Introduction of Aruba
Island in the Netherland s Antilles in the West Indies, off the NW coast of Venezuela, approximately 50 mi W of Curacao. It is not known exactly when Europeans first land ed here, but Spain had claimed the island by 1499. The Dutch acquired it in 1634. Since 1925, Aruba has become an important refining center for oil brought from Venezuela and as a transshipment point. German submarines shelled and damaged refineries in February and April 1942 during World War II. There are caves in which Indians decorated the walls with sketches that may be as old as those at Altamira, Spain, and Lascaux, France.