Netherlands Antilles

Updated: Sep 21

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Country Name

The Netherlands Antilles.


Location

They are a group of five islands in the Caribbean Sea that formerly formed an independent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The group is composed of two widely separated subgroups approximately 500 miles (800 km) apart. The southern group comprises Curaçao and Bonaire, which lie less than 50 miles (80 km) off the Venezuelan coast. The northern group is made up of Sint Eustatius, Saba, and Sint Maarten (the southern part of the island of Saint Martin; the northern part, Saint-Martin, is an overseas collectivity of France). Although the northern islands are locally referred to as “Windward,” they lie within the Leeward Islands group of the Lesser Antilles chain. The capital and largest city were Willemstad, in Curaçao. The island of Aruba, which lies to the west of Curaçao and Bonaire, had initially been part of the Netherlands Antilles, but in 1986 it seceded from the federation to become a separate Dutch territory.


The establishment of the Netherlands Antilles was on 15 December 1954, the Secession of Aruba was on 1 January 1986, and the Disestablished was on 10 October 2010



Capital

Willemstad.


Flag

The flag of the Netherlands Antilles was adopted on 19 November 1959. It was white, with a horizontal blue stripe in the center, one-third of the flag's hoist, placed on a vertical red stripe of the same width, also centered; six white, five-pointed stars are arranged in a pentagon pattern in the center of the blue band, their points up.

The six stars represented the six main islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.




Language

The official languages are English, Dutch, and Papiamentu, a local Spanish-based creole that includes Portuguese, Dutch, and some African words. Papiamentu is widely used in the southern islands and is taught in elementary schools. English is the principal language of the northern islands and is widely spoken in Curaçao as well; Spanish is also spoken in the south.



Religion

Nearly three-fourths of the population is Roman Catholic; around one-sixth is Protestant; and there are small groups of Spiritists, Buddhists, and Jews. Curaçao features a Sephardic Jewish community that goes back to the 1650s; Willemstad contains the Western Hemisphere's oldest synagogue in continuous operation.



Currency

Netherlands Antillean guilder.



Time Zone

-04:00 GMT.



Government Regime

Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.


Climate

The southern islands' temperatures vary little from an annual average in the mid-80s F (approximately 27 °C), and the heat is moderated by easterly trade breezes. The islands are located west of the typical tropical cyclone (hurricane) path. Precipitation is low and erratic in the south, typically falling below 22 inches (550 mm) each year. The climate on the northern islands is similar, although there is more precipitation and hurricanes are more prevalent. Sint Eustatius and Saba receive the most yearly precipitation, with averages of roughly 42 inches (1,000 mm) and 47 inches (1,200 mm), respectively, primarily between May and November.



International Phone Code

+599


Internet Code

.an




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