Generic name for the Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, including Cuba, and the islands to the north of South America.

They were major producers of sugar, and became a great source of wealth for England and other Imperial Powers.

Also, was the locale for the film Quamada, or Burn, starring Marlon Brando as an organizer first for the ficticious Greater Antilies Sugar Company, later for the ex-slaves who had become workers.

The film features dramatic and moving music.

Actually, the West Indies are in the North Atlantic Ocean. If you draw a straight line from Miami to Guyana, you'll find that just about all of the West Indian islands are within a few hundred miles of that line.

With the exception of the Bahamas (which is just in the Atlantic Ocean), all of the West Indies are in the Caribbean Sea. The list of West Indies includes the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. Bermuda doesn't make the list; it's so far away it might as well be the Azores.

I've never been to the West Indies, but it's safe to say that they are multilingual, hot, and hurricane-prone. There are big islands, small islands, and communist islands. In the past, the West Indian colonial masters were equal-opportunity employers, enslaving both the Native Americans and blacks for sugar production. Today, the locals find tourism and drug trafficking more lucrative.

Better bring your sunscreen, your passport, and your Visa, because, according to the commercials, it doesn't seem like too many places accept American Express.

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