The Caribbean region is located in the Caribbean Sea, bounded by the United States on the north, Central America on the west, South America on the south, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The region consists of twenty-one island nations that exhibit considerable diversity in political, legal, and judicial structure. For example, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are dependencies of the United States, whereas the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda are linked to Great Britain. French influence is evident in Haiti and Guadeloupe, whereas Spanish influence is evident in Cuba, and French and Spanish influence in the Dominican Republic. Added to this diversity are links to nearby mainland nations, and three nations included in the Caribbean Community (Caricom), largely a trading bloc, are in Central America (Belize) and South America (Guyana and Suriname). Most Caribbean nations are politically independent and English speaking and share a history of ...