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    (October 10, 2010- )
    Caribbean island
    Located off the coast of Venezuela
    Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles
    After the Netherlands Antilles dissolved (October 10, 2010), became a 'constituent country' within the Netherlands
    Land area: 171 square miles
    Population (2009): 141,766
    Capital is Willemstad
    Its native Arawak population was shipped off to other islands by the Spanish.
    It was a center for the Atlantic slave trade.
    Ownership of the island changed back and forth among the Dutch, British and French during the 18th and 19th centuries.
    Its aging oil refineries have been the target of lawsuits charging that their emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulates exceed safety standards.
    A large open-air brothel operates next to its airport.
    It is the home of the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Americas (1651).
    Simon Bolivar took refuge there after an unsuccessful revolt in South America.
    Willemstad was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic buildings.
    Its economy is not as dependent on tourism as many other Caribbean islands.
    Its coral reefs and clear waters make it a mecca for scuba divers.

Credit: C. Fishel

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