Netherlands Antilles


Netherlands Antilles

geographical name

Definition of NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

former Dutch overseas territory W. Indies comprising Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, & S part of St. Martin Willemstad (on Curaçao) area over 370 square miles (958 square kilometers)

Netherlands Antilles

   (Concise Encyclopedia)

/div>Nonmetropolitan island territory of the Netherlands, in the Caribbean Sea. Area: 308 sq mi (800 sq km). Population: (2009 est.) 202,000. Capital: Willemstad, on Curaçao. It consists of two widely separated groups of islands: Sint Eustatius, the southern section of St. Martin, and Saba making up the northern group, at the northern end of the Leeward Islands; and Curaçao and Bonaire (and also Aruba until 1986) constituting the southern group, about 500 mi (800 km) to the southwest, off the coast of Venezuela. Originally inhabited by Arawak and Carib Indians, the islands were encountered by Spanish explorers in the late 15th century and were claimed for Spain. In the 17th century the Dutch gained control, and in 1845 the islands became the Netherlands Antilles. In 1954 they became an integral part of the Netherlands, with full autonomy in domestic affairs. Aruba seceded from the federation in 1986. In 2006 the island and the Dutch government agreed to dismantle the Netherlands Antilles within a few years. Sint Maarten and Curaçao chose autonomous country status within the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius were to become special municipalities of the Netherlands.

Variants of NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Netherlands Antilles formerly Curaçao

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