Originally, the islands of the Eastern Caribbean were colonial possessions of England, Spain, France and the Netherlands. However, as they all gained their independence during the mid 20th century, they realized that the best way for them to survive (none of them having a strong economy alone) was to band together. Thus the idea of federation was born. Today, the islands survive from an economy based on tourism, as well as the export of seafood, rum, and sugar.
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