|an almost landlocked sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, bounded by the Caribbean islands, Central America, and the N coast of South America. Area: 2 718 200 sq km (1 049 500 sq miles)|
Note: Its clear blue waters make many of its islands popular vacation spots.
Note: Since announcing the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has considered the Caribbean within its “sphere of influence” — that is, a region where United States interests are directly affected. The policy has been to exclude foreign powers, though after 1959, Cuba came under strong influence of the Soviet Union.