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With 2.9 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas (after the United States and Canada), and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean.Kingston is the country's capital and largest city, with a population of 937,700.By 1660, Jamaica had become a refuge for Jews in the New World, also attracting those who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal.

Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494.

Primarily working as merchants and traders, the Jewish community was forced to live a clandestine life, calling themselves "Portugals".

After the British took over rule of Jamaica, the Jews decided the best defense against Spain's regaining control was to encourage making the colony a base for Caribbean pirates.

Under treaties of 17, the British agreed to stop trying to round them up in exchange for their leaving the colonial settlements alone, but serving if needed for military actions.

Some of the communities were broken up and the British deported Maroons to Nova Scotia and, later, Sierra Leone.

Jamaicans mainly have African ancestry, with significant European, Chinese, Indian, Lebanese, and mixed-race minorities.

Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, Jamaica has a large diaspora around the world, particularly in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Andrew Holness has served as the head of government and Prime Minister of Jamaica from March 2016.

Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.

Some Spanish and Portuguese Jewish refugees went to the Netherlands and England, and from there to Jamaica.

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