The Netherlands Antilles was a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, consisting of the Lesser Antilles of Bonaire and Curaçao (off the coast of Venezuela) and the Leeward Islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Martin (Dutch St. Maarten). Until 1 January 1986, the island of Aruba, now itself an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was also part of the Netherlands Antilles.
As of 10th October 2010, the country of the Netherlands Antilles was disbanded (the original date of 15 December 2008 was deemed impossible). Curaçao and St. Martin became autonomous islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (essentially the same status as Aruba). Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius became "special municipalities" of the Netherlands with the same governing structure and rights as Dutch towns, including voting rights in the Dutch and European parliaments.
- Nederland controleert financiën Antillen streng, Brenda Peeters, Elsevier, 23 May 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008; St. Maarten has opportunity to put things properly in place, Netherlands Antilles Daily Herald, 26 May 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008.