on society. The Americans vastly improved the infrastructure on Trinidad and provided many locals with well-paying jobs; however the social effects of having so many young soldiers stationed on the island, as well as their often unconcealed racial prejudice, caused resentment. The Americans left in 1961.

In the post-war period the British began a process of decolonisation across the British Empire. In 1945 universal suffrage was introduced to Trinidad and Tobago. Political parties emerged on the island, however these were largely divided along racial lines: Afro-Trinidadians and Tobagonians primarily supported the People's National Movement (PNM), formed in 1956 by Eric Williams, with Indo-Trinidadians and Tobagonians mostly supporting the People's Democratic Party (PDP), formed in 1953 by Bhadase Sagan Maraj, which later merged into the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 1957. Britain's Caribbean colonies formed the West Indies Federation in 1958 as a vehicle for independence, however the Federation dissolved after Jamaica withdrew following a membership referendum in 1961. The government of Trinidad and Tobago subsequently chose to seek independence from the United Kingdom on its own.

Post-independence era

Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August 1962. Elizabeth II remained head of state as Queen of Trinidad and Tobago, represented locally by Governor-General Solomon Hochoy. Eric Williams of the PNM, a noted historian and intellectual widely regarded as The Father of The Nation, became the first Prime Minister, serving in that capacity uninterrupted until 1981. The dominant figure in the opposition in the early independence years was Rudranath Capildeo of the DLP. The 1960s saw the rise of a Black Power movement, inspired in part by the civil rights movement in the United States. Protests and strikes became common, with events coming to head in April 1970 when police shot dead a protester named Basil Davis. Fearing a breakdown of law and order, Prime Minister Williams declared a state of emergency and arrested many of the Black Power leaders. Some army leaders who were sympathetic to the Black Power movement, notably Raffique Shah and Rex Lassalle, attempted to mutiny; however, this was quashed by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard. Williams and the PNM retained power, largely due to divisions in the opposition.

In 1963 Tobago was struck by Hurricane Flora, which killed 30 people and resulted in enormous destruction across the island. Partly as a result of this, tourism came to replace agriculture as the island's main income earner in the subsequent decades.

Between the years 1972 and 1983, the country profited greatly from the rising price of oil and the discovery of vast new oil deposits in its territorial waters, resulting in an economic boom that increased living standards greatly. In 1976 the country became a republic within the Commonwealth, though it retained the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as its final appellate court. The position of governor-general was replaced with that of President; Ellis Clarke was the first to hold this largely ceremonial role. Tobago was granted limited self-rule with the creation of the Tobago House of Assembly in 1980.

Williams died in 1981, being replaced by George Chambers who led the country until 1986. By this time a fall in the price of oil had resulted in a recession, causing rising inflation and unemployment. The main opposition parties united under the banner of National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) and won the 1986 Trinidad and Tobago general election, with NAR leader A. N. R. Robinson becoming the new Prime Minister. Robinson was unable to hold together the fragile NAR coalition, and social unrest was caused by his economic reforms, such as devaluing the currency and implementing an International Monetary Fund Structural Adjustment Program. In 1990 114 members of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, led by Yasin Abu Bakr (formerly known as Lennox Phillip) stormed the Red House (the seat of Parliament), and Trinidad and Tobago Television, the only television station in the country at the time, holding Robinson and country's government hostage for six days before surrendering. The coup leaders were promised amnesty, but upon their surrender they were then arrested, but later released after protracted legal wrangling.

The PNM under Patrick Manning returned to power following the 1991 Trinidad and Tobago general election. Hoping to capitalise on an improvement in the economy, Manning called an early election in 1995, however, this resulted in a hung parliament. Two NAR representatives backed the opposition United National Congress (UNC), which had split off from the NAR in 1989, and they thus took power under Basdeo Panday, who became the country's first Indo-Trinidadian Prime Minister. After a period of political confusion caused by a series of inconclusive election results, Patrick Manning returned to power in 2001, retaining that position until 2010.

Since 2003 the country entered a second oil boom, and petroleum, petrochemicals and natural gas continue to be the backbone of the economy. Tourism and the public service are the mainstay of the economy of Tobago, though authorities have attempted to diversify the island's economy. A corruption scandal resulted in Manning's defeat by the newly formed People's Partnership coalition in 2010, with Kamla Persad-Bissessar becoming the country's first female Prime Minister. However, corruption allegations bedevilled the new administration, and the PP were defeated in 2015 by the PNM under Keith Rowley.

Geography

Trinidad and Tobago is situated between 10° 2' and 11° 12' N latitude and 60° 30' and 61° 56' W longitude, with the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, and the Gulf of Paria to the west. It is located in the far south-east of the Caribbean region, with the island of Trinidad being just 11 km}} off the coast of Venezuela in mainland South America across the Columbus Channel. Covering an area of and an average width of above sea level and second highest (El Tucuche, for the high in Port of Spain, and a low of above sea level it comprises an area of {{convert and has a runway of . The airport consists of two terminals, the North Terminal and the South Terminal. The older South Terminal underwent renovations in 2009 for use as a VIP entrance point during the 5th Summit of the Americas. The North Terminal was completed in 2001, and consists of 14-second-level aircraft gates with jetways for international flights, two ground-level domestic gates and 82 ticket counter positions.Piarco International Airport was voted the Caribbean's leading airport for customer satisfaction and operational efficiency at the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA), held in the Turks and Caicos in 2006. In 2008 the passenger throughput at Piarco International Airport was approximately 2.6 million. It is the seventh busiest airport in the Caribbean and the third busiest in the English-speaking Caribbean, after Sangster International Airport and Lynden Pindling International Airport. Caribbean Airlines, the national airline, operates its main hub at the Piarco International Airport and services the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and South America. The airline is wholly owned by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. After an additional cash injection of US$50 million, the Trinidad and Tobago government acquired the Jamaican airline Air Jamaica on 1 May 2010, with a 6–12-month transition period to follow.

The Island of Tobago is served by the A.N.R. Robinson International Airport in Crown Point. This airport has regular services to North America and Europe. There are regular flights between the two islands, with fares being heavily subsidised by the Government.

Trinidad was formerly home to a railway network, however this was closed down in 1968. There have been talks to build a new railway on the islands, though nothing yet has come of this.

Science and technology



Regional policy framework



Strategic Plan for 2015–2019

The Strategic Plan for the Caribbean Community 2015–2019 was adopted by Trinidad and Tobago and the other members of the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) in 2014. The first of its kind, this document reflects a desire among countries to embrace a more profound regionalism, in order to reposition the Caribbean in an increasingly volatile global economy. The plan proposes mobilising funding from the public and private sectors to foster research and development (R&D) in the business sector. The plan outlines strategies for nurturing creativity, entrepreneurship, digital literacy and for making optimum use of available resources. It focuses on developing creative, manufacturing and service industries, with a special focus on tourism initially, natural resources and value-added products, agriculture and fisheries, to reduce dependence on food imports and foster sustainable fisheries, and energy efficiency.

Energy policy

Trinidad and Tobago is the region's leading exporter of oil and gas but imports of fossil fuels provided over 90% of the energy consumed by its CARICOM neighbours in 2008. This vulnerability led CARICOM to develop an Energy Policy which was approved in 2013. This policy is accompanied by the CARICOM Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS). Under the policy, renewable energy sources are to contribute 20% of the total electricity generation mix in member states by 2017, 28% by 2022 and 47% by 2027.

emissions

In 2014 Trinidad and Tobago was the third country in the world which emitted the most per capita after Qatar and Curacao according to the World Bank. On average, each inhabitant produced 34.2 metric tons of in the atmosphere. In comparison, the world average was 5.0 tons per capita the same year.

Climate change strategy

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has produced an implementation plan for 2011–2021 and carried out work to assess and build capacity in climate change mitigation and resilient development strategies. This work has been supported by the region's specialists, who have produced models for climate change and mitigation processes in Caribbean states. They also play a major advisor role to the divisions in ministries responsible for climate change. The growing frequency and intensity of hurricanes is of concern to all Caribbean nations. In 2012, Trinidad and Tobago had a 9% chance each year of being struck by a hurricane, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

National policy framework

The two main bodies responsible for science, technology and innovation in Trinidad and Tobago are the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the National Commission for Science and Technology.

In 2002, Trinidad and Tobago adopted Vision 2020. Like Jamaica's Vision 2030 (2009) and the Strategic Plan of Barbados for 2005–2025, Trinidad and Tobago's Vision 2020 accords central importance to harnessing science, technology and innovation (STI) to raise living standards and strengthen resilience to environmental shocks like hurricanes.

Research expenditure

Trinidad and Tobago is one of the more affluent members of CARICOM, thanks to its natural resources. Despite this, it spent just 0.05% of GDP on R&D in 2012, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Even when the country was enjoying economic growth of 8% per annum in 2004, it devoted just 0.11% of GDP to R&D. Calculated in thousands of current Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) dollars, research expenditure actually dropped between 2009 and 2012 from 21 309 to 19 232. This corresponds to research expenditure of $PPP 65 per capita in 2009 and $PPP 45 in 2012.

Industrial R&D has declined since 2000, perhaps owing to the drop in research activity in the sugar sector. Whereas industrial R&D accounted for 24% of domestic research expenditure in 2004 and 29.5% in 2005, it had become almost non-existent by 2010.

Researchers

The number of researchers in Trinidad and Tobago grew from 787 to 914 between 2009 and 2012. This corresponds in a rise from 595 to 683 in the number of researchers (head counts) per million inhabitants.

Scientific output

Scientific output grew between 2007 and 2011, according to Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded) before contracting over the period 2012–2014. Trinidad and Tobago produced 109 publications per million population in 2014, behind Grenada (1,430), St Kitts and Nevis (730), Barbados (182) and Dominica (138) but ahead of the Bahamas (86), Belize (47) and Jamaica (42).

Between 2008 and 2014, scientists collaborated most with their peers from the United States (251 papers), United Kingdom (183), Canada (95), India (63) and Jamaica (43), according to the copublication record of Thomson Reuters. In turn, Jamaican scientists considered their counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago to be their fourth-closest collaborators (with 43 joint papers) after those from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Between 2008 and 2013, Trinidad and Tobago registered 17 patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This corresponds to 13% of the 134 patents registered by CARICOM members over this period. The top contributors were the Bahamas (34 patents) and Jamaica (22).

Trinidad and Tobago led CARICOM members for the value of high-tech exports in 2008 (US$36.2 million) but these exports plummeted to US$3.5 million the following year, according to the Comtrade database of the United Nations Statistics Division.

Research institutions

The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad and Tobago facilitates climate change research and provides industrial support for R&D related to food security. It also carries out equipment testing and calibration for major industries.

The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Port of Spain, University of Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago Institute of Health, and University of the West Indies (St Augustine campus) also conduct R&D. Probability of a hurricane striking Caribbean countries in a given year, 2012.svg|Probability of a hurricane striking Caribbean countries in a given year, 2012 (%). Electricity costs for the CARICOM countries, 2011.svg|Electricity costs for the CARICOM countries, 2011 GERD by sector of performance in Trinidad and Tobago, 2000–2012.svg|GERD by sector of performance in Trinidad and Tobago, 2000–2012 Scientific publication trends in the CARICOM countries, 2005–2014.svg|Scientific publication trends in the CARICOM countries, 2005–2014 Scientific publication trends in the CARICOM countries, 2005–2014, Grenada has the most intensive output-01.svg|Scientific publications in the CARICOM countries, 2014 USPTO patents granted to Caribbean countries, 2008-2013.svg|USPTO patents granted to Caribbean countries, 2008–2013.

Culture

Trinidad and Tobago has a diverse culture mixing Indian, African, Creole, Chinese, Amerindian, Arab, Latino, and European influences, reflecting the various communities who have migrated to the islands over the centuries. The island is particularly renowned for its annual Carnival celebrations. Festivals rooted in various religions and cultures practiced on the islands are also popular, such as Christmas, Divali, Phagwah (Holi), Easter, New Year’s Day, Hosay, Eid al-Fitr, the Santa Rosa Indigenous Festival, and Chinese New Year.

Literature



Trinidad and Tobago claims two Nobel Prize-winning authors, V. S. Naipaul and St Lucian-born Derek Walcott (who also founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop). Other notable writers include Neil Bissoondath, Vahni Capildeo, Earl Lovelace, Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Lakshmi Persaud, Kenneth Ramchand, Arnold Rampersad, and Samuel Selvon.

Art and design



Trinidadian designer Peter Minshall is renowned not only for his Carnival costumes but also for his role in opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympics, the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the 2002 Winter Olympics, for which he won an Emmy Award.

Music

Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan. Trinidad is also the birthplace of soca music, chutney music, chutney-soca, parang, rapso, pichakaree and chutney parang.

Dance

The limbo dance originated in Trinidad as an event that took place at wakes in Trinidad. The limbo has African roots. It was popularized in the 1950s by dance pioneer Julia Edwards (known as the First Lady of Limbo) and her company which appeared in several films. Bélé, Bongo, and whining are also dance forms with African roots.

Jazz, ballroom, ballet, modern, and salsa dancing are also popular.

Indian dance forms are also popular in Trinidad and Tobago. Kathak, Odissi, and Bharatanatyam are the most popular Indian classical dance forms in Trinidad and Tobago. Indian folk dances and Bollywood dances are also popular in Trinidad and Tobago.

Other



Geoffrey Holder (brother of Boscoe Holder) and Heather Headley are two Trinidad-born artists who have won Tony Awards for theatre. Holder also has a distinguished film career, and Headley has won a Grammy Award as well.

Indian theatre is also popular throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Dramas such as Nautankis, Raja Harishchandra, Sharwan Kumar, and Alha-Khand were brought by Indians to Trinidad and Tobago, however they had largely began to die out, till preservation began by Indian cultural groups. The drama about the life of the Hindu god Rama, Ramleela, is popular during the time between Sharad Navaratri and Dushera and the drama about the life of the Hindu god Krishna, Ras leela (Krishna leela), is popular around the time of Krishna Janmashtami.

Trinidad and Tobago is also smallest country to have two Miss Universe titleholders and the first black woman ever to win: Janelle Commissiong in 1977, followed by Wendy Fitzwilliam in 1998; the country has also had one Miss World titleholder, Giselle LaRonde.

Sports



Olympic sports

Hasely Crawford won the first Olympic gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago in the men's 100-metre dash in the 1976 Summer Olympics. Nine different athletes from Trinidad and Tobago have won twelve medals at the Olympics, beginning with a silver medal in weightlifting, won by Rodney Wilkes in 1948, and most recently, a gold medal by Keshorn Walcott in the men's javelin throw in 2012. Ato Boldon has won the most Olympic and World Championship medals for Trinidad and Tobago in athletics, with eight in total – four from the Olympics and four from the World Championships. Boldon was the sole world champion Trinidad and Tobago has produced until Jehue Gordon in Moscow 2013. Ato won the 1997 200 m sprint World Championship in Athens. Swimmer George Bovell III won a bronze medal in the men's 200 m IM in 2004. At the 2017 World Championship in London, the Men 4x400 relay team captured the title, thus the country now celebrates three world championships titles. The team consisted of Jarrin Solomon, Jareem Richards, Machel Cedenio and Lalonde Gordon with Renny Quow who ran in the heats.

Also in 2012 Lalonde Gordon competed in the XXX Summer Olympics where he won a Bronze Medal in the 400 m, being surpassed by Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic and Kirani James of Grenada. Keshorn Walcott (as stated above) came first in javelin and earned a gold medal, making him the second Trinidadian in the country's history to receive one. This also makes him the first Western} athlete in 40 years to receive a gold medal in the javelin sport, and the first athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to win a gold medal in a field event in the Olympics. Sprinter Richard Thompson is also from Trinidad and Tobago. He came second place to Usain Bolt in the Beijing Olympics in the 100 m with a time of 9.89s.

In 2018 The Court of Arbitration for Sport made its final decision on the failed doping sample from the Jamaican team in the 4 x 100 relay in the 2008 Olympic Games. The team from Trinidad and Tobago will be awarded the Gold medal, because of the second rank during the relay run.

Cricket

Cricket is a popular sport of Trinidad and Tobago, often deemed the national sport, and there is intense inter-island rivalry with its Caribbean neighbours. Trinidad and Tobago is represented at Test cricket, One Day International as well as Twenty20 cricket level as a member of the West Indies team. The national team plays at the first-class level in regional competitions such as the Regional Four Day Competition and Regional Super50. Meanwhile, the Trinbago Knight Riders play in the Caribbean Premier League.

The Queen's Park Oval located in Port of Spain is the largest cricket ground in the West Indies, having hosted 60 Test matches as of January 2018. Trinidad and Tobago along with other islands from the Caribbean co-hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Brian Lara, world record holder for the most runs scored both in a Test and in a First Class innings and other records, was born in a small town of Santa Cruz and is often referred to as the Prince of Port of Spain or simply the Prince. This legendary West Indian batsman is widely regarded (along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar) as one of the best batsmen ever to have played the game, and is one of the most famous sporting icons in the country.

Football

Association football is also a popular sport in Trinidad and Tobago. The men's national football team qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the first time by beating Bahrain in Manama on 16 November 2005, making them the second smallest country ever (in terms of population) to qualify, after Iceland. The team, coached by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker, and led by Tobagonian-born captain Dwight Yorke, drew their first group game – against Sweden in Dortmund, 0–0, but lost the second game to England on late goals, 0–2. They were eliminated after losing 2–0 to Paraguay in the last game of the Group stage. Prior to the 2006 World Cup qualification, Trinidad and Tobago came close in a controversial qualification campaign for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Following the match, the referee of their critical game against Haiti was awarded a lifetime ban for his actions. Trinidad and Tobago again fell just short of qualifying for the World Cup in 1990, needing only a draw at home against the United States but losing 1–0. They play their home matches at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Trinidad and Tobago hosted the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship, and hosted the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.

The TT Pro League is the country's primary football competition and is the top level of the Trinidad and Tobago football league system. The Pro League serves as a league for professional football clubs in Trinidad and Tobago. The league began in 1999 as part of a need for a professional league to strengthen the country's national team and improve the development of domestic players. The first season took place in the same year beginning with eight teams.

Basketball

Basketball is commonly played in Trinidad and Tobago in colleges, universities and throughout various urban basketball courts. Its national team is one of the most successful teams in the Caribbean. At the Caribbean Basketball Championship it won four straight gold medals from 1986 to 1990.

Other sports



Netball has long been a popular sport in Trinidad and Tobago, although it has declined in popularity in recent years. At the Netball World Championships they co-won the event in 1979, were runners up in 1987, and second runners up in 1983.

Rugby is played in Trinidad and Tobago and continues to be a popular sport, and horse racing is regularly followed in the country.

There is also the Trinidad and Tobago national baseball team which is controlled by the Baseball/Softball Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and represents the nation in international competitions. The team is a provisional member of the Pan American Baseball Confederation.

There are a number of 9 and 18-hole golf courses on Trinidad and Tobago. The most established is the St Andrews Golf Club, Maraval in Trinidad (commonly referred to as Moka), and there is a newer course at Trincity, near Piarco Airport called Millennium Lakes. There are 18-hole courses at Chaguramas and Point-a-Pierre and 9-hole courses at Couva and St Madeline. Tobago has two 18-hole courses. The older of the two is at Mount Irvine, with the Magdalena Hotel & Golf Club (formerly Tobago Plantations) being built more recently.

Although a minor sport, bodybuilding is of growing interest in Trinidad and Tobago. Heavyweight female bodybuilder Kashma Maharaj is of Trinidadian descent.

Dragonboat is also another water-sport that has been rapidly growing over the years. Introduced in 2006 the fraternity made consistent strides in having more members apart of the TTDBF(Trindad and Tobago Dragonboat Federation) as well as performing on an international level such as the 10th IDBF World Nations Dragon Boat Championships in Tampa, Florida in the US in 2011.

Claude Noel is a former world champion in professional boxing. He was born in Tobago.

National symbols

Flag

The flag was chosen by the Independence committee in 1962. Red, black and white symbolise the warmth of the people, the richness of the earth and water respectively.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms was designed by the Independence committee, and features the scarlet ibis (native to Trinidad), the cocrico (native to Tobago) and hummingbird. The shield bears three ships, representing both the Trinity, and the three ships that Columbus sailed.

Orders and decorations

There are five categories and thirteen classes of national awards:
  • The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (formerly The Trinity Cross Medal of the Order of the Trinity) in Gold only
  • The Chaconia Medal, in Gold, Silver and Bronze
  • The Hummingbird Medal, in Gold, Silver and Bronze
  • The Public Service Medal of Merit, in Gold, Silver and Bronze
  • The Medal for the Development of Women, in Gold, Silver and Bronze

    National anthem and national songs



    The national anthem of the twin-island state is "Forged from the Love of Liberty".

    Other national songs include "God Bless Our Nation" and "Our Nation's Dawning".

    National flower

    The national flower of Trinidad and Tobago is the chaconia flower. It was chosen as the national flower because it is an indigenous flower that has witnessed the history of Trinidad and Tobago. It was also chosen as the national flower because of its red colour that resembles the red of the national flag and coat of arms and because it blooms around the Independence Day of Trinidad and Tobago.

    National birds

    The national birds of Trinidad and Tobago are the scarlet ibis and the cocrico. The scarlet ibis is kept safe by the government by living in the Caroni Bird Sanctuary which was set up by the government for the protection of these birds. The Cocrico is more indigenous to the island of Tobago and are more likely to be seen in the forest. The hummingbird is considered another symbol of Trinidad and Tobago due to its significance to the indigenous peoples, however, it is not a national bird.

    File:Scarlet Ibises (5535961926).jpg|The scarlet ibis birds flying over the Caroni Swamp File:Rvchachalaca102.JPG|The cocrico bird in Tobago