Geographic and Governmental Profile of Korsou

Background
Originally settled by Arawak Indians, Curacao was seized by the Dutch in 1634 along with the neighboring island of Bonaire. Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, Curacao was hard hit economically by the abolition of slavery in 1863. Its prosperity (and that of neighboring Aruba) was restored in the early 20th century with the construction of the Isla Refineria to service the newly discovered Venezuelan oil fields. In 1954, Curacao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referenda in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curacao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The change in status became effective in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.
Location
Caribbean, an island in the Caribbean Sea - 55 km off the coast of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates
12 10 N, 69 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
444 sq km
rank:
199
land:
444 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
364 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive fishing zone:
12 nm
Climate
tropical marine climate, ameliorated by northeast trade winds, results in mild temperatures; semi-arid with average rainfall of 600 mm/year
Terrain
generally low, hilly terrain
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Mt. Christoffel, 372m
Natural resources
calcium phosphates, aloes, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Land use
arable land:
10%
permanent crops:
0%
other:
90%
Irrigated land
NA
Total renewable water resources
NA
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
NA
Natural hazards
Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Environment - current issues
NA
Geography - note
Curacao is a part of the Windward Islands (southern) group
Country name
local long form:
Land Curacao
local short form:
Curacao
conventional long form:
Pais Korsou
conventional short form:
Korsou
former:
Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies
Dependency status
constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs granted in 2010; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs
Government type
parliamentary
Capital
name:
Willemstad
geographic coordinates:
12 06 N, 68 55 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Independence
none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
National holiday
Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)
Constitution
Staatsregeling adopted by island council 5 September 2010; entered into force 10 October 2010; revised Kingdom Charter pending
Legal system
based on Dutch civil law system with some English common law influence
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen BEATRIX of the Netherlands (since 30 April 1980); represented by Governor General Frits GOEDGEDRAG (since 10 October 2010)
head of government:
Prime Minister Gerrit SCHOTTE (since 10 October 2010)
cabinet:
Executive Council
elections:
the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually elected prime minister by the parliament; next election is scheduled for 19 October 2012
Legislative branch
unicameral parliament or Staten (21 seats; members elected by popular vote for four year terms)
elections:
last held 27 August 2010 (next to be held in 2014)
election results:
percent of vote by party - PAR 30%, MFK 21%, PS 19%, MAN 9%, FOL 7%, PNP 6%, other 8%; seats by party - PAR 8, MFK 5, PS 4, MAN 2, FOL 1, PNP 1
Judicial branch
Common Court of Justice, Joint High Court of Justice (judges appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders
Frente Obrero Liberashon (Workers' Liberation Front) or FOL [Anthony GODETT]; Movimentu Antiyas Nobo (New Antilles Movement) or MAN [Charles COOPER]; Movementu Futuro Korsou or MFK [Gerrit SCHOTTE]; Partido Antia Restruktura or PAR [Emily DE JONGH-ELHAGE]; People's National Party or PNP [Ersilia DE LANNOOY]; Pueblo Soberano or PS [Herman WIELS]
Diplomatic representation in the US
none (represented by the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Consul General Valerie BELON
consulate(s) general:
J. B. Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao
mailing address:
P. O. Box 158, Willemstad, Curacao
telephone:
[599] (9) 4613066
FAX:
[599] (9) 4616489
Flag description
on a blue field a horizontal yellow band somewhat below the center divides the flag into proportions of 5:1:2; two five-pointed white stars - the smaller above and to the left of the larger - appear in the canton; the blue of the upper and lower sections symbolizes the sky and sea respectively; yellow represents the sun; the stars symbolize Curacao and its uninhabited smaller sister island of Klein Curacao; the five star points signify the five continents from which Curacao's people derive
National anthem
name:
Himmo di Korsou (Anthem of Curacao)
lyrics/music:
Guillermo ROSARIO, Mae HENRIQUEZ, Enrique MULLER, Betty DORAN/Frater Candidus NOWENS, Errol "El Toro" COLINA
adapted 1978; the lyrics, originally written in 1899, were rewritten in 1978 to make them less colonial in nature
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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