The Caribbean comprises the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the coasts of the Americas that surround them. These islands number over 7,000 and are often collectively referred to as the West Indies. 13 island nations are found in the Caribbean, including Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica; many other islands are overseas territories of countries such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and the USA.
The islands were once home to indigneous peoples, but these were largely wiped out or displaced through colonialism, as the land was taken over for plantations, using slaves. The majority of the Caribbean population today are descended from African slaves; the official languages are generally those of their former oppressors, such as English and French, but many creole languages were created and today are the everyday mediums of communication in many of the islands: Jamaica, for instance, has its own creole.
See Related Articles for a full list of countries and territories