Caribbean Gains 2 Countries as Dutch Antilles Disbanded
Curacao, St. Maarten gain autonomy
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2010 8:01 AM CDT
Willemstad, capital of the now-autonomous island of Curacao.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The world lost one country but gained two new ones yesterday as the Netherlands Antilles officially ceased to exist. People on the Caribbean islands of Curacao and St. Maarten woke to find themselves in autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Reuters reports. Three smaller islands that had been part of the Antilles will now be directly ruled by the Netherlands.

The federation, formed in 1954, fell apart amid arguments over revenue and debt sharing, the AP notes. "We will have to get ourselves accustomed to the new reality," said Sarah Wescot-Williams, St. Maarten's first prime minister. "Yes, we are still part of the Dutch kingdom and, yes, we are bound by rules and agreements with kingdom partners, but the success of our fledgling country starts with all of us."

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
Oct 12, 2010 2:15 PM CDT
St Marteen can go it alone, no problem. Curacao will have problems with Chavez from Venezuela trying to nationalize it. Lousy neighbor!
Oct 11, 2010 12:00 PM CDT
I've been there and enjoyed the visits. They are heavily Dutch, more that than anything else. They speak Dutch, English, and Papiamento.
Oct 11, 2010 8:44 AM CDT
Well how about that! Brand new little bitty countries with cool music, a great climate (OK, when its not going wild . . ) and - hopefully - a broad-minded constitution. Must keep an eye on this, may wanna go live there! I'd have to look into that "Kingdom of the Netherlands" angle, though: I'm NO monarchist, ya majesty!