Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAccording to Coram, a former reporter for the Atlanta Constitution who has been dubbed ``the institutional memory of Antigua,'' that tiny island nation (nine by 12 miles; population, 62,000) was originally viewed by the U.S. as a potential bulwark against communism in the Caribbean. In his shocking expose, he maintains that the U.S. has spent nearly $200 million since 1979 to support the corrupt government of Prime Minister V. C. Bird, a leading force in Antiguan politics since the early 1940s. Coram documents arrangements between the U.S. and Antigua that allow for continued U.S. military presence on the island, with little required for the privilege other than a continuing influx of money. Antigua allows U.S. government planes to land at any time without notice or Customs requirements; until 1991, the Navy used the island's undersea reefs as test-bombing sites. Coram charges that the Antiguan government, with the complicity of the U.S., has run guns for South Africa, supported the largest brothel in the Caribbean, harbored Wall Street fugitive Robert Vesco and hugely enriched Bird family members and other politicians at the expense of the island's population. Photos. (Aug.)
Library JournalAntigua, a former British colony in the Caribbean, has been independent since 1981. Its prime minister, Vere Cornwall Bird, was a union organizer who helped lead the country to independence. Unfortunately, several scandals are now attached to Bird and his family, which journalist Coram is only too pleased to relate in this investigative account. While he provides a great deal of information, he does so in a repetitive fashion, leaping forward in time and then back. Further, his dislike of the Bird family is obvious long before he has gotten to the misdeeds that justify his opinion of them. There are plenty of crimes to leave the readers thoroughly disgusted with the Birds and with U.S. involvement with them, and one wishes that Coram had let the crimes speak for themselves. Still, since the information provided here is not readily found in one place, this book is recommended for Caribbean studies and international affairs collections.-- Anita L. Cole, Miami-Dade P.L. System, Fla.
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Caribbean Time Bomb based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The book is full of details of not too recent history and corruption in Antigua. Almost 16 years old, some things have changed since then, but some things remain the same. There are new government leaders now, and reports say they have more integrity and honesty. This is an important book for anybody who wants to know what happened in the 70's and 80's, up to 1992.