Trinidad and Tobago is a twin island nation located off the coast of South America, with Port of Spain serving as its capital. In 1498, Spain colonized the islands after Christopher Columbus explored the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, but the island would change hands between Spain, England, France, Courland, and the United Provinces, with the Courlanders owning the island from 1654 to 1659. In 1797, a fleet of 18 British [[Royal Navy] warships forced the island to surrender during the French Revolutionary Wars, and the islands were formally ceded to Britain in 1802. In 1962, Trinidad and Tobago became an independent country, and it became a republic in 1976. In 2015, the island had a population of 1,349,667 people, with a third of the population being African and another third being Indian.