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Aruba is a Caribbean island situated approximately 16 miles off the northeast coast of Venezuela and 50 miles west of Curaçao. Like other former Dutch dependencies in the area, its population is largely of mixed African ancestry, with minorities of Carib Indian and European extraction. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion. Tourism is presently of primary economic importance, making up 78 percent of the GDP in 2010. From 2006 to 2008 a recovery in tourism, along with what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) defined as “robust” activity in the construction and utility sectors, contributed to an economic rebound. However, the impact of the recent global economic crisis was severe; the IMF estimated a cumulative GDP contraction of 15 percent in 2009 and 2010. The ...

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