(redirected from curacao)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(kyo͝o`rəsō, ko͞oräsou`), island (2015 est. pop. 158,000), 178 sq mi (461 sq km), an autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located in the Lesser Antilles off the coast of Venezuela. Curaçao is semiarid; most of the plant life is of desert character. Oil refining is the principal industry, and the island has one of the world's largest refineries, receiving oil from the enormous reserves at nearby Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. There are also phosphate deposits. Other major industries include tourism (Curaçao is a free port and has a number of resorts and casinos) and ship repairing. Curaçao's ship-repair dry dock is one of the largest in the Americas. The head of state is the monarch of the Netherlands, represented by a governor-general. The head of government is the prime minister, who is elected by the unicameral parliament (Staten). The parliament's 21 members are popularly elected to four-year terms.


Visited by Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci in 1499, Curaçao was colonized by the Spanish in 1527. The Dutch captured it in 1634 and remained in possession except for a brief period of British rule during the Napoleonic Wars. In the 18th cent. Curaçao was a base for a flourishing Dutch entrepôt trade. Economic prosperity declined after the abolition of slavery in 1863 but revived with the introduction of the petroleum industry in the early 20th cent., and the island was the largest and most populous in the former Netherlands AntillesNetherlands 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
..... Click the link for more information.
. Curaçao was the scene of severe racial strife and rioting in 1969. Prior to the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010, Curaçao voted to become an autonomous country within the Netherlands.



an island of the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, off the northern coast of South America. Curaçao belongs to the Netherlands. Area, 472 sq km. Population, 150,000 (1972), mostly Negroes. Willemstad is the main city and also the capital of the Netherlands Antilles.

The island’s topography is hilly (elevations to 372 m). The shores in the west and south are surrounded by coral reefs and have convenient harbors. The climate is subequatorial, with up to 500 mm of precipitation per year. Vegetation is xerophilous shrubs. There are large oil refineries based on Venezuelan oil; petroleum products are exported. Curaçao was discovered in 1499 by the Spanish navigator A. de Ojeda.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Brokken traces the development of Chopin's influence through a variety of Antillean composers, crediting Jules Blasini, who first brought Chopin sheet music to Curacao in the nineteenth century, for "herald[ing] the beginning of Dutch Antillean classical music" by composers such as Joseph Sickman Corsen, Jan Gerard Palm, Edgar Palm, Jacobo Palm, and Wim Statius Muller (p.
Curacao is a regional financial center and, due to its location, a transshipment point for drugs from South America.
But in October 2010, the Netherlands Antillies was dissolved, with Curacao becoming an independent country in its own right.
The arrival of the Juan Valdez Cafe coffeehouse chain to Curacao is part of the brand's Caribbean expansion strategy, which initiated in Aruba.
Passengers opting for Aserca Airlines as its air transport for traveling to Curacao have available frequencies on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The Consul General in Curacao is Margaret Hawthorne; other principal officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Rules and regulations pertaining to key classes of compulsory insurance, and the scope of non-admitted insurance in Curacao and St Maarten
Throughout the years, the Curacao Tourist Board has launched several campaigns in an effort to accept travelers from all types of races, orientations, and religions.
Miles Mercera, Marketing & Product Director of CHATA (Curacao Hospitality and Tourism Association) continues: “Located 120 miles off the coast of Miami and only 73 miles from Aruba, Curacao is more than just another pretty island.
With her title Creolization and Contraband, Rupert puts a magnifying glass over the island of Curacao during the seventeenth and eighteen centuries to show how the interplay of these two processes not only shaped the island's economy and society but also exemplified what occurred in most of the Atlantic Caribbean.
Using the whole world as a film location, the Curacao Tourist Board produced this international video project by sending thousands of electric blue balloons imprinted with the island's flag to friends and fans in the US, Holland, Germany, Venezuela, Brazil, China, Greece and several other countries.
Reasons for his assassination are still unclear but the Curacao government indicated he had received threats in the past.