The three Dutch ABC Islands are located just north of the coast of Venezuela.  
Spain took the islands in 1499 and soon after deported the local Caiquetio Indians as slaves to Hispaniola.
They did bring in domesticated animals from Spain and goats, hogs and donkeys still roam free on the islands.
In 1634 the Dutch, in dire need of salt for a booming herring industry, moved in and kicked out the few remaining Spaniards.
When Brazil was sold to Portugal in 1661, the local Sephardic Jews relocated to Curacao. They would have a lasting influence on the development of the island.
After 1670 Curacao became the receiving center for the slave trade of the WestIndische Compagnie. (WIC). 
The WIC used slaves and convicts on Bonaire to harvest salt and produce wood, maize and meat. The low slave huts today still remind of those harsh times. 
Flat and arid Aruba was an important supplier of meat for the other Dutch Caribbean islands. Aruba has strong historical and cultural ties with nearby Venezuela and Colombia.
During WWII the ABC oil refineries proved crucial for the fuel hungry allied armies.
The islands are situated well outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and are popular tourist destinations, with Curacao catering mainly to European guests and Aruba covering the American tourists. Bonaire is a divers paradise and draws tourists from all over the world.
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