The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, was formerly known as Portuguese Timor. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in the area in 1515, and shortly after Dominican friars settled there. It was officially declared a colony in 1702. Some 270 years later in 1975, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor declared its independence. Only nine days later, it was invaded by Indonesia. This started a long period of violent struggles for independence, something the country finally achieved in 2002.
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