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The original Arawak Indian settlers who arrived on the island from South America around 1000 were largely enslaved by the Spanish in the early 16th century and forcibly relocated to other colonies where labor was needed. Curaçao was conquered by the Dutch from the Spaniards in 1634. Once the center of the Caribbean slave trade, Curaçao was hit hard economically by the abolition of slavery in 1863. 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, Curaçao and several other Dutch Caribbean possessions were reorganized as the Netherlands Antilles, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In referendums in 2005 and 2009, the citizens of Curaçao voted to become a self-governing country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The amendment to the articles of association came into effect in October 2010 with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

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island hopping abc islands

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