To say the Caribbean has been a turbulent place throughout the entire course of its geologic and human history would be an understatement. If by nonsolicitude we mean varying degrees of exploitation and neglect during the human era, the region definitely qualifies.

Let us start with the very distant past, about 200 Ma, when Africa and North and South America were all more or less stuck together and constituted western Pangea. By about 150 Ma, the glue was disintegrating: the Atlantic was opening up, the Farallon plate was subducting from the west, and a seaway opened up as North and...

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