The CARIBBEAN PORTAL
The Caribbean (, ; Spanish: El Caribe; French: les Caraïbes; Haitian Creole: Karayib; Dutch: De Caraïben; Papiamento: Karibe) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean) and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region has more than 700 islands, islets, reefs and cays (see the list of Caribbean islands). Island arcs delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea: the Greater Antilles on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (which includes the Leeward Antilles). They form the West Indies with the nearby Lucayan Archipelago (The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands), which are sometimes considered to be a part of the Caribbean despite not bordering the Caribbean Sea. On the mainland, Belize, Nicaragua, the Caribbean region of Colombia, Cozumel, the Yucatán Peninsula, Margarita Island, and The Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Guayana Region in Venezuela, and Amapá in Brazil) are often included due to their political and cultural ties with the region.
A mostly tropical geography, the climates are greatly shaped by sea temperatures and precipitation, with the hurricane season regularly leading to natural disasters. Because of its tropical climate and low-lying island geography, the Caribbean is vulnerable to a number of climate change effects, including increased storm intensity, saltwater intrusion, sea-level rise and coastal erosion, and precipitation variability. These weather changes will greatly change the economies of the islands, and especially the major industries of agricultural and tourism.
The Caribbean was occupied by indigenous people since at least 3600 BC. When European colonization followed the arrival of Columbus, the population was quickly decimated by brutal labor practices, enslavement and disease and on many islands, Europeans supplanted the native populations with enslaved Africans. Following the independence of Haiti from France in the early 19th century and the decline of slavery in the 19th century, island nations in the Caribbean gradually gained independence, with a wave of new states during the 1950s and 60s. Because of the proximity to the United States, there is also a long history of United States intervention in the region. Read more...
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Robert Nesta Marley, (6 February 1945 - 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley's contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade. Over the course of his career Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism.
Born in Nine Mile
, British Jamaica
, Marley began his professional musical career in 1963, after forming Bob Marley and the Wailers
. The group released its debut studio album The Wailing Wailers
in 1965, which contained the single "One Love/People Get Ready
"; the song was popular worldwide, and established the group as a rising figure in reggae. The Wailers subsequently released eleven further studio albums; while initially employing louder instrumentation and singing, the group began engaging in rhythmic-based song construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which coincided with the singer's conversion to Rastafarianism
. During this period Marley relocated to London
, and the group typified their musical shift with the release of the album The Best of The Wailers
(1971). Read more...
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Cuba (; Spanish pronunciation: ['ku?a]), officially the Republic of Cuba (RCUB.ogg), is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The official area of the Republic of Cuba is 109,884 square kilometers (42,426 sq mi) (without the territorial waters). The main island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 104,338 square kilometers (40,285 sq mi); it is also the second-most populous country in the Caribbean after Haiti, with over 11 million inhabitants.
The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno
people from the 4th millennium BC
until Spanish colonization
in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony
until the Spanish-American War
of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States
and gained nominal independence
as a de facto United States protectorate
in 1902. As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system
, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup
and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista
in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959
by the 26th of July Movement
, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro
. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba
. The country was a point of contention during the Cold War
between the Soviet Union
and the United States, and a nuclear war
nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis
of 1962. Cuba is one of a few extant Marxist-Leninist socialist states
, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party
is enshrined in the Constitution
. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights
abuses, including short-term arbitrary imprisonment
. Read more...
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Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest, costliest, and most intense hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed at least 469 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane. After causing 95 fatalities in the US, Hazel struck Canada as an extratropical storm, raising the death toll by 81 people, mostly in Toronto. As a result of the high death toll and the damage caused by Hazel, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes.
In Haiti, Hazel destroyed 40 percent of the coffee trees and 50 percent of the cacao crop, affecting the economy for several years. The hurricane made landfall near Calabash, North Carolina
, destroying most waterfront dwellings. It then traveled north along the Atlantic coast. Hazel affected Virginia
, Washington, D.C.
, West Virginia
, New Jersey
, and New York
; it brought gusts near 160 km/h (100 mph) and caused $281 million (1954 USD
) in damage. When it was over Pennsylvania, Hazel consolidated with a cold front and turned northwest towards Canada. When it hit Ontario as an extratropical storm, rivers and streams in and around Toronto overflowed their banks, which caused severe flooding. As a result, many residential areas in the local floodplains, such as the Raymore Drive
area, were subsequently converted to parkland. In Canada alone, over C$
135 million (2018: C$1.3 billion) of damage was incurred. Read more...
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Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae", effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as "rudie blues", then "ska", later "blue beat", and "rock steady". It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.
Reggae is deeply linked to Rastafari
, an Afrocentric
religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, aiming at promoting Pan Africanism
. Soon after the Rastafarian
movement appeared, the international popularity of reggae music became associated with and increased the visibility of Rastafarianism spreading the Rastafari
gospel throughout the world. Reggae music is an important means of transporting vital messages of Rastafarianism
. The musician becomes the messenger, and as Rastafarians see it, "the soldier and the musician are tools for change." Read more...
The following are images from various Caribbean-related articles on Wikipedia.
Bath Hotel, Nevis, photograph by Jose Anjo of Antigua
A medallion showing the Capture of Trinidad and Tobago by the British in 1797.
A 19th-century lithograph by Theodore Bray showing a sugarcane plantation. On right is "white officer", the European overseer, watching plantation workers. To the left is a flat-bottomed vessel for cane transportation.
Spanish Caribbean Islands in the American Viceroyalties 1600.
The Africans brought to the Caribbean lived in inhumane conditions. Above are examples of slave huts in Bonaire provided by Dutch colonialists. About 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, between 2 and 3 enslaved people slept in these after labouring in nearby salt mines.
Contemporary political map of the Caribbean
Agostino Brunias. Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape, ca. 1770-1796 Brooklyn Museum
Map of Antilles / Caribbean in 1843.
A container ship docked in the deep water harbour of Bridgetown, Barbados, which opened in 1961.
1536 map of the Caribbean
Battle of the Saintes by Thomas Mitchell. This 1782 battle between the British and French navies took place near Guadeloupe.
A carriage on a street in Martinique, one of the Caribbean islands that has not become independent. It is an overseas region of France, and its citizens are full French citizens.
Illustration circa 1815 showing "Incendie du Cap" (Burning of Cape Francais) during the Haitian Revolution. The caption reads: "General revolt of the Blacks. Massacre of the Whites".
Political evolution of Central America and the Caribbean from 1700 to present
Crane Resort old and new buildings, Cobblers Reef, Barbados
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