Mindelo - Ilha de São Vicente - Cabo Verde - fevereiro de 2014 - photo by Fernando Costa
Cape Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Located 570 kilometres (350 miles) off the coast of Western Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi). Three (Sal, Boa Vista and Maio) are fairly flat, sandy and dry; the others generally rockier with morevegetation.
Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the previously uninhabited islands in the 15th century. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, they grew prosperous and often attracted privateers and pirates, among them Sir Francis Drake, a corsair privateering under Letter of marque granted by the English crown who twice sacked the (then) capital Ribeira Grande in the 1580s. The islands were also visited by Charles Darwin's expedition in 1832.
Decline in the slave trade in the 19th century resulted in an economic crisis. With few natural resources and inadequate sustainable investment from the Portuguese, the citizens grew increasingly discontented with the colonial masters, who nevertheless refused to provide the local authorities with more autonomy. A budding independence movement (originally led by Amílcar Cabral, assassinated on 20 January 1973) passed on to his half-brother Luís Cabral and culminated in independence for the archipelago in 1975. LINK