The republic of Cuba is made of the island of Cuba (the largest island of the Greater Antilles), of the island to the Pines (called island of Youth since 1976) and of some other small islands. It is located, in the north of the the Antilles, the junction of the Caribbean Sea, of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean; in the south of the east coast of the the United States and the Bahamas; in the east of the Mexico and the west of the Turkish islands and Caïques; in the north of the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Behind Hispaniola, Cuba is the second most populated island of the Caribbean with: 11200000 inhabitants (July 2002). Its capital is Havana, its official language the Spanish and two currencies are used there: the cuban Peso and the convertible cuban Peso. L´île was a Spanish colony of 1492 to 1898. The Spaniards decimated there the tribes Indian and imported African slaves. The cuban culture results from the mixture between the Spanish and African culture. Cuba has a rather important cultural radiation. Since 1959 Cuba is a socialist republic.
Origin of the name
The name Cuba would have been given by Christophe Colomb in reference to a ground of the Alentejo, the city Vila of Cuba (located in current the District of Beja, with the Portugal) where he lived. It would have also called the Juana island in the honor of the girl of the catholic kings of Spain.
See also: History of Cuba
The Spain conquered the island during the 16th century after the discovery of the island by Christophe Colomb in 1492. Spanish colonization will last to the signature of the treated of Paris in 1898. During these four centuries, new cities will be born of which Santiago of Cuba (1514) and Havana (1515). But the Indian population will pay a heavy tribute. It will be practically decimated in a few years, in the same way for the gold reserves. The island thus turned worms of new activities: Tobacco (more or less 300 million cigars per annum as well as a good dozen billion brown or fair cigarettes), Coffee and Cane with sugar (inherited four centuries of Spanish colonization and which gets for the largest Cuba of its resources). This last activity requiring an important labor, it will be called upon the African Esclave S.
In the planted areas of royal palm trees too broken for the modern machines, from the brigades of workers of provinces and different cities and all professions still come to cut the cane to the machete. Volunteers, nourished 6 times per day, being able to gain 5 times more than one ordinary workman, they are entitled to all the regards. Just reward of the things: at the 18th century, the most dreaded punishment by the urban Esclave was to be sold to the growers of the interior; prisoners of the field, the Blacks received neither money nor education.
Nothing must be lost. Once the invaluable syrup extracts from the canes, the men throw in the boilers the stems to manufacture the vapor which makes turn the factory. The viscous residues fallen on the ground are cleaned with the water jet. hot climate, wet grounds and, right before the cut, one dry period favourable with the concentration of the Saccharose. In 1620, Cuba produced 550 tons; in 1987, more than 7 million. The bags of 50 kilos are dispatched especially towards the countries of the East but also in Libya. Cuba became the first world exporter of cane with sugar.
Exhausted of tiredness, these cutters of cane regain the evening in the truck their camping. On their faces worked by generations of White and Blacks, is read the obstinacy of the colonists and the drama of the Africans torn off in their continent. Whereas the draft was officially abolished, more: 30000 slaves were unloaded between 1820 and 1860 with the port of Havana, which counted at the beginning of the century: 40000 White and: 30000 slaves. It is only into 1886 that slavery was removed, base of the colonial economy, source of the richnesses of all the creole aristocracy.
The fights for independence go up in the middle of the 19th century. The the United States intervened in the war of independence of the Cubans who had made: 200000 died since 1895 (that is to say 1/8 of the population) to help the freedom fighters and occupied the island of 1898 with 1902, then of 1905 with 1909. The United States continued an interference marked until in 1934 (revocation of the “Amendement Platt”).
Fidel Castro took the head of an army rebels in 1956, reversing the dictator Fulgencio Batista on January 1st 1959. The United States is one of the first nations to recognize diplomatically this new government (on January 7th), but the relationship between the two countries is spoiled as of May at the time of the confiscation of the foreign assets (of which those of United Fruit Co) in Cuba. Thereafter, from April 17th to 19th 1961 took place an attempt at unloading to the Baie of the Pigs of: 1400 refugees, recruited, paid and pulled by the American CIA, which showed a failure.
The United States reflects in place a economic embargo in 1962, but gave up any invasion of Cuba under the terms of an agreement signed to conclude the Affaire from the missiles of Cuba. The country was supported a long time by the the USSR which granted to him a help (4 to 6 billion USD per annum until in 1990) in exchange of its alignment on its policy (sending of cuban forces in several countries of Africa, support for the revolutionary movements of Latin America), but faced an economic serious attack since the disappearance of the “Soviet big brother”.
- Jose Martí
- Fidel Castro Ruz
- Ernesto Rafael Guevara of Serna says Che Guevara
- Camilo Cienfuegos
- Raul Castro
- Harry Villegas Tamayo says Pombo
- Severo Sarduy
- Alejo Carpentier
- Guillermo Cabrera Infante
- Pedro Luis Boitel
- Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
- Celia Cruz
- Gloria Estefan
- Jose Raúl Capablanca
- Andy García
- Wifredo Lam
- Javier Sotomayor
- Fulgencio Batista
- Felix Varela
- María of mow Mercedes Santa Cruz there Montalvo, countess of Merlin
- Rafael Díaz-Balart
- Ernesto Lecuona
- Jose Antonio Saco
- Domingo LED Assembles
- Tomás Romay
- Felipe Poey
- Emilio Terry
- Manuel Moreno Fraginals
- Carlos Manuel of Céspedes
- María Teresa Mestre, large-duchess of Luxembourg
- Nestor Almendros
- Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
- Agustín Cárdenas
- Fernando Ortiz
- Lydia Will pull up
- Alicia Alonso
- Jose Lezama Lima
- Virgilio Piñera
- Benny Moré
- Antonio Maceo
- Olga Guillot
- Mongo Santamaría
- Israel López " Cachao"
- Ignacio Cervantes
- Amadeo Roldán
- Joaquín Albarrán
- Carlos J. Finlay
- Alejandro García Caturla
- Joaquín Nin
- Rene Portocarrero
- Mariano Rodríguez
- Gastón Baquero
- Rita Montaner
- Eliseo Diego
- Facundo Bacardí
- Ramón Grau San Martín
- Eduardo Chibás
See also: Geography of Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic, in the south of the Florida and the Bahamas. It is an archipelago made up of the island of Cuba, long of: 1220 km (which makes of it the largest island of the Antilles), of the island of the Pines (island of Youth) and of approximately 1600 small islands. Geographically, it is near the tropic of Cancer, to 77 km of Haiti in the east; to 140 km of Jamaica, south-east; to 180 km of the United States, the North-East; and to 210 km of Mexico, the west. The Republic includes/understands the whole island as well as the Isla of Juventud ( Île of Youth ), but the occupied bay of Guantanamo since 1898 by the the United States was in the beginning rented since 1903 and a naval base was installed (that the United States maintains in spite of the opposition of the cuban government).
ClimateCuba is regularly struck by Cyclone S during the summer and the autumn. In July 2005, the hurricane Dennis made 16 dead according to the authorities, caused extensive damage and more than one million and half of people were evacuated. With winds of 300 km/h, it passed to category 4 of the scale of Saffir-Simpson which counts 5 levels. The early character of this hurricane was underlined. In August 2005, the Katrina hurricane made only one dead in Cuba (: 1500 in the United States).
Vis-a-vis regular crisis situations due to the hurricanes, the cuban people and the State acquired a certain experiment and set up a logistics allowing to protect the houses from the wild winds and the rather frequent tsunamis in the island.
Provinces and cities
The country is divided of 14 provinces: Holguín, Santiago of Cuba, Clara Villa, Granma, Camaguey, Pilar LED Rio, Habana, Matanzas, Guantanamo, Tired Tunas, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avilla, Cienfuegos and Ciudad of Habana, plus the special municipality Isla of Juventud or Isla de Pinos.
The main cities of the country are:
- Havana (capital)
- Pinar del Río
- Palma Soriano
- Trinidad (Cuba)
- Ciego de Avila
- Santiago of Cuba
- Santa Clara
See also: Political of Cuba, Embargo of the United States against Cuba, Composition of the government of the Republic of Cuba
Cuba is presented in the form of a socialist country, a parliamentary republic - where the Communist party is the only political party recognized by the Constitution. Fidel Castro is the Head of the State and the government since 1959, initially like Prime Minister and then, with the abolition of this load in 1976, as president of the Council of State. He is also the representative with the National Assembly of the municipality of Santiago of Cuba since 1976, First Secretary of the cuban Communist party and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The cuban Parlement is the National Assembly ( Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular ). Its 609 members are elected for 5 years with the majority Uninominal system with two turns. The National Assembly elects in her center the Council of State and her president by a vote with secret bulletin.
Following the crisis of the missiles, the island undergoes a embargo on behalf of the United States, since 1962. The embargo does not relate however any more to the drugs, the materials of telecommunications and the products agro-alimentary, making of the United States the first exporter for the cuban economy, particularly in the food sector: the amount of American exports to the island rises today to 500 million dollars per annum. The cuban government sets up a centrally planned economy. The majority of the means of production are controlled by the State and the majority of labor are employed in the public sector. These last years the private sector developed. In 2000, the public sector accounted for 77,5% of employment and the private sector 22,5% whereas in 1981 the report/ratio was of 91,8% and 8,2%. The investment is regulated and the majority of the prices are fixed by the public authorities.
The fall of the Soviet Union and the the Comecon which deprived the island of its principal business partners and the embargo of the United States had heavy consequences on the cuban economy. The cuban economy depended on the assistance and the outlets of the Comecon. The Soviet Union bought cuban sugar at a price higher than the market price and provided oil at low prices. In 1992, the level of the exchanges with the countries of the ex-Comecon represented less than 7% of the level of 1989. In same time, cuban GNP fell of more than 35%, the incomes per capita of 39%. Without oil and for lack of material, cuban agriculture was decimated; the power cuts were frequent, the hunger and the Sous-alimentation was widespread.
Vis-a-vis this economic crisis, Cuba liberalized a little its economy. The development of private companies of trade and manufactures was allowed, as well as the legalization of the American dollar in the stores for a time (not allowed since 2004). The Tourisme was also encouraged. In 1996, the tourist activity represented more than the culture of the cane with sugar in terms of currencies. 1,9 million tourists visited the island in 2003, essentially tourists coming from Canada or the European Union, generating 2,1 billion dollars of incomes.
See also: Demography of Cuba
Principal demographic indicators (2004):
- Birth rate: 11 per thousand inhabitants
- Death rate: 7 per thousand inhabitants
- infantile Death rate: 6 per thousand
- Life expectancy with the birth of the men: 75 years
- Life expectancy with the birth of the women: 79 years
A country without illiterates
According to UNDP, Cuba is located at the third world rank with a rate of elimination of illiteracy of 99,8% (report/ratio 2006 on human development), at equality with the Estonia and in front of the the United States (93,3%). However, this percentage corresponds to official figures, the same sources indicating as the Georgia and the Slovakia is taught reading and writing to 100%.
See also: Culture of Cuba
The island of Cuba is famous in particular for:
- the Cigar S, in particular the Habanos and Cohiba, cuban cigars of world famous,
- the Rum, especially Havana Club (of which 7 years the añejo , i.e out-of-date). Rum is an extreme brandy obtained by fermentation and distillation of the juice of cane.
- the cuban Musique produced a great number of musical genres of which the Mambo and the Cha-cha-cha, the its whose Buena Vista Social Club allowed the redécouverte, the Boléro… Aujourd'hui it is expressed above all by the Timba (near to the Salsa) and the Reggaeton.
Kinds by chronological order: Conga | Punto guajiro | Guaracha | Tumba francesa | Contradanza | Rumba | Habanera | Trova | Changui | Danzón | Bolero | Its | Guajira | Mambo | Jazz Cuban Negro | Rope | Cha-cha | Pachanga | Nueva Trova | Songo | Timba
the old American cars (classified in the cuban inheritance, i.e one cannot buy them and make them leave the island)
- the Argentinian Révolution naire Ernesto Guevara says the " Che ", at the sides of which Fidel Castro carried out the cuban revolution.
- the Cubans are little equipped out of computer material (3,3 computers for 100 inhabitants, i.e. one of the lowest rates of the world)
CodesCuba has as codes:
- C, according to the international Code list of the number plates,
- CU, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, code alpha-2,
- CU, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 (code list country), code alpha-2,
- .cu, according to the List of Internet TLD (Signal level domain),
- CUB, according to the standard ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 (code list country),
- CUB, according to the Code list country of CIO,
- CUB, according to the Code list countries used by NATO, alpha-3,
- CUT, according to the List of prefixes ICAO of registration of the aircraft,
- DRIVEN, according to the List of the prefixes of codes ICAO of the airports,
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