Skip to main content
Select Source:

Netherlands Antilles

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

(including Aruba )

Major City:
Curaçao (Willemstad)

Other Cities:
The Bottom, Kralendijk, Oranjestad, Philipsburg, Sint Nicolaas

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report 2000 for Netherlands Antilles. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES , a Dutch colonial possession for the greater part of three centuries, and once a center for slave trade in the Caribbean, has been an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1954. Aruba, one of the three largest islands (the others are Curaçao and Bonaire) withdrew from the federation in January 1986 to form its own domestic government. In 1990, however, Aruba requested and received from the Netherlands a cancellation of the agreement that would have granted independence in 1996. It remains under Dutch protection and, unofficially at least, is still referred to as an integral part of the Antilles group.

The islands are a fascinating blend of Afro-Spanish-Dutch culturea tapestry of sites, peoples, and languages. The countryside is rich in history, and in natural marvels which draw increasing numbers of tourists each year to these jewels in the sun.

MAJOR CITY

Curaçao

During the colonial period Curaçao was a center of slave trade in the Caribbean. After emancipation of the slaves in 1863, Curaçao lost much of its economic importance until 1916 when Royal Dutch Shell built an oil refinery on the shores of Schottegat Harbor. Shell pulled out in 1985, and the Venezuelan petroleum company took over operation of the refinery. Curaçao also has the largest repair dry-dock in the Caribbean, a container port, an important offshore financial sector and several resort hotels.

The total number of American citizens residing on the island fluctuates but is in the neighborhood of 1,000. The overall "foreign colony", including Dutch nationals, makes up about 10% of the total population. Curaçao has as many as 40 nationalities represented, including a large percentage of Indians, Chinese and Indonesians.

Although Curaçao has been associated with the Netherlands for about 300 years, visitors to Curaçao find that a knowledge of Spanish is as helpful as Dutch. English is spoken and understood to one degree or another by a large percentage of the local population; Papiamentu is the language of daily life.

The town of Willemstad contains most of Curaçao's 150,000 population. Dutch architecture predominates in the older sections of the city. Homes in the suburbs are more modern and spacious.

Utilities

The city water supply consists exclusively of distilled, potable sea-water. Electric current in Curaçao is 110v-130v, 50-cycle, single-phase AC.

Any American appliance, which relies on 60-cycle current for its timing (such as clocks, record players and tape recorders) must be converted for 50-cycle current in order to operate properly. If possible, have this done in the U.S. before shipment (transformers can only convert voltage, not cycles). Transformers and all types of electrical equipment and appliances are available locally but at high prices. Most major brands can be serviced locally. The local power supply sometimes experiences surges, spikes and/or brownouts.

UPS's and/or surge protectors are recommended for computers, TV's, VCR's, stereos and other sensitive electronic equipment. They can be purchased locally but are less expensive in the States.

Food

Almost all food is imported. A good variety of canned and frozen foods, including baby foods, of U.S. and Dutch origin are available in modern supermarkets. Fresh produce is flown in regularly, mostly from the U.S. and Venezuela, but are not necessarily in stock at all times. Boats from Venezuela sell produce and fish at a central area in Willemstad called the "floating market."

Curaçao imports all its meat, mostly from Argentina, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Denmark and the U.S. Quality is satisfactory although sometimes tougher than we are accustomed to in the U.S. and special cuts, particularly beef and veal, are often unavailable. Most frozen poultry is of U.S. origin. Eggs of good size and quality come from local sources. Butter and cheese are imported from the U.S. and the Netherlands. Frozen fish and seafood products come from as far away as Norway and Iceland. Fresh fish from South American and Caribbean sources is available and safe.

Since transportation costs are included, food prices are comparatively high.

Clothing

Men: At work, clothing suitable for summer in Washington is appropriate. Casual dress is typical at other times. Both European and American men's clothing is available but relatively expensive. A dark suit is necessary and suitable for most representational purposes.

Women: Curaçao really has only one season-summer. Bring summer wear. Light cotton is preferable to polyester blends. Women wear short dresses at most evening social affairs not identified as "casual" or "sport." All kinds of women's clothes are available in Curaçao at prices higher than those in the U.S. A fair selection of women's shoes is usually, but not always, available; some American women have found excellent buys in European brand shoes.

Children: Infant and children's clothes are available at prices much higher than those in the U.S. but the selection is limited in size and style and the quality is sometimes inferior. Children's shoes are available in American sizes. Baby items (such as diapers) are much more expensive than in the U.S.

Supplies and Services

Nearly all well known brands of American and European toiletries, cosmetics, personal hygiene supplies, home medicines and drugs are available on Curaçao. Prices range from less than those in the U.S. to up to 50% higher on some items. A good range of liquor and tobacco items is available through duty-free suppliers.

Most basic services found in a small community can be found on Curaçao but the quality varies widely. Tailors and dressmakers charge reasonable prices and their work can range from fair to excellent. A wide assortment of cottons and dress fabrics are available but sewing notions offer a limited selection.

Dry-cleaning facilities are available and the services provided are acceptable. Beauty shops compare with those in the U.S. and those in major tourist hotels have good operators and service. Costs are comparable with those in the U.S. Barbershops also have reasonable prices.

Radio and TV repair is adequate and reasonable but parts are not always available locally. Simple plumbing and electrical maintenance repair is available at reasonable prices. Automobile repair is satisfactory but, once again, parts are not always available locally.

Curaçao has a public library with a modest collection of books and publications in English. Several hotels and restaurants maintain a "swap" shelf of English language paperbacks.

Domestic Help

Domestics from English-speaking Caribbean islands are available but require permission from the Curaçao government to live and work here. Local law entitles maids to a three-week paid vacation annually, with supplementary pay for meals is not taken in the employer's home. Employers are obliged to provide health insurance for maids; the premium is about $360 a year. Wages for part-time help are about $2 per hour, plus transportation, or about $150 a month for house servants. The rate for gardeners is from $2 to $3 per hour.

Religious Activities

Curaçao prides itself on having the oldest continuously operating synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Services are in English and Hebrew. Several Roman Catholic Churches offer services in Dutch and Papiamentu and at least one offers Mass in English. A Dutch Reformed Church holds services in Dutch; a Methodist Church and an Anglican Church hold services in English; and a Seventh-day Adventist Chapel and a few evangelical churches hold services in Papiamentu and English. The Protestant Church of Curaçao, with several locations in the city, holds services in Dutch and English.

Education

The International School was started in Curaçao in September 1968. The school is open to children of Curaçao residents. Grade levels include K-12. All subjects are taught in English, the curriculum is American and the school is accredited in the U.S. There are extensive extracurricular activities available for all ages, even some for adults. School enrollment for the last few years has averaged over 200 students. Parents are responsible for transportation. Tuition varies depending on grade and ranges from approximately $4,500 to $8,000 per year.

The local government supports a complete system of elementary and high schools equivalent to 12 grades or more in the U.S. Local schools are parochial (Catholic or Protestant) or public, with classes conducted in Dutch and Papiamentu. All schools have the same basic curriculum. Academic standards are good. The school year runs from August 15 to July 15, with 60 holidays during the year, including a one-month summer vacation. American children attending a local school above first grade will have difficulty adjusting to schooling in a foreign language. Intensive language training of several months is often necessary. Children are usually put back one or two grades and then promoted grade-by-grade to their regular level as they learn Dutch. Reasonable tuition fees are charged.

Special Educational Opportunities

Papiamentu lessons are available locally but are expensive. Individual language training in Dutch, Spanish and Papiamentu is available through tutors at reasonable rates. Textbooks are available at the local bookstores.

The Curaçao Music School offers classes and individualized instruction in piano, rhythm instruments, orchestral instruments, guitar, accordion and choral group singing. Individual tutoring in both music and art is also available through independent tutors.

Sports

Water sports of all kinds are popular. Curaçao has numerous small beaches, some public and others that can be used for a small fee. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, water skiing, sailing and wind-surfing are possible year round. Curaçao has an extensive number of dive sites, as well as an underwater park, for scuba divers; equipment rental and instruction are available from several Dive Shops. Other sports are available through clubs.

Membership in local clubs, or private membership at local resorts, provides for the use of swimming pools, bar and restaurants, as well as tennis, basketball, Ping Pong, soccer, yachting, sailing, water sports and horseback riding.

The Curaçao Golf and Squash Club has the island's only golf course. It has nine holes with oiled sand greens. The club sponsors weekend tournaments and has a small clubhouse where refreshments are served. A squash court is located near clubhouse.

The Curaçao Yacht Club and other private marinas offer facilities for sail and powerboats.

For those interested in flying, a small flying club offers small plane rentals and flight instruction but the rates are high.

Baseball and soccer games are played enthusiastically with local and inter-island competition. A large sports stadium with facilities for various spectator sports is located at Brievengat.

Both U.S. and European sports clothing and equipment can be purchased locally but usually at prices higher than those in the U.S.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

The Curaçao Museum has a permanent exhibition of antiques, paintings and artifacts.

Periodic art exhibits are held there and at the Centro Pro Arte and Centro Cultural de Curaçao. A museum of Jewish history is associated with the synagogue. A commercial Seaquarium displays local marine life and there is a small botanical garden and zoo located in one of Willemstad's suburbs.

A national park surrounds Mt. Christoffel, which provides a panoramic view of the west end of the island to climbers. On a high ridge near the airport are the Hato Caverns, the grottos of Curaçao. Near the west end of the island is Boca Tabla, an unusual sea cave.

Entertainment

In addition to a local cinema that shows current U.S. and European movies, several video rental stores offer recent video releases. The Centro Pro Arte has facilities for ballet, symphony orchestras, operas and plays but offerings are limited and infrequent. Most of the theatrical events are in Dutch or Papiamentu. Several tourist hotels in Curaçao offer entertainment with orchestras, dancing and floorshows. Many have casinos and one has a discotheque. Several private discotheques are open as well.

The period between Christmas and Carnival is full of special events. A fireworks display and late night partying celebrate the New Year. Carnival time in February brings out street processions with flamboyant costumes, floats, and street dancing. Several bridge clubs are available for the enthusiast.

Social Activities

Private entertaining and official contacts provide the main source of contact with the American community. An American Women's Club holds regular meetings and sponsors social activities several times a year. A local chapter of the U.S. Navy League sponsors receptions for U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships during port calls.

Daily opportunities exist to meet host country nationals through work and socially. Local branches of Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs provide social contact with the Anti-llean and international communities.

OTHER CITIES

Saba's main town, THE BOTTOM , is home to about half of the island's total population of 1,000. Saba is just five square miles in area, and is an extinct volcano that rises 3,000 feet above sea level. Vegetation here is lush and there are many gardens and fruit trees. The island's four villages are connected by a single crossroad.

KRALENDIJK , the capital and chief town of Bonaire, lies on the west coast of the island, and has a population of close to 3,000. It is directly opposite the tiny island called Klein (small) Bonaire, noted for its choice snorkeling and scuba diving. Bonaire proper is casual and unspoiled, and is known as one of the best diving areas in the world. There are more than 50 choice diving spots; the average water temperature is 80°F. The beaches are secluded and several of them have sea-carved grottoes. Bonaire has six hotels and resorts, including two casinos. The island is nicknamed Flamingo Island and is home for a flamingo sanctuary, a breeding ground for 10,000 birds of that species. Washington National Park, on the northwestern shore, is a game preserve. Other interesting sites are the salt pans (solar salt works) and slave huts in the south; Rincon, the island's oldest village; and Willem-storen, Bonaire's 150-year-old lighthouse.

ORANJESTAD is the capital of Aruba and has about one-third of that island's 68,000 inhabitants. It is situated on the western side of the island. Aruba has an unusually flat landscape and interesting rock formations. Vegetation includes a wide variety of cacti and divi-divi trees, which are shaped by the cooling trade winds. Its beautiful beaches, most notably seven-mile-long Palm Beach, are where most of the hotels are located. Aruba has more than 1,500 hotel rooms, 15 nightclubs, 60 restaurants, five casinos, and 51 low-duty stores on its main street. The Aruba Historical Museum opened in 1984 and displays Arawak Indian implements as well as furniture made by the island's early settlers. A betting facility located in the Aruba Holiday Inn and Casino, allows tourists to bet on football and other sports events. Aruba also has an annual carnival, which runs from mid-January through mid-March.

The principal town of St. Eustatius is ORANJESTAD (the same name as Aruba's capital), with a population of about 1,600. The island is undeveloped and has several small plantations.

PHILIPSBURG , with a population of about 11,000, is the capital of the Dutch portion of St. Maarten. As with all of the Netherlands Antilles, tourists can enjoy the beaches and water sports, as well as shopping along Front Street in Philipsburg.

SINT NICOLAAS is the former capital of Aruba, located 12 miles southeast of Oranjestad. A refinery closed here recently, seriously depressing the economy. The area has not developed a reputation as a tourist stop, but the adjacent beaches are considered attractive. No resort hotels are in the vicinity. The Aruba Golf Club, however, has accommodations just north of Sint Nicolaas. The community is also known by its Spanish designation, San Nicolás.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Curaçao is the largest of the "ABC" islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) which lie just off the coast of Venezuela. Curaçao is 38 miles long, 7 miles wide at its widest point, and 2-1/2 miles wide at its narrowest point. Sint Christoffel-berg, at 1,260 feet on the western end of the island and Tafelberg, at about 600 feet near the eastern end are the most prominent geographical features. Tafelberg has provided limestone for the construction industry for several years and now resembles a stepped mesa. Numerous small and large bays indent the island's southern coast. The largest of these, which comprises the inner harbor known as the Schottegat, is surrounded by the city of Willemstad.

Curaçao and the other ABC islands are hot year round. Temperatures seldom exceed 90°F during the day or fall below 80°F at night. Relative humidity averages 70% annually and seldom varies far from that average. The effect of the heat and the humidity, however, is lessened by the almost constant northeast trade winds. The ocean temperature averages 80°F and only varies a few degrees between summer and winter. Rainfall averages only 22 inches annually, most of which falls during the months of November and December, and the islands are below the hurricane belt so that particular danger is absent. Drought resistant plants, such as cactus, thorn tree; and succulents predominate. August, September and October are the warmest months; December, January and February are the coolest.

Mildew can occur when dehumidifying air-conditioning is not used, especially during the "rainy" season (October to January). Outdoors, items rust and fade quickly in the salt air and harsh sun. Lizards roaches, flies, ants, rodents and mosquitoes are common.

In addition to the ABC Islands, the consular district includes the Wind-ward Islands of Saba, St. Eustatius (or Statia and Sint Maarten. They are located south east of Puerto Rico and about five hundred miles northeast from Curaçao. Also of volcanic origin, they differ from the ABC Islands primarily in that they have more annual rainfall and lusher vegetation. The most populous and economically developed of the Wind-ward group, Sint Maarten, shares its island with the French Department of Saint Martin.

Population

The population of the Netherlands Antilles is approximately 185,000. Curaçao has about 150,000; Sint Maarten, 23,000; Bonaire, 10,000; St. Eustatius, 1,500; Saba, 1,000. Aruba's population is around 90,000. About 85% of Curaçao's population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese and Asians.

Four languages are in common use. Papiamentu is the native vernacular in Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba. Dutch is the official language, though both English and Spanish are widely used on the ABC Islands. English is the predominant language in the Windward Islands.

Roman Catholicism predominates but several other churches are represented, these include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon and Baptist. The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating from 1634.

Public Institutions

Willemstad, Curaçao, is the capital of the Netherlands Antilles, which is a separate entity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Antilles are governed by a popularly elected unicameral "Staten" (parliament) of 22 members. It chooses the Prime Minister (called Minister President) and a Council of Ministers, consisting of six to eight other ministers. The Governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the Queen of the Netherlands. Defense and foreign affairs are the responsibility of the Netherlands but, otherwise, the islands are largely self-governing.

Local government is in the hands of each island. Under the direction of a Kingdom-appointed Island Governor, these local governments have a "Bestuurscollege" (administrative body) made up of Commissioners who head the separate government departments.

Aruba separated from the Netherlands Antilles on January 1, 1986, and now enjoys equal status (status aparte) with the Antilles within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its government structure is similar to that of the Netherlands Antilles.

Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have quasi-governmental chambers of commerce, which are, among other things, the official registries of business firms on those islands. They also have trade and industry functions, which are comparable to an American Chamber of Commerce.

Arts, Science, and Education

The educational system is based on the Dutch model, with upper grades split into academic and vocational tracks. The University of the Netherlands Antilles, with law, business and technical faculties, is located on Curaçao. Many students also pursue higher education in the Netherlands or the United States.

Commerce and Industry

Oil refining, tourism, and offshore financial activities are the mainstays of the Curaçao economy. The Netherlands and the European Economic Community provide financial and development aid annually. Local agriculture and manufacturing is very limited. Most consumer goods are imported, often from the U.S. but also from the Netherlands and other European countries.

Transportation

Automobiles

Curaçao has well over 50,000 vehicles. Driving is on the right. Gasoline prices are currently approximately US$3.80 per gallon. Routine service station maintenance is adequate and reasonable but spare parts and body repair work are expensive. The high humidity, salt air and intense sunlight cause automobile tires and bodies to deteriorate rapidly. Under-coating is recommended and may be done locally at reasonable prices. Overall, roads are fair to good but some parts of Curaçao can only be reached by rough dirt tracks.

Curaçao has no restrictions on automobiles other than normal traffic regulations and compulsory automobile insurance. Third-party liability insurance as well as property damage, collision, and fire and theft insurance can be obtained locally from several Dutch firms. If you present a statement from a previous insurance company stating that you have made no claims in the last five years, a discount of up to 50% is offered; or for each consecutive accident-free year a 10% discount will apply. Full coverage collision insurance is recommended for more expensive vehicles. Several car rental agencies operate on the island at tourist prices.

Local

Three types of public transportation are available: buses, privately owned vans operating as buses and taxicabs. Buses are crowded and run irregularly. The private vehicles operating as buses pick up passengers at specific locations for a flat fee. Taxi fares are fixed (no meters) but are geared to tourists and are relatively expensive.

Regional

American and United (through an ALM code-share) Airlines offer daily service between Curaçao and the U.S. Aruba and Sint Maarten also have daily U.S. connections via U.S. carriers. The Netherlands, Venezuela, Colombia, Trinidad and the Dominican Republic have direct connections with Curaçao. Regional airlines provide service between the islands within the consular district. Several local travel agencies are equipped to arrange personal travel anywhere in the world.

Communications

Telephone and Telegraph

Local telephone service is usually reliable although not always of the best quality and outages are not unexpected. The monthly charge is $10 plus 10 cents for each four minutes of use for local calls. Long distance calls may be dialed direct to anywhere in the world at any hour but are very expensive.

Internet

Several local companies provide internet access on Curaçao; however, service is very expensive compared to the U.S. Access currently ranges from $60 per month for unlimited access to three times that. The less expensive service provider has oversubscribed and it is very hard to connect during peak hours. In addition to the Internet access fees, you still have to pay the local per-minute phone charges that can effectively double your costs if you are a heavy user.

Mail

UPS-International, Federal Express and DHL also serve Curaçao.

Radio and TV

Curaçao has one TV station (Tele-Curaçao), which broadcasts in color. Most shows are in Papiamentu. Venezuelan TV can also be received on Curaçao. Cable TV is available, and presently CNN, ESPN, BBC World, HBO Ole, Cinemax, A&E, TBS, ABC, CBS, NBC and others are featured. Major American and European sporting events are generally carried via cable. Television sets are available locally at prices higher than in the U.S. Local television broadcasts on NTSC format and an U.S. television set works with no conversion necessary.

Local radio stations provide a wide range of music choices. Most radio stations broadcast news in Papiamentu and Dutch; however, periodic English news broadcasts are transmitted by some of the stations.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals

U.S. newspapers from New York and Miami are available the day after publication. Daily newspapers are printed in Curaçao in Dutch and in Papiamentu. Magazines in English, Dutch and Spanish are available at newsstands but are more expensive than in the U.S. It is less expensive to subscribe to magazines than to pay local newsstand prices, even for airmail editions. Magazines can be pouched but take from three weeks to one month to arrive. Many popular books are available in English at local bookstores but, once again, are more expensive than in the U.S.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities

There are two private hospitals and one public hospital available on-island which provide adequate services for most any medical problem. The doctors are trained in Europe and in the U.S. and overall their quality is good to excellent. Many dentists practice in Curaçao; some have been trained in the U.S. and many in Europe. Specialists, both medical and dental, are either available locally or visit the island periodically from the U.S. or Europe.

Community Health

Community health standards are good. Tap water is distilled from seawater and is of good quality, although turbidity (suspended particles) is frequently high. Fresh foods are safe to eat.

Preventive Measures

Normal health precautions are in order, but some potential dangers warrant special mention. Precautions should be taken against the strong sun and heat, which can cause dehydration. Swimmers should be cautious of sea urchins and other stinging creatures on the sea floor. Some common trees at Curaçao beaches have a poisonous sap (irritating) which rain can wash onto the unwary. Dengue fever has been reported in Curaçao.

Most medicines are available, but local pharmacy prices tend to be higher than in the U.S. Some over-the-counter medicines available in the U.S. are not available in Curaçao or are available by prescription only. You may wish to bring a supply for special needs.

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Passage, Customs & Duties

Travel to Curaçao is by air.

A valid U.S. passport or a U.S. birth certificate accompanied by a valid photo identification must be presented. While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since it is more readily recognized as positive proof of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Visitors may enter for two weeks, extendable for 90 days by the Head Office of Immigration. For further information, travelers may contact The Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, Internet: http://www.nether-lands-embassy.org, or the Dutch consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Houston.

The Netherlands Antilles, like most Caribbean territories, are subject to the threat of hurricanes. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curaçao, telephone (599-9)461-3066; fax (599-9)461-6489; e-mail address: ç[email protected]">cgCuraç[email protected].

Pets

Pets are admitted duty free and are not placed in quarantine. Dogs and cats must have rabies inoculations and certificates of good health issued within ten days of their arrival. Pet foods, medications and veterinary services are available locally. Fleas, ticks, heartworms and other infestations are a constant problem on the island.

Firearms and Ammunition

The Netherlands Antilles Government maintains strict control over the number of firearms and amount of ammunition on the islands and requires that a permit be issued prior to importation. As a further means of control, local authorities limit the number of authorized dealers in firearms. Sales to individuals can be made only to those licensed to own weapons, and the dealers must register all sales with the government.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures

The medium of exchange in the Netherlands Antilles is the Netherlands Antilles florin, also called the "guilder." The exchange rate is currently fixed at US$1 =NAF 1.78. Local banks cash U.S. Treasury checks and exchange U.S. currency; however, a service fee is frequently charged. You do not need to buy Netherlands Antilles florins before arrival in Curaçao; US dollars are widely used and accepted. Have a supply of small bills with you for tips and taxi fares.

Local banking facilities are comparable to those in the U.S. and arrangements can be made to cash U.S. checks. U.S. ATM/Debit Cards can be used in some local automatic tellers and will allow you to withdraw either US$ or NAF. Many local stores accept VISA and/or Master-Card.

No limit is placed on the amount of money (dollars or other currency) brought into the Netherlands Antilles. Nor are limits placed on amounts taken out. Reporting procedures are in effect for large or unusual monetary transactions. Local bank accounts may be useful but are not necessary.

The metric system is the official standard for weights and measures.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan. 1 New Year's Day

Feb/Mar Carnival Monday*

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Mar/Apr. Easter Monday*

Apr. 30 Queen's Birthday

May 1Labor Day

May/JuneAscension Day*

May/JunePentecost*

May/June Whitmonday*

July 2 Curacao Flag Day

Dec. 25 Christmas

Dec. 26 Boxing Day

*variable

RECOMMENDED READING

The following titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country:

Tourist and travel information is available from the Curaçao Tourist Offices at the following addresses:

The Curaçao Tourist Board 330 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33132. Tel: (305) 374-5811 Fax: (305) 374-6741 Toll Free: (800) 445-826.

The Curaçao Tourist Board 475 Park Avenue Suite 2000, New York, NY 10016 Tel: (212) 683-7660 Fax: (212) 683-9337 Toll Free: (800) 270-3350 E-mail: [email protected]

Several Internet sites can provide additional current information. Use the search words "Curaçao," "Netherlands Antilles," and "Willemstad."

The following bibliography contains a sample of available English language material.

Coomans, Henry E. Building Up The Future From The Past. DeWalburg Press: Netherlands, 1990.

De Groot, G. The Netherlands Antilles. Bosch & Keuning: Netherlands, 1978.

De Roo, Jos. Curaçao, Scenes and Behind the Scenes. Van Dorp-Eddine: Curaçao, 1979.

Dyde, Brian. Islands to the Wind-ward. Macmillan: London, 1987.

Emmanuel, Isaac S. and Suzanne A. History of the Jews of the Netherlands Antilles, Vol. I and II.

Glasscock, Jean. The Making of an Island: Sint Maarten, St Martin, 1985. Goilo, E. R. Papiamentu Textbook. De Wit: Aruba, 1972.

Hannau, Hans. Aruba Pictorial. DeWit: Aruba, 1981.

The Netherlands Antilles. De Wit, Aruba, 1975.

Curaçao in Full Color. De Wit, Aruba.

Hannau, Hans and Bernard Mock. Beneath the Seas of the West Indies. Hastings House: New York, 1979.

Hartog, Dr. Johan. Aruba: Short History. Van Dorp: Aruba, 1980.

Curaçao, A Short History. De Wit:Aruba, 1979.

History of St. Eustatius. De Wit:Aruba, 1976.

St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius.

De Wit: Aruba, 1978.

A Short History of Bonaire. DeWit: Aruba, 1978.

U.S. Consul in 19th Century Curaçao. Van Dorp & Co., N.V: Aruba and Curaçao, 1971.

Heinen, G. The Image of Curaçao. Witgeverij ICS: Netherlands, 1997.

Howes, Barbara, ed. From the Green Antilles: Writings of the Caribbean. Granada: London, 1971.

Johnson, Will. Saban Lore: Tales from My Grandmother's Pipe. Saba, 1983.

Karner, Frances, P. The Sephardics of Curaçao. Van Gorcum: Netherlands, 1969.

Maslin, Simeon J. Synagogue Guidebook. Mikve Israel-Emanuel: Curaçao, 1975.

Reimar, Dietmar. Caribbean Underwater World, Curaçao & Klein Curaçao. Nautiphot: Germany, 1991.

Romer, Dr. Rene. Curaçao. UNICA, 1981.

Sekou, Lasana M. National Symbols of St. Martin. House of Nehesi: St Martin, 1996.

Smit, Sypkens. Beyond The Tourist Trap, A Study of St Martin Culture. Koninklijke Bibliotheek: Netherlands, 1995.

Tuchman, Barbara W. The First Salute. Alfred A. Knopf. New York 1988.

Van Dalen, Henk H. The Netherlands Antilles. Bosch & Keuning: Netherlands 1994

van den Bor, W. Island Adrift: The Social Organization of a Small Caribbean Community: The Case of St. Eustatius. Smits Publishers: Netherlands, 1981.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Cities of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Cities of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles-0

"Netherlands Antilles." Cities of the World. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Netherlands Antilles
Region: Puerto Rico & Lesser Antilles
Population: 210,134
Language(s): Dutch, Papiamento, English, Spanish
Literacy Rate: 98%


The Netherlands Antilles consists of two groups of islands in the Caribbean Sea. The first group of islands is Curacao and Bonaire, and the second group of islands are St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and Saba. The island of St. Maarten is shared with France. The land area is approximately 960 sq. km. with a coastline of more than 364 km. (World Factbook 2000). The 210,000 people of the islands are approximately 85 percent Creoles of mixed African, Dutch, and Spanish descent.

The major industry of Netherlands Antilles is tourism, followed by petroleum transshipment and offshore banking.The Netherlands Antilles is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but in 1954 they were granted autonomy in their internal self-government. The islands are a parliamentary democracy consisting of the executive branch that includes a queen, a prime minister, and a cabinet. The legislative branch consists of 22 seats with members elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The Joint High Court of Justice comprises the judicial branch of their government (World Factbook 2000).

The basic structure of the school system consists of primary school for ages 4 to 12, secondary for ages 12 to 16, or pre-university studies for ages 12 to 18 (IAU 1995-1996). The secondary track is further broken down into either a general secondary stream or a technical and vocational stream. About 38 percent of the population have graduated from the secondary level, and another 32 percent have finished their primary schooling; this has produced a population with a literacy rate of about 94 percent.

There is only one university in the Netherlands Antilles. The Universiteit van de Nederlandse Antilles provides higher education degrees in the study of law, social sciences and economics, and engineering including architecture, civil, mechanical and electrical.

Primary school teachers are trained at a teacher training college in Curacao. The training consists of two years of theoretical and practical work and one year of practice in the educational system.

Currently there are educational reforms underway in the Netherlands Antilles that were started in 2000. The main features of the reforms are:

  1. grouping the students into three main age groups: 4-8, 8-12, and 12-15
  2. integration of kindergarten and primary education
  3. incorporating in the first two years of secondary education foundation-based education
  4. development of a system of education that is more in tune with the technological developments and educational theories from the Netherlands and around the world

(International Bureau of Education).


Bibliography

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Fact-book 2000. Directorate of Intelligence, 1 January 2000. Available from http://www.cia.gov/.

International Association of Universities (IAU). "Education System-Netherlands Antilles," 1996. Available from http://193.242.192.2/ngo/iau/educan.html.

International Bureau of Education. "Analysis of questionnaire, Caribbean Survey," 2001. Available from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/Regional/CaribbeanSurvey/caribbee.htm.

Netherlands Antilles-Altapedia Online, 2000. Available from http://www.altapedia.com/online/countries/neth anti.htm.


Deanna Edens

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." World Education Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." World Education Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." World Education Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Netherlands Antilles
Region (Map name): Caribbean
Population: 210,134
Language(s): Dutch, Papiamento,English, Spanish
Literacy rate: 98%

The Netherlands Antilles consists of five islands in two separate Caribbean island chains. Bonaire and Curaçao are part of the Windward Islands, which are north of Venezuela, while Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten belong to the Leeward Islands to the east of the Virgin Islands. The country belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but received full autonomy in internal affairs in 1954. The Dutch Monarch serves as the head of state through a local Governor General, and a Prime Minister manages the government, heading a unicameral, 22-seat Staten. Dutch is the official language of the islands, but most speak Spanish, English or Papiamento, a dialect that combines Spanish, Portuguese, English and Dutch. The collective population is approximately 213,000, and the literacy rate is 98 percent. The economy of all five islands depends largely on tourism, petroleum refining, and offshore finance.

The country enjoys freedom of the press and speech as guaranteed under Dutch law. There are numerous daily newspapers published throughout the Netherland Antilles. Eight of them originate from Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao. Amigoe and Algameen Dagblad print in Dutch; Amigoe is available online. Extra, La Prensa, Nobo, Bala, Vigilante, and Ultima Noticia publish in the Papiamento language. Also printed on Curaçao is the Dutch-language newspaper De Curaçaosche Courant, which appears weekly. On Bonaire, the weekly English-language Bonnaire Reporter is an independent publication focusing on news as it relates to the island's residents and visitors. It is distributed free on the island and publishes online. On the Leeward islands, Sint-Maarten, Sint-Eustatius, and Saba, there are two English language newspapers, the St. Maarten Guardian and The Daily Herald, both printed on Sint-Maarten. The Daily Herald is available online.

There are 13 radio stations, nine AM and four FM, and 217,000 radios, There are three television stations broadcasting to 69,000 televisions. There are six Internet service providers.

Bibliography

Amigoe, (2002). Home Page. Available from http://www.amigoe.com/ .

Benn's Media, 1999, Vol. 3, 147th Edition, p. 272.

Bonaire Reporter. (n.d.). Home Page. Available from www.bonairereporter.com.

The Daily Herald, (2002.) Home Page. Available from http://www.thedailyherald.com/.

"Dutch Language Newspaper: Netherlands Antilles," KrantNet. (2002). Available from http://www.krantnet.f2s.com.

"Netherlands Antilles," CIA World Fact Book (2001). Available from http://www.cia.gov.

"Netherlands Antilles: Papiamento/English." Available from www.krantnet.f2s.com.

Jenny B. Davis

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." World Press Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." World Press Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." World Press Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles, former autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisting of several islands in the West Indies. Earlier known as the Dutch West Indies and Netherlands West Indies, the island country consisted of Bonaire and Curaçao, both lying off Venezuela, and Saba, St. Eustatius, and the southern half of Saint Martin, all in the Leeward Islands, east of Puerto Rico. The island of Aruba, also off Venezuela, was part of the Netherlands Antilles until 1986. Willemstad, on Curaçao, was the capital.

When the Spanish arrived in the 16th cent., the region was inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs. The islands were captured by the Dutch in the 17th cent. and were worked by the many African slaves who were brought to their shores. Slavery was abolished in 1863 and the economy faltered until the oil industry began to flourish in the 20th cent. The Netherlands Antilles became autonomous in 1954. In 2004 a government commission recommended splitting up the Netherlands Antilles, giving St. Martin and Curaçao autonomy and establishing direct Dutch rule over the other islands. In a series of referendums islanders largely seconded this proposal, which took effect in 2010.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

Culture Name

Netherlands Antillean; Antiyas Hulandes (Papiamentu)

Orientation

Identification. The Netherlands Antilles consists of the islands Curaçao ("Korsow") and Bonaire; the "SSS" islands, Sint Eustatius ("Statia"), Saba, and the Dutch part of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten); and the uninhabited Little Curaçao and Little Bonaire. The Netherlands Antilles is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. From a geographic, historical, linguistic, and cultural point of view, Aruba, which seceded in 1986, is part of this group.

Location and Geography. Curaçao and Bonaire, together with Aruba, form the Dutch Leeward, or ABC, islands. Curaçao lies just off the Venezuelan coast at the southwestern end of the Caribbean archipelago. Curaçao and Bonaire are arid. Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius form the Dutch Windward islands, 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of Curaçao. Curaçao encompasses 171 square miles (444 square kilometers); Bonaire, 111 square miles (288 square kilometers); Sint Maarten, 17 square miles (43 square kilometers); Sint Eustatius, 8 square miles (21 square kilometers), and Saban, 5 square miles (13 square kilometers).

Demography. Curaçao, the largest and most populated of the islands, had a population of 153,664 in 1997. Bonaire had 14,539 inhabitants. For Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, and Saba the population figures were 38,876, 2,237, and 1,531 respectively. As a result of industrialization, tourism, and migration, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Sint Maarten are multicultural societies. On Sint Maarten, migrants outnumber the indigenous island population. Economic recession has caused a growing migration to the Netherlands; the number of Antilleans living there is close to 100,000.

Linguistic Affiliation. Papiamentu is the local language of Curaçao and Bonaire. Caribbean English is the language of the SSS islands. The official language is Dutch, which is spoken little in daily life.

The origins of Papiamentu are much debated, with two views prevalent. According to the monogenetic theory, Papiamentu, like other Caribbean Creole languages, originated from a single Afro-Portuguese proto-creole, that developed as a lingua franca in western Africa in the days of the slave trade. The polygenetic theory maintains that Papiamentu developed in Curaçao on a Spanish base.

Symbolism. On 15 December 1954, the islands obtained autonomy within the Dutch kingdom, and this is the day the Antilles commemorates the unity of the Dutch Kingdom. The Dutch royal family was an important point of reference to the Antillean nation before and directly after World War II.

The Antillean flag and anthem express the unity of the island group; the islands have their own flags, anthems, and coats of arms. Insular festive days are more popular than national festivities.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Before 1492, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba were part of the Caquetio chiefdom of coastal Venezuela. Caquetios were a ceramic group engaged in fishing, agriculture, hunting, gathering, and trade with the mainland. Their language belonged to the Arowak family.

Christopher Columbus probably discovered Sint Maarten in 1493 on his second voyage, and Curaçao and Bonaire were discovered in 1499. Because of the absence of precious metals, the Spanish declared the islands Islas Inutiles ("useless islands"). In 1515, the inhabitants were deported to Hispaniola to work in mines. After an unsuccessful attempt to colonize Curaçao and Aruba, those islands were used to breed goats, horses, and cattle.

In 1630, the Dutch seized Sint Maarten to make use of its large salt deposits. After the Spanish reconquered the island, the Dutch West India Company (WIC) took possession of Curaçao in 1634. Bonaire and Aruba were taken over by the Dutch in 1636. The WIC colonized and governed the Leeward Islands until 1791. The English occupied Curaçao between 1801 and 1803 and 1807 and 1816. After 1648, Curaçao and Sint Eustatius became centers for smuggling, privateering, and the slave trade. Curaçao and Bonaire never developed plantations because of the arid climate. Dutch merchants and Sephardic Jewish merchants on Curaçao sold trade goods and slaves from Africa to the plantation colonies and the Spanish mainland. On Bonaire, the salt was exploited and cattle were bred for trade and food on Curaçao. Colonization on Bonaire did not take place until 1870.

Dutch administrators and merchants formed the white elite. Sephardim were the commercial elite. Poor whites and free blacks formed the nucleus of the small Creole middle class. Slaves were the lowest class. Because of the absence of commercial, labor-intensive plantation agriculture, slavery was less cruel when compared to plantation colonies like Surinam or Jamaica. The Roman Catholic Church played an important role in the repression of African culture, the legitimization of slavery, and preparations for emancipation. Slave rebellions occurred in 1750 and 1795 on Curaçao. Slavery was abolished in 1863. An independent peasantry did not arise because blacks remained economically dependent on their former owners.

The Dutch took possession of the Windward Islands in the 1630s, but colonists from other European countries also settled there. Sint Eustatius was a trade center until 1781, when it was punished for trading with the North American independents. Its economy never recovered. On Saba, colonists and their slaves worked small plots of land. On Sint Maarten, the salt pans were exploited and a few small plantations were established. The abolition of slavery on the French part of Sint Maarten in 1848 resulted in the abolition of slavery on the Dutch side and a slave rebellion on Sint Eustatius. On Saba and Statia, slaves were emancipated in 1863.

The establishment of oil refineries on Curaçao and Aruba marked the beginning of industrialization. The lack of local labor resulted in the migration of thousands of workers. Industrial laborers from the Caribbean, Latin America, Madeira, and Asia came to the islands, along with civil servants and teachers from the Netherlands and Surinam. Lebanese, Ashkenazim, Portuguese, and Chinese became important in local trade.

Industrialization ended colonial race relations. The Protestant and Sephardim elites on Curaçao maintained their positions in commerce, civil service, and politics, but the black masses were no longer dependent on them for employment or land. The introduction of general suffrage in 1949 resulted in the formation of nonreligious political parties, and the Catholic Church lost much of its influence. Despite tensions between Afro-Curaçaoans and Afro-Caribbean migrants, the process of integration proceeded.

In 1969, a trade union conflict at the Curaçao refinery angered thousands of black laborers. On 30 May a protest march to the government seat ended in the burning of parts of Willemstad. After a request for intervention by the Antillean government, Dutch marines helped to restore law and order. Newly founded Afro-Curaçaoan parties changed the political order, which still was dominated by white Creoles. Within the state bureaucracy and the educational system, Antilleans replaced Dutch expatriates. Afro-Antillean cultural traditions were revalued, racial ideology was changed, and Papiamentu became recognized as the national language on Curaçao and Bonaire.

After 1985, the oil industry has declined and in the 1990s, the economy was in recession. The government is now the largest employer, and civil servants take up 95 percent of the national budget. In 2000, a series of agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerning the restructuring of the government expenses and a new economic policy have paved the way for renewed Dutch financial aid and economic recovery.

National Identity. In 1845, the Windward and Leeward Islands (including Aruba) became a separate colony. The governor, appointed by the Dutch, was the central authority. Between 1948 and 1955, the islands became autonomous within the Dutch kingdom. Requests from Aruba to become a separate partner were refused. General suffrage was introduced in 1949.

On Sint Maarten, political leaders preferred separation from the Antilles. On Curaçao, the major political parties also opted for that status. In 1990, the Netherlands suggested a breakup of the colony into autonomous Windward and Leeward (Curaçao and Bonaire) countries. However, in a referendum in 1993 and 1994, a majority voted for the continuation of the existing ties. Support for an autonomous status was largest on Sint Maarten and Curaçao. Insularism and economic competition constantly threaten national unity. Despite economic setbacks, in 2000 the Island Council of Sint Maarten expressed the desire to separate from the Antilles within four years.

Ethnic Relations. The Afro-Antillean past is a source of identity for most black Antilleans, but different linguistic, historical, social, cultural, and racial backgrounds have strengthened insularism. To many people "yui di Korsow" (Child from Curaçao) refers only to Afro-Curaçaoans. White Creoles and Jewish Curaçaoans are symbolically excluded from the core population of Curaçao.

Urbanism,Architecture, and the Use of Space

Curaçao and Sint Maarten are the most densely populated and urbanized islands. Punda, the old center of Willemstad on Curaçao, has been on the United Nations World Heritage List since 1998. Plantation houses from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries are spread over the island, next to the traditional cunucu houses in which poor whites, free blacks, and slaves used to live. Sint Maarten has residential areas on and between the many hillsides. The Bonairean cunucu house differs from the ones on Aruba and Curaçao in its ground plan. The cunucu house is built on a wooden frame and filled in with clay and grass. The roof is made of several layers of palm leaves. It consists minimally of one living room (sala ), two bedrooms (kamber ), and a kitchen, which is always situated downwind. The picturesque Saban cottage has style elements of traditional English cottages.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Traditional food customs differ between the islands, but all of them are variations of Caribbean Creole cuisine. Typical traditional foods are funchi, a maize porridge, and pan bati, a pancake made of maize flour. Funchi and pan bati combined with carni stoba (a goat stew) form the basis of the traditional meal. Bolo pretu (black cake) is prepared only for special occasions. Fast food and international cuisine have become more popular since the establishment of tourism.

Basic Economy. The economy centers on oil refining, ship repair, tourism, financial services, and the transit trade. Curaçao was a major center of offshore business but lost many clients after the United States and the Netherlands signed tax treaties in the 1980s. Efforts to stimulate tourism on Curaçao have been only partly successful. Market protection has resulted in the establishment of local industries for the production of soap and beer, but the effects have been limited to Curaçao. On Sint Maarten, tourism developed in the 1960s. Saba and Sint Eustatius depend on tourists from Sint Maarten. Bonairean tourism doubled between 1986 and 1995, and that island also has oil transshipment facilities. Underemployment climbed to 15 percent on Curaçao and 17 percent on Sint Maarten during the 1990s. Emigration by unemployed persons from the lower classes has caused social problems in the Netherlands.

Land Tenure and Property. There are three types of land tenure: regular landed property, hereditary tenure or long lease, and the renting of government land. For economic purposes, especially in the oil and tourism industries, government lands are rented in long renewable leases.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. In all the islands, racial, ethnic, and economic stratification are intertwined. On Saba, the relationship between black and white inhabitants is comfortable. On Curaçao, racial and economic stratification are more obvious. Unemployment is high among the Afro-Curaçaoan population. Trade minorities of Jewish, Arabian, and Indian descent and foreign investors have their own positions in the socioeconomic structure. Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire have many immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean, who hold the lowest positions in the tourism and construction sectors.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Luxury goods such as cars and houses express social status. In traditional celebrations of important life events such as birthdays and First Communion, conspicuous consumption takes place. The middle classes aspire to upper-class consumption patterns, which often puts pressure on a family's budget.

Political Life

Government. There are three levels of government: the kingdom, which consists of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba; the Netherlands Antilles; and the territories of each of the five islands. The council of ministers consists of the complete Dutch cabinet and two ministers plenipotentiary representing the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. It is in charge of foreign policy, defense, and the safeguarding of fundamental rights and freedoms. Since 1985, Curaçao has had fourteen seats in the national parliament, known as the Staten. Bonaire and Sint Maarten each have three, and Sint Eustatius and Saba have one each. The central government is dependent on coalitions of parties from Curaçao and the other islands.

Political autonomy in regard to internal affairs is almost complete. The governor is the representative of the Dutch monarch and the head of the government. The island parliament is called the Island Council. Representatives to each are elected for a four-year term. Political parties are island-oriented. A lack of synchronization of national and island policies, machine-style politics, and conflicts of interests between the islands are not conducive to efficient government.

Military Activity. Military camps on Curaçao and Aruba protect the islands and their territorial waters. The Coast Guard of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba became operative in 1995 to protect the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba and their territorial waters from drug trafficking.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

There is a social welfare plan called the Social Safety Net on Curaçao, to which the Netherlands contributes financially. The results have been meager and the exodus of young unemployed Antilleans to the Netherlands has increased.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

OKSNA (Body for Cultural Cooperation Netherlands Antilles) is a nongovernmental advisory board that advises the minister of culture on the allocation of subsidies from the Dutch development aid program for cultural and scientific projects. Centro pa Desaroyo di Antiyas (CEDE Antiyas) allocates funds to social and educational projects. OKSNA and CEDE Antiyas receive funds from the Dutch development aid program. Welfare organizations focus on areas ranging from day care centers to the care of the elderly. The government supports many of these activities.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women's participation in the labor market has increased since the 1950s, but men still hold the most important positions throughout the economy. Women work mostly in sales and as nurses, teachers, and civil servants. Unemployment is higher for women than for men. Since the 1980s, the Antilles has had two female prime ministers and several female ministers. Women from the Caribbean and Latin America work in the tourism sector and as live-in maids.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Until the 1920s, the upper strata of society, especially on Curaçao, had a highly patriarchal family system in which men had social and sexual freedom and women were subordinate to their spouses and fathers. In the Afro-Antillean population sexual relations between men and women were not enduring and marriage was the exception. Many households had a female head, who often was the chief provider for herself and her children. Men, as fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and lovers, often made material contributions to more than one household.

Mothers and grandmothers enjoy high prestige. The central role of the mother is keeping the family together, and the strong bond between mother and child is expressed in songs, proverbs, sayings, and expression.

Marriage,Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Couples often marry at an older age because of the matrifocal family type, and the number of illegitimate children is high. Visiting relationships and extramarital relationships are prevalent, and the number of divorces is growing.

Domestic Unit. Marriage and the nuclear family have become the most common relationships in the middle economic strata. Salaried employment in the oil industry has enabled men to fulfill their roles as husbands and fathers. Women's roles changed after agriculture and domestic industry lost economic importance. Raising children and taking care of the household became their primary tasks. Monogamy and the nuclear family are still not as predominant as in the United States and Europe, however.

Inheritance. Inheritance rules vary on each island and between ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Kin Groups. In the upper and middle classes, kinship rules are bilateral. In the matrifocal household type, kinship rules stress matrilinear descent.

Socialization

Infant Care. The mother takes care of the children. Grandmothers and older children assist in the care of younger children.

Child Rearing and Education. The educational system is based on the Dutch educational reforms of the 1960s. At age four, children attend kindergarten and, after age six, primary school. After age twelve, they enroll in secondary or vocational schools. Many students go to Holland for further studies. Although Dutch is the language of only a small percentage of the population, it is the official language of instruction in most schools.

Higher Education. The Curaçao Teacher Training College and the University of the Netherlands Antilles, which has departments of law and technology, provide higher education. The university is located on Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Etiquette

Formal etiquette is adapted from European etiquette. The small scale of the island societies influences everyday interaction patterns. To outside observers, communication styles lack openness and goal orientation. Respect for authority structures and gender and age roles are important. Refusing a request is considered impolite.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. Roman Catholicism is the prevalent religion on Curaçao (81 percent) and Bonaire (82 percent). Dutch Reformed Protestantism is the religion of the traditional white elite and recent Dutch migrants who are less than 3 percent of the population. Jewish colonists who came to Curaçao in the sixteenth century account for less than 1 percent. On the Windward Islands Dutch Protestantism and Catholicism have had less influence, but Catholicism has become the religion of 56 percent of Sabans and 41 percent of the inhabitants of Sint Maarten. Methodism, Anglicanism, and Adventism are widespread on Statia. Fourteen percent of Sabans are Anglican. Conservative sects and the New Age movement are becoming more popular on all the islands.

Religious Practitioners. Brua holds a position similar to that of Obeah on Trinidad. Originating from the word "witch," brua is a mixture of non-Christian spiritual practices. Practitioners use amulets, magic waters, and fortune-telling. Montamentu is an ecstatic Afro-Caribbean religion that was introduced by migrants from Santo Domingo in the 1950s. Roman Catholic and African deities are revered.

Death and Afterlife. Opinions on death and afterlife are in accordance with Christian doctrine. Afro-Caribbean religions mix Christian and African beliefs.

Medicine and Health Care

All the islands have general hospitals and/or medical centers, at least one geriatric home, and a pharmacy. Many people use medical services in the United States, Venezuela, Columbia, and the Netherlands. Specialists and surgeons from the Netherlands visit the Elisabeth Hospital on Curaçao on a regular basis.

Secular Celebrations

The traditional harvest celebration is called seú (Curaçao) or simadan (Bonaire). A crowd of people carrying harvest products parade through the streets accompanied by music on traditional instruments. The fifth, fifteenth, and fiftieth birthdays are celebrated with ceremony and gifts. The Dutch queen's birthday is celebrated on 30 April, and Emancipation Day on 1 July. The Antillean national festival day occurs on 21 October. The French and Dutch sides of Sint Maarten celebrate the feast day of Saint Martin on 12 November.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. Since 1969, the Papiamentu and Afro-Antillean cultural expressions have influenced art forms. The white Creole elite on Curaçao leans toward European cultural traditions. Slavery and the pre-industrial rural life are points of reference. Few artists, with the exception of musicians, make a living from their art.

Literature. Each island has a literary tradition. On Curaçao, authors publish in Papiamentu or Dutch. In the Windward Islands, Sint Maarten is the literary center.

Graphic Arts. The natural landscape is a source of inspiration to many graphic artists. Sculpture often expresses the African past and African physical types. Professional artists exhibit locally and abroad. Tourism provides a market for nonprofessional artists.

Performance Arts. Oratory and music are the historical foundations of the performance arts. Since 1969, this tradition has inspired many musicians and dance and theater companies. Tambú and tumba, which have African roots, are to Curaçao what calypso is to Trinidad. Slavery and the slave rebellion of 1795 are sources of inspiration.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

The Caribbean Maritime Biological Institute has done research in marine biology since 1955. Since 1980, scientific progress has been strongest in the fields of history and archeology, the study of Dutch and Papiamentu literature, linguistics, and architecture. The University of the Netherlands Antilles has incorporated the Archeological Anthropological Institute of the Netherlands Antilles. The Jacob Dekker Instituut was founded in the late 1990s. It focuses on African history and culture and the African heritage on the Antilles. Because of a lack of local funds, scientific research relies on Dutch finances and scholars. The fact that both the Dutch and Papiamentu languages have a limited public hampers contacts with scientists from the Caribbean region.

Bibliography

Broek, A. G. PaSaka Kara: Historia di Literatura na Papiamentu, 1998.

Brugman, F. H. The Monuments of Saba: The Island of Saba, a Caribbean Example, 1995.

Central Bureau of Statistics. Statistical Yearbook of the Netherlands Antilles, 1998.

Dalhuisen, L. et al., eds. Geschiedenis van de Antillen, 1997.

DeHaan, T. J. Antilliaanse Instituties: De Economische Ontwikkelingen van de Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba, 19691995, 1998.

Goslinga, C. C. The Dutch in the Caribbean and in Surinam, 17911942. 1990.

Havisser, J. The First Bonaireans, 1991.

Martinus, F. E. "The Kiss of a Slave: Papiamentu's West African Connection." Ph.D. dissertation. University of Amsterdam, 1996.

Oostindie, G. and P. Verton. "KiSorto di Reino/What Kind of Kingdom? Antillean and Aruban Views and Expectations on the Kingdom of the Netherlands." West Indian Guide 72 (1 and 2): 4375, 1998.

Paula, A. F. "Vrije" Slaven: En Sociaal-Historische Studie over de Dualistische Slavenemancipatie op Nederlands Sint Maarten, 18161863, 1993.

Luc Alofs

Nevis See Saint Kitts and Nevis

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries and Their Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries and Their Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries and Their Cultures. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles Group of five main islands (and part of a sixth) in the West Indies, forming an autonomous region of the Netherlands; the capital is Willemstadt (on Curaçao). The islands were settled by the Spanish in 1527 and captured by the Dutch in 1634. They were granted internal self-government in 1954. The group includes Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Eustatius, and the s half of Saint Maarten. Industries: oil refining, petrochemicals, phosphates, tourism. Area: 993sq km (383sq mi). Pop. (2002) 255,000.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

PROFILE
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the January 2008 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Netherlands Antilles

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 960 sq. km. (597 sq. mi.); more than five times the size of Washington, DC; five islands divided geographically into the Windward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Leeward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao).

Cities: Capital—Willemstad (metropolitan pop. 133,600).

Islands: Curacao (pop. 133,600) Sint Maarten (35,000), Bonaire (10,600), Sint Eustatius (2,600), Saba (1,400).

Terrain: Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Climate: Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Dutch Antillean(s).

Population: (2005) 185,513.

Annual growth rate: (2004) 0.02%.

Ethnic groups: Mixed black 85%, mixed Latin American, white, East Asian.

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, Islam, and Hindu.

Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English is widely spoken, Spanish.

Education: Literacy—96.4% Curaçao; 96.3% Netherlands Antilles (2001).

Health: (1999 est.) Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)—7.38 deaths/1,000 live births; Life expectancy (2002)— female, 78.7 yrs. male, 72.1 yrs.

Work force: (56,549, 2002) Agriculture—1%; industry-8%; services—91%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary.

Independence: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Constitution: December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended.

Government branches: Executive—monarch represented by a governor-general (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative—unicameral parliament. Judicial—Joint High Court of Justice appointed by the monarch.

Political subdivisions: Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curaçao.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Political parties: Curaçao—Partido Antia Restruktura (PAR); Frente Obrero Liberashon 30 di Mei (FOL); MAN; Partido Nashonal di Pueblo (PNP); Forsa Korsou; Niun Paso Atras (NPA); Partido Laboral Kru-sado Popular (PLKP); Pueblo Sober-ano; Partido Democraat (DP); Un Pueblo Nobo; Moviemenu Social Laboral (MSL); Curacao Nobo Nobo (CNN); Partido Adelanto Korsou (PAK); Vota Kontra; Geen Stap Terug (GST); Movementu Patriotiko Korsou (MPK); Socialistise Party Antilliaanse Nederlanders (SPAN); Ban-Vota; PAPPS; E Mayoria; ModPOR; Akshon Pro Independensha; Partido Trafiko Sigur (PTS); Lista Patriotiko Korsou (LPK); P-100. St. Maarten—St. Maarten Democratic Party (DP—St. Maarten); National Democratic Party (NDP); National Alliance (NA) (note: the National Alliance is a joint effort by the St. Maarten Patriotic Alliance and National Progressive Party); St. Maarten People's Party (SMPP); People's Progressive Alliance (PPA); United People's Labor Party (UPLP). Bonaire—Bonaire Democratic Party (DP—Bonaire); Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB); Bonaire Social Party (PABOSO); New Labor Party of Bonaire (POB). St. Eustatius—St. Eustatius Democratic Party (DP—St. Eustatius); St. Eustatius Alliance (SEA); People's Labor Party (PLP). Saba—Saba Labor Party (SLP); Windward Islands People's Movement (WIPM).

Economy (2005)

GDP: $3.3 billion.

Real growth rate: 1.2%.

GDP per capita: $17,800.

Natural resources: Beaches.

Tourism/services: (84% of GDP) Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire.

Industry: (15% of GDP) Types—petroleum refining (Curaçao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curaçao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curaçao).

Agriculture: (1% of GDP) Products—aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Trade: Exports ($3.4 billion)—petroleum products. Major markets—U.S. 24%, Venezuela 15%, Guatemala 10%, Singapore 6%. Imports ($3.5 billion)—machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil (for refining and re-export), chemicals, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—Venezuela 59.8%, U.S. 12.55%.

Exchange rate: (2005) U.S.$1=1.78 ANG (fixed).

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Curaçao

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda claimed the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499 and it remained under Spanish rule until the Dutch took control in 1634. Curaçao was a strategically important point for Dutch military advances against the Spanish and as the center of the Caribbean slave trade. Curaçao became the seat of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.

Bonaire

With origins similar to Curaçao, Bonaire was captured by the Dutch in 1634, and was a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791, when the government reclaimed control.

Sint Eustatius

The first settlement in Sint Eustatius was established in 1636 and changed hands between the Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in its history. In the 18th century the island became a duty-free port for overburdened colonizers shipping back to the homeland, which propelled it into a major port with rapid population growth that lost momentum after the American-British peace treaty in 1783.

Saba

Columbus was the first to sight Saba, but it was the Dutch who colonized the island in 1640 with a party from Sint Eustatius. Because of its difficult terrain, the island's growth progressed slowly, and it remains the least populated island in the Dutch Kingdom.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 2 years the Spanish invaded and evacuated the settlers. The Dutch failed in an attempt to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island of their own accord. In 1648 the island was divided between the Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in a series of conflicts. The British became involved as well, taking power for 6-year and 10-year stints. Finally, in 1817, the current partition line between Dutch and French was established. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation economy and the exportation of salt until abolition of slavery in 1863.

Unification

In 1845 the Dutch Windward islands united with Curacao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the islands' economy until the 20th century, when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curacao. In addition, during the same period, an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch business interests. Since 1945, the federation of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten—have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba was part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

About 85% of Curacao's population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but several other religions are represented, which include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, Baptist, Islam, and Hindu. The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1634. While faltering economic conditions caused the Netherlands Antilles to experience high rates of migration by citizens to the Netherlands from 1998-2002, this trend has largely been reversed in recent years.

GOVERNMENT

Current political relations between the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba stem from 1954 and are based on the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a voluntary arrangement between the Netherlands, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. At the time, the Charter represented an end to colonial relations and the acceptance of a new legal system in which each nation would look after their own interests independently, look after their common interests on the basis of equality and provide each other with mutual assistance. In 1975, Suriname left the Kingdom's political alliance. Since 1986, Aruba has had separate status within the Kingdom and is no longer part of the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles enjoys self-determination on all internal matters and defers to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.

The Antilles is governed by a popularly elected unicameral “Staten” (parliament) of 22 members. It chooses a prime minister (called minister president) and a Council of Ministers, consisting of six to eight other ministers. A governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the monarch of

the Netherlands. Local government is assigned authority independently on each island. Under the direction of a kingdom-appointed island governor, these local governments have a “Best-uurscollege” (administrative body) made up of commissioners who head the separate governmental departments.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

(The Netherlands Antilles are a self-governing part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.)

Governor: Frits GOEDGEDRAG

Prime Minister: Etienne YS

Dep. Prime Min:

Min. of Constitutional & Interior Affairs: Richard GIBSON

Min. of Economic Affairs & Labor:

Min. of Education & Cultural Affairs: Maritza SILBERIE

Min. of Finance: Ersilia DE LANNOOY

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Etienne YS

Min. of General Affairs: Etienne YS

Min. of Health & Social Affairs: Joan THEODORA-BREWSTER, Dr .

Min. of Justice: Norberto RIBEIRO

Min. of Telecommunications & Transportation: Omayra LEEFLANG

Min. Plenipotentiary to The Hague:

Dir., Bank of the Nertherlands Antilles: Emsley TROMP

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the parliamentary elections of January 27, 2006, the Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR) gained 5 of the 14 seats available in Curacao, an increase of one seat from the 2002 elections. The PAR had emphasized unity in its electoral campaign with its popular new leader Emily de Jongh-Elhage. Former Prime Minister Etienne Ys had earlier stepped down as party leader. The Workers' Liberation Front (FOL) emerged with only 2 seats (5 seats in 2002), while the Labor Party People's Crusade (PLKP) did not get sufficient votes for a single seat (2 seats in 2002). During a previous government, FOL leader Anthony Godett had been convicted of corruption by local courts, which was later affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Netherlands. A coalition government was formed by the PAR, together with the National People's Party (PNP), St. Maarten's Democratic Party (DP—St. Maarten) and National Alliance (NA), and Bonaire's Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB).

Voters in the Netherlands Antilles have opted to dismantle the Netherlands Antilles and create new structures between the various islands and the Kingdom. St. Maarten and Curacao have opted for an autonomous country status within the Kingdom similar to Aruba's status. Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Bonaire have opted for closer ties to the Kingdom. The target date for implementing these changes is December 15, 2008, but it is unclear if this target will be met.

Drug smuggling by means of swallowing narcotics packets and boarding flights was a major issue for the Netherlands Antilles, but has been significantly reduced through intensive cooperation among Dutch and Antillean law enforcement authorities.

ECONOMY

Tourism and the financial services sector have been the mainstays of the Netherlands Antilles' economy since the 1970s. The Central Bank reported that the economy of the Netherlands Antilles became somewhat stronger during 2006, backed by positive developments in the private and public sectors, led by the construction, wholesale and retail, and financial services sectors. The higher economic activities did translate into more jobs, as the unemployment rate fell to 14.7% in 2006. Inflationary pressures were up in 2006 as the annualized inflation rate soared to 3.4%, largely fueled by higher world oil prices. The islands' public finances are characterized by structurally high deficits and a high and rising debt ratio and as a result, interest payments absorb an increasing part of revenues. Overall, the islands enjoy a high per-capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Netherlands Antilles conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government. However, the Netherlands Antilles recently has strengthened its relations with other Caribbean governments. It has been granted observer status at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in December 1998, signed an agreement with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that made the Netherlands Antilles an associate member.

U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

The United States maintains positive relations with the Netherlands Antilles and works cooperatively to combat narco-trafficking.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

CURACAO (CG) J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, 599-9-461-3066, Fax 599-9-461 -6489, INMARSAT Tel 00-874-383-133-190, Workweek: M-F 8AM–5 PM AST, Website: http://www.amcongencuracao.an.

CM:Timothy J. Dunn
CON/POL ECO:William J. Furnish Jr..
MGT:Donald J. Feeney
CG:Timothy J. Dunn
PAO:William J. Furnish, Jr.
RSOTimothy Dumas
DEA:Michael Rzepczynski
EEO:Ricardo Cabrera
FMO:Robert Hively
IMO:Joe X. Smith
ISSO:William J. Furnish Jr..

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade
Administration
Trade Information Center

14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

May 9, 2007

Country Description: The five islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius (or “Statia”) and St. Maarten (Dutch side) comprise the Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry Requirements: For information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org for the most current visa information. U.S. Citizens traveling by air to and from the Netherlands Antilles must present a valid passport when entering or re-entering the United States. Sea travelers must have a valid U.S. passport (or other original proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID). While a U.S. passport is not mandatory for sea travel, it is recommended since it is a more readily recognized form of positive proof of citizenship. The U.S. Consulate recommends traveling with a valid U.S. passport to avoid delays or misunderstandings. A lost or stolen passport is also easier to replace when outside of the United States than other evidence of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the head office of immigration.

Safety and Security: Drug-related organized crime exists within the Netherlands Antilles, but has not directly affected tourists in the past. For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site, where the current Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: In recent years, street crime has increased. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings.

Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Incidents of break-ins to rental cars to steal personal items have been reported by American tourists. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Maarten, but may be limited on the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of services i.e.: First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning etc.; Second Class: two to six patients to a room, no air conditioning; Third Class: 15 to 30 people in one hall. Patients are accommodated according to their level of insurance.

Bonaire: The San Francisco hospital is a medical center (35 beds) with decompression facilities. The hospital has an air ambulance service to Curaçao and Aruba.

Curaçao: St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States. St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.

St. Maarten: St. Maarten Medical Center (79 beds) is a relatively small hospital where general surgery is performed. Complex cases are sent to Curacao.

Statia: Queen Beatrix Medical Center (20 beds). A medical facility well equipped for first aid. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Saba: Saba Clinic (14 beds) is a well-equipped first aid facility. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten. The Saba Marine Park has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Netherlands Antilles is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.

Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in the Netherlands Antilles. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in the Netherlands Antilles are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe in the Netherlands Antilles as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. Most streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. In Curacao, drivers should be aware of herds of goats that may cross the street unexpectedly. In Bonaire, wild donkeys may also cross the road. Taxis are the easiest, yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Fares quoted in U.S. Dollars may be significantly higher than those quoted in the local currency. Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are in good to fair conditions. For additional road safety information visit the following sites:

http://www.curacao-tourism.com

http://www.statiatourism.com

http://www.sabatourism.com

http://www.infobonaire.com

http://www.stmaarten.com.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Netherlands Antilles' Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Netherlands Antilles air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed and specific information on this subject, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S. In addition to being subject to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Dutch citizens.

Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts that do not have a “non-disturbance or perpetuity protective clause” incorporated into the purchase agreement. Such a clause gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the timeshare units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual maintenance fees. Because of the large number of complaints about misuse of maintenance fees, particularly in St. Maarten, prospective timeshare owners are advised to review the profit and loss statement for maintenance fees. Investors should note that a reputable accounting firm should audit profit and loss statements.

Potential investors should be aware that failed land development schemes involving time-share investments could result in financial losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice regarding investments involving land development projects. Real estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely settled in favor of foreign investors.

An unusually competitive fee to rent vehicles or equipment could indicate that the dealer is unlicensed or uninsured. The renter is often fully responsible for replacements costs and fees associated with any damages that occur during the rental period. Visitors may be required to pay these fees in full before leaving the Netherlands Antilles and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if they cannot or will not make payment.

Netherlands Antilles customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Netherlands Antilles. For example, it is strictly prohibited to export pieces of coral and/or seashells.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating the laws of the Netherlands Antilles, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Netherlands Antilles are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Netherlands Antilles has strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can trigger a fine or time in jail. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Netherlands Antilles. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao, telephone (599-9) 461-3066; fax (599-9) 461-6489; e-mail address: [email protected]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2009. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2009. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-2

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2009. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Compiled from the December 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Netherlands Antilles


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

960 sq. km. (597 sq. mi.); more than five times the size of Washington, DC; five islands divided geographically into the Windward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Leeward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao).

Cities:

Capital—Willemstad (metropolitan pop. 133,600).

Islands:

Curacao (pop. 133,600) Sint Maarten (33,100), Bonaire (10,200), Sint Eustatius (2,500), Saba (1,400).

Terrain:

Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Climate:

Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective—Dutch Antillean(s).

Population (2004):

180,800.

Annual growth rate (2004):

0.02%.

Ethnic groups:

Mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian.

Religion:

Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, Islam, and Hindu.

Language:

Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English is widely spoken, Spanish.

Education:

Literacy—96.4% Curacao; 96.3% Netherlands Antilles (2001).

Health (1999 est.):

Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)—7.38 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy—female, 77.46 yrs. (2001); male, 72.96 yrs.

Work force (56,549, 2002):

Agriculture—1%; industry—8%; services—91%.

Government

Type:

Parliamentary.

Independence:

Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Constitution:

December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended.

Branches:

Executive—monarch represented by a governor-general (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative—unicameral parliament. Judicial—Joint High Court of Justice appointed by the monarch.

Subdivisions are by island:

Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curacao.

Political parties:

Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR), C 93, Democratic Party of Bonaire (PDB), Democratic Party of Curacao (DP), Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius (DP-St. E), Democratic Party of Sint Maarten (DP-St. M), Labor Party People's Crusade (PLKP), National People's Party (PNP), New Antilles Movement (MAN), Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB), National Progressive Party (NPP), Saba United Democratic Party, Saba Labor Party, St. Eustatius Alliance (SEA), Windward Islands People's Movement (WIPM), Workers' Liberation Front (FOL), Democratic Party Statia, St. Eustatius Action Movement, Progressive Labor Party Statia, ORDU, People's Progressive Alliance (PPA), Forsa Korsou, Patriotic Movement Curacao (MPK), and others.

Suffrage:

Universal at 18.

Economy (2003)

GDP:

$2.8 billion.

Real Growth rate:

0.7%.

GDP per capita:

$16,000.

Natural resources:

Beaches.

Tourism/services (84% of GDP):

Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire.

Industry (15% of GDP):

Types—petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao).

Agriculture (1% of GDP):

Products—aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Trade:

Exports ($355 million, 2002)—petroleum products. Major markets—U.S. 24%, Venezuela 15%, Guatemala 10%, Singapore 6%. Imports ($2.82 billion f.o.b. 2001)—machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil (for refining and re-export), chemicals, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—Venezuela 59.8%, U.S. 12.55%.

Exchange rate (2003):

U.S.$1=1.78 ANG.


PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Curaçao

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda discovered the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499, and it remained under the Spanish until the Dutch took control in 1634. Curaçao was a strategically important point for Dutch military advances against the Spanish and as the center of the Caribbean slave trade. Curaçao became the host of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.

Bonaire

With origins similar to Curaçao, Bonaire was captured by the Dutch in 1634, and was a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791, when the government reclaimed control.

Sint Eustatius

The first settlement in Sint Eustatius was established in 1636 and changed hands between the Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in its history. In the 18th century the island became a duty-free port for overburdened colonizers shipping back to the homeland, which propelled it into a major port with rapid population growth that lost momentum after the American-British peace treaty in 1783.

Saba

Columbus was the first to sight Saba, but it was the Dutch who colonized the island in 1640 with a party from Sint Eustacius. Because of its difficult terrain, the island's growth progressed slowly, and it remains the least populated island in the Dutch Kingdom.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 2

years the Spanish invaded and evacuated the settlers. The Dutch failed in an attempt to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island of their own accord. In 1648 the island was divided between the Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in a series of conflicts. The British became involved as well, taking power for 6-year and 10-year stints. Finally, in 1817, the current partition line between Dutch and French was established. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation economy and the exportation of salt until abolition of slavery in 1863.

Unification

In 1845 the Dutch Windward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the islands' economy until the 20th century, when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curaçao. In addition, during the same period, an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch business interests.

Since 1945, the federation of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten—have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba was part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

About 85% of Curacao's population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but several other religions are represented, which include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, Baptist, Islam, and Hindu. The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1634. The recent faltering in the economy has increased migration to the Netherlands, especially by young adults. Since 1998 about 5% of the population has left the islands each year for the Netherlands.


GOVERNMENT

The Netherlands Antilles is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which also includes Aruba, which separated from the Antilles January 1, 1986. The Netherlands Antilles enjoys self-determination on all internal matters and defers to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.

The Antilles is governed by a popularly elected unicameral "Staten" (parliament) of 22 members. It chooses a prime minister (called minister president) and a Council of Ministers consisting of six to eight other ministers. A governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the monarch of the Netherlands. Local government is assigned authority independently on each island. Under the direction of a kingdom-appointed island governor, these local governments have a "Bestuurscollege" (administrative body) made up of commissioners who head the separate government departments.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 6/7/2005

Governor: Frits GOEDGEDRAG
Prime Minister: Etienne YS
Dep. Prime Min.:
Min. of Constitutional & Interior Affairs: Richard GIBSON
Min. of Economic Affairs & Labor:
Min. of Education & Cultural Affairs: Maritza SILBERIE
Min. of Finance: Ersilia DE LANNOOY
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Etienne YS
Min. of General Affairs: Etienne YS
Min. of Health & Social Affairs: Joan THEODORA-BREWSTER, Dr.
Min. of Justice: Norberto RIBEIRO
Min. of Telecommunications & Transportation: Omayra LEEFLANG
Min. Plenipotentiary to The Hague:
Dir., Bank of the Netherlands Antilles: Emsley TROMP


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the parliamentary elections of January 18, 2002, the Frente Obrero Liberashon (FOL) gained 5 of the 14 seats available in Curaçao, expelling the 2001 coalition on a campaign for social spending and poverty alleviation. This was in contrast to the previous government, which emphasized its commitment to International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform recommendations. A coalition government was formed in May 2002 which did not include the FOL because of disagreements with the other two largest Curaçao-based parties. However, island-level elections in May 2003 provoked a reshuffling of the national government, leading to a new coalition led once again by the FOL in July 2003. A series of corruption scandals involving the FOL leadership led several parties in the governing coalition to withdraw support in April 2004, causing yet another reshuffle of the government and the emergence of a new governing coalition led by the Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR). In May 2005, the Labor Party (PLKP) was forced out of the coalition and its leader, Errol Cova, lost his positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs and Labor over differences with regards to relations with Venezuela.

Drug smuggling by means of swallowing narcotics packets and boarding flights is a major issue for the Netherlands Antilles. This has caused tension with the Netherlands, to which most smugglers are bound, although recent efforts at combating this problem have been successful.

In 1993 a referendum confirmed the place of all islands within the union, despite earlier talks debating the constitutional status of the islands in the early 1990s. In 2000, the issue again arose, and in June 2000, Sint Maarten held a nonbinding referendum in which 69% of the population voted for status aparte—independence from the federation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In late 2004, voters in Bonaire (59.5%) and Saba (86%) voted to become part of the Netherlands. Finally, in 2005 nonbinding referendums, 68% of voters in Curacao chose status aparte, while 76.6% in St. Eustatius voted for continuation of the Netherlands Antilles. Discussions are underway among all parties of the Kingdom, including Aruba, regarding new constitutional structures between the Dutch Caribbean islands and the Netherlands. National elections for the Netherlands Antilles are planned for January 27, 2006.


ECONOMY

Tourism and the offshore financial sector have been the mainstays of the Netherlands Antilles' economy since the 1970s. The late 1980s and early 1990s brought growth, but hurricanes, pressure on the offshore sector, tighter monetary policy, and debt accumulation have caused contraction since 1996. High debt led the Government of the Netherlands Antilles to seek assistance from the IMF and the Dutch Government, through the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program. The current administration seeks to lessen dependency on the IMF. The unemployment rate remains high, at around 14%, but the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen is predicting modest recovery of demand and perhaps even growth in the near future. The economy remains dependent on tourism, which has suffered from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and lacks major agriculture or manufacturing, with the primary source of exports coming from the oil refining industry. Overall, these islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Netherlands Antilles conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government. However, the Netherlands Antilles recently has strengthened its relations with other Caribbean governments. It has been granted observer status at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in December 1998 signed an agreement with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that made the Netherlands Antilles an associate member.


U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

The United States maintains positive relations with the Netherlands Antilles and works cooperatively to combat narco-trafficking.

Principal U.S. Consulate Officials

CURACAO (CG) Address: J.B. Gorsiraweg #1; Phone: 599-9-461-3066; Fax: 599-9-461-6489; INMARSAT Tel: 00-874-383-133-190; Workweek: M-F 8AM-5 PM AST; Website: www.amcongencuracao.an.

CG:Robert E. Sorenson
POL:Robert E. Sorenson
COM:Robert E. Sorenson
CON:Jean E. Akers
MGT:Sharon E. Feiser
DEA:Gary Tennant
ECO:Robert E. Sorenson
FMO:Sharon E. Feiser
GSO:Jean E. Akers
ICASS Chair:Gary Tennant
IMO:Doyle Lee
RSO:Daniel Garner
Last Updated: 12/22/2005

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Trade Information Center
14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE


TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

November 29, 2004

Country Description:

The Netherlands Antilles is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands comprised of five islands: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (aka Statia) and St. Maarten (Dutch side). Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

Either a valid U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate (original or certified copy) accompanied by a valid photo identification must be presented. While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since it is a more readily recognized form of positive proof of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the head office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Internet. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security:

Drug related organized crime exists within the Netherlands Antilles, but has not directly affected tourists in the past.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

In recent years, street crime has increased. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings. Car theft, including that of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rental may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Maarten, but may be limited on the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of services i.e.: First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning etc. Second Class: two to six patients to a room, no air conditioning; Third Class: 15 to 30 people in one hall. Patients are accommodated due to the level of insurance.

Bonaire:

The San Francisco hospital is a medical center (35 beds) with decompression facilities. The hospital has an air ambulance service to Curaçao and Aruba.

Curaçao:

St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States. St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.

St. Maarten:

St. Maarten Medical Center (79 beds) is a relatively small hospital where general surgery is performed. Complex cases are sent to Curaçao.

Statia:

Queen Beatrix Medical Center (20 beds). A medical facility well equipped for first aid. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Saba:

Saba Clinic (14 beds) is a well-equipped first aid facility. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Netherlands Antilles is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.

Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in the Netherlands Antilles. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in the Netherlands Antilles are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe in the Netherlands Antilles as long as drivers are familiar with their routes and the road conditions thereof. Most streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. Drivers should be aware of herds of goats that may cross the street unexpectedly. In Bonaire, also wild donkeys may cross the road.

Taxis are the easiest yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are in good to fair conditions.

See road safety information at the following sites: www.curacao.com/info/public_services.html, www.curacao-tourism.com, www.statiatourism.com, www.saba tourism.com, www.infobonaire.com, www.st-maarten.com.

Aviation safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Netherlands Antilles as being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for oversight of Netherlands Antilles air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances:

Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed and specific information on this subject, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S. In addition to being subject to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Dutch citizens.

Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts that do not have a "non-disturbance or perpetuity protective clause" incorporated into the purchase agreement. Such a clause gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the timeshare units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual maintenance fees. Because of the large number of complaints about misuse of maintenance fees, particularly in St. Maarten, prospective timeshare owners are advised to review the profit and loss statement for maintenance fees. Investors should note that a reputable accounting firm should audit profit and loss statements.

Potential investors should be aware that failed land development schemes involving time-share investments could result in financial losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice regarding investments involving land development projects. Real estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely settled in favor of foreign investors.

An unusually competitive fee to rent vehicles or equipment could indicate that the dealer is unlicensed or uninsured. The renter is often fully responsible for replacements costs and fees associated with any damages that occur during the rental period. Visitors may be required to pay these fees in full before leaving the Netherlands Antilles and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if they cannot or will not make payment.

Netherlands Antilles customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Netherlands Antilles. For example, it is strictly prohibited to export pieces of coral and/or seashells.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating the Netherlands Antilles' laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Netherlands Antilles are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Netherlands Antilles has strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can trigger a fine or time in jail. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Netherlands Antilles. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curaçao, telephone (599-9) 461-3066; fax (599-9) 461-6489; e-mail address: [email protected]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-1

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

Compiled from the September 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Netherlands Antilles

PROFILE

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 960 sq. km. (597 sq. mi.); more than five times the size of Washington, DC; five islands divided geographically into the Windward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Leeward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curaçao).

Cities: Capital—Willemstad (metropolitan pop. 133,600).

Islands: Curaçao (pop. 133,600) Sint Maarten (35,000), Bonaire (10,600), Sint Eustatius (2,600), Saba (1,400).

Terrain: Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Climate: Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Dutch Antillean(s).

Population: (2005) 185,513.

Annual growth rate: (2004) 0.02%.

Ethnic groups: Mixed black 85%, mixed Latin American, white, East Asian.

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist, Islam, and Hindu.

Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English is widely spoken, Spanish.

Education: Literacy—96.4% Curaçao; 96.3% Netherlands Antilles (2001).

Health: (1999 est.) Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)—7.38 deaths/1,000 live births; Life expectancy (2002)—female, 78.7 yrs. male, 72.1 yrs.

Work force: (56,549, 2002) Agriculture—1%; industry—8%; services—91%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary.

Independence: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Constitution: December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended.

Government branches: Executive—monarch represented by a governor-general (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative—unicameral parliament. Judicial—Joint High Court of Justice appointed by the monarch.

Political subdivisions: (by island) Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curaçao.

Political parties: Curaçao: Anti-llean Restructuring Party (PAR); National People’s Party (PNP); New Antilles Movement (MAN); Workers’ Liberation Front (FOL); Labor Party People’s Crusade (PLKP); Curaçao Force (Forsa Kòrsou); Democratic Party of Curaçao (DP); Curaçao Patriotic Movement (MPK); Niun Paso Atras (NPA); Movement for Option D Autonomous Province in the Kingdom (MODPOR); Let’s Vote (Ban Vota); Action Party for Permanent Prosperity and Security (PAPPS); The Majority Option D-C; Sovereign People (PS); P-100. St. Maarten: St. Maarten Democratic Party (DP–St. Maarten); National Democratic Party (NDP); National Alliance (NA) (note: the National Alliance is a joint effort by the St. Maarten Patriotic Alliance and National Progressive Party); St. Maarten People’s Party (SMPP); People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA); United People’s Labor Party (UPLP). Bonaire: Bonaire Democratic Party (DP–Bonaire); Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB); Bonaire Social Party (PABOSO); New Labor Party of Bonaire (POB). St. Eustatius: St. Eustatius Democratic Party (DP–St. Eustatius); St. Eustatius Alliance (SEA); People’s Labor Party (PLP). Saba: Saba Labor Party (SLP); Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM)

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy (2005)

GDP: $3.3 billion.

Real growth rate: 1.2%.

GDP per capita: $17,800.

Natural resources: Beaches.

Tourism/services (84% of GDP) Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire.

Industry: (15% of GDP) Types—petroleum refining (Curaçao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curaçao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curaçao).

Agriculture: (1% of GDP) Prod-ucts—aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Trade: Exports ($3.4 billion)—petroleum products. Major markets—U.S. 24%, Venezuela 15%, Guatemala 10%, Singapore 6%. Imports ($3.5 billion)—machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil (for refining and re-export), chemicals, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—Venezuela 59.8%, U.S. 12.55%.

Exchange rate: (2005) U.S.$1=1.78 ANG (fixed).

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Curaçao

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda claimed the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499 and it remained under Spanish rule until the Dutch took control in 1634. Curaçao was a strategically important point for Dutch military advances against the Spanish and as the center of the Caribbean slave trade. Curaçao became the seat of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 2 years the Spanish invaded and evacuated the settlers. The Dutch failed in an attempt to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island of their own accord. In 1648 the island was divided between the Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in a series of conflicts.

The British became involved as well, taking power for 6-year and 10-year stints. Finally, in 1817, the current partition line between Dutch and French was established. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation economy and the exportation of salt until abolition of slavery in 1863.

Sint Eustatius

The first settlement in Sint Eustatius was established in 1636 and changed hands between the Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in its history. In the 18th century the island became a duty-free port for overburdened colonizers shipping back to the homeland, which propelled it into a major port with rapid population growth that lost momentum after the American-British peace treaty in 1783.

Bonaire

With origins similar to Curaçao, Bonaire was captured by the Dutch in 1634, and was a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791, when the government reclaimed control.

Saba

Columbus was the first to sight Saba, but it was the Dutch who colonized the island in 1640 with a party from Sint Eustatius. Because of its difficult terrain, the island’s growth progressed slowly, and it remains the least populated island in the Dutch Kingdom.

Unification

In 1845 the Dutch Windward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the islands’ economy until the 20th century, when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curaçao. In addition, during the same period, an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch business interests. Since 1945, the federation of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten—have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba was part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

About 85% of Curacao’s population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but several other religions are represented, which include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, Baptist, Islam, and Hindu.

The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1634. While faltering economic conditions caused the Netherlands Antilles to experience high rates of migration by citizens to Holland from 1998-2002, this trend has largely been reversed in recent years.

GOVERNMENT

Current political relations between the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba stem from 1954 and are based on the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a voluntary arrangement between the Netherlands, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. At the time, the Charter represented an end to colonial relations and the acceptance of a new legal system in which each nation would look after their own interests independently, look after their common interests on the basis of equality and provide each other with mutual assistance.

In 1975, Suriname left the Kingdom’s political alliance. Since 1986, Aruba has had separate status within the Kingdom and is no longer part of the Netherlands Antilles. The Netherlands Antilles enjoys self-determination on all internal matters and defers to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.

The Antilles is governed by a popularly elected unicameral “Staten” (parliament) of 22 members. It chooses a prime minister (called minister president) and a Council of Ministers, consisting of six to eight other ministers. A governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the monarch of the Netherlands. Local government is assigned authority independently on each island. Under the direction of a kingdom-appointed island governor, these local governments have a “Best-uurscollege” (administrative body) made up of commissioners who head the separate governmental departments.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 6/7/2005

Governor: Frits GOEDGEDRAG

Prime Minister: Etienne YS

Dep. Prime Min.:

Min. of Constitutional & Interior Affairs: Richard GIBSON

Min. of Economic Affairs & Labor:

Min. of Education & Cultural Affairs: Maritza SILBERIE

Min. of Finance: Ersilia DE LANNOOY

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Etienne YS

Min. of General Affairs: Etienne YS

Min. of Health & Social Affairs: Joan THEODORA-BREWSTER, Dr.

Min. of Justice: Norberto RIBEIRO

Min. of Telecommunications & Transportation: Omayra LEEFLANG

Min. Plenipotentiary to The Hague:

Dir., Bank of the Northerners Antilles: Emsley TROMP

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the parliamentary elections of January 27, 2006, the Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR) gained 5 of the 14 seats available in Curaçao, an increase of one seat from the 2002 elections. The PAR had emphasized unity in its electoral campaign with its popular new leader Emily de Jongh-Elhage. Former Prime Minister Etienne Ys had earlier stepped down as party leader. The Workers’ Liberation Front (FOL) emerged with only 2 seats (5 seats in 2002), while the Labor Party People’s Crusade (PLKP) did not get sufficient votes for a single seat (2 seats in 2002). During a previous government, FOL leader Anthony Godett had been convicted

of corruption by local courts, which was later affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Netherlands. A coalition government was formed by the PAR, together with the National People’s Party (PNP), the New Antilles Movement (MAN), St. Maarten’s Democratic Party (DP–St. Maarten) and National Alliance (NA), and Bonaire’s Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB).

Voters in the Netherlands Antilles, with the exception of St. Eustatius, have opted to dismantle the Netherlands Antilles and create new structures between the various islands and the Kingdom. St. Maarten and Curacao have opted for an autonomous country status within the Kingdom similar to Aruba’s status. Voters in Saba and Bonaire opted for closer ties to the Kingdom. The target date for implementing these changes in July 1, 2007, but it is unclear if this target will be met.

Drug smuggling by means of swallowing narcotics packets and boarding flights was a major issue for the Netherlands Antilles, but has been significantly reduced through intensive cooperation among Dutch and Antillean law enforcement authorities.

ECONOMY

Tourism and the financial services sector have been the mainstays of the Netherlands Antilles’ economy since the 1970s. The Central Bank reported that the economy of the Netherlands Antilles became somewhat stronger during 2005, backed by positive developments in the private and public sectors, led by the construction, wholesale & retail, and financial services sectors. Yet higher economic activities did not translate into more jobs, as the unemployment rate rose to 16.3% in 2005. Inflationary pressures were up in 2005, as the inflation rate soared to 3.2%, largely fueled by higher world oil prices. The islands’ public finances are characterized by structurally high deficits and a high and rising debt ratio and as a result, interest payments absorb an increasing part of revenues. Overall, the islands enjoy a high per-capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Netherlands Antilles conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government. However, the Netherlands Antilles recently has strengthened its relations with other Caribbean governments. It has been granted observer status at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in December 1998, signed an agreement with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that made the Netherlands Antilles an associate member.

U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

The United States maintains positive relations with the Netherlands Antilles and works cooperatively to combat narco-trafficking.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

CURACAO (CG) Address: J.B. Gorsiraweg #1; Phone: 599-9-461-3066; Fax: 599-9-461-6489; INMARSAT Tel: 00-874-383-133-190; Workweek: M-F 8AM–5 PM AST; Website: www.amcongencuracao.an

CM:Robert E. Sorenson
CG:Robert E. Sorenson
MGT:John Chris Laycock
CON/POL/ECO:William J. Furnish Jr.
DEA:Michael Rzepczynski
EEO:Ricardo Cabrera
FMO:Robert Hively
IMO:Joe X. Smith
ISSO:William J. Furnish Jr.
PAO:William J. Furnish, Jr.
RSO:Timothy Dumas

Last Updated: 12/12/2006

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Trade Information Center

14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : October 17, 2006

Country Description: The five islands of Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (or “Statia”) and St. Maarten (Dutch side) comprise the Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Either a valid U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate (original or certified copy) accompanied by a valid photo identification must be presented. While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since it is a more readily recognized form of positive proof of citizenship. The U.S. Consulate recommends traveling with a valid U.S. passport to avoid delays or misunderstandings. A lost or stolen passport is also easier to replace when outside of the United States than other evidence of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the head office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org for the most current visa information.

Important New Information: Effective January 23, 2007, all U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada are required to have a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States. As early as January 1, 2008, U.S. citizens traveling between the United States and the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid U.S. passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USAPPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on applying for a passport.

Safety and Security: Drug-related organized crime exists within the Netherlands Antilles, but has not directly affected tourists in the past.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site, where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: In recent years, street crime has increased. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings. Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Maarten, but may be limited on the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of services i.e.: First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning etc.; Second Class: two to six patients to a room, no air conditioning; Third Class: 15 to 30 people in one hall. Patients are accommodated according to their level of insurance.

Bonaire: The San Francisco hospital is a medical center (35 beds) with decompression facilities. The hospital has an air ambulance service to Curaçao and Aruba.

Curaçao: St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States. St. Elizabeth’s hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.

St. Maarten: St. Maarten Medical Center (79 beds) is a relatively small hospital where general surgery is performed. Complex cases are sent to Curaçao.

Statia: Queen Beatrix Medical Center (20 beds). A medical facility well equipped for first aid. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Saba: Saba Clinic (14 beds) is a well-equipped first aid facility. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten. The Saba Marine Park has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Netherlands Antilles is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.

Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in the Netherlands Antilles. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in the Netherlands Antilles are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe in the Netherlands Antilles as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. Most streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. Drivers should be aware of herds of goats that may cross the street unexpectedly. In Bonaire, wild donkeys may also cross the road.

Taxis are the easiest, yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Fares quoted in U.S. Dollars may be significantly higher than those quoted in the local currency. Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are in good to fair conditions. See road safety information at the following sites;

http://www.curacao-tourism.com

http://www.statiatourism.com

http://www.sabatourism.com

http://www.infobonaire.com

http://www.st-maarten.com.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Netherlands Antilles’ Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Netherlands Antilles air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed and specific information on this subject, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S. In addition to being subject to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Dutch citizens.

Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts that do not have a “non-disturbance or perpetuity protective clause” incorporated into the purchase agreement. Such a clause gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the timeshare units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual maintenance fees. Because of the large number of complaints about misuse of maintenance fees, particularly in St. Maarten, prospective timeshare owners are advised to review the profit and loss statement for maintenance fees. Investors should note that a reputable accounting firm should audit profit and loss statements.

Potential investors should be aware that failed land development schemes involving time-share investments could result in financial losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice regarding investments involving land development projects. Real estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely settled in favor of foreign investors.

An unusually competitive fee to rent vehicles or equipment could indicate that the dealer is unlicensed or uninsured. The renter is often fully responsible for replacements costs and fees associated with any damages that occur during the rental period. Visitors may be required to pay these fees in full before leaving the Netherlands Antilles and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if they cannot or will not make payment.

Netherlands Antilles customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Netherlands Antilles. For example, it is strictly prohibited to export pieces of coral and/or seashells.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating the laws of the Netherlands Antilles, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Netherlands Antilles are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Netherlands Antilles has strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can trigger a fine or time in jail. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Netherlands Antilles. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curaçao, telephone (599-9) 461-3066; fax (599-9) 461-6489; email address: [email protected]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2008. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2008. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-0

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2008. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

Netherlands Antilles

A dependency of the Netherlands

  • Area: 370.6 sq mi (960 sq km) / World Rank: 176
  • Location: Divided geographically into two groups. The Windward group, Curaçao and Bonaire, are in the Caribbean Sea north of Venezuela. The Leeward Islands group—St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius—is more than 500 mi (800 km) northeast of the second group, between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
  • Coordinates: 12° 15′ N, 68° 45′ W.
  • Borders: 6.33 mi 10.2 (km), all with Guadeloupe (France).
  • Coastline: 226 mi (364 km).
  • Territorial Seas: 12 NM
  • Highest Point: Mt. Scenery, 2,828 ft (862 m).
  • Lowest Point: Sea level.
  • Longest Distances: The Leeward group of the Netherlands Antilles extends 17.5 mi (27.5 km) from north to south and 10 mi (15 km) from east to west; the Windward group extends 60 mi (90 km) from east to west and 20 mi (30 km) from north to south.
  • Longest River: None of significant size.
  • Natural Hazards: St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius are subject to hurricanes from July to October.
  • Population: 212,226 (July 2001 est.) / World Rank: 175
  • Capital City: Willemstad, on Curaçao.
  • Largest City: Willemstad, 58,000 (2001 est.)

OVERVIEW

The Netherlands Antilles consists of five islands: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (Statia) and half of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten). These islands are divided into two groups about 500 mi (800 km) apart in the Caribbean Sea. The main group, off the coast of Venezuela, consists of Bonaire and Curaçao. They are part of the Windward Islands. Aruba, located nearby, seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986. The other three islands are far to the north, in the Leeward Island chain that forms the boundary between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS

The Windward Island group is generally flat, but the smaller Leeward Islands are mountainous. Mt. Scenery on the island of Saba at 2,828 ft (862 m) is the highest point and an extinct volcano.

INLAND WATERWAYS

The islands of the Netherlands Antilles are too small to support waterways of any significance. The northern (Leeward) islands are generally wetter than those in the Windward Islands, which are semi-arid.

THE COAST, ISLANDS, AND THE OCEAN

The two groups of the Netherlands Antilles are located on either side of the Caribbean Sea, with the Windward Islands near the Venezuelan coast and the Leeward Islands between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.

Curaçao (171 sq mi / 444 sq km) and Bonaire (111 sq mi / 288 sq km) are by far the largest islands in the Netherlands Antilles. The Leeward Islands are all much smaller. The largest, St. Martin (13 sq mi / 34 sq km), is actually just the southern part of that island, the northern half of which belongs to France in the form of Guadeloupe. St. Eustatius (8 sq mi/21 sq km) and Saba (5 sq mi/ 13 sq km) are smaller still.

CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

Temperatures average between 77°F (25°C) and 88°F (31°C). Rainfall on an annual basis averages 42 in (107 cm) on the Leeward Islands in the north and 20 in (51 cm) on the Windward Islands in the south.

HUMAN POPULATION

With a population of more than 200,000, the Netherlands Antilles has a .97 percent annual growth rate. Curaçao is the most populous island.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Phosphates are mined on Curaçao, salt on Bonaire.

FURTHER READINGS

Gastmann, Albert. Historical Dictionary of the French and Netherlands Antilles. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1978.

Gravette, A. Gerald. The Netherlands Antilles. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1989.

Hiss, Philip Hanson. Netherlands America: The Dutch Territories in the West. New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce, 1943.

Lutz, William. Netherlands Antilles. New York: Chelsea House, 1987.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Geo-Data: The World Geographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Geo-Data: The World Geographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles-0

"Netherlands Antilles." Geo-Data: The World Geographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/netherlands-antilles-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Compiled from the December 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.




Official Name:
Netherlands Antilles

PROFILE
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 960 sq km sq. km. (597 sq. mi.); more than five times the size of Washington, DC; five islands divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao).

Cities: Capital—Willemstad (metropolitan pop. 140,000, 1992). Islands: Curacao (pop. 125,600, 2002) Sint Maarten (40,000), Bonaire (10,000), Sint Eustatius (1,500), Saba (1,000).

Terrain: generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Climate: Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Dutch Antillean(s).

Population: (2002) 125,599.

Annual growth rate: (2002)-0.01%.

Ethnic groups: Mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, White, East Asian.

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist.

Language: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English widely spoken, Spanish.

Education: Literacy—96.4% Curacao; 96.3% Netherlands Antilles (2001).

Health: (1999 est.) Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)—7.38 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy—female,
77.46 yrs. (2001); male, 72.96 yrs.

Work force: (56,549, 2002) Agriculture—1%; industry—8%; services—91%.


Government

Type: Parliamentary.

Independence: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Constitution: December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended.

Branches: Executive—Monarch represented by a governor (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative—unicameral parliament. Judicial—Joint High Court of Justice appointed by the monarch.

Subdivisions: By Island: Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curacao.

Political parties: Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR), C 93, Democratic Party of Bonaire (PDB), Democratic Party of Curacao (DP), Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius (DP-St. E), Democratic Party of Sint Maarten (DP-St. M), Labor Party People's Crusade (PLKP), National People's Party (PNP), New Antilles Movement (MAN), Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB), National Progressive Party (NPP), Saba United Democratic Party, Saba Labor Party, St. Eustatius Alliance (SEA), Windward Islands People's Movement (WIPM [Will JOHNSTON]), Workers' Liberation Front (FOL), Democratic Party Statia, St. Eustatius Action Movement, Progressive Labor Party Statia, ORDU, People's Progressive Alliance (PPA), and others.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Flag: White, with a horizontal blue stripe in the center superimposed on a vertical red band, also centered; five white, five-pointed stars are arranged in an oval pattern in the center of the blue band; the five stars represent the five main islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.


Economy (2002)

GDP: (purchasing power parity) $2.0 billion.

Real growth rate: 0.7%.

GDP per capita: $15,959.

Natural resources: Beaches.

Tourism/Services: (84% GDP) Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire.

Industry: (15% GDP) Types—petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao).

Agriculture: (1% GDP) Products—aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Trade: Exports ($355 million, 2002)—petroleum products. Major markets—U.S. 24%, Venezuela 15%, Guatemala 10%, Singapore 6%. Imports ($2.82 billion f.o.b. 2001)—machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil (for refining and reexport)—chemicals, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—Venezuela 59.8%, U.S.
12.55%.

Exchange rate: (2003) US$1=1.78 ANG.




PEOPLE AND HISTORY


Curaçao

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda discovered the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499, and it remained under the Spanish until the Dutch took control in 1600. Curaçao was a strategically important point for military advances against the Spanish and as the center of Caribbean slave trade. Curacao became the host of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.


Bonaire

With origins similar to Curaçao, the Dutch captured Bonaire in 1663, and it became a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791 when the government reclaimed control.


Sint Eustatius

The first settlement in Sint Eustatius was established in 1636 and changed hands between the Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in it's history. In the 18th century the island became a duty free port for overburdened colonizers shipping back to the homeland, which propelled it into a major port with rapid population growth that lost momentum after the American-British peace treaty in 1783.

Saba

Columbus was the first to sight Saba, but it was the Dutch who colonized the island in 1640 with a party from Sint Eustacia. Because of it's difficult terrain, the island progressed slowly and remains the least populated island in the Dutch Kingdom.


Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 2 years the Spanish invaded and evacuated the settlers. The Dutch made a failing attempt to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island on their own accord. In 1648 the island was divided between the Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in a series of conflicts. The British became involved as well, taking power for a 6- and 10-year stint. Finally, in 1817, the current partition line was established. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation economy and the exportation of salt until abolition of slavery in 1863.


Unification

In 1845 the Dutch Leeward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the island's economy until the 20th century when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curaçao. Also during that period an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch businesses.


Since 1945 the federation of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba also was a part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


About 85% of Curacao's population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but several other churches are represented, which include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, and Baptist. The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1634. The recent faltering in the economy has increased migration to the Netherlands, especially young adults. Since 1998 about 5% of the population has left the islands each year for the Netherlands.




GOVERNMENT

The Netherlands Antilles is one-half of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which also includes Aruba, which separated from the Antilles January 1, 1986. The Netherlands Antilles enjoys self-determination on all internal matters and defers to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.


The Antilles is governed by a popularly elected unicameral "Staten" (Parliament) of 22 members. It chooses a prime minister (called Minister President) and a Council of Ministers consisting of six to eight other ministers. A governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the Monarch of the Netherlands. Local government is assigned authority independently on each island. Under the direction of a Kingdom-appointed Island Governor, these local governments have a "Bestuurscollege" (administrative body) made up of commissioners who head the separate government departments.


Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 11/5/03


Governor: Goedgedrag, Frits

Prime Minister: Louisa-Godett, Mirna

Dep. Prime Min.:

Min. of Economic Affairs & Labor: Cova, Errol

Min. of Education, Culture, Youth, & Sports: Domacasse, Herbert

Min. of Finance: de Lannooy, Ersilla

Min. of Foreign Affairs:

Min. of Public Health & Social Development: Theodora-Brewster, Joan

Min. of Justice: Komproe, Ben

Min. of Transportation & Telecommunication: Salas, Richard

Min. Plenipotentiary to The Hague: Dir.,

Bank of the Netherlands Antilles: Tromp, Emsley




POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the parliamentary elections of January 18, 2002, the Frente Obrero Liberashon (FOL) gained 5 of the 14 seats available in Curacao, expelling the 2001 coalition on a campaign for social spending and poverty alleviation. This was in contrast to the previous government, which emphasized its commitment to International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform recommendations. A coalition government was formed in mid-May of 2002 which did not include the FOL because of disagreements with the other two largest Curacao-based parties. However, island level elections in May 2003 provoked a reshuffling of the national government, leading to a new coalition lead once again by the FOL in July 2003.


Drug smuggling by means of swallowing narcotics packets and boarding flights is a major issue for the Netherlands Antilles. This has caused tension with the Netherlands, to which most smugglers are bound, although recent efforts at combating this problem have been successful.


In 1993 a referendum confirmed the place of all islands within the union, despite earlier talks debating the constitutional status of the islands in the early 1990s. In 2000 the issue again arose, and in June 2000 Sint Maarten held a nonbinding referendum in which 69% of the population voted for status apart-independence from the federation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch Government does not support such a move, based on fears that Sint


Maarten cannot support its own central bank, police force, or larger government and wishes to be involved in all discussions. This is now a dominant political issue for Sint Maarten and the other islands, and official talks have begun once again.


ECONOMY

Tourism and the offshore financial sector have been the mainstays of the Netherlands Antillean's economy since the 1970s. The late 1980s and early 1990s brought growth, but hurricanes, pressure on the offshore sector, tighter monetary policy, and debt accumulation have caused contraction since 1996. High debt led the Government of the Netherlands Antilles to seek assistance from the IMF and the Dutch Government, through the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program. The current administration seeks to lessen dependency on the IMF, which has damaged the economy. The unemployment rate remains high, at around 14%, but the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen is predicting modest recovery of demand and perhaps even growth in the near future. The economy remains dependent on tourism, which has suffered from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and lacks major agriculture or manufacturing, with the primary source of exports coming from the oil refining industry. Overall, these islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region.




FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Netherlands Antilles conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government. However, recently the Netherlands Antilles has strengthened its relations with other Caribbean governments. It has been granted observer status at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in December 1998 it signed an agreement with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that made the Netherlands Antilles an associate member.




U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

The United States maintains positive relations with the Netherlands Antilles and works cooperatively to combat narcotraffiking.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Curacao (CG), J.B. Gorsiraweg #1 • P.O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao, Tel [599] (9) 461-3066, Fax 461-6489; DEA Tel 461-6985, Fax 461-3192. E-mail: [email protected]

CG: Deborah A. Bolton
CG OMS: Willem Remie
DEA: Gary Tennant
ADM ASST: Victoria A. Rossin
CON: Amy Wendt
RSO: Daniel Garner (res. Caracas)
AGR: Leanne Hoagie (res. Caracas)
CBATO: Margie Bauer (res. Miami)
LEGATT: Dennis Pierce (res. Caracas)
FAA: Ruben Quinones (res. Miami)
IRS: Frederick Dulas (res. Miami)
GSO: Amy Wendt
FMO: Christopher Degnan
PAO: Christopher Degnan

Aruba [INS], Queen Beatrix Airport, Oranjestad, Aruba, INS Tel. [297] 5831316, Fax 5831665; US Customs Service Tel 5887240, Fax 5887700; APHIS Tel 5887640, Fax 5887638

Port DIR: Guillermo Carattini
USCS OIC: Florence E. Comer
APHIS: Jose M. Crespo

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Trade Information Center 14th and Constitution, NW Washington, DC 20230 Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE




TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
January 28, 2004


Country Description: The Netherlands Antilles is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands comprised of five islands: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (aka Statia) and St. Maarten (Dutch side). Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry Requirements: Either a valid U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate (original or certified copy) accompanied by a valid photo identification must be presented. While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since it is a more readily recognized form of positive proof of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the head office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N. W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202)244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Internet: http://www.netherlands/embassy.org.


In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Dual Nationality: Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed and specific information on this subject, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S.


In addition to being subject to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Dutch citizens. For additional information, see the Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov for our dual nationality flyer.


Safety and Security: Terrorism and kidnappings are unknown, and there are no extremist groups or areas of instability of that kind. Drug related organized crime exists within the Netherlands Antilles, but has not directly affected tourists in the past.


Crime: In recent years, street crime has increased. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings.


Car theft, including that of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rental may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.


U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities: Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Maarten, but may be limited on the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of services i.e.: First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning etc.; Second Class: two to six patients to a room, no air conditioning; Third Class: 15 to 30 people in one hall. Patients are accommodated due to the level of insurance.


Bonaire: The San Francisco hospital is a medical center (35 beds) with decompression facilities. The hospital has an air ambulance service to Curaçao and Aruba.


Curaçao: St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States. St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.


St. Maarten: St. Maarten Medical Center (79 beds) is a relatively small hospital where general surgery is performed. Complex cases are sent to Curaçao.


Statia: Queen Beatrix Medical Center (20 beds). A medical facility well equipped for first aid. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.


Saba: Saba Clinic (14 beds) is a well-equipped first aid facility. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.


Other Health Information: Cases of Dengue Fever, a sometimes-fatal mosquito-borne illness for which there is no vaccine or cure, are occasionally reported on the islands. However, epidemics of Dengue rarely occur. It is recommended to use mosquito repellent containing "DEET" and to wear pants with long sleeve shirts during Dengue outbreaks.


Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Netherlands Antilles is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of public transportation: good
Urban road conditions/maintenance: good
Rural road conditions/maintenance: fair
Availability of roadside assistance: good

Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.


Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in the Netherlands Antilles. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in the Netherlands Antilles are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe in the Netherlands Antilles as long as drivers are familiar with their routes and the road conditions thereof. Most streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. Drivers should be aware of herds of goats that may cross the street unexpectedly. In Bonaire, also wild donkeys may cross the road. Taxis are the easiest yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are in good to fair conditions.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, home page at http:/travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning the Netherlands Antilles driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Netherlands National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at http://www.goholland.com. See also road safety information from other sources at www.curacao-tourism.com, www.statiatourism.com, www.sabatourism.com, www.infobonaire.com, www.st-maarten.com.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the Netherlands Antilles' civil aviation authority as Category 1 — in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of the Netherlands Antilles' air carrier operations.


For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.


Customs Regulations: Netherlands Antilles customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Netherlands Antilles. For example, it is strictly prohibited to export pieces of coral and/or seashells. For additional information on customs laws of the Netherlands Antilles, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Netherlands' Consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the Netherlands Antilles' laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Netherlands Antilles' are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences. Do not agree or attempt to smuggle illegal drugs, either internally (swallowing) or in luggage. The Netherlands Antilles has strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can trigger a fine or time in jail.


Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available.


Special Circumstances: The timeshare industry and other real estate investments are two of the fastest growing tourist industries in the Netherlands Antilles. Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts that do not have a "non-disturbance or perpetuity protective clause" incorporated into the purchase agreement. Such a clause gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the timeshare units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual maintenance fees. Because of the large number of complaints about misuse of maintenance fees, particularly in St. Maarten, prospective timeshare owners are advised to review the profit and loss statement for maintenance fees. Investors should note that a reputable accounting firm should audit profit and loss statements.


Potential investors should be aware that failed land development schemes involving time-share investments could result in financial losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice regarding investments involving land development projects. Real estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely settled in favor of foreign investors. Department of State travel information publications are available at Internet address: http://travel.state.gov. Travelers may hear recorded information by calling the Department at (202) 647-5225 from a touch tone telephone.


An unusually competitive fee to rent vehicles or equipment could indicate that the dealer is unlicensed or uninsured. Visitors planning to rent jet skis should carefully review all liability and insurance forms presented to them before signing any contracts or agreements. The renter is often fully responsible for replacements costs and fees associated with any damages that occur during the rental period. Visitors may be required to pay these fees in full before leaving the Netherlands Antilles and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if they cannot or will not make payment.

Disaster Preparedness: St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius lie in the hurricane belt, as opposed to Curaçao and Bonaire. Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. In the event of a weather emergency, please follow the instructions of your hotel or the local government. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone 1-888-407-4747.


Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curaçao, telephone (599-9)461-3066; fax (599-9)461-6489; e-mail address: [email protected]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2005. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2005. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/culture-magazines/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2005. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/culture-magazines/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Netherlands Antilles

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Compiled from the October 2004 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Netherlands Antilles


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 960 sq. km. (597 sq. mi.); more than five times the size of Washington, DC; five islands divided geographically into the Leeward Islands (northern) group (Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten) and the Windward Islands (southern) group (Bonaire and Curacao).

Cities: Capital—Willemstad (metropolitan pop. 140,000, 1992).

Islands: Curacao (pop. 125,600, 2002) Sint Maarten (40,000), Bonaire (10,000), Sint Eustatius (1,500), Saba (1,000).

Terrain: Generally hilly, volcanic interiors.

Climate: Tropical; ameliorated by northeast trade winds.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Dutch Antillean(s).

Population: (2002) 125,599.

Annual growth rate: (2002)-0.01%.

Ethnic groups: Mixed black 85%, Carib Amerindian, white, East Asian.

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Seventh-day Adventist.

Languages: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) predominates, English is widely spoken, Spanish.

Education: Literacy—96.4% Curacao; 96.3% Netherlands Antilles (2001).

Health: (1999 est.) Infant mortality rate (2002 est.)—7.38 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy—female, 77.46 yrs. (2001); male, 72.96 yrs.

Work force: (56,549, 2002) Agriculture—1%; industry—8%; services—91%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary.

Independence: Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Constitution: December 1954, Statute of the Realm of the Netherlands, as amended.

Branches: Executive—monarch represented by a governor (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), Cabinet. Legislative—unicameral parliament. Judicial—Joint High Court of Justice appointed by the monarch.

Administrative subdivisions: (by island) Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curacao.

Political parties: Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR), C 93, Democratic Party of Bonaire (PDB), Democratic Party of Curacao (DP), Democratic Party of Sint Eustatius (DP-St. E), Democratic Party of Sint Maarten (DP-St. M), Labor Party People's Crusade (PLKP), National People's Party (PNP), New Antilles Movement (MAN), Patriotic Union of Bonaire (UPB), National Progressive Party (NPP), Saba United Democratic Party, Saba Labor Party, St. Eustatius Alliance (SEA), Windward Islands People's Movement (WIPM), Workers' Liberation Front (FOL), Democratic Party Statia, St. Eustatius Action Movement, Progressive Labor Party Statia, ORDU, People's Progressive Alliance (PPA), and others.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy (2002)

GDP: (purchasing power parity) $2.0 billion.

Real growth rate: 0.7%.

GDP per capita: $15,959.

Natural resources: Beaches.

Tourism/services: (84% of GDP) Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire.

Industry: (15% of GDP) Types—petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment facilities (Curacao and Bonaire), light manufacturing (Curacao).

Agriculture: (1% of GDP) Products—aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit.

Trade: Exports ($355 million, 2002)—petroleum products. Major markets—U.S. 24%, Venezuela 15%, Guatemala 10%, Singapore 6%. Imports ($2.82 billion f.o.b. 2001)—machinery and electrical equipment, crude oil (for refining and re-export), chemicals, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—Venezuela 59.8%, U.S. 12.55%.

Exchange rate: (2003) U.S.$1=1.78 ANG.


PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Curaçao

The Arawaks are recognized as the first human civilization to inhabit the Netherlands Antilles. A Spanish expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda discovered the island of Curaçao for Spain in 1499, and it remained under the Spanish until the Dutch took control in 1634. Curaçao was a strategically important point for military advances against the Spanish and as the center of Caribbean slave trade. Curaçao became the host of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954.

Bonaire

With origins similar to Curaçao, Bonaire was captured by the Dutch in 1634, and it became a granary for the Dutch East Indian Company until 1791, when the government reclaimed control.

Sint Eustatius

The first settlement in Sint Eustatius was established in 1636 and changed hands between the Dutch, French, and Spanish 22 times in its history. In the 18th century the island became a duty-free port for overburdened colonizers shipping back to the homeland, which propelled it into a major port with rapid population growth that lost momentum after the American-British peace treaty in 1783.

Saba

Columbus was the first to sight Saba, but it was the Dutch who colonized the island in 1640 with a party from Sint Eustacia. Because of its difficult terrain, the island's growth progressed slowly, and it remains the least populated island in the Dutch Kingdom.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch were the first to colonize Sint Maarten in 1631, but within 2 years the Spanish invaded and evacuated the settlers. The Dutch made a failing attempt to regain the island in 1644, but 4 years later the Spanish abandoned the island of their own accord. In 1648 the island was divided between the Dutch and the French; however, complete control of the island was seized numerous times in a series of conflicts. The British became involved as well, taking power for a 6-year and 10-year stint. Finally, in 1817, the current partition line between Dutch and French was established. The island flourished under a slave-based plantation economy and the exportation of salt until abolition of slavery in 1863.

Unification

In 1845 the Dutch Leeward islands united with Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in a political unit. The abolition of slavery hurt the islands' economy until the 20th century, when oil was discovered off the shores of Venezuela and a refinery was established on Curaçao. Also during that period an offshore financial sector was created to serve Dutch businesses.

Since 1945, the federation of the Netherlands Antilles—Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten—have been autonomous in internal affairs. Aruba also was a part of this federation until January 1, 1986, when it gained status apart within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

About 85% of Curacao's population is of African derivation. The remaining 15% is made up of various races and nationalities, including Dutch, Portuguese, North Americans, natives from other Caribbean islands, Latin Americans, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese, and Asians. Roman Catholicism predominates, but several other churches are represented, which include Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Mormon, and Baptist. The Jewish community is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1634. The recent faltering in the economy has increased migration to the Netherlands, especially young adults. Since 1998 about 5% of the population has left the islands each year for the Netherlands.


GOVERNMENT

The Netherlands Antilles is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which also includes Aruba, which separated from the Antilles January 1, 1986. The Netherlands Antilles enjoys self-determination on all internal matters and defers to the Netherlands in matters of defense, foreign policy, and some judicial functions.

The Antilles is governed by a popularly elected unicameral "Staten" (parliament) of 22 members. It chooses a prime minister (called minister president) and a Council of Ministers consisting of six to eight other ministers. A governor, who serves a 6-year term, represents the monarch of the Netherlands. Local government is assigned authority independently on each island. Under the direction of a kingdom-appointed island governor, these local governments have a "Bestuurscollege" (administrative body) made up of commissioners who head the separate government departments.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 6/7/04

Governor: Goedgedrag , Frits
Prime Minister: Ys , Etienne
Dep. Prime Min.: Cova , Errol
Min. of Constitutional & Interior Affairs: Gibson , Richard
Min. of Economic Affairs & Labor: Cova , Errol
Min. of Education & Cultural Affairs: Silberie , Maritza
Min. of Finance: de Lannooy , Ersilia
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Ys , Etienne
Min. of General Affairs: Ys , Etienne
Min. of Health & Social Affairs: Theodora-Brewster , Joan, Dr.
Min. of Justice: Ribeiro , Norberto
Min. of Telecommunications & Transportation: Leeflang , Omayra
Min. Plenipotentiary to The Hague:
Dir., Bank of the Netherlands Antilles: Tromp , Emsley


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

In the parliamentary elections of January 18, 2002, the Frente Obrero Liberashon (FOL) gained 5 of the 14 seats available in Curaçao, expelling the 2001 coalition on a campaign for social spending and poverty alleviation. This was in contrast to the previous government, which emphasized its commitment to International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform recommendations.

A coalition government was formed in mid-May of 2002 which did not include the FOL because of disagreements with the other two largest Curaçao-based parties. However, island-level elections in May 2003 provoked a reshuffling of the national government, leading to a new coalition led once again by the FOL in July 2003. A series of corruption scandals involving the FOL leadership led several parties in the governing coalition to withdraw support in April 2004, provoking yet another reshuffle of the government, and the emergence of a new governing coalition lead by the Antillean Restructuring Party (PAR) in May.

Drug smuggling by means of swallowing narcotics packets and boarding flights is a major issue for the Netherlands Antilles. This has caused tension with the Netherlands, to which most smugglers are bound, although recent efforts at combating this problem have been successful. In 1993 a referendum confirmed the place of all islands within the union, despite earlier talks debating the constitutional status of the islands in the early 1990s. In 2000, the issue again arose, and in June 2000, Sint Maarten held a nonbinding referendum in which 69% of the population voted for status apart—independence from the federation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Dutch Government does not support such a move—based on fears that Sint Maarten cannot support its own central bank, police force, or

larger government—and wishes to be involved in all discussions. This is now a dominant political issue for Sint Maarten and the other islands, and official talks have begun once again.


ECONOMY

Tourism and the offshore financial sector have been the mainstays of the Netherlands Antillean's economy since the 1970s. The late 1980s and early 1990s brought growth, but hurricanes, pressure on the offshore sector, tighter monetary policy, and debt accumulation have caused contraction since 1996. High debt led the Government of the Netherlands Antilles to seek assistance from the IMF and the Dutch Government, through the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program. The current administration seeks to lessen dependency on the IMF, which has damaged the economy. The unemployment rate remains high, at around 14%, but the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen is predicting modest recovery of demand and perhaps even growth in the near future. The economy remains dependent on tourism, which has suffered from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and lacks major agriculture or manufacturing, with the primary source of exports coming from the oil refining industry. Overall, these islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

The Netherlands Antilles conducts foreign affairs primarily through the Dutch Government. However, the Netherlands Antilles recently has strengthened its relations with other Caribbean governments. It has been granted observer status at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and in December 1998 it signed an agreement with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) that made the Netherlands Antilles an associate member.


U.S.-NETHERLANDS ANTILLES RELATIONS

The United States maintains positive relations with the Netherlands Anti-lles and works cooperatively to combat narcotrafficking.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

CURACAO (CG) Address: J.B. Gorsiraweg #1; Phone: 599-9-461-3066; Fax: 599-9-461-6489; INMARSAT Tel: 00-874-383-133-190; Workweek: M–F 8AM-5 PM AST; Website: www.amcongencuracao.an

CG:Robert E. Sorenson
POL:Robert E. Sorenson
COM:Robert E. Sorenson
CON:Jean E. Akers
AFSA:Christopher Degnan
DEA:Gary Tennant
ECO:Robert E. Sorenson
FMO:Christopher Degnan
GSO:Jean E. Akers
ICASS Chair:Gary Tennant
IMO:Christopher Degnan
ISSO:Christopher Degnan
PAO:Christopher Degnan
RSO:Daniel Garner
Last Updated: 12/10/2004

Other Contact Information

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Trade Information Center
14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRADE


TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

November 29, 2004

Country Description: The Netherlands Antilles is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands comprised of five islands: Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius (aka Statia) and St. Maarten (Dutch side). Tourist facilities are widely available.

Entry/Exit Requirements: Either a valid U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate (original or certified copy) accompanied by a valid photo identification must be presented. While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since it is a more readily recognized form of positive proof of citizenship. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the head office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Internet. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org for the most current visa information. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on the Netherlands Antilles and other countries.

Safety and Security: Drug related organized crime exists within the Netherlands Antilles, but has not directly affected tourists in the past.

Crime: In recent years, street crime has increased. Valuables, including passports, left unattended on beaches, in cars and hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Burglary and break-ins are increasingly common at resorts, beach houses and hotels. Armed robbery occasionally occurs. The American boating community has reported a handful of incidents in the past, and visitors are urged to exercise reasonable caution in securing boats and belongings. Car theft, including that of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rental may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while over-seas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/brochure_victim_assistance.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Medical care is generally good in Curaçao and St. Maarten, but may be limited on the other three islands. Hospitals have three classes of services i.e.: First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning etc.; Second Class: two to six patients to a room, no air conditioning; Third Class: 15 to 30 people in one hall. Patients are accommodated due to the level of insurance.

Bonaire: The San Francisco hospital is a medical center (35 beds) with decompression facilities. The hospital has an air ambulance service to Curaçao and Aruba.

Curaçao: St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States. St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.

St. Maarten: St. Maarten Medical Center (79 beds) is a relatively small hospital where general surgery is performed. Complex cases are sent to Curaçao.

Statia: Queen Beatrix Medical Center (20 beds). A medical facility well equipped for first aid. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Saba: Saba Clinic (14 beds) is a well-equipped first aid facility. Surgery cases are sent to St. Maarten.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web-site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Netherlands Antilles is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving. Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.

Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in the Netherlands Antilles. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in the Netherlands Antilles are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe in the Netherlands Antilles as long as drivers are familiar with their routes and the road conditions thereof. Most streets are poorly lit or not lit at all. Drivers should be aware of herds of goats that may cross the street unexpectedly. In Bonaire, also wild donkeys may cross the road.

Taxis are the easiest yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are in good to fair conditions.

See road safety information at the following sites: www.curacao.com/info/public_services.html, www.curacaotourism.com, www.statiatourism.com, www.sabatourism.com, www.infobonaire.com, www.stmaarten.com.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of the Netherlands Antilles as being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for oversight of Netherlands Antilles air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances: Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed and specific information on this subject, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S. In addition to being subject to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Dutch citizens.

Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts that do not have a "non-disturbance or perpetuity protective clause" incorporated into the purchase agreement. Such a clause gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the timeshare units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual maintenance fees. Because of the large number of complaints about misuse of maintenance fees, particularly in St. Maarten, prospective timeshare owners are advised to review the profit and loss statement for maintenance fees. Investors should note that a reputable accounting firm should audit profit and loss statements.

Potential investors should be aware that failed land development schemes involving time-share investments could result in financial losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice regarding investments involving land development projects. Real estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely settled in favor of foreign investors.

An unusually competitive fee to rent vehicles or equipment could indicate that the dealer is unlicensed or uninsured. The renter is often fully responsible for replacements costs and fees associated with any damages that occur during the rental period. Visitors may be required to pay these fees in full before leaving the Netherlands Antilles and may be subject to civil or criminal penalties if they cannot or will not make payment.

Netherlands Antilles customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the Netherlands Antilles. For example, it is strictly prohibited to export pieces of coral and/or seashells.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating the Netherlands Antilles' laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in the Netherlands Antilles are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Netherlands Antilles has strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can trigger a fine or time in jail. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Netherlands Antilles. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens living in or visiting the Netherlands Antilles are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao located at J.B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curaçao, telephone (599-9) 461-3066; fax (599-9) 461-6489; e-mail address: [email protected]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2006. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2006. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles

"Netherlands Antilles." Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook 2006. . Retrieved September 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/legal-and-political-magazines/netherlands-antilles

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.