World Country Azores

About the world country Azores, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: Three island groups, approximately 800 mi. west of mainland Portugal in the north Atlantic Ocean. Size: 902 sq. mi. (2,335 sq. km.). Population: 330,000.

Who Really Rules: The Azores are a semiautonomous region of Portugal. Never too happy about mainland neglect of Azores problems, conservative Azorean leaders flirted with the idea of independence in the mid-1970s, when leftists were in power in Portugal.

The U.S. operates the 1,500-man Lajes Air Base on the island of Terceira, as well as two communications stations elsewhere in the Azores. Lajes is an important base for antisubmarine aircraft and a refueling station for transatlantic military transport planes. In 1979 the U.S. and Portugal renewed their base agreement, with the U.S. promising to seek Portuguese approval should it wish to use the base to send war planes to the Middle East. The U.S. supplied Portugal and the Azores with $140 million in aid in exchange for the agreement.

More than 300,000 Azoreans now reside in the U.S.

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