in June 1994, Barbados' Labor Party withdrew its support for
the Prime Minister and even won the election, which took
place on September 7. The new Prime Minister, the economist
Owen Arthur, canceled the projected cut in wages, which was
later confirmed by the introduction of a law in February
In April, Arthur proposed a budget deficit with a budget
deficit, arguing that spending was needed to combat
unemployment, which reached 21.2%. The IMF had suggested
caution in managing public funds, but Arthur chose not to
listen to the advice.
The island's Governor General, Dame Nita Barrow, sister
of former Prime Minister Errol Barrow, died on December 19,
1995. She had held office since June 1990, where she had
been deployed by Elisabeth on the 2nd. After a brief
intermezzo with Denys Williams, the office went to Clifford
Husbands, which has been in charge of it since June 1, 1996.
In February 1996, the Consultative Assembly voted to
increase the salaries of civil servants over a period of two
years. It was Barbados' Workers' Party response to the wage
cuts introduced in 1994 by the Democratic Workers' Party.
In May, the government signed a two-year contract with a
North American company to explore the possibilities of
starting oil extraction in the seas around Barbados.
In 1997, tourism continued to represent the primary
source of foreign exchange. The government was trying to
increase this revenue even more, although it was evident
that the island's infrastructure did not exactly support
such a sharp expansion.
At the US Presidents meeting in Santiago de Chile in
April 1998, Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur declared
himself a proponent of Cuba's participation in the upcoming
In the January 1999 elections, the Barbados Labor Party
won a major victory with 26 of the seats in parliament. The
Democratic Labor Party had to settle for the remaining 2.
Owen Arthur continued in the post of Prime Minister.
The government created the Financial Investigation Unit
with the purpose of combating money laundering in the
country. The unit is supported by the United Nations
International Drug Control Program.