The West Indies consist of about 1,000 islands exten ing in two chains southeast from the coa of North America. Some of them are 1ittle more than coral rocks. Others large and very fertile. They are divided physically into the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. They all lie between the latitudes of 10° to 270 north latitude, and consequently are all hot and tropical. Politically, until 1898, when the American war with Spain liberated Cuba and Porto Rico, they were all (except the island or Hayti) controlled by European powers.

Porto Rico is now a colony of the United States.

Cuba is an independent republic under the foster care or protection of the United States until its government can be established, which end the people of the island and the United States are both uniting their efforts to accomplish on a basis that will best serve the interest of Cuba and that of her great sister republic and protector.

Hayti comprises two independent republics, Hayti and Santo Domingo. The people and rulers are principally negroes.

Havana, the capital of Cuba, with a population of 200,000, is the principal city of the West Indies, and it ranks second among the cities of the New World in extent of foreign commerce.