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Caribbean

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Central America and the Caribbean (detailed pdf map) (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/reference_maps/pdf/central_america.pdf)
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Central America and the Caribbean (detailed pdf map) (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/reference_maps/pdf/central_america.pdf)

The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. These islands curve southward from the bottom tip of Florida to the Northwest of Venezuela in South America. There are at least 7000 islands, islets, reefs and cayes in the region. They are organized into twenty-five territories including sovereign states, overseas departments and dependencies.

The name "West Indies" originates from Christopher Columbus' idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of south and east Asia) when he had in fact reached the Americas. The Caribbean consists of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and is part of North America.

At one time there was a short-lived country called the Federation of the West Indies composed of the English-speaking Caribbean islands of the region.

The Caribbean area is also famous for its sea pirates. See the article piracy in the Caribbean.

Contents

Historical groupings

Main article: History of the Caribbean

Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:

The British West Indies, were formerly united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the B.W.I. still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indies cricket team, includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas and Resident Tutors in other contributing territories.

Present-day territories of the Caribbean

See also: Caribbean South America, Caribbean_basin

The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, were former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM. The Turneffe islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea.

Indigenous Tribes

See also

Regional Institutions

Here are some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration:


Regions of the world
Africa: Central Africa | Congo | East Africa | Great Lakes | Guinea | North Africa | Northwest Africa | Northeast Africa | Sahel | Southern Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa | Sudan | West Africa
Americas: Andean States | Caribbean | Central America | Great Lakes | Great Plains | Guianas | Latin America | Southern Cone
Asia: Central Asia | East Asia | East Indies | Far East | Indian subcontinent / South Asia | North Asia | Southeast Asia | Southwest Asia (Middle East, Levant, Anatolia, Arabia)
Europe: Balkans | Baltic region | Benelux | British Isles | Central Europe | Eastern Europe | Northern Europe | Scandinavia | Southern Europe | Western Europe
Other: Eurasia: Caucasus | Post-Soviet states | Oceania: Australasia | Melanesia | Micronesia | Polynesia | Aleutia | Pacific Rim | Polar: Arctic | Antarctic
ca:Carib

da:Caribien de:Westindische Inseln es:Islas Caribes et:Lne-India eo:Antiloj fr:Antilles id:Karibia it:Antille nl:Caraben ja:西インド諸島 no:Karibien nds:Karibik pl:Karaiby pt:Caribe sv:Vstindien tr:Karayipler zh:加勒比海国家

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