A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal. Cape Verde was uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1456 or 1460. The first Portuguese settlers arrived in 1462, and black slaves were introduced soon thereafter. The modern Cape Verdeans are descendents of the two groups. In 1975, Cape Verde became independent, with close ties to Guinea-Bissau (the former Portuguese Guinea). Drought and famine in recent years have created major difficulties for this already impoverished nation.