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Cape Verde

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The Republic of Cape Verde or Cabo Verde in Portuguese is a country composed of several islands. It is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean near the African west coast. The islands were uninhabited until they were discovered by the Portuguese. Today, the islands are populated by a little more than 500,000 people.

As a colony of Portugal in the 16th century, it prospered in the slave trade. However with the abolishment of slavery, the colonies fortunes declined. Then in the 19th century it was made an important commercial shipping re-supply port because of its strategic location and harbors.

In 1951 its status was changed from colony to an overseas province of Portugal in order to stem the tide of growing nationalism among the islanders. In the end the island country became independent in 1975.

The islanders are mostly Roman Catholic. Soccer and church activities are the island’s main venue for socializing and entertainment. Its music is influenced by African, Brazilian, Caribbean and Portuguese. The official language is Portuguese although Creole is spoken by most if not all of the inhabitants.

The republic is a democracy and follows a foreign policy of non-alignment in their dealings with other countries. With very few natural resources, its economy is mainly service oriented. The government has instituted policies for a market oriented economy and still currently pursuing such policies. As a result millions of U.S. dollars were poured for the development of tourism, fisheries and services, industry and infrastructure. Cape Verde has economic links with Portugal. They link their currency to the Portuguese escudo and then the Euro. The country is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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