Lay of the Land: Cape Verde is a tropical archipelago of ten main islands and several islets lying about 350 miles west of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean. The Cape Verde islands are slightly larger than Rhode Island.
In the early 18th Century, whaling ships from the United States recruited crews from Brava and Fogo, both in Cape Verde. Whales were abundant in the waters off the islands, and ties between Cape Verde and the American colonies have been documented as early as the 1740s. American ships were also in the area to trade for salt or to buy slaves.
It is estimated that there are 265,000 Cape Verdeans living in the US, mainly concentrated in New England and throughout parts of the Midwest.
American imports from 2006 to 2007 from Cape Verde included farming materials which increased suddenly from $0 to $236,000, computer accessories which increased drastically from $19,000 to $557,000 and “other” (clocks, port typewriters, other household goods) which increased from $19,000 to $732,000.
According to the State Department, Cape Verde’s government generally respects the human rights of its citizens. However, a few problems have been reported, mainly police abuse of detainees, poor prison conditions, lengthy pretrial detention, excessive trial delays, violence and discrimination against women, child abuse, and child labor.
Ambassador to Cape Verde: Who Is Adrienne O’Neal?