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Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao, which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"), is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its capital is Willemstad.Prior to 10 October 2010, when the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved, Curaçao was administered as the Island Territory of Curaçao (Dutch: Eilandgebied Curaçao, Papiamentu: Teritorio Insular di Kòrsou), one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.EtymologyOne explanation for the origin of the name Curaçao is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart (coração), referring to the island as a centre in trade. Spanish traders kept the name as Curaçao, which was followed by the Dutch. Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name the indigenous peoples of Curaçao had used to label themselves.On a map created by Hieronymus Cock in 1562 in Antwerp, the island was referred to as Qúracao.Four British Royal Navy ships have been named after the Island between 1809 and 1942. All have used the unusual spelling HMS Curacoa. The last of these was a C-class light cruiser of 1917.

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