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In the 15th century, the Portuguese discovered the uninhabited Cape Verde archipelago in the North Atlantic and developed in into a major trading center for African slaves and a resupply station for whaling and transatlantic shipping. Today, two major island groups make up the Republic of Cape Verde. The Barlavento (Windward) Islands are composed of Santo Antão, Boa Vista, São Nicolau, São Vicente, Sal, and Santa Luzia. The Sotavento (Leeward) island group includes São Tiago, Fogo, Maio, and Brava. Ever since achieving independence in 1975, Cape Verde has flourished as a stable democracy, but its economic progress has been negatively affected by a number of factors, especially environmental conditions, like drought and seismic activity.

Natural resources on the islands include salt, basalt rock, limestone, kaolin, fish, ...

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