Trinidad and Tobago i/ /, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country situated off the northern edge of South America mainland, lying 11 Kilometres (6 mi) just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and 130 Kilometres (81 mi) south of Grenada. Bordering the Caribbean to the north, it shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5,128 square kilometres (1,980 sq mi) and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, with numerous smaller landforms. The two main islands are divided into nine regions, and one ward. Sangre Grande is the largest of the country's nine regions, comprising about 18% of the total area and 10% of the total population of the country. Trinidad and Tobago lies outside of the hurricane belt. The island of Trinidad was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 to the capitulation of the Spanish Governor, Don José Maria Chacón, on the arrival of a British fleet of 18 warships on 18 February 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers. Trinidad and Tobago (remaining separate until 1889) were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. The country Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976. Trinidad and Tobago is the third richest country by GDP (PPP) per capita in the Americas after the United States and Canada. Furthermore, it is recognised as a high income economy by the World Bank. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the country's economy is primarily industrial, with an emphasis on petroleum and petrochemicals. The country's wealth attributes to its large reserves and exploitation of oil and natural gas. Trinidad and Tobago is known for its Carnival and is the birthplace of steelpan, limbo, and the music styles of calypso, soca and chutney. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most biodiverse nations in the Caribbean and has a wide variety of flora and fauna.
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