|Official Country Name:||Aruba|
|Region (Map name):||Caribbean|
|Language(s):||Dutch, Papiamento, English, Spanish|
Located off the coast of Venezuela, the Caribbean island of Aruba is an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, it seceded in 1986 and began moving toward full independence—a move it chose to halt in 1990. The population is estimated at 70,000 with a 97 percent literacy rate. The official language is Dutch, but Spanish, English, Portugese and Papiamento, a derivation of Spanish, are also spoken. The government is based on Dutch traditions. The Dutch monarch selects the Governor; the Prime Minister is appointed by the Staten, who in turn are elected by a popular vote. Tourism is by far the largest source of revenue for Arubans, followed by oil and gold.
Freedom of the press, as guaranteed under Dutch law, is observed in Aruba. Aruba has five major newspapers. The Corant newspaper publishes in Papiamento, as do the more widely read daily newspapers, Diario Aruba and Bon Dia Aruba, which is also published online. The News and Aruba Today both appear in English— Aruba Today is published by the same company that produces Bon Dia.
There are no Dutch-language newspapers published on the island, but three titles that originate from the neighboring island of Curacao, in the Antilles, distribute in Aruba and dedicate special sections and reporters to its news and events. The most widely read of these newspapers are Amigoe, a daily print and online newspaper that debuted in 1884, Algemeen Dagblad, a daily, and DeCuracaosche Courant, a weekly.
Four AM and six FM stations broadcast to approximately 50,000 radios. One television station reaches approximately 20,000 televisions. Aruba's only Internet service provider is Setar, the government-operated telephone company.
Amigoe, 2002 Home Page. Available from http://www.amigoe.com .
"Aruba." Aruba On-line 2001. Available from http://www.arubatourism.com .
"Aruba." CIA World Fact Book 2001. Available from http://www.cia.gov .
"Aruba." KrantNet, 2002. Available from http://www.krantnet.f2s.com .
Bon Dia, 2002 Home Page. Available from http://www.bondia.com .
Diario Aruba, 2002 Home Page. Available from http://www.diarioaruba.com .
Jenny B. Davis