Trinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean and is known for its fossil-fuel wealth. Consisting of the main islands Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous much smaller islands, it is situated 130 kilometres south of Grenada and 11 kilometres off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. It shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest and Venezuela to the south and west.
The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by native Amerindian peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire, following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498. Spanish governor José María Chacón surrendered the island to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797. During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonists more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens as separate states and unified in 1889. Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976.