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Area Land Area Population (2010) Density Ethnic groups Demonym Government

2,754,000 km² 239,681 km² 36,314,000[1] 151.5/km² Afro-Caribbean,[2] Native Americans (Arawak, Caribs, Tainos), European, Asian West Indian, Caribbean 13 sovereign states; also, 2 overseas departments and 14 dependent territories, tied to the European Union or to the United States

Largest cities Havana Santo Domingo Port-au-Prince Kingston San Juan

there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of ten Englishspeaking Caribbean territories. east of Central America.[4] These islands are called the West Indies because when Christopher Columbus landed there in 1492 he believed that he had reached the Indies (in Asia). The region is located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and North America. not in the Caribbean Sea. the region comprises more than 7. 1962.1 Indigenous tribes o 4. to May 31.Port of Spain Internet TLD Multiple Calling code Time zone Multiple UTC-5 to UTC-4 The Caribbean[3] is a region consisting of the Caribbean Sea.1 Historical groupings o 2.000 islands. The region consists of the Antilles. generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. an ethnic group present in the Lesser Antilles and parts of adjacent South America at the time of European contact. The region takes its name from that of the Carib. These islands. 1958. and the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands or the Lucayan Archipelago. overseas departments. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate. reefs. and the surrounding coasts. and cays. the West Indies are usually regarded as a sub-region of North America[5] [6][7][8] and are organized into 27 territories including sovereign states.3 Continental countries with Caribbean coastlines and islands 3 Biodiversity 4 Demographics o 4. and dependencies. which are in fact in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba.2 Modern day island territories o 2. Between January 3. and to the north of South America. islets. its islands (most of which enclose the sea).[9] Contents [hide] • • • • 1 Definition 2 Geography and climate o 2. Geo-politically. all of which were then UK dependencies. 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). called the West Indies.2 Language .

1 Cuisine  7.1. Its principal ones are geographical and political. along with Belize in Central America as full members. the Straits of Florida. and a chain of islands surrounding the Caribbean Sea.1 Favorite or national dishes 8 See also 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links [edit] Definition Central America and the Caribbean. Politically.1. The Caribbean can also be expanded to include territories with strong cultural and historical connections to slavery. The word "Caribbean" has multiple uses. the Northern Atlantic Ocean which lies to the east and northeast. the Caribbean region consists mainly of the Caribbean Sea to north.1 United States effects on regionalism  5. the coastline of the continent of South America lies to the south. Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands which are .2 European Union effects on regionalism 6 Regional institutions 7 Culture o 7.1 Regionalism  5.• • • • • • • o 4.1. "Caribbean" may be centred on socio-economic groupings found in the region. • • Physiographically. bordered by the Gulf of Mexico. European colonisation and the plantation system.3 Religion 5 Politics o 5. For example the block known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) contains both the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Suriname found in South America.

These islands include Aruba (possessing only minor volcanic features). The climate of the region is tropical but rainfall varies with elevation. Puerto Rico. migratory schools of fish. Bonaire.• found in the Atlantic Ocean are Associate members of the Caribbean Community. The Puerto Rico trench. Jamaica. Grenada. Guadeloupe.[11] . and coral reef formations. Saint Croix. [edit] Geography and climate Detail of tectonic plates from: Tectonic plates of the world. Saint Lucia. located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico. Alternately the organisation known as the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) consists of almost every nation in the surrounding regions which lie on the Caribbean plus El Salvador which lies solely on the Pacific Ocean. divided into 'dry' and 'wet' seasons. Saint Kitts. According to the ACS the total population of its member states is some 227 million people. The Bahamas or Antigua. moist tradewinds blow consistently from the east creating rainforest/semidesert divisions on mountainous islands. Warm. Others possess rugged towering mountain-ranges like the islands of Cuba. The waters of the Caribbean Sea host large. Hispaniola. and Trinidad & Tobago. Dominica. with the last six months of the year being wetter than the first half. turtles. Occasional northwesterlies affect the northern islands in the winter. Saba. Saint Thomas. size and water currents (cool upwellings keep the ABC islands arid). Tortola. Barbados. The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies. Saint John. is the deepest point in all of the Atlantic Ocean.[10] The Caribbean has 7001 islands. Martinique. and the same goes for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas which is a full member of the Caribbean Community. Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. Montserrat. Saint Vincent. the Cayman Islands. The region enjoys year-round sunshine.

British Virgin Islands. Bay Islands. Trinidad and Tobago (from 1797) and the Turks and Caicos Islands Danish West Indies – present-day United States Virgin Islands Dutch West Indies – present-day Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Belize. Guyana. The mostly Spanish-controlled Caribbean in the sixteenth century. and a few still are. a few are overseas or dependent territories: • • • British West Indies/Anglophone Caribbean – Anguilla.Hurricanes. Montserrat. All islands at some point were. Jamaica. Barbados. Saint Croix (briefly). Saint Lucia. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Bahamas. Virgin Islands. colonies of European nations. Dominica. Grenada. usually strike northwards of Grenada. The region sits in the line of several major shipping routes with the man-made Panama Canal connecting the western Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean. Saint Kitts and Nevis. [edit] Historical groupings Main article: History of the Caribbean Political Evolution of Central America and the Caribbean from 1700 to present. which at times batter the region. Saint Croix (briefly). Antigua and Barbuda. The principal hurricane belt arcs to northwest of the island of Barbados in the Eastern Caribbean. Cayman Islands. Tobago and Bay Islands (briefly) . and to the west of Barbados.

Puerto Rico. these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. still have a joint cricket team that competes in Test matches and One Day Internationals. Haiti(until 1609 to France). Spanish West Indies – Cuba. The Portuguese left Barbados abandoned in 1533. and the current French overseas collectivities of Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin Portuguese West Indies – present-day Barbados.• • • • • French West Indies – Anguilla (briefly). Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic. The independent countries formerly part of the B. and Panama) and South America (Venezuela and Colombia). Saint Lucia. Costa Rica. Swedish West Indies – present-day French Saint-Barthélemy and Guadeloupe (briefly). nearly a century prior to the British arrival to the island. Antigua and Barbuda (briefly). Nicaragua. Guatemala. In addition. known as Os Barbados in the 16th century when the Portuguese claimed the island en route to Brazil. Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana. Haiti. Saint Croix. Grenada. Montserrat (briefly).I. Courlander West Indies – Tobago (until 1691) The British West Indies were united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962. St Kitts (briefly). Dominica. Jamaica (until 1655 to Great Britain). Honduras. Dominican Republic (briefly). La Désirade and Les Saintes). [edit] Modern day island territories . the Cayman Islands(until 1670 to Great Britain) Trinidad (until 1797 to Great Britain) and Bay Islands (until 1643 to Great Britain). Sint Eustatius (briefly). the only former British colony on that continent. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica. Tobago (briefly).W. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. with coastal island of Central America (Mexico. a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories such as Trinidad and sabir from Venezuela. the current French overseas départements of Martinique and Guadeloupe (including Marie-Galante.

Islands in and near the Caribbean Main article: List of islands in the Caribbean See also: Caribbean South America and Caribbean basin • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Anguilla (British overseas territory) Antigua and Barbuda Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Bahamas Barbados British Virgin Islands (British overseas territory) Cayman Islands (British overseas territory) Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Grenada Guadeloupe (overseas department of France) Haiti Jamaica Martinique (overseas department of France) Montserrat (British overseas territory) Netherlands Antilles (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Puerto Rico (commonwealth of the United States) Saint Barthélemy (overseas collectivity of France) Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (overseas collectivity of France) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos Islands (British overseas territory) .

George's Caye South Water Caye Turneffe Islands Colombia o Archipelago of San Andres and Providencia o Barranquilla o Cartagena o Riohacha o Santa Marta Costa Rica Guatemala Guyana Honduras o Guanaja o Roatán o Útila o Cayos Cochinos o Swan Islands Mexico o Quintana Roo  Cancún  Chetumal  Isla Contoy  Isla Cozumel  Isla Mujeres o o o o o o o o o o o o o o  • • • Nicaragua Corn Islands Cayos Miskitos Pearl Cays Panama o Kuna Yala Islands (comprising more than 1300 islands) o Bocas del Toro Archipelago (archipelago with approximately 300 islands) Venezuela o Isla Margarita o Coche Island o Cubagua Island o Los Monjes Archipelago o Las Aves Archipelago o Isla Aves o Los Hermanos Archipelago o Islas Los Frailes o Los Roques Archipelago o La Sola Island o La Tortuga Island o La Orchila o Blanquilla Island o Los Testigos Islands o o o o Isla de Patos Cozumel .• United States Virgin Islands (territory of the United States) [edit] Continental countries with Caribbean coastlines and islands • • • • • • • Belize Ambergris Caye Belize City Big Creek Caye Caulker Glover's Reef Dangriga Hicks Cays Hopkins Lighthouse Reef Placencia Punta Gorda St.

The Turneffe Islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea. Popular examples include the Puerto Rican Amazon. They are members of CARICOM. Dominican Republic [edit] Demographics . [edit] Biodiversity This section requires expansion. are former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean.The nations of Belize and Guyana. ranging from birds. ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands.[12] The hotspot contains dozens of highly threatened species. and the Cuban crocodile. The Caribbean islands are classified as one of Conservation International's biodiversity hotspots because they support exceptionally diverse ecosystems. The arrival of the first humans is correlated with extinction of giant owls and dwarf ground sloths. Guyana participates in West Indies cricket tournaments and many players from Guyana have been on the West Indies Test cricket team. The hotspot is also remarkable for the diversity of its fauna. on the mainland of South America. Saona Island. two species of solenodon (giant shrews) in Cuba and Haiti. was also a former British colony. These ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and human encroachment. It maintains many cultural ties to the Caribbean as distinct from the Pacific coast. although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively. to mammals and reptiles. The nation of Suriname. Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast. often referred to as the Mosquito Coast. is a former Dutch colony and also a member of CARICOM.

George's. genocide and disease led to a decline in the Native American population. Portugal and Denmark also arrived. the population increased naturally. although the mortality rate was high for both groups.[17] The population is estimated to have reached 2. St.[13][14] From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa[15] such as the Kongo. Fon and Yoruba as well as military prisoners and captured slaves from Ireland. Akan. Spain. Igbo. China. and other countries arrived in the 19th century.Beach in Tobago Grand Anse Beach. who were deported during the Cromwellian reign in England.[21] Puerto Cruz beach in Margarita Island. Italy.[18] Immigrants from India. although lower and higher figures are given. France.2 million by 1800.000 immediately before European contact. After contact.5 million by 2000.[16] Immigrants from Britain.[19] After the ending of the Atlantic slave trade. Grenada The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750. the Netherlands.[20] The total regional population was estimated at 37. Venezuela .

Rastafari. Asians. Trinidad and Tobago has a multi-racial cosmopolitan society due to the arrival of the Africans. there are minorities of mixed-race and European peoples of Dutch. Native Amerindians and Europeans. French. French. African. All of their ancestors arrived in the 19th century as indentured laborers. Chinese. The Spanish-speaking Caribbean have primarily mixed race. Cuba has a third of its population of African descent. Dutch. or European majorities. Puerto Rico and Cuba (largest Caribbean island) have a European majority with a mixture of Spaniards–European. Lebanese. Hinduism. This multi-racial mix has created sub-ethnicities that often straddle the boundaries of major ethnicities and include Chindian and Dougla. Indians. with some Native Americans. Anglophone Caribbean and Dutch Caribbean. Islam. though a handful of unique Creole languages or dialects can also be found from one country to another. Syrians. with a sizable Mulatto (mixed African– European) population. English. and Voodoo among others. Italian and Portuguese ancestry. form a significant minority in the region and also contribute to multiracial communities. [edit] Indigenous tribes • • • • • • • • • • Arawak Taíno Kalinago Ciboney Ciguayo Galibi Garifuna Igneri Lucayan Macorix [edit] Language Spanish. The Dominican Republic has a largely mixed majority who are primarily descended from West Africans and Spaniards. English. .The majority of the Caribbean (of the Lesser Antilles and Jamaica) has populations of mainly Africans in the French Caribbean. and some West African. Santería. [edit] Religion See also: :Category:Religion in the Caribbean The largest religious groups in the region are: Christianity. Haitian Creole and Papiamento are the predominant official languages of various countries in the region. especially those of Chinese and Indian descent. Native Americans.

a lack of interest from other major states promoted regionalism in the region.[22] The current economic and political problems which the states face individually are common to all Caribbean states. and degree of mobility of their citizens. Regional development has contributed to attempts to subdue current problems and avoid projected problems. relatively poor states. "Proximity as well as historical ties among the Caribbean nations has led to cooperation as well as a desire for collective action. aid and investment to the Caribbean. On the one hand the Caribbean states are politically diverse. Contemporary Caribbean systems seem to reflect a "blending of traditional and modern patterns. security and economic interests have been focused on other areas. Other scholars argue that these differences are superficial. As a result there has been a significant reduction in U. regionalism serves to make Caribbean states active participants in current international affairs through collective coalitions."[26] The lack of international support for these small. yielding hybrid systems that exhibit significant structural variations and divergent constitutional traditions yet ultimately appear to function in similar ways. In 1973."[25] These attempts at regionalization reflect the nations' desires to compete in the international economic system. interest.S.S. scholars also suggest that there are commonalities amongst the Caribbean nations that suggest regionalism exists. and that they tend to undermine commonalities in the various Caribbean states. The influence of regionalism in the Caribbean is often marginalized. From a political economic perspective.[23] Certain scholars have argued both for and against generalizing the political structures of the Caribbean. "With the end of the Cold War. U. Some scholars believe that regionalism cannot not exist in the Caribbean because each small state is unique. On the other hand. ranging from communist systems such as Cuba toward more capitalist Westminster-style parliamentary systems as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. culture. [edit] United States effects on regionalism . Following the Cold War another issue of importance in the Caribbean has been the reduced economic growth of some Caribbean States due to the United States and European Union's allegations of special treatment toward the region by each other.[edit] Politics [edit] Regionalism Caribbean societies are very different from other Western societies in terms of size. helped regionalism prosper.[25] Furthermore."[24] The political systems of the Caribbean states share similar practices. the first political regionalism in the Caribbean Basin was created by advances of the English-speaking Caribbean nations through the institution known as the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM).S. In recent years the Caribbean has suffered from a lack of U.

which has a higher profit margin and fills the sizable demand for these illegal drugs in North America and Europe. The ACS maintains regionalism within the Caribbean on issues which are unique to the Caribbean Basin. Trinidad and Tobago .[28] During the US/EU dispute the United States imposed large tariffs on European Union goods (up to 100% on some imports) from the EU in order to pressure Europe to change the agreement with the Caribbean nations in favour of the Cotonou Agreement. Caribbean and Pacific states has been partially dismantled and replaced by the Cotonou Agreement. One of the most important associations that deal with regionalism amongst the nations of the Caribbean Basin has been the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). the ACS soon won the support of the other countries of the region. Caribbean countries have largely countered the allegations by the OECD by signing more bilateral information sharing deals with OECD members. The EU instituted a broad labeling of many nations as tax havens by the France-based OECD.The United States under President Bill Clinton launched a challenge in the World Trade Organization against the EU over Europe's preferential program. and they have strengthened their legislation against money laundering and on the conditions under which companies can be based in their nations. Proposed by CARICOM in 1992. yet regionalism remains prevalent throughout the Caribbean. thus reducing the dangerous aspects of secrecy. like the ACS and CARICOM. Some farmers have faced increased pressure to turn towards the cultivation of illegal drugs. which allowed banana exports from the former colonies of the Group of African. It was founded in July 1994. The successes of region-building initiatives are still debated by scholars. known as the Lomé Convention. The Caribbean nations have also started to more closely cooperate in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and other instruments to add oversight of the offshore industry.[29] Farmers in the Caribbean have complained of their falling profits and rising costs. Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) to enter Europe cheaply. [edit] Regional institutions Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration: • Association of Caribbean States (ACS). mainly due to the higher costs that would be passed on to US companies via taxation. regionalism has become an undeniable part of the politics and economics of the Caribbean. The United States has not been in favor of shutting off the practice yet.[27] The World Trade Organization sided in the United States' favour and the beneficial elements of the convention to African. Through coalition building.[30][31] [edit] European Union effects on regionalism The European Union has also taken issue with US based taxation extended to US companies via the Caribbean countries.

West Indies Cricket Board. Jamaica. Barbados[37] Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). Trinidad and Tobago[40] Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO). Brazil and Uruguay United Nations .• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC). the Open Campus was formed in June 2008 as a result of an amalgamation of the Board for Non-Campus Countries and Distance Educationn. Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Guyana Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Saint Lucia[35] Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados Caribbean Educators Network. Saint Lucia Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC).C. Trinidad and Tobago[32] Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO). the fourth campus.Rice and Peas and Fish . Barbados. The Open Campus has 42 physical sites in 16 Anglophone caribbean countries. Barbados and Dominican Republic[39] Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). the UWI Distance Education Centres and Tertiary Level Units. Trinidad and Tobago[33] Caribbean Community (CARICOM). D. Barbados and Jamaica Caribbean Food Crop Society Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA). Barbados Inter-American Economic Council (IAEC). Washington. Saint Lucia Caribbean Regional Environmental Programme (CREP). Schools of Continuing Studies.[41] In addition. Antigua and Barbuda[42] [edit] Culture [edit] Cuisine Main article: Caribbean cuisine [edit] Favorite or national dishes See also: National_dish#Country-Dish/Food • Anguilla .[34] Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC). Belize[38] Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Barbados Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA). Puerto Rico[36] Caribbean Initiative (Initiative of the IUCN) Caribbean Programme for Economic Competitiveness (CPEC). Chile and Trinidad and Tobago University of the West Indies.

Maduros. and side dish of green salad or ensalada de coditos. Roti.Crack Conch with Peas and Rice[43] Barbados . callaloo.Fish and fungee Cayman Islands . pan fried or braised beef. okra. Ajiaco Dominica .• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Antigua and Barbuda . white pudding. Spicy plantain. arroz con pollo. pepperpot. Grenada . plantains.Turtle Stew Cuba . saltfish.ackee and saltfish. breadfruit Saint Lucia . piononos. Saint Kitts and Nevis . Ropa Vieja.Fungee & Pepperpot Bahamas . Alcapurrias. fish and fungee [edit] See also Caribbean portal Puerto Rico portal Main article: List of Caribbean-related topics • • • African diaspora British Afro-Caribbean community Caribbean Countries .arroz con pollo topped with stewed red kidney beans. Yuca. catfish curry Haiti . dhal and rice.Mountain chicken Dominican Republic .Coconut dumplings.beef/chicken/potatoe curry and roti. empanadas and/or tostones. or the ever popular Dominican dish known as Mangú which is mashed plantains. Crab and dumpling.Doubles. and Many Fried Food. Commonly made In the Beaches and Coast like. a term equivalent to the Venezuelan pabellón criollo. bacalaito. pumpkin and rice.Griot (Fried pork) served with Du riz a pois or Diri ak Pwa (Rice and beans) Jamaica . shrimp.Kallaloo. catahar. Pelau United States Virgin Islands .Goat Water Puerto Rico . The ensemble is usually called bandera nacional.Green Bananas & Dried and salted cod Saint Vincent and the Grenadines .Platillo Moros y Cristianos.Oil-Down Guyana . Mofongo.Arroz con gandules with roasted pork shoulder. which means "national flag".Cou-Cou and Flying fish British Virgin Islands . callaloo Montserrat .Roasted Breadfruit & Fried Jackfish Trinidad and Tobago .