General issues: Self governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands 2010-Present
Country name on general issues: Curacao
Currency: 1 Gulden = 100 Cents 2010-Present
Population: 153 000 in 2013
Political history Curacao
CuracaoAlso spelled Curaçao. is located in the Caribbean as one of the Leeward Antilles off the coast of Venezuela. For the exact location, please refer to the map of the Caribbean. Curacao was, prior to colonization, inhabited by the Amerindian Caquetio people originating from Venezuela. The first Europeans to explore the island were the Spanish in 1499. The Spanish claimed and settled the island. The Dutch established their first permanent settlement in 1634 and Spain acknowledged Dutch sovereignty in 1648. Initially, Curacao was administered by the Dutch West India Company, a chartered company, but the island was transferred to the Dutch Crown in 1791. The British took control of Curacao during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Dutch sovereignty was restored in 1815. From 1848, Curacao was the administrative center of the Dutch possessions in the Caribbean, grouped together as the colony of Curacao & Dependencies that was renamed the Netherlands Antilles in 1948. The Netherlands Antilles became a constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954 and, as such, self governing. In 2010, the Netherlands Antilles were dissolved, and Curacao became a self governing country within the kingdom of the Netherlands itself – which it is until today.
Economically, Curacao developed into an important center of trade in the 17th century – the trade being mainly the slave trade. The importance of Curacao as a trade center waned when the British came to dominate trade in the Caribbean and even more when slavery was abolished in 1863. Attempts to develop plantations on the islands failed, and throughout the 18th and 19th centuries Curacao was economically little developed. Things changed as, in the 20th century, oil refineries were set up as a spin off of the discovery of large oil deposits in Venezuela. Furthermore, tourism rapidly developed to become the mainstay of economy of the island. Currently, in terms of per capita GDP, Curacao ranks high among the Caribbean islands. The population is diverse with a majority of people of mixed African and European descent.
Postal history Curacao
The first stamps used on Curacao were the issues of Curacao & Dependencies from 1873. These were superseded by the issues of the Netherlands Antilles from 1948. Curacao as a self governing country issued its first stamps in 2010 – the first issue commemorating the achievement of self government. Curacao issues mainly, but not exclusively, stamps with designs aimed at the thematic collectors market.