The Sovereign State of Grenada consists of the main island, six smaller islands, and a population of just over one hundred thousand people. Although claimed by the King of Spain, there are no records of Spanish setting foot from the first sighting of the island in 1498 due to resistance from the Island Caribs. French settlement and colonisation began in 1650, and it was then ceded to the British in 1763. For four years, the islands were part of 'The West Indies Federation'. The federation wanted independence from Britain, but fell apart into nine states because of internal conflicts. The majority of the 3-4 million population of this Federation were of West African descent. in 1951, Grenada held its first elections based on universal suffrage. In 1967, Grenada shifted from being a colony to an 'Associated State' with free association with the United Kingdom, and autonomy over internal affairs. Independence came in 1974. In 1983, after a coup by a pro-communist government, the island was invaded by the US. A move criticised by former colonial power Britain and a 108 to 9 vote in the UN calling it a 'flagrant violation of international law'. The country has remained democratic since 1984 elections.