Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Espiritu Santo (Spanish: Holy Ghost) is an island of the group known as New Hebrides, that now form the nation of Vanuatu. It owes its name to the Catholic explorer Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who in 1606 named the entire island group Australia del Espíritu Santo.
The island was thrown briefly in the spotlight of the international press between May and August of 1980. It was the eve of New Hebrides' independence from the British-French Condominium and Jimmy Stevens ' Nagriamel movement, in alliance with private French interests and backed by American libertarians hoping to establish a tax-free haven, declared the island of Espiritu Santo independent of the new government. British Royal Marines and a unit of the French Garde Mobile were deployed to the nation's capital island, but did not invade Espiritu Santo as the soon-to-be government hoped. The troops were recalled shortly before independence. Following independence Vanuatu, now goverened by Father Walter Lini, requested assistance from Papua New Guinea, whose forces invaded and restored order on Espiritu Santo.
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