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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 2, 2003, 12:59
The Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the West Indies, comprising the islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman.
First visited by Christopher Columbus on May 10, 1503 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World, the islands, along with nearby Jamaica, were ceded to Great Britain in 1670 under the Treaty of Madrid. They were governed as a single colony with Jamaica until 1963 when they became a separate British overseas territory and Jamaica became an independent commonwealth realm.
Caymanians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the West Indies. Most residents are Protestants of British or African descent and many are of mixed racial ethnicity. The islands' main industries are tourism and also offshore banking, thanks to the non-existence of direct taxes.
The Cayman Islands are completely self-governing and universal voting rights are granted to all citizens at the age of 18 years. A legislature is elected by the people every four years. The Governor of the islands serves as the British representative and is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II.
Large parts of the novel The Firm by John Grisham takes place on the Cayman Islands. The main character works for a Memphis, Tennessee law firm that use island banks for money laundering.
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