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A small island state off the Venezuelan coast, it came under Dutch control in 1634 and was part of the Netherlands Antilles until 1985. It received self-government on 1 January 1986 with the promise of independence in 1996. In 1990, this was postponed indefinitely owing to disagreements about Dutch involvement in its post-independence affairs. Situated off the Venezuelan coast, its economy has been primarily sustained by oil refining and shipping, as well as tourism.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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