Netherlands Antilles

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Location of the Netherlands Antilles
Map of the Netherlands Antilles

The Netherlands Antilles was a country within the Dutch Kingdom. The country was original a group of six islands in the Caribbean Sea. Some were discovered in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, and some were discovered in 1499 by Alonso de Ojeda.

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are part of the Leeward Islands. They are near Venezuela. The islands Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, and Saba are part of the Windward Islands. They are near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Sint Maarten is separated by two countries, the northern part belongs to France, the southern part is Dutch.

Aruba left the Netherlands Antilles in 1986. With the departure of Curaçao and Sint Maarten from the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, the country does not exist anymore. The remaining BES Islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba now belong to the Netherlands.

Because the Netherlands Antilles was a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Dutch Queen was also the Queen of the Netherlands Antilles, but the islands' residents had a government of their own. Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are now separate countries within the Dutch Kingdom.

The last Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles was Emily de Jongh-Elhage. The last Governor was Frits Goedgedrag, since the 10 October 2010 he is the first Governor of Curaçao.

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