First settled by the Spaniards, the island was occupied by the Dutch in 1634. The main industries of the island are tourism and oil refining. Curacao gained limited self-government on January 1, 1996. A small number of leftists from Curaçao are seriously considering total independence, others wish Curaçao to become a province of the Netherlands.
The name "Curaçao" has become associated with a particular shade of blue, and is sometimes used as an adjective, because of the deep-blue liquor named "Blue Curaçao". This liquor has a slight orange aroma, and is used primarily as a colouring agent in mixed drinks.