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Saturday 21st October
Cape Verde Facts
Cape Verde is an archipelago, west of Senegal.

The islands of Cape Verde are divided into two groups: Boa Vista, Sal, Santo Antao, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau and Sao Vicente (Windward group) and Brava, Fogo, Maio, and Santiago (Leeward group).

The islands are mountainous, except for Boa Vista, Sal, and Maio.

The highest point in Cape Verde is on Fogo: Pico do Cano (2,829m), an active volcano.

Nine of the islands are inhabited but Santa Luzia is uninhabited.

The islands were uninhabited when they were discovered by the Portuguese in the middle of the fifteenth century.

In 1495 Cape Verde became a possession of the Portuguese Crown.

Cape Verde was a trading centre of the slave trade.

Sir Francis Drake, the English sea captain, attacked Ribeira Grande (now Cidade Velha) in 1585.

The Portuguese abolished slavery in their colonies in 1858 but slaves had to serve an apprenticeship for twenty years.

The status of the colony of Cape Verde changed to an overseas province of Portugal in 1951.

In 1956 Amilcar Cabral established the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

Many Cape Verdeans fought in the war against Portuguese rule in Guinea-Bissau.

A coup d'etat in Portugal, in 1974, led to former Portuguese possessions gaining independence.

Cape Verde achieved independence in 1975.

Plans for unification of Cape Verde with Guinea-Bissau were abandoned in 1980.

In the twentieth century droughts in Cape Verde led to many deaths.

Many Cape Verdeans seek work abroad and send money back to their families.

A volcanic eruption began on the island of Fogo on 2 April 1995. Five thousand people had to evacuate the area. (Cape Verdeans live and farm on Fogo's eight kilometre-wide caldera.)

In November 2009 a national emergency was declared following an outbreak of dengue fever.

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