Portal:Caribbean

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The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
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The Caribbean (Dutch: Caraïben; French: Caraïbes; Spanish: Caribe; Portuguese: Caribe or Caraíbas) is a region of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (most of which enclose the sea), and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north and west of South America. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the area comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cayes. The West Indies consist of the Antilles, divided into the larger Greater Antilles which bound the sea on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), and the Bahamas. Bermuda lies much further to the north in the Atlantic Ocean and is in the West Indies. Geopolitically, the West Indies are usually reckoned as a subregion of North America and are organised into 28 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies. At one time, there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten English-speaking Caribbean territories.

Featured article

A Carnival troupe in the Virgin Islands
The music of the Lesser Antilles encompasses the musics of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Virgin Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat. The Lesser Antilles' musical cultures are largely based on the music of African slaves brought by European traders and colonizers. The African musical elements are a hybrid of instruments and styles from numerous West African tribes, while the European slaveholders added their own musics into the mix, as did immigrants from India.

In many ways, the Lesser Antilles can be musically divided based on which nation colonized them. The ex-British colonies include Trinidad and Tobago, whose calypso style is an especially potent part of the music of the other former British colonies, which also share traditions like the Big Drum dance. The French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe share the popular zouk style, and have also had extensive musical contact with the music of Haiti, itself once a French colony though not part of the Lesser Antilles. The Dutch colonies share the combined rhythm popular style. The islands also share a passion for kaseko, a genre of Surinamese music; Suriname and its neighbors Guyana and French Guiana share folk and popular styles that are connected enough to the Antilles and other Caribbean islands that both countries are studied in the broader context of Antillean or Caribbean music.

Did you know?

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  • ...that former President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier, also known as "Baby Doc" was exiled to France after his disposition in 1986? And that he lost most of his wealth due to his divorce from his wife Michèle, and now reportedly lives in very modest circumstances?

Selected music

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The music of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles is a mixture of native, African and European elements, and is closely connected with trends from neighboring islands like Martinique, Trinidad and Guadeloupe, as well as the mainland former Dutch possession of Suriname, which has exported kaseko music to great success on the islands. Curaçao and Bonaire likely have the most active and well-known music scenes. Curaçao is known for a kind of music called tumba, which is named after the conga drums which accompany it.

Selected cuisine

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Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of Spanish cuisine, French cuisine, African cuisine and Indian cuisine. These traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population. In addition, the population has created from this vast wealth of tradition many styles that are unique to the region.

Selected picture

The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl, an engraving published at London in 1779, after a c. 1764 painting by Agostino Brunias. Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Bridgetown, Barbados.
Credit: Barbados Museum & Historical Society, Bridgetown, Barbados.

The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl, by Agostino Brunias,

Caribbean News

  • March 7: Edwin Carrington, secretary general of the 12-member Caricom announces that the Caribbean Community intends to negotiate a free trade agreement with Central America, perhaps within the next six months.(JAMAICAN OBSERVER)
  • Feb 28: President of Cuba Fidel Castro makes a surprise phone call to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's radio talk show Aló Presidente, and the two leaders converse live on air for thirty minutes. During the conversation, Castro declares that he now has "more energy and strength".(PRAVDA)
  • Feb 28: United Nations troops move into slum areas of Haiti, where almost a quarter of a million people live, as part of a new "get tough" policy against the armed gangs. (BBC NEWS)
  • Feb 22: The United States applauds a unanimous decision by the U.N. Security Council to extend the world body’s stabilization mission in Haiti for another eight months, to October 15, with the intention to renew for further periods. (MEDIA NEWSWIRE)

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Selected geography article

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Jamaica lies 145 kilometers south of Cuba and 160 kilometers west of Haiti. Its capital city, Kingston, is about 920 kilometers southeast of Miami. At its greatest extent, Jamaica is 235 kilometers long, and it varies between 35 and 82 kilometers wide. With an area of 10,911 square kilometers, Jamaica is the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean and the third largest of the Greater Antilles, after Cuba and Hispaniola. Pedro Bank, an area of shallow seas, with a number of cays (low islands or reefs), extending generally east to west for over 160 kilometers, lies southwest of Jamaica. To the southeast lie the Morant Cays, fifty-one kilometers from Morant Point, the easternmost point of mainland Jamaica.

Related portals

Caribbean Island Topics

Caribbean Community Caribbean
Flag of Anguilla.svg Anguilla
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg Antigua and Barbuda
Flag of Aruba.svg Aruba
Flag of the Bahamas.svg Bahamas
Flag of Barbados.svg Barbados
Flag of Belize.svg Belize
Flag of Bonaire.svg Bonaire
Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg British Virgin Islands
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg Cayman Islands
Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba
Flag of Curaçao.svg Curaçao

Flag of Dominica.svg Dominica
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic
Flag of Grenada.svg Grenada
Flag of France.svg Guadeloupe
Flag of Haiti.svg Haiti
Flag of Jamaica.svg Jamaica
Flag of France.svg Martinique
Flag of Montserrat.svg Montserrat
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Puerto Rico
Flag of France.svg Saint Barthélemy

Flag of Saba.svg Saba
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg Saint Lucia
Flag of France.svg Saint Martin
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of Sint Eustatius.svg Sint Eustatius
Flag of Sint Maarten.svg Sint Maarten
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Trinidad and Tobago
Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg Turks and Caicos Islands
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg United States Virgin Islands

Regions and Cities

Flag of the West Indies Federation.svg West Indies Federation

Flag of the Netherlands Antilles (1986-2010).svg Netherlands Antilles

Culture and Interests

 West Indies Cricket

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