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Map of the Greater Antilles.

The Antilles (French: Grandes Antilles, Spanish: Antillas Mayores) now generally refers to the islands of the Caribbean, except the Bahamas.- The islands are also referred to as the West Indies, due to Christopher Columbus erroneous belief that he had found India upon "discovering" the region. A distinction is made between the Greater Antilles on the north of the sea, including Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico; and the Lesser Antilles on the east, forming the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands, and the Venezuelan Islands—the Leeward as far as Dominica, the Windward as far as Trinidad, and the Venezuelan along the coast of South America. Because of their linguistic similarities with Spanish-speaking nations, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are also considered part of Latin America. Geographically speaking the Antilles are part of North America.

The Antilles separate the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea in the South.

Greater Antilles - the islands including Saint-Domingue/Haiti

Note 1: Another Taíno name for Hispaniola, still used in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is Quisqueya (Kreyòl: Kiskeya) meaning: 'the cradle of life'. This name is preferred by many, since Hispaniola is the name given by the European colonizers that nearly completely destroyed the native people and culture of the island.

Note 2: See also: Saint-Domingue, for the time before 1804 when the colony gained independence from France.

See also


  • Antilles. (2005, December 11). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:04, December 14, 2005 [1].
  • Malavet, Pedro. (2004). America's Colony: The Political and Cultural Conflict Between the United States and Puerto Rico. New York: New York University Press. (Cloth). ISBN 0814756808.