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  Wikipedia: Cuba

Wikipedia: Cuba
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Alternate meanings: see Cuba (disambiguation)

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

The Republic of Cuba is an archipelago in the northern Caribbean, in between the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. To the north are found the United States and the Bahamas, to the west Mexico, to the south the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, and to the southeast Haiti.

República de Cuba
(In Detail)
National motto: "Patria y Libertad" (Homeland and Freedom)
Official language Spanish
Capital Havana
Largest City Havana
President Fidel Castro
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 106th
100,860 km²
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 67th
 - Declared
 - Recognised
Sp.-Am. War
October 10, 1868
May 20, 1902
Currency Cuban Peso
Time zone UTC -5
National anthem La Bayamesa
Internet TLD .CU
Calling Code53


Main article: History of Cuba

Cuba and its originally Amerindian population (Taino, Siboney and Guanajatabey) came under Spanish control in the 16th century. The colony's struggle for independence started in 1868 and continued during the 19th century until the Spanish-American War of 1898. The US then occupied the island until recognising independence in 1902, though limited by the Platt Amendment -revoked in 1934-, after which the US continued to exercise considerable control over Cuban affairs.

Fidel Castro and a rebel army in 1959 overthrew president Fulgencio Batista. When Castro started to implement political and social reforms that threatened the United States' longstanding domination of the island, relations with the US rapidly deteriorated. Eventually, he would turn to Soviet backing and trade ties instead, declared the Revolution socialist in 1961 and set up a Communist state. A Constitution of Soviet inspiration was implemented in 1976.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country suffered an economic setback, but has recovered to an extent since then, though economic and political reforms have been made only haltingly. The Constitution was ammended in 1992 to reflect the new reality both domestic and international.


Main article: Politics of Cuba

Cuba is a Communist state. Fidel Castro has been in power since 1959, first as prime minister and after the abolition of that office in 1976 as president. He is both head of state and head of government, as well as First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, and commander in chief of the armed forces.

The unicameral Cuban parliament is the National Assembly of People's Power or Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular. Its 609 members are elected, and they serve five-year terms. The communist party is constitutionally recognised as Cuba's only legal political party. The party and its affiliated organisations monopolise all government positions, including judicial offices. Other political issues include illegal emigration to the US, the economic embargo enforced by the United States and the government's imprisonment of political dissidents.


Main article: Provinces of Cuba

Cuba is divided into 14 provinces of 169 municipalities, and one special municipality (the Isle of Youth).

  1. Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud)
  2. Pinar del Río
  3. Havana (La Habana)
  4. Havana City (Ciudad de La Habana)
  5. Matanzas
  6. Cienfuegos
  7. Villa Clara
  8. Sancti Spíritus
  1. Ciego de Ávila
  2. Camagüey
  3. Las Tunas
  4. Granma
  5. Holguín
  6. Santiago de Cuba
  7. Guantánamo


Main article: Geography of Cuba

The elongated island of Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and is bounded to the north by the Straits of Florida and the greater North Atlantic Ocean, to the northwest by the Gulf of Mexico, to the west by the Yucatan Channel, to the south by the Caribbean Sea, and to the east by the Windward Passage. The Republic comprises the entire island, including many outlying islands such as the Isle of Youth, with the exception of Guantanamo Bay, a naval base that has been leased by the United States since 1903.

The island consists mostly of flat to rolling plains, with more rugged hills and mountains primarily in the southeast and the highest point is the Pico Real del Turquino at 2,005 m. The local climate is tropical, though moderated by trade winds. There is a drier season from November to April, and a rainier season from May to October. Havana is the largest city and capital, other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey.


Main article: Economy of Cuba

The government continues to exert firm political control over the economy. It has undertaken limited reforms in recent years to stem excess liquidity, increase enterprise efficiency, and alleviate serious shortages of food, consumer goods, and services, but seems unlikely to implement extensive changes. A major feature of the economy is the dichotomy between relatively efficient export and tourism enclaves and inefficient domestic sectors.

The Cuban economy was hit hard in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Comecon economic bloc, with which it had traded predominantly. A continuing United States trade embargo has had a detrimental effect on the economy since the early 1960s. More recent problems include high oil prices, recessions in key export markets such as sugar and nickel, damage from hurricanes, depressed tourism, and faltering world economic conditions.


Main article: Demographics of Cuba

Cuba is a multiracial society with a population of either mixed (mulatto) or more specific Spanish and African origins. There is also a small ethnic Chinese community. The largest organised religion is the Roman Catholic Church. Afro-Cuban or Santeria religions, a blend of native African religions and Roman Catholicism, are widely practiced in Cuba. Officially, Cuba had been an atheist state for most of the Castro era, but religious restrictions have been relaxed since 1991 and the state secularised. Smaller Protestant and Jewish minorities also exist.


Main article: Culture of Cuba

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
January 1Liberation Day
July 26Rebellion Day

Miscellaneous topics

External links

  • Cuban Government - Official governmental site
  • Cubaweb - Cuban directory
  • Granma - Cuban Communist Party's newspaper
  • CUBANET - News from Cuba's independent journalists and dissidents



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona