Country of the World Trinidad and Tobago

About the country Trinidad and Tobago, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Trinidad and Tobago is a two-island nation in the West Indies, lying 7 mi. off the northeast coast of Venezuela across the Gulf of Paria. Mountainous and densely wooded, the islands are actually a continuation of the South American land mass. Trinidad has two unusual natural features: the Maracas Falls, 312 ft. high, and Pitch Lake, 105 acres of warm gray tar.

Size: Trinidad: 1,864 sq. mi. (4,827 sq. km.); Tobago: 116 sq. mi. (300 sq. km.).

Population: 1.1 million.

Who Rules: The islands form an independent republic within the British Commonwealth. The government operates under a 1976 constitution which provides for a parliamentary-type system--a president, a prime minister, and a bicameral legislature. Eric Williams has been prime minister since 1956.

Who REALLY Rules: Enjoying a greatly increased oil income in the last few years, Trinidad and Tobago is beginning to take charge of its own affairs. The economy, however, remains heavily controlled by U.S. interests in many areas: oil, fertilizers and chemicals, tourism. Sugar production, once in British hands, is now controlled by Trinidad and Tobago. Major foreign investors include W. R. Grace, Shell Oil, and Texaco.

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