Cuba

Cuba

Things to do - general

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba comprises the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is the capital of Cuba and its largest city. The second-largest city is Santiago de Cuba. To the north of Cuba lies the United States (150 km or 93 mi away), the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands are to the northeast, Mexico is to the west (210 km or 130 mi away), the Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.

The island of Cuba was inhabited by numerous Mesoamerican Indian tribes prior to the landing of explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, who claimed it for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, after which it gained nominal independence as a de facto U.S. protectorate in 1902. The fragile republic endured increasingly radical politics and social strife, and despite efforts to strengthen its democratic system, Cuba came under the dictatorship of former president Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Growing unrest and instability led to Batista’s ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterwards established a government under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965 the country has been governed as a single-party state by the Communist Party.

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and with over 11 million inhabitants, is the second-most populous after Hispaniola, albeit with a much lower population density for the region. It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, a close relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and proximity to the United States.

Cuba today is the only remaining communist state to receive a “very high” human development ranking from the United Nations, and ranks well in measures of health and education.

– Wikipedia

CountryCuba
CapitalHavana
Population~ 11,500,000
LanguageSpanish
CurrencyCuban Convertible Peso (CUC)
Area109,884 km2 (42,426 sq mi)
Entry Visa

Sold at the airport before departure (us$35). Visa and Medical Insurance are a must to get into Cuba.

Nature & Wild Life image

Nature & Wild Life

Cuba signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 12 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 8 March 1994. It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with one revision which was received by the convention on 24 January 2008.

The revision comprises an action plan with time limits for each item, and an indication of the governmental body responsible for delivery. There is, however, virtually no information in that document about biodiversity itself. The country's fourth national report to the CBD, however, contains a detailed breakdown of the numbers of species of each kingdom of life recorded from Cuba, the main groups being: animals (17,801 species), bacteria (270 species), chromista (707 species), fungi, including lichen-forming species (5844 species), plants (9107 species) and protozoa (1440 species).

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Government

The Republic of Cuba is one of the world's last remaining Communist states. The Constitution of 1976, which defined Cuba as a socialist republic, was replaced by the Constitution of 1992, which is "guided by the ideas of José Martí and the political and social ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin." The constitution describes the Communist Party of Cuba as the "leading force of society and of the state".

The First Secretary of the Communist Party is concurrently President of the Council of State (President of Cuba) and President of the Council of Ministers (sometimes referred to as Premier of Cuba). Members of both councils are elected by the National Assembly of People's Power. The President of Cuba, who is also elected by the Assembly, serves for five years and there is no limit to the number of terms of office.
The headquarters of the Communist Party.

The People's Supreme Court serves as Cuba's highest judicial branch of government. It is also the court of last resort for all appeals against the decisions of provincial courts.

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Culture & History

Cuba was inhabited by American Indian people known as the Taíno, also called Arawak by the Spanish, and Guanajatabey and Ciboney people before the arrival of the Spanish. The ancestors of these Native Americans migrated from the mainland of North, Central and South America several centuries earlier. The native Taínos called the island Caobana, correct spelling is "Coabana", which appears wrong on the referred site. The Taíno were farmers while the Ciboney were farmers as well as fishers and hunter-gatherers.

After first landing on an island then called Guanahani, Bahamas on October 12, 1492, La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa María, the first three European ships under the command of Christopher Columbus, landed on Cuba's northeastern coast near what is now Bariay, Holguin province on October 28, 1492. He claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias.

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.

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