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22 Facts About Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten has the status of an overseas country and territory and is not part of the European Union.
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Sint Maarten had been inhabited by Amerindian peoples for many centuries, with archaeological finds pointing to a human presence on the island as early as 2000 BC.
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In 1939 Sint Maarten received a major boost when it was declared a duty-free port.
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For much of this period, Sint Maarten was governed by business tycoon Claude Wathey of the Democratic Party.
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Sint Maarten became an "island territory" of the Netherlands Antilles in 1983.
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Sint Maarten immediately called for support from the European Union so the island could recover swiftly.
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Sint Maarten occupies the southern part of the island of Saint Martin in the Leeward Islands; the northern half forms the French territory of Saint Martin.
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Sint Maarten has a tropical savanna climate, and is drier than most parts of the northeastern Caribbean because of a rain shadow from the island's mountains, drying the trade winds.
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Sint Maarten is largely autonomous in internal affairs, with the Netherlands responsible for foreign diplomacy and defence.
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The first woman to be the president of Sint Maarten was Gracita Arrindell, who was first elected in 2010.
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Sint Maarten is home to many distinctive plants such as hibiscus, yellow sage, flamboyant trees, mahogany, and cacti.
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Sint Maarten is a polyglot society, most are simultaneously bilingual in Dutch and English, and among them are speakers of Spanish and French.
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In 2014, St Sint Maarten had more gaming machines per resident than any other country in the world.
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Sint Maarten's culture is a mix of African, European and North American influences.
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However, Sint Maarten returned to international competition in March 2016, for the 2017 Caribbean Cup qualification tournament.
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Sint Maarten is known for its festive nightlife, expansive beaches, precious jewelry, traditional cuisines, and plentiful casinos.
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