Testimonials about our papers

Professional research paper about cuba

Free research paper on Cuba

In November 1962, the United States discovered an installing of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles ( IRBMs ) on the island of Cuba, merely 90 stat mis from the seashore of Florida. The Soviet Union, who hitherto was strategically inferior to the United States in atomic capableness, donated these missiles to Cuba. Moscow sought diplomatic ends aimed at weakening the US’s continued policy of containment of communism, including a backdown of US forces from Berlin, a warrant that the US would non occupy Cuba, and a remotion of US missiles from Turkey. The episode of IRBMs in Cuba strengthened Moscow’s dickering power in dialogues with the United States. For the first clip, the United States were threatened by a military capable of making far inside their boundary lines with a possible capableness for mass devastation. Unlike old land force brushs through history, this menace endangered their major political establishments, civilian population Centres, and industrial constructions. US president Kennedy was determined that the Soviet Union would non endorse him into a corner, and was left with no other option than to stand house against the Soviet’s demands. In a clip of mass public craze, there was no important resistance to this stance. Kennedy could non compromise, at all costs, even if this meant put on the lining a 3rd universe war.

Following the 1959 Cuban revolution, where the guerilla forces led by Fidel Castro overthrew the US-backed dictator Batista in Cuba, the United States showed finding to re-establish a capitalist-led government. In a clip of bipolar international political relations, it was a debasement to capitalist self-respect that there should be a communist government merely 90 stat mis from the seashore of the world’s strongest capitalist power. Castro did non ab initio declared any alliance with Moscow. Indeed in April 1959, the Cuban leader even visited the United States to discourse fiscal assistance for an their industrialisation plan. However the United States saw communism in any signifier as an enemy. In the clip taking up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the CIA repeatedly endeavoured to displace Castro from power.

The efforts to subvert Castro eventually came to a caput when, in bombast 19blah, a CIA-backed force of 1500 work forces, chiefly Cuban expatriates, landed at the Bay of Pigs, set abouting to ramp into Havana and drive out Castro’s government. Within three yearss Castro’s army easy repelled this invasion. The CIA had tried to mask returning planes set downing in Florida as that of defected Cuban air force combatants, but without trouble the imperativeness identified them as CIA planes. This invasion was clear verification of the US purpose to subvert Castro. Documents have since been released turn outing farther efforts to sabotage Castro, including failed blackwash efforts, corroborating the finding of the US to dispose of the leader. In 19XX, he officially aligned Cuba with Soviet communism

If we are to understand why the United States were prepared to put on the line a 3rd World War, we must foremost understand the significance of the menace they posed. Until the missiles were installed in Cuba, the United States clearly had the upper manus in footings of the strategic placement of atomic arms of mass devastation. Before 1961, 5 failed US efforts at establishing ballistic missiles and one failed effort at establishing a orbiter into infinite, had led to the media publically denoting that the United States were falling back in the atomic weaponries race. With the impending presidential election, Democratic campaigner exploited the Republican failure to forestall Soviet high quality in the tally up to the polls.

However in 1961, US spokesmen publically announced their atomic domination over the Soviets. Not merely did they have an estimated 17 times more atomic power than the Soviet Union, but they besides had atomic missile bases in Turkey, Italy, and the Federal Republic of Germany, all with their missiles pointed at the Soviet Union. The Soviets did non hold the long-range atomic capablenesss of the United States, and so the oceans served as a natural protective shield. The strategic placement of missiles in Cuba strengthened the Moscow’s bargaining power in dialogues with the United States.

The arms entirely were adequate to make mass craze, but the fact that the US discovered them before the Soviet Union or Cuba declared their being added greatly to suspicion refering Moscow’s motivations. Khruschev and Castro intended to publically denote the being of the missiles in November, after the United States congressional elections, but the fact that the United States had failed to forestall their episode at the beginning, farther undermined American national security, supercharging the President to stay steadfast in his response. While it was officially declared that the missiles were placed in Cuba entirely to forestall farther invasions, few have since argued that there were no farther underlying Soviet motivations. Until now, the Soviet Union was clearly in no place to do political demands to a formidably stronger United States. With missiles now in a place to do terrible desolation to America, this now put the Soviet Union in good standing to negociate over other issues.

Free research documents, free research paper samples and free illustration research undertakings on Cuba subjects are plagiarized. Order a usage written research paper from EffectivePapers.com now: EffectivePapers.com is professional research paper composing service which is committed to compose high-grade usage research documents, term documents, essays, thesis documents and thesiss. All custom research documents are written by qualified Master’s and PhD authors. Just order a usage written research paper on Cuba at our web site and we will compose your research paper at low-cost monetary values. We are available 24/7 to assist pupils with composing research documents for high school, college and university.

Country Report on Cuba

( SUMMARY on Women = Throughout the universe, adult females are underrepresented in the political sphere. However, Nordic states fare slightly better in this respect. Still, fewer than one in six members of parliament worldwide are female. There are societal, economic and cultural factors which account for this. Research has shown that political success is linked to economic power. As we have seen, adult females in most L-D-C’s have fewer economic chances than work forces. This earnestly reduces their ability to be politically outstanding. Cultural biass besides affect women’s potency for political activity, particularly in the Islamic provinces of the Middle East. Society in general must hold an involvement in holding female political representation for effectual steps to be put in topographic point. For illustration, since 19 90 one, gender-quota Torahs relevant to parliament hold been passed in 20 states, 14 of which are L-D-C’s. There are two chief ways to guarantee greater female representation in parliament. One is reserving seats for adult females and the other is the constitution of gender quotas for the slates of parliamentary campaigners in general elections. However, both of these schemes have the possible to suppress instead than promote female engagement. With reserved seats, adult females are non voted into office in the usual manner and therefore they are improbable to dispute the male power construction.

Welcome to our EssayLib.com Blog!

On our web log you will happen a batch of utile tips and advice from professional academic authors, along with the specific illustrations of their authorship. Here you may read assorted sample research documents and instance surveies, theses and thesiss, essays and reappraisals. All the sample documents we post on our web log may merely function as an illustration for our visitants and can non be submitted as their ain work, since this will ensue in plagiarism accusals. However, if you like a certain paper and would wish to order a similar one on your specific subject – do non waver to put an order on our web site and hold your paper completed from abrasion by our professional PhD and Master 's degree keeping authors.

Free Research Paper on Cuba

Cuba. This island is known everyplace in the universe. Everybody knows such names as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Besides Cuba is associated with Caribbean crisis, which had frightened both the U.S.A. and USSR. That’s all that common individual knows about this land and state celebrated for specific civilization and interesting history ( particularly of the twentieth century ) . Cuba has ever been a part of American involvements in the Caribbean Sea and its 45-year opposition against capitalist economy ( in fact – American political relations ) impresses everyone, even individual hostile to Cuban government. That’s why before holding a closer expression on the additions of Cuban revolution it’s of import to give the general features of Cuba in the political relations of the modern universe. It’s of import to research the grounds of Cuban revolution every bit good in order to better understand it’s intents and the consequences in economical and societal domain that were achieved by Castro’s authorities after the revolution was over. In this inquiry it’s besides of import to pay attending to the dealingss of Cuba with foreign states and with the USA peculiarly.

Many old ages have past, Communism had a great success but it died after Soviet Union collapsed. Now China and Vietnam seek to democratise and capitalise ain economic sciences. Merely Cuba and North Korea are still devoted to Communism. But even there we can happen some thoughts of capitalist economy. The bulk of Socialistic revolutions ( older and younger that Cuban ) are history already. Some scientists admit that Cuban revolution took topographic point in the most complicated state of affairs and practically had no opportunity to come true. But Cubans proved their moral strength and they still win protecting the Revolution. Cuban revolution created the first Socialistic province in this portion of Earth. Now I’ll attempt to happen out why Cuban Revolution of 1958 was inevitable. Besides it is really interesting and deserving analyzing that Cuba was non the most developed state of Latin America and many people explain the Revolution with Fidels personal appeal, Russian success and American misreckonings. As historian Jules Benjamin in his book “The United States and Cuba” wrote, United States and Cuba had ever really uneasy dealingss.

Cubans didn’t like that and wanted to govern themselves in their state and work merely for their native land. The bulk of Cuban population was provincials and the chief ground harmonizing to this fact was deficit of land. Local landholders and American corporations had bought province and private lands in the beginning of twentieth century for really low monetary values, so the bulk of population was left with no land. Some of them had to go workers there ; some captured province land in the mountains that were really bad to works anything on. Peoples who were considered provincials had neither equipment nor electricity. They didn’t have any schools and infirmaries, lived in awful poorness. Any private proprietor of land could free his land if some java company loved his land in the mountains. Such “owners” were considered “independent” . Other provincials didn’t hold even such “independence” . Harmonizing to the contract concluded with sugar or baccy company provincial had to pay rent payment, sell all goods merely to this company and take different credits.

New authorities had to work out all the bing jobs and its first intent was non to free the trust of the state. They promised reforms and they had to accomplish them. No uncertainty the major reforms had to be made in economic sciences and societal domain. Cuban authorities expropriated belongings from rich landholders, nationalized all endeavors and belongings that was in the ownerships of aliens. But to construct new economic sciences was rather hard, to set up new dealingss look for the solutions of economical jobs, economical isolation was impossible when there were 1000s and 1000000s of hungry, hapless people. That’s why the major focal point of new authorities was to better populating conditions of bulk of population. No admiration that even economical reforms had a societal character as they were directed to fulfill the basic demands of common people. Peasants got the land, but non in the private belongings, as all the land belonged to the province, but to a corporate belongings and formed corporate farms. Anyways this solution was better than intolerable conditions of labour on the plantations of landholders, as the bulk didn’t even have little homesteads. Workers got better conditions of labour, societal protection and free medical attention. In fact the reform in lodging sector, medical and wellness attention sector and in instruction was really progressive for the state. Here comes a inquiry: how a little agricultural state with undeveloped market, with undeveloped trade dealingss and which was in deep economical crisis could accomplish such societal additions. The reply is simple: the aid from the “big brother” Soviet Union. The experts estimate that Soviet Union had subsidized more than 50 billion dollars to Cuban economic sciences and to Cuban societal sector.

Cuban revolution besides solved the job of women’s emancipation, as adult females gained the rights as work forces had. British journal “Cuban C” proposes the undermentioned statistics: Womans in instruction: 49.5 % of the entire figure of universities alumnuss and 62 % from the entire figure of pupils in establishments of higher learning Employment: 22 % of workers ; 65 % of technicians ; 87 % of decision makers ; 54 % in service sector ; 33.5 % of directors ; In authorities: 35 % of seats in parliament ; 16 % in the state’s council ; 18 % of curates ; 22 % of secondary curates ; 61 % of public prosecuting officers ; 49 % of Judgess ; 47 % of Judgess in the supreme tribunal

Besides statistics about women’s engagement there is general statistics about Cuban society: Average life continuance: women-78 old ages, work forces –74 old ages ( even higher than in some of the developed European states ) Children decease rate 6.3 on 1000 new-borns ( the lowest in Latin America, before 1958 it was one of the highest in Latin America ) Access to instruction and medical attention is free, in add-on Cuban medical attention offers particular plans for psychic rehabilitation, early childhood instruction ( from the age of 3 months and to the school age ) for a symbolic fee. Entire protection of maternity, authorities subsidizes adult females workers who take career for babe attention to the age of 1 twelvemonth with maintaining a workplace and wage.

So as we can see the consequences of societal alterations are great, Cubans of Batista’s government could merely woolgather about such additions. This article promised by Fidel and Cuban revolutionists was fulfilled absolutely. It helped Castro’s government to continue support of the population and command all societal procedures even during the old ages of economic stagnancy and crisis. What is more of import is that Castro’s authorities was able to maintain these societal services working even during the old ages of economical crisis. As we can see that Cuban revolution had changed the societal conditions of Cuban people, Lashkar-e-Taibas now have a expression on additions of authorities in economical domain.

Victories in economic sciences were non so obvious. It’s adequate to state that Cuban leaders who came to power had no positions about economic sciences ; they had no construct about the ways it had to develop. The undermentioned fact about Che Guevara tells a batch. As Cuba refused from cooperation with major capitalist universe it became dependent upon the imports of socialist European states. The imported goods had concentrated in the havens of Havana, and the job had to be solved. One of the American economic experts, who was in Cuba suggested Che Guevara to construct immense warehouses for maintaining imported goods in them. Che Guevara asked one of the Marxist economic experts about the best manner to work out the inquiry and they told that warehouses would make extra value to goods, as the consequence they’ll become more expensive. The statement of American economic expert based on common sense appeared to be unpersuasive for the Ministry of economic sciences and the warehouses were non constructed. Later, after several old ages passed Soviet Union forced Cuba to construct ware houses, as the goods began to botch and Countries-donors were fring immense amounts. By the manner, the haven warehouses were built on the financess of the Soviet Union. As it was told the export of Cuban sugar was a concealed signifier of lessening Cuban economic sciences. But still this cooperation didn’t conveying any impressive consequences, and didn’t develop Cuban economical potency. Fuel, wheat, fish, machines, machine tools, industrial equipment everything was imported from abroad, and at the same clip there was no stimulation for the development of Cuban merchandises. Government didn’t create favourable conditions for the development of industry, which would fulfill Cuban internal markets. When stating that it didn’t create favourable conditions for Cuban industry I mean that it didn’t interfere profoundly into this job, as lone authorities had the rights to direct the development of industry, build endeavors and develop country’s substructure, there was no existent power in the custodies of common people as they didn’t have financess adequate and didn’t have the right for making ain concerns.

As a consequence country’s economical system was really weak and the state remained to be hapless. Of class the conditions that were established by Castro’s government were more favourable for Cuban state, as Cuba gained the right to pull off its belongings independently. The goods, and capitals were non exported in such immense sizes as it was during Batista’s government and in old old ages. State had got the right to direct its development and be independent from the will of universe capitalist economy in the face of the USA. No admiration that nationalisation of belongings and expropriation of lands from landholders had resulted in new financess available for authorities and for betterment of life conditions of Cubans. The support of authorities by Cubans, still wasn’t long, the euphory of revolution was reasonably shortly over, as Cuban authorities appeared to be unable to work out many of the economical jobs and caused a pro-longed economical stagnancy of the state. The state appeared to be disable to work out the job of monolithic poorness and the job of low wages and alleged “equality” when everyone was hapless, when simple workers go the wages sometime even higher than qualified applied scientists and scientists, and when the profession of taxi-driver appear to be the most profitable, as they could gain money by transporting tourers. But still even tourer concern, the chief article of “alive” currency ( American dollars ) or hard currency was non to the full exploited, as Cuban touristry appeared to be in great diminution after Fidel took power. Fidel’s authorities didn’t agree to get down a war on dual foreparts from one side to back up the “survivals of capitalist economy in the face of tourer industry, which was directed on the tourers from capitalist world” and on the other manus to construct socialism. They decided to be just in accomplishing this end, to be ideologically just. The consequence was tragic- the whole Cuban state lost. Country’s hapless economic sciences failed to supply with nice life manner the population and to demo its internal crisis it’s adequate to advert that one-year carnivals on the Three Kings twenty-four hours, a great Catholic vacation particularly for Cubans were cancelled because of hard economical state of affairs.

Merely in in-between 1880ss Cuban economic sciences started to demo the marks of common sense and marks of its market orientation. Cuban authorities began to subsidise money to research possible oilfields, metal sedimentations and what is more of import it began to subsidise national economic sciences, as a consequence series of endeavors that substituted imported goods were constructed. Not surprising that their building was every bit good funded by European socialist states and preponderantly by Soviet Union. But a rapid prostration of the Soviet Union and the alteration of political about of all states members of Warsaw treaty left Cuban economic sciences to the rough worlds of economical crisis. During 1989-1992 there appeared unsmooth lessening of sugar export, as Soviet Union and eastern European states refused to purchase it, which meant non merely the halt of concealed subsidizing of Cuba but at the same clip the lessening of Cuban net incomes from export in general. The passage to the free currency scenes ( to dollar scenes ) greatly limited the economical potencies of Cuba for the purchase of oil merchandises, industrial equipment, client goods and food-stuff on former market of the states members of Warsaw treaty. If to speak by the linguistic communication of Numberss the goods exchange of Cuba in 1993 with former socialist counties reduced to the degree of 15 % of the 1988. Furthermore former Alliess factually joined the USA in economical encirclement of the “island of freedom” , which wasn’t even done by Western Europe and Canada. Russia even refused to sell oil for dollars. Cuban economic sciences was stroked. Industry was left without fuel, energy, equipment, and agribusiness without fertilisers. It reduced the produced of sugar, baccy and during the old ages of 1989-1993 the production of national gross merchandise about on one tierce. Nevertheless the authorities of Fidel Castro about performed an exploit acquiring state out of economical crisis, as Cuba was able to follow the alterations and transform its economic sciences. Cuba had signed of import international pacts with states of Latin America and major European provinces that guarantee just and effectual goods exchange, it besides had become the member of universe trading organisation ( as we know Russia and all former Soviet democracies are non equal members of this organisation ) , Cuba expanded private sector of economic sciences and allowed self-employment of its citizens. Farmers besides received privileges ad became the proprietors of land, even working on corporate and concerted farms. Tourist sector of economic sciences began to quickly develop, guarantying import of “cash” to the state.

Making a decision we should take into consideration that economic sciences and societal substructure of the state are reciprocally connected and are built-in constituents of each other. It’s impossible to look on states societal sector without taking into consideration the economic sciences, which financess it. But for Cuba this construct appeared to be unsuitable every bit good as for former socialist provinces. They wanted to set up a “heaven” from the side of the authorities by supplying the population with societal protection and insurance, but at the same clip maintaining the whole state about at the poorness line. Factually every one appeared to be equal and have a protection from the province, but they could bask the additions of the state merely on its district being alienated from the whole universe. Social protection was achieved by doing everyone equal, doing everyone a unit of the autocratic government, with equal chances and equal rights, dividing and estranging state from the remainder of the universe.

But still we should acknowledge that Cuban revolution was completed as it had realized the chief intents to emancipate the state from foreign capitalist economy, to return belongings to the people and to set up endurable conditions for people. Cuba remains and nowadays one of the few provinces with protected societies in Latin America, with free instruction, free medical attention and labour protection. These additions remained even during the rough old ages of economical encirclement and guaranteed societal stableness. Many historiographers call Cuban revolution as a socialist revolution and we should hold that most of all it was societal and it changed the society, it changed the attitude of authorities to the society as Castro’s authorities, despite its frailties and lacks in economical direction and misdemeanor of human rights, was able to vouch the realisation of hope of Cuban state, which suffered for centuries, and it was a hope of country’s independency and endurable life of Cuban state. The consequences of first old ages after Cuban revolution proved that, but the rough worlds of modern universe, of planetary market changed the economical orientation of the state doing it oriented on international markets and if so altering its construction by higher engagement of private sector.

Literature: 1.Patterson, Thomas Confronting Castro 2.Perez-Stable, Marifeli The Cuban Revolution 3.Thomas, Hugh The Cuban Revolution 4.Benjamin, Jules Then United States and Cuba 5.Fernandez, Alina Castro’s girl 6.Huberman, Leo Sweezy, Paul M. Cuba: Anatomy of a Revolution 7.Bunck, Julie Marie Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba 8.Del Aguila, Juan M. Cuba, Dilemmas of a Revolution 9.Williams, William Appleman The United States, Cuba, and Castro: An Essay on the Dynamics of Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire 10.The Cuban Revolution into the 1990s: Cuban Positions, Centro De Estudios Sobre America 11.Skoller, Jeffrey The Future’s Past: Re-imaging the Cuban Revolution, in Afterimage 12.Smith, Lois M. Padula, Alfred Sex and Revolution: Womans in Socialist Cuba

U.S. Relations With Cuba

At the tallness of the Cold War, and following the Cuban authorities 's expropriation of U.S. belongingss and its move toward acceptance of a one-party system of authorities, the United States imposed an trade stoppage on Cuba in 1960 and broke diplomatic dealingss in 1961. On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced a new chapter in U.S.-Cuba dealingss. A major measure in this procedure was reached on July 1, 2015, when President Obama announced the determination to re-establish diplomatic dealingss between the United States and Cuba, effectual July 20 with the re-opening of embassies in both states. President Obama’s trip to Cuba in March 2016 marked a historic milepost in the standardization procedure between the United States and Cuba.

U.S. policy toward Cuba is focused on back uping our values, such as freedom of address and assembly and the ability to entree information, through battle. The U.S. authorities is making out to the Cuban people by furthering increased people-to-people exchanges, promoting the development of telecommunications and the cyberspace, and making chances for U.S. concerns to back up the growing of Cuba’s nascent private sector. Through the gap of embassies, the United States is now able to prosecute more loosely across all sectors of Cuban society, including the authorities, civil society, and the general populace. The United States is committed to back uping safe, orderly, and legal migration from Cuba through the effectual execution of the 1994-95 U.S.-Cuba Migration Agreements.

Although economic countenances remain in topographic point, the United States is one of Cuba’s primary providers of nutrient and agricultural merchandises, with exports of those goods valued at $ 149 million in 2015. The United States is besides a important provider of human-centered goods to Cuba, including medical specialties and medical merchandises. Remittances from the United States, estimated $ 3 billion for 2015, play an of import function in Cuba 's collectivist economic system. Since January 2015, the United States announced five unit of ammunitions of regulative alterations that, among other things, take bounds on donative remittals to Cuban subjects, authorise expanded commercial exports from the United States of certain goods and services, permit U.S. establishments to open letter writer histories at Cuban fiscal establishments, and permit the usage of U.S. recognition and debit cards by authorised travellers to Cuba. Five U.S. telecommunications houses have reached understandings with the Cuban authorities on direct interconnectedness for voice and information services since re-establishment of diplomatic dealingss.

Travel to Cuba for tourer activities remains forbidden, and U.S. federal ordinances restrict travel to Cuba to licensed travellers engaged in certain specified activities. In January 2015, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC ) issued general licences in the 12 classs of travel authorized by jurisprudence, intending that those travellers who qualify under these licences do non necessitate to wait for U.S. authorities blessing in order to go. If one’s travel does non measure up for a general licence, persons would necessitate to use for a specific licence. Further information on the licensing procedure can be obtained OFAC or at its web site. Those contemplating travel to Cuba should confer with the consular information page about the state. Following the recommencement of the U.S. – Cuba Migration Talks to discourse execution of the 1994-95 Migration Accords, in July 2013 the State Department announced the extension of the continuance of certain non-immigrant visas for qualified Cuban travellers from six months ( individual entry ) to five old ages ( multiple entry ) .

Certain exports to Cuba must be authorized by the Commerce Department 's Bureau of Industry and Security ( BIS ) . Further information on exports to Cuba can be found at the BIS web site. Most imports from Cuba and other Cuban-origin goods ( e.g. , ware purchased or otherwise acquired in Cuba or of Cuban beginning acquired in a 3rd state ) are prohibited, although importing of Cuban-origin information and informational stuffs ( for illustration, publications, movies, postings, exposure, tapes, compact phonograph record, and certain graphics ) are exempt from the prohibition. Furthermore, certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban enterprisers are eligible for importing into the United States – for more information, see the State Department’s Section 515.582 List. Further information on imports from Cuba can be found at the OFAC web site.

Cuba has an activist foreign policy and aims to happen new beginnings of trade, assistance, foreign investing, and political support. Cuba and the United States belong to a figure of the same international organisations, including the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Cuba was excluded from engagement in the Organization of American States in 1962. That exclusion was lifted in 2009, with its future engagement to be determined through a duologue initiated by Cuba and in conformity with the patterns, intents, and rules of the OAS. In April of 2015, Cuba attended the Acme of the Americas for the first clip, where President Raul Castro met with President Obama in the first face-to-face meeting between leaders of the United States and Cuba in more than 50 old ages.


In October 2011, purchasing and selling autos became legal. Besides, Raul Castro started leting Cubans to travel into concern for themselves in a assortment of sanctioned occupations, from accounting to nutrient sellers. The following month, the authorities began leting existent estate to be bought and sold for the first clip since the yearss instantly following the revolution. A new jurisprudence, using merely to lasting occupants, went into consequence on November 10. The jurisprudence, an attempt to forestall monolithic existent estate retentions, bounds Cubans to having one place in the metropolis and one in the state. The new jurisprudence besides requires that all new existent estate minutess be made through Cuban bank histories for ordinance intents.

The new policy provinces that as of January 13, 2013, Cubans could go forth the state on holidaies or everlastingly. They would merely necessitate a valid passport and a visa from the state of their finish. It besides stated that Cubans could remain abroad longer, up to two old ages before they lose their citizenship and benefits. However, the new policy besides stated that Cubans could be stopped from go forthing the state for `` defence and national security '' grounds. This portion of the new jurisprudence suggested that while Castro and the Cuban authorities were replying the demands for alteration, they were besides keeping tight control of political dissenters.

With diplomatic dealingss restored, the prohibition for Americans going to Cuba was lifted. Before Dec. 2014, Americans could merely go to Cuba with permission from the U.S. State Department. After Dec. 2014, tourers from the U.S. still had to travel as portion of a spiritual, educational, and cultural group, but the travel prohibition being lifted made it easier in other ways for Americans sing Cuba. Internet entree, an embassy, and the usage of recognition cards were shortly available for the first clip to help Americans while in Cuba. Besides, the U.S. authorities began leting Americans to convey little measures of points back from Cuba, including cigars. Cuban cigar shapers estimated that their gross revenues would increase from $ 3 million to $ 6 million in 2015, due to the new regulation.

In early Feb. 2016, another major measure in dealingss between the two states took topographic point when programs for President Obama to see Cuba were announced. The last and merely president to see Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Obama 's historic visit occurred in March. Obama and Cuban president Raul Castro appeared at a intelligence conference together at the Revolutionary Palace. While both were affable, both presidents challenged the policies of each other 's state. Obama criticized Cuba 's policy on human rights, and Castro challenged the income spread in the U.S. and the state 's failure to supply cosmopolitan wellness attention. In a address at the Grand Theatre, where President Coolidge spoke about 90 old ages ago, Obama said, `` I have come here to bury the last leftover of the Cold War in the Americas. '' He besides said Castro `` need non fear the different voices of the Cuban people? and their capacity to talk, and assemble, and ballot for their leaders. '' Obama and his household attended a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national squad during their visit.


Cuba became a U.S. associated state in 1898 after American and Cuban forces defeated Spanish forces during the Spanish-American War. In 1902, the Platt Amendment ended the U.S. military business of Cuba, but the United States reserved the right to step in in Cuban personal businesss in order to `` support Cuban independency and to keep a authorities adequate for the protection of life, belongings, and single liberty” . Between 1902 and 1959, many U.S. citizens lived in Cuba or often traveled to Cuba. The Cuban economic system relied to a great extent on touristry from the U.S. and Canada. Havana had a big figure of shows, events, and hotels providing to tourers.

The Cuban Revolution was a important turning point in U.S.-Cuban dealingss. Although the American authorities was ab initio willing to acknowledge Castro 's new authorities, it shortly came to fear that Communist insurgences would distribute through the states of Latin America, as they had in Southeast Asia. Castro, meanwhile, resented the Americans for supplying assistance to Batista 's authorities during the revolution. After the radical authorities nationalized all U.S. belongings in Cuba in August 1960, the American Eisenhower disposal froze all Cuban assets on American dirt, severed diplomatic ties and tightened its trade stoppage of Cuba.

After 1959, Cuban touristry diminished drastically and was largely for people within the Soviet block. As a consequence, Cuba did non regenerate many installations until the 1990s, when Cuba lost fiscal backup from the defunct Soviet Union, when Cuba opened its doors to foreign touristry and the ownership of foreign currency. Now many European, Canadian, and even American visitants come to the island. In the typical tourer parts like Varadero and Holguín many modern 3-star to 5-star hotels are available, while in less popular tourer parts visitants are still able to lease suites in many Cuban places ( called casas particulares ) .

Travel to Cuba for tourer activities remains prohibited for U.S. citizens by statues of a U.S. Congress Law. However, in March, 2016 The Obama disposal issued general licences for 12 classs of travel. Persons who meet the regulative conditions of the general licence they seek to go under bash non necessitate to use for an extra licence from OFAC to go to Cuba. The 12 classs of authorised travel to Cuba are: household visits ; official concern of the U.S. authorities, foreign authoritiess, and certain intergovernmental organisations ; journalistic activity ; professional research and professional meetings ; educational activities ; spiritual activities ; public public presentations, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions ; support for the Cuban people ; human-centered undertakings ; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes ; exportation, importing, or transmittal of information or informational stuffs ; and certain authorised export minutess.

Due to several long-standing factors ( e.g. U.S. trade stoppage against Cuba, bureaucratic ineffectualness, and the loss of Soviet subsidies ) , today much of the state 's substructure is urgently in demand of fix. Major tourer finishs have no jobs with power or H2O. Electricity outages have been common in Cuba, except in tourer installations. Since 2006 was designated the Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba, Cubans have installed many little generators to avoid blackouts. Since Venezuela began supplying Cuba with inexpensive oil and Cuba restarted the refinery in Cienfuegos, the energy state of affairs has improved. Many tourer adjustments offer 220V every bit good as 110V power beginnings. This is equal for your power demands and should be adequate to suit anything you plug in, at least to a sensible bound.

Visa and legal issues

Visa costs are routinely included in flights from Canada, with tourer visas delivered before landing. Visa cards can be purchased at Cancún, El Dorado, and many other gateway airdromes. However, delight look into on the handiness of visas in your place state before your flight. In many topographic points, they can be purchased in the airdrome or from an agent designated by the air hose that enters Cuba. Generally, they can be purchased at both Central American and South American airdromes, but non at most European airdromes ( Zurich being one exclusion ) . Acording to Cuban Embassy in The Netherlands, from 2017 visas can be purchased at Schiphol ( Amsterdam ) airdrome over TUI, Neckermann and Thomas Cook travel bureaus.

Entry demands for Cuba can be a spot dashing. If you are an exile from your state of birth, you must hold your adopted state 's passport or, if you do non hold citizenship in your current place state, you must be able to turn out your residence in the state where you live and work. Documentation is perfectly critical — documenting that you are on a valid visa to the state of beginning, documenting your true residence in that state, documenting your purpose to return to that state. A missive from your employer on company letterhead documenting your occupation, the length of your vacation from this occupation, and your clear purpose to return to that employment has been helpful for other travellers. There have been instances of people being denied issue every bit good as entry because security did non believe that they were returning to a state where they had a clear association. There have besides been instances of travellers being asked to telephone their employers to turn out their narrative. It 's best to be able to document your fortunes really to the full. Having a comprehensive path, with verifications of hotel reserves and the similar, is besides prudent.

By plane

There is a new coach service from the Terminal One ( domestic flights ) to La Habana Centro. So if you arrive in Cuba before 20:00 you can inquire the cab driver to convey you at that place and wait for the coach ( CUC1 for the cab and a few cents for the coach ) . For the more adventuresome, or for those wishing to salvage some money, public coachs run tardily into the eventide along Avenida Rancho Boyeros, merely a block from Terminal II. While taking the coach will be a mere few pennies, they are frequently jammed with riders, accordingly, if you are transporting more than a mid-size back pack or little carry-on piece of baggage, you may non, literally, be able to squeeze-in. If you choose this option, be cognizant, as of December 2016, coachs and coach Michigans do non hold coach maps. In other words, you will necessitate to come prepared with your ain map ; a solid sense of way, and some ability to talk Spanish.

While on the topic of baggage, lost or delayed baggage at Jose Marti International ( Havana ) is directed, at least at the International Terminal, to a lost and found area.If, for some ground, you are directed to the lost and found country, if at all possible, convey your luggage claim ticket or figure. Be prepared to be greeted by a crowd of people around the gate as staff do non implement the creative activity of a waiting line ( line ) . When you arrive at lost and found, look into with those who arrived before you. Often, they may hold penetrations into approximative delay times etc.. Speaking of delay times, as of December 2016, wait times can be every bit long as seven hours, or longer! Your wait clip will dependent upon what clip of twenty-four hours you arrive ( late night/early forenoons tend to hold shorter delay times ) every bit good as what clip of the hebdomad you arrive. If you are unable to do any advancement, you may besides demand, if at all possible, that your air hose take lead on escorting you though the gated doomed and found entry point. For a figure of invitees, this option proved successful.

By coach

Víazul is Cuba 's difficult currency coach line and is by far the best pick of public transit to tour the island. They run comfy air-conditioned long-distance managers with washrooms and telecastings to most topographic points of involvement to tourers. The coachs are acquiring a spot grubby, but they are dependable and punctual. Complete agendas can be found on the Viazul web site ( the Varadero - Santa Clara - Cienfuegos - Trinidad and return service is losing from the web site but runs daily ) . The coachs can be used theoretically by anyone, including Cubans, but in world, few Cubans can afford the exchangeable peso menus. Reservations can be made in progress, but are normally unneeded except at extremum travel times. In December/January 2015/16, most popular coach paths were booked out up to 4 yearss in progress so acquire in early if be aftering to go during this period. Make non blow your clip doing an online reserve on the web site -- that characteristic seldom works. Refreshments are non served, despite what the web site says, but the coachs stop for repast interruptions at main road eating houses with bad nutrient. ( Bring your ain nutrient! ) The coachs are frequently over air conditioned, so convey along something warm to have on. Note that most westerly coachs from Santiago de Cuba run overnight.

In La Habana paths are covered by newer YuTong Chinese coachs throughout the metropolis, and are a welcome reprieve from the extortionate cab menus. Each menu costs 0.40 CUP nevertheless far one travels. This is peculiarly utile in acquiring to the airdrome, where the official rate is 20-25 CUC from Centro or Vieja via cab ( although patient bargaining can take down this to 15 CUC ) ; any coach to Santiago de Las Vegas such as P-2, P-12 and P-16, which run from Parque Fraternidad following to the Capitolio and anyplace along Avendida de la Indepencia, can take you near the airdrome to Boyeros ( once more for 0.40 CUP or 0.02 CUC, a thousandth of what you 'd pay for a cab ) . From Boyeros outside the Psychiatric Hospital, or a few Michigans before, or one after, one can walk, flag a cab down, or if traveling to Terminal 3 take the 'Connexions ' coach. Peoples will be helpful when inquiring for advice about this whilst on the coach, even without Spanish accomplishments. To repeat at the clip of composing this option will be you from 0.02GBP as opposed to 20GBP. If you are transporting more than a little back battalion or carry-on baggage, they bus may non be the best option. Often, coachs, are jammed with, literally, no infinite to save!

Alternatively there are some guaguas which might acutally be cheaper than the official coach. The advantages of these collectivos is that they bring you precisely where you want, they can be cheaper and they run and halt for a bite when you want them to. Example Santa Clara - La Habana: Viazul costs 18 CUC and leave at 3:15AM and 5PM, the collectivo costs 40 - 50 CUC ( if you fill it up with 4 people it is 10 to 12 CUC each or instead you can wait for the driver to look for other riders ) . While this conveyance ( like many things in Cuba! ) is illegal in theory, retrieve that the money goes straight to the proprietor ( as opposed to the Cuban authorities ) and the opportunities of any jobs are minimum.

By cab

Official taxis are reasonably expensive for long distances. Between Havana and Viñales, for illustration, will run about CUC 90-100, although this can work out cheaper than going by coach or train if you split the menu between several people. Some recent ( Jan 2016 ) fares include 120 CUC for 4 pax Havana-Trinidad, 50 CUC for 4 pax Santa Clara-Matanzas ( this will be more or less depending on your fortune, dickering accomplishments, and willingness to wait for another cab ) . If you 're up for a small escapade, you can happen some enterprising locals willing to ( illicitly ) play `` taxi '' with their old auto for a small less money. Be cognizant that if they get caught, you will hold to acquire out of the auto. Although you will non be in any problem with the governments, you may happen yourself in the center of nowhere with no transit.

By auto

Car rental starts from CUC 65 per twenty-four hours ( including insurance ) plus the cost of a full armored combat vehicle of gasolene. The refundable sedimentations start around CUC 200. Rental autos are for the most portion reasonably new, imported European or Asiatic theoretical accounts. Any traffic tickets received are noted on a rental auto sheet and are deducted from your rental sedimentation. Note that if you are involved in a serious traffic accident affecting hurt or decease, you will be detained in Cuba until the legal procedure kinds things out, which can take from several months to a twelvemonth. For this ground, many states advise their citizens non to lease autos in Cuba.

By and large traffic is light, particularly off from Havana. Outside of towns and metropoliss traffic is normally really light, with no autos for stat mis on some rural roads. Be warned - you besides portion the main roads with local sales representative selling cheese, bites and onions ( ! ) , bicyclers ( sometimes traveling the incorrect manner, and at dark normally without visible radiations ) and horse-drawn vehicles. Besides note that the Autopista ( the chief main road running down the centre of the state ) is crossed at occasional intervals by railroad paths - take attention to decelerate down earlier traveling over to avoid harm to the tyres or suspension. Many of these have a stop mark ( `` PARE '' in Spanish ) which you should carefully mind - or put on the line a mulct of CUC 30, even if no train is coming.

Hitchhiking and the `` Amarillo ''

To utilize the system within metropoliss, merely maintain your eyes peeled for a adult male or adult female in a xanthous / ecru unvarying standing along the route near a line of people. State the functionary where you need to travel, and delay. To go long distances, you need to acquire to the `` punto Amarillo '' on the border of the metropolis in the way you 're traveling. Ask a local for aid on the best manner to make that. Then as you pass through metropoliss, inquire what coach or cab to take to acquire to the `` punto Amarillo '' on the surpassing route at the opposite extreme of the metropolis. This can be slippery, and it 's frequently deserving it to take a local cab. If you can happen a Cuban to attach to you on your journey, their aid will be priceless.

By motorcycle

Roadss in most topographic points in Cuba are sensible, but it may still be a good thought to convey a mountain motorcycle. Mountain motorcycles are stronger and let for better driving off-road. Make certain to convey all trim parts you might necessitate along the manner, since they will non be available in Cuba. As casas particulares are available even in comparatively little towns it is easy to be after an itinerary. Food for on the route can frequently be obtained locally for inexpensive Cuban Pesos, but make certain if you travel through more distant countries to transport plenty nutrient ( and H2O! ) . Obtaining bottled H2O outside the major metropoliss can be a definite job.


CUC ( marked odd fellow ) is the currency most tourers will utilize in Cuba. It is how you will pay for hotels, official taxis, entry into museums, repasts at eating houses, cigars, rum, etc. Since March 2011, the CUC has been set at par to the USD for exchange computation ( with committee and, in the instance of existent USD a punishment - see below ) . Conversion into CUC can be done at exchange houses ( casa de cambio, or cadeca ) . These are located in many hotels and in other topographic points throughout the metropoliss. CUC are valued at 25 times the value of CUP. Tourists are permitted to import or export a maxiumum of CUP 100 or CUC 200 at any one clip. Locals pronounce the currency CUC/CUCs as `` odd fellow '' or `` odd fellows ''

CUP are besides known as local pesos and are referred to in Spanish as `` Moneda Nacional '' ( National currency ) . As of Jan 2011, 1 CUC buys 24 CUP and 25 CUP buys 1 CUC. There is a limited scope of goods that can be bought for local pesos, and these are minutess carried out in agricultural markets or from street sellers. Fruits, veggies, fresh juices and bites from street sellers are among the things CUP can purchase. CUP 's besides buys the local cigars 'tabacos ' or 'Nacionales ' in local stores. These gustatory sensation carnival, and you get one for 1 CUP, far cheaper than what you have to pay for the exportation trade names. Try them, they are All right. If you plan on remaining in Havana there are plentifulness of locations that offer goods in CUP and they are deserving look intoing out. There are even sit down eating houses with nutrient priced in CUP. The nutrient is cheaper and you will be eating with existent Cubans. However the quality of culinary art can be really hit or miss.

The USD is no longer a proxy currency in Cuba, and now incurs a 10 % exchange punishment that other foreign currencies are exempt from. Therefore, if you are keeping USD, it may be cheaper to change over to another currency ( CAD/EUR/GBP ) , so long as you do n't lose more than 10 % in the transition. Ironically, if change overing from CUC to other currencies, USD is one of the few currencies that are available to change over to. There is no punishment when change overing to USD. Note that as of July 2016, the lone available currencies to change over from CUC at the airdrome were USD and the Euro. The smallest sized denominations available were $ 5 USD and 5 Euros.

For the overpowering bulk of travellers, it is wholly unneeded to interchange your money ( losing ) twice. Check to see if your place currency is accepted at the Banco Metropolitano. Over 75 % of Cuba 's visitants hold Canadian Dollars, Sterling or Euros which are absolutely acceptable. Mexican Pesos, Swiss Francs, Nipponese Yen, Australian Dollars and at least four other currencies are besides reportedly converted at major Bankss in Cuba. If you must alter a big amount of place currency for another, make certain to alter straight into CUCs, and research exchange rates in progress. For currencies that are n't accepted in Cuba, change overing to Euros in your place state will likely be the easiest & cheapest option.

Traveler 's cheques drawn on American Bankss are non technically valid in Cuba, though many have had success cashing U.S. traveller 's cheques at major tourer hotels. American Express cheques are hard to hard currency due to the likeliness that they were purchased with U.S. dollars. For illustration, Swiss traveller 's cheques will be accepted, every bit long as they are in Swiss francs, even if the cheques are made `` in license '' of an American bank, every bit long as the existent manufacturer of them is non-American. Visa Traveller 's checks are accepted, though the same cautions about being drawn on an American bank apply. It 's better to convey hard currency to Cuba ; resorts accept Euros, Canadian dollars, British lbs, Swiss francs and Hong Kong Dollar currencies without any fees. If backpacking or go forthing the resort countries, exchange your currency to CUCs, as foreign currency is non accepted by many locals. For U.S. dollars, they will bear down a punishment of 10 % , so it 's better to alter to Euros, Canadian dollars or Swiss francs before going at that place.

Many Bankss will state you that your debit card will be accepted in Cuba when in fact it will non. Make non trust on ATMs for hard currency as you may be used to in other states. Top Tip: Have adequate currency or travelers checks when you enter the state to acquire by, if necessary. There is a high opportunity you will non be able to retreat any hard currency other than with a recognition card, for which you will pay the transition to `` US dollar rate '' and so transition of those US dollars to your local currency at the rate charged by your card ( which is normally about 2 % more than the posted bank rate ) . To retreat hard currency you will necessitate to show your passport to an employee, and you will be asked where you are remaining. The Cadecas are unfastened longer hours than the Bankss, but the waiting lines are normally much shorter in the Bankss.


If you are be aftering to take large measures ( several boxes or more ) of cigars with you, be certain you have purchased them officially from an approved store that gives you proper purchase certification. Foreign subjects are allowed to export up to 50 cigars ( by and large 25 to a box ) without particular licenses or grosss, but the export of more requires official grosss. If you buy cigars cheap on streets and you do n't hold official purchase bill so your cigars may/will be confiscated. Besides, be advised that any purchase of Cuban cigars outside government-approved shops ( even in resorts ) has the possible to be bogus, and that the `` cigar mill worker who steals from the mill '' does non be in any appreciable measures. If you find a `` trade '' from a street seller, it 's improbably likely you are acquiring shams, some of which may non even be made of baccy. Always guarantee, no affair where you buy, that the Cuban authorities origin guarantee cast is decently affixed to the cigar box. Americans are no longer allowed to convey Cuban cigars back into the U.S. , irrespective of their value, if they have an OFAC licence, or even if they were given as a gift. It is besides illegal for Americans to smoke or purchase Cuban cigars anyplace in the universe.


Paladares are plentiful, even in the smaller towns. Seating is frequently limited, so you may necessitate to get when they open, normally around 5 or 6PM. If you are remaining in a casa peculiar inquire your host for recommendations, as the quality of the nutrient can change well between paladares. Merely eat in 1s that have a printed bill of fare with monetary values, otherwise you are really likely to pay two to three times every bit much as you should. That said, several have taken to publishing two different bill of fares, one with local monetary values and one with alien monetary values. Eating in paladares is absolutely legal, but be cognizant that if you are taken at that place by a Cuban, you may be charged excess in order to cover committee of the individual who brought you. A supper will be about 7 to 10 CUC per individual.

Havana Chinatown Food in Cuba is rather humdrum and - Lashkar-e-Taiba 's be honorable - reasonably bad ( chiefly rice, beans, poulet, sandwiches and pizza, all prepared without much respect to gustatory sensation or presentation ) , but look into out the little Havana Chinatown a few blocks west of the Capitolio if you are looking for something different. There are a few Chinese themed eating houses at that place, where the nutrient is neither dramatic nor truly reliable, but nice plenty if you ca n't confront another helping of rice and beans. Street nutrient can besides be a notch better here, seek the country around the intersection of Avenida de Italia and Avenue Zanja.


The option is to seek out local vicinity bars where you can take from a quality, but limited, choice of drinks ( chiefly locally produced rum by the bottle, beer and soft drinks, really seldom will you be able to acquire cocktails such as mojitos ) , cigars of doubtful and coffin nails of merely somewhat better quality, and sometimes bites. Local bars accept CUPs and are dirt-cheap, although saloon keepers will frequently inquire you for CUCs alternatively - it 's up to you to negociate an acceptable monetary value, but maintain in head that local saloon staff are province employees and ( literally ) paid a pittance. These bars are besides a good manner to run into locals who may even open up a spot and speak about their lives after a twosome of drinks.

Local bars are non that difficult to happen despite typically holding no outstanding marks displayed outside. Just ask or walk around a local vicinity and look out for a bare-walled, neon-lit room without any ornaments or furniture, save for a saloon and a few rickety chairs and tabular arraies, dark staff and depressed/bored/drunk-looking clients, about ever work forces. Contrary to Cuba 's repute as a music and merriment loving state, local bars are non rambunctious personal businesss - they are quiet, about subdued, music is seldom played ( if at all, it will come from a wireless but ne'er be unrecorded ) , and have the appeal of third-world railroad station waiting suites.

However, they make for a absorbing experience ( particularly if you make the attempt to talk to some locals - offering to purchase a drink will acquire a conversation traveling, no surprise at that place ) , and they provide a good penetration into what life must be like for ordinary Cubans without entree to difficult currency. As a foreign visitant, you will be by and large welcomed. Discoursing political relations over a drink is a slippery, and typically lose-lose proposition: speak negatively about the Cuban political system and you may set your Cuban imbibing comrades into a really hard place as they may really good be informed on for hanging out with insurgent aliens.


If you want to see something of the existent life of Cubans, the best topographic points to remain are casas particulares ( private houses licensed to offer lodging services to aliens ) . They are cheaper than hotels and the nutrient ( breakfast CUC 3-4, dinner CUC 7-10 ) is about ever better than you would acquire in a hotel. Casas particulares are plentiful even in little towns ; they are slightly more expensive in Havana than elsewhere. Note that any service offered by a casa particular other than adjustment, such as driving you to the coach station, will be added to your measure, irrespective of whether this is stated up forepart. Items such as bottled H2O supplied with your repast will besides hold a charge. Always make certain that you talk to the proprietor about what things will be when you arrive to avoid unpleasant surprises subsequently. These houses are under a batch of limitations by the authorities, so make sure that you are remaining at a legal `` casa '' . A legal house will hold a spine on the front door ( frequently a bluish mark on a white background ) , you will detect these as you walk past houses. Upon reaching, the houseowner will necessitate to take down your passport inside informations and how long you will be remaining for. Some Cubans do offer illegal adjustment and although they are cheaper, the quality of the nutrient and service is by and large lower. If found, the Cubans will put on the line a big mulct and it is best to avoid illegal casas wholly. If going around the island, it is recommended to inquire the casa proprietors if they have friends or household in the metropolis you are traveling to. There is a web of casas and the household will lief organize for you to be met by their friends off the coach at your following finish. Besides you could see www.casasdecuba-en.net and take the `` casa '' you like. If you prefer holding an flat all for yourself, you may desire to take a expression at www.yourcasaparticular.com, which offers merely independent Casas Particulares across the Island. Airbnb is now offering service in Cuba.

If traveling by coach, you will be accosted by jineteros ( streetwalkers ) seeking to take you to a casa, where they will acquire a committee and you will be charged the excess. You may wish to set up your adjustment in progress, either by inquiring your host to urge person or by utilizing a casa peculiar association ( note, nevertheless, that the party doing the debut will about ever receive a committee, which you end up paying as it will be included in the adjustment monetary value ) . Some will allow you book adjustment over the cyberspace before your trip, and will travel out of their manner to set up adjustment for you while you are at that place. But to avoid committees and irritations, the best thing to make is merely walk around by yourself and strike hard on doors with the typical `` arrendedor divisa '' mark, intending it is a legal casa specific. They are plentiful, and you 'll happen 1 that you like for the monetary value you want to pay ( by and large 15-20 CUC per room is standard around the island )

Stay safe

Cuba is by and large a really safe state ; rigorous and outstanding policing, combined with neighborhood-watch-style plans ( known as the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or C.D.R. ) are officially at that place to maintain the streets safe from violent offense. There is about no gun offense, violent robbery, organized pack civilization, teenage delinquency, drugs or unsafe no-go zones. Local felons try to avoid aiming aliens at all costs because they would pay a really steep monetary value if caught but maintain in head that all cats are black in the dark and you may go a victim even if by accident. However, a certain grade of common-sense and cautiousness is advisable, particularly in major metropoliss.

While one of the best things in Cuba is to run into the local people, there is a elusive line that divides the touristic universe from the existent universe of every twenty-four hours Cubans. Political subjects should be handle with regard and discretion. You can happen Cuban people ( chiefly older ) with nothing tolerance for any negative remarks about the revolution or Fidel Castro. Avoid references to North Korea, the Soviet Union, or any state that was linked to communism as this is likely to stir contention. Average Cubans will go really uncomfortable if a conversation turns to political relations or can be perceived to be derogative to the state or the political system. The words `` democracy '' or `` human rights '' are peculiarly thorny and one should non oppugn whether Cuba is a democracy or non. If a alien makes a negative remark about anything remotely related to the authorities, locals are expected to `` face '' this individual and they would non waver to make so. Intellectuals, higher instruction pupils, or people with really small instruction can go every bit uncomfortable with these subjects and can respond the same manner. Have common sense: ¿How many times a wholly unusual attack you in the street with similar inquiries? Warning: Any effort to reach local resistance leaders or supply any support to them, will be see a felony, and can be punished with exile of from the state or even gaol.

Womans should experience really safe as Cuba is a state with a high grade of feminine integrating into the society and there is small gender favoritism or jobs about it. It is about customary for a adult male to notice on the beauty of any adult female and this should non be taken negatively. These messages do non hold a sexual purpose or sexual torment, and should be answered with a polite `` gracias '' . Elders may even utilize looks that rhyme in Spanish and are called `` piropos '' and can run from really poetic to really vulgar. The receiver of these calls is non supposed to return the call or pay any attending to the episode or it can be interpreted as an involvement and can take to confusions. Tourist adult females can walk entirely at dark or at any clip of the twenty-four hours on any country that other tourers are present without any fright.

Stay healthy

Cuba is considered really healthy except for the H2O ; even many Cubans furuncle or filtrate their H2O. It is advisable to avoid any of the homemade juices served at the small eating houses frequented by locals. That said, some travellers drink untreated H2O without sick consequence. The best solution is bottled H2O and tonss of it, particularly for visitants who are non used to the 30+°C/85+°F temperatures. Bottled H2O ( `` agua de botella '' ) is easy found and costs between.65 and 2 CUC for a 1.5L bottle, depending on the store. It should be noted that the mineral count ( entire dissolved solids ) of bottled H2O is rather high compared to elsewhere in the universe, so if you are be aftering to see Cuba for an drawn-out period of clip ( e.g. as a pupil or on work license ) , it might be a utile thought to convey a little jug/sports bottle H2O filter with a few cartridges along to farther sublimate the H2O.


One manner to assist local Cubans is by remaining in casas particulares and eating in paladares. While free endeavor is normally banned, several old ages ago the authorities began selling expensive licences to persons wishing to open up suites for rent in their houses, or put up a few tabular arraies on their porch and cook out of their kitchens. Not merely are the licences really expensive but the fees must be paid monthly regardless of income, go forthing those less fortunate the possibility of really losing money. Not merely is it more interesting to remain with locals and eat in their places, you 're really straight profiting them in one of the few ways possible.

Traditionally Cuba is Catholic, but the authorities has frequently cracked down on presentations of religion. Recently, nevertheless, it is less frowned upon since Pope John Paul II 's visit, and there are more of import issues to cover with. Other faiths in Cuba are intercrossed faiths, blending elements of Catholicism with others of traditional African faiths. The most common one is called `` Santería '' and their priests can be recognised by the full white regalia with bead necklaces that they wear. Womans traveling through the procedure to go priests are non allowed ( amongst other things ) to touch other people, so if your casa proprietor is distant and dressed all in white, make non be excessively surprised. There are many museums in Cuba ( particularly in the Southern metropoliss like Santiago de Cuba ) which depict the history and traditions of Santería.


Cellular telephones can be rented at several shops in Havana, including one in the airdrome. The rates are 9 CUC per twenty-four hours ( 6 CUC for the phone and 3 CUC for the SIM card ) , plus about 36 cents a minute for prepaid cards. If you bring an unbarred GSM phone operating at 900 MHz ( or quad-band universe phone ) you can purchase a SIM card for 111 CUC, plus your prepaid proceedingss. If you 're remaining two hebdomads or more it makes sense to convey a inexpensive phone, purchase a SIM card and prepaid proceedingss, so give the phone to a Cuban friend when you leave. Cellular telephones are among the most coveted points for Cubans ( conveying a instance for the phone excessively, Cubans are really crabbed about maintaining their phones scratch-free ) . You will hold to travel to a cellular telephone shop with your friend and subscribe a paper to give the phone to your friend. Do n't give your friend an limitless program that charges to your recognition card!


The sphere of the Arawakan-speaking Taino, who had displaced even earlier dwellers, Cuba was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain in 1492. It became the Spanish empire’s most-important beginning of natural sugar in the eighteenth century and subsequently earned the sobriquet “Pearl of the Antilles.” Though Spain had to contend several hard and dearly-won runs against independency motions, it retained regulation of Cuba until 1898, when it was defeated by the United States and Cuban forces in the Spanish-American War. Cuba shortly gained formal independency, though it remained overshadowed by the nearby United States.

On New Year’s Day, 1959, radical forces led by Fidel Castro overthrew the authorities of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Two old ages subsequently Castro proclaimed the Marxist-leninist nature of the revolution. Cuba became economically isolated from its northern neighbor as it developed close links to the Soviet Union. However, the prostration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s stray Cuba still farther, conveying on what Cubans euphemistically call the período especial ( “special period” ) , a clip of widespread deficits and fiscal uncertainness. By the early twenty-first century, Cuba had loosened some of its more-restrictive economic and societal policies, but the United States continued its decades-long economic trade stoppage against the Castro government, though the December 2014 proclamation of the recommencement of diplomatic dealingss between the two states held promise of the embargo’s remotion.


The state comprises an archipelago of about 1,600 islands, islets, and keies with a combined country three-quarterss every bit big as the U.S. province of Florida. The islands form an of import section of the Antilles ( West Indies ) island concatenation, which continues E and so south in a great discharge enveloping the Caribbean Sea. The island of Cuba itself is by far the largest in the concatenation and constitutes one of the four islands of the Greater Antilles. In general, the island runs from northwest to southeast and is long and narrow—777 stat mis ( 1,250 kilometers ) long and 119 stat mis ( 191 kilometer ) across at its widest and 19 stat mis ( 31 kilometer ) at its narrowest point.


Groups of mountains and hills cover about one-quarter of the island of Cuba. The most rugged scope is the Sierra Maestra, which stretches about 150 stat mis ( 240 kilometer ) along the southeasterly seashore and reaches the island’s highest elevations—6,476 pess ( 1,974 meters ) at Turquino Peak and 5,676 pess ( 1,730 meters ) at Bayamesa Peak. Near the Centre of the island are the Santa Clara Highlands, the Sierra de Escambray ( Guamuhaya ) , and the Sierra de Trinidad. The Cordillera de Guaniguanico in the far west stretches from sou'-west to northeast for 110 stat mis ( 180 kilometer ) and comprises the Sierra de los Órganos and the Sierra del Rosario, the latter achieving 2,270 pess ( 692 meters ) at Guajaibón Peak. Much of central-western Cuba is punctuated by stunningly shaped, vegetation-clad knolls called mogotes. Serpentine highlands distinguish northern and cardinal La Habana and Matanzas states, every bit good as the cardinal parts of Camagüey and Las Tunas.

The fields covering about two-thirds of the chief island have been used extensively for sugar cane and baccy cultivation and farm animal elevation. The coastal basins of Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo and the extended Cauto River valley prevarication in the sou'-east. The Cauto lowland adjoins a series of coastal fields that continue across the island from E to west, including the Southern Plain, Júcaro-Morón Plain, Zapata Peninsula ( Zapata Swamp ) , Southern Karst and Colón Plain, and Southern Alluvial Plain. Cuba’s most extended swamps cover the Zapata Peninsula and surround the Bay of Pigs ( Bahía de Cochinos ) . The Las Villas Plain of the North, Las Villas Plain of the Northeast, and Northern Plain stretch across much of the opposite seashore.

Among the extended keies and archipelagoes pealing the chief island are Los Colorados, to the Northwest ; Sabana and Camagüey, both off the north-central seashore ; the Jardines de la Reina ( “Queen’s Gardens” ) , near the south-central seashore ; and Canarreos, near the southwest seashore. Juventud Island ( Isla de la Juventud ; “Isle of Youth” ) , once called Pinos Island ( Isla de los Pinos ; “Isle of Pines” ) , is the 2nd largest of the Cuban islands, covering 850 square stat mis ( 2,200 square kilometer ) . It is technically a portion of the Canarreos Archipelago. Hills, dotted with Grovess of pine and thenar, qualify much of the island’s north-west and southeast. Sand and clay fields cover parts of the North, a crushed rock bed takes up most of the southern portion of the island, and bogs dominate the seashores and sparsely inhabited inside.


The chief island’s heaviest precipitation and largest rivers are in the sou'-east, where the Cauto, at 230 stat mis ( 370 kilometer ) the country’s longest river, lies between the Sierra Maestra and the smaller Sierra del Cristal. The Cauto and its feeders, notably the Salado, drain the Sierra Maestra and lesser highlands in the states of Holguín and Las Tunas. Other rivers in this part include the Guantánamo, Sagua de Tánamo, Toa, and Mayarí . To the West the most of import southward-flowing rivers are the Sevilla, Najasa, San Pedro, Jatibonico del Sur, Zaza, Agabama, Arimao, Hondo, and Cuyaguateje. Northward-flowing rivers include the Saramaguacán, Caonao, Sagua la Grande, and La Palma.

Britannica Web sites

The largest island of the West Indies is Cuba, one of four islands-with Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico-that make up the Greater Antilles archipelago. Located merely south of the Tropic of Cancer in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba’s western tip extends into the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula. Cuba commands three strategically located sea-lanes: the Straits of Florida, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean ; the Windward Passage, from the Atlantic to the Caribbean between Cuba and Haiti ; and the Yucatan Channel, between the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Havana, the capital metropolis, is on the northwest seashore, 92 maritime stat mis ( 170 kilometres ) from Key West, Fla. Area 42,426 square stat mis ( 109,884 square kilometres ) . Population ( 2016 est. ) 11,239,000.

Catalina Island Day Trip from Santo Domingo

Your twenty-four hours trip to Catalina Island starts with hotel pickup in Santo Domingo for the 1.5-hour thrust along the seashore to La Romana, where you’ll board the public boat to the island. There will be a brief halt for breakfast and last minute shopping for anything that you forgot to pack for the twenty-four hours! After the 35-minute boat drive across the Caribbean, find yourself on a little piece of Eden. Enjoy a welcome drink as your usher tells you a spot about the history and natural characteristics of the island, which is portion of the Dominican Republic’s protected Parque Nacional del Este ( National Park of the East ) . With your usher, caput to a snorkeling topographic point ( possibly the Wall, a well-known dive site ) to look into out Catalina’s array of tropical fish and coral ( snorkeling equipment provided ) . Then refuel with a Dominican-style tiffin accompanied by drinks from the unfastened saloon, including sodium carbonate, java, beer or assorted drinks like a Cuba Libre or mamajuana, a particular island mix of rum, ruddy vino and honey soaked with tree bark and herbs. Following, it’s clip to loosen up. Hit the white-sand beach for free clip to stretch out on a sofa chair or swim in the crystalline Waterss. If you’re feeling energetic, demo off your dance accomplishments by take parting in a small merengue with local entertainers and your usher. When your beach clip is up, caput back to the chief island by boat and return to Santo Domingo for hotel slump.

Canyoning Tour Including Datanla Falls Rappeling from Dalat

What is canyoning? Canyoning is voyaging your manner through a canon. In this instance, the canon runs through a series of dramatic waterfalls and in some subdivisions the topography requires ropes to voyage your manner successfully. Other subdivisions can be hiked or swam through.This one twenty-four hours trip starts to south of Dalat City. You will drive along picturesque scenic roads to the trail caput, where you get down your journey. At the pattern incline you’ll learn the rudimentss of knot ligature, harness erosion, hardware and proper rappelling technique. After the ushers are satisfied that you’ve got it down, you’ll head down your first abseil! It is an exciting 49 pes ( 15 metre ) descent into the river below. There is a beautiful waterfall right following to the country you descend into.After that, your 2nd abseil will be placed on a 32 pes ( 10 metre ) perpendicular dry drop. From here you head farther down the canon to a dramatic natural H2O slide. You will take your clip holding a twosome of goes at it before go oning downriver.The trail meanders over some gently rolled, jungle fringed hills along the side of the river and at points you have to acquire down into the river itself to go on frontward. You have two more exhilarating abseils through waterfalls, including the ill-famed “Washing Machine” before you walk out of the canon ( 45 proceedingss ) and run into your vehicle for conveyance back to Dalat.

Bike from Dalat to Nha Trang

This drive to Nha Trang starts with a 45 minute transportation 33 kilometres to the north E of Dalat on a new route and through the newest national park in Vietnam ( Bidoup Nui Ba ) . It offers antic cycling in the Highlandss every bit good as down a 28 kilometre base on balls to the seashore. The first subdivision of the drive starts in pine wood and axial rotations through the hills with beautiful positions of farms, countryside and Nui Ba Mountain. There is one concluding 3 kilometre ascent to the top of the base on balls before some serious downhill. The 28 kilometre, uninterrupted downhill subdivision is the longest subdivision of downhill we offer.After making the underside of the base on balls we have a picnic manner tiffin by the side of the river. The subdivision of siting after tiffin offers a beautiful sampling of state life in Vietnam, go throughing through little small towns and farms. This subdivision of siting, although pleasant, can be disputing as the hills roll continuously. Average riding distance is 70 kilometres with an option to sit more, or less. The support vehicle can be used at any clip by tired riders and is used to transport baggage and commissariats along the manner.

Full-Day Motorcycle Tour of Silk Village from Dalat

Head out in the forenoon on the dorsum of a bike to see the firedrake pagoda and so on to the Lat small town for a confab with the small town leader and a sip of his cane vino. This type of vino is a forte of minority groups populating in the highlands.On this full-day circuit you’ll continue researching the countryside with a visit to a vegetable farm, a nursery flower farm, a java plantation, and a silk small town. Detect the silk-making procedure from caring for the silkworms to the mill. You’ll besides see a mulberry plantation and the Elephant Waterfall.When you return to Dalat metropolis, your usher will demo you one of the city’s most unusual attractive forces, known as the Crazy House due to its architectural style.You’ll have some clip to bask Vietnamese java at a local café and besides to see how the locals make rice vino.

Full-Day Canyoning Adventure in Dalat

Pick up at your hotel at 8:30am, and so go to Datanla Waterfall. To warm up for a twenty-four hours with a batch of activities, you will trek for 20 proceedingss in pine wood to the waterfall. You so have 45 proceedingss larning how to utilize the equipments at the practical abseiling point.Start disputing yourself with the first dry rappel with the abseil of 18 high metres and the 2nd dry rappel with the abseil of 15 high metres. If you fond of H2O athletics, no 1 can halt you fall ining free swimming and H2O skiding down the waterfall.Picnic tiffin will be served with staff of life, cheeses, fruits, salads, jam, H2O, soft drinks. After retrieving your energy by tiffin, you will acquire into the existent canyoning with the 25 high metres waterfall. You so bask a 14m leap into H2O and do the last and most hard abseil ( 16 high metres ) which is dearly known as The Washing Machine.Once coating, pack your things and boosting acclivitous about 20 proceedingss to the vehicle, back to your hotel around 3pm.

Green Grotto Caves Excursion from Ocho Rios

The circuit begins at choice up from the anteroom your Ocho Rios hotel or at the Ocho Rios sail port. From there you will travel along the coastal main road to Discovery Bay where the Green Grotto Caves are situated on 64 estates ( 25.9 hectares ) of beautiful Jamaican land. The Caves are located between the resort centres of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay with Discovery Bay to the West and Runaway Bay to the east.The cardinal characteristic of this natural attractive force is the big labyrinthine limestone cave with its legion stone formations, its stalactites, stalagmites and copiousness of overhead ceiling pockets. Your usher will explicate the rich history of the caves, stating the narrative of the people who have used the caves for assorted intents over the old ages. The find of cave pictures, tools and fragments of clayware indicate that the original dwellers of the caves were the Taino Indians who would hold used the caves for shelter. The following known dwellers were the Spanish who, at the clip of the British invasion of Jamaica ( 1655 ) , hid in the caves to avoid gaining control. There is an belowground tunnel which links the caves to the sand at Runaway bay. It is believed that the Spanish used the tunnel in their effort escape the Island and flee to Cuba. Runaway slaves have besides used the caves to conceal from their former Masterss. During World War II, rum barrels were stored here for safe maintaining by the Jamaican Government.Next we head into town to hold tiffin at a local Jamaican dork eating house for a bite of Jamaica 's celebrated dork poulet or porc and a sip of ice-cold Red Stripe beer. Other types of nutrients and drinks are available to run into all gustatory sensations including repasts for kids. ( cost of repast non included ) .The jaunt will complete up with shopping at one of the local trade markets where you can purchase a gifts and keepsakes. After shopping you will be returned to your Ocho Rios hotel or sail port.

Frequently asked inquiries

Top JetBlue Vacations bundles: Aruba | Barbados | Bermuda | Cancun, Mexico | Curacao | Dominican Republic | Fort Lauderdale | Grand Cayman | Jamaica | Liberia, Costa Rica | Miami | Nassau, Bahamas | New York City | Puerto Rico | St. Lucia | Turks & Caicos | Walt Disney World® ResortAguadilla, Puerto Rico | Albuquerque | Anaheim / Disneyland® Resort | Bogotá , Colombia | Boston | Cancun Riviera Maya | Cartagena, Colombia | Charleston | Fort Myers | Grenada | Hilton Head, SC |LA / Hollywood | La Romana, Dominican Republic | Las Vegas | New Orleans | Orlando | Phoenix | Poncé , Puerto Rico | Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | Reno / Lake Tahoe | Saint Croix | Saint Martin | St. Thomas / St. John | Salt Lake/Park City | San Diego | San Francisco | San José , Costa Rica | San Juan, Puerto Rico | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | Sarasota | Savannah | St. Pete / Clearwater | West Palm BeachTravel thoughts: Adventure | All Inclusive | Budget | Family | Girlfriend Getaways | Golf | Honeymoon & Babymoons | Luxury | Romance | SpaFlights and travel information: Fort Lauderdale | Orlando

Name to Book Today!

Cuba is an island state rich in history, civilization, beauty and natural resources. Its varied geographics includes turn overing farming area, rugged mountains, urban cities, quaint Colonial small towns and stretches of alabaster sand beaches that melt into larimar seas. Cuban civilization is influenced by its runing pot of civilizations, chiefly those of Spain and Africa. Home to nine UNESCO Heritage sites, Cuba is ranked really extremely in the United Nations homo development index. Its authorities has established strict athleticss, concert dance and music plans, and offers free instruction to all. Cuba is home to 47 universities and has the 2nd highest literary rate in the universe at 99.8 % . With recent relaxation of the ordinances to obtain needed licences for travel to Cuba, this island state has become more loosely accessible to US travellers. Experience the sounds of rhumba and salsa in the streets at dark. Stroll past the vividly painted arches that grace the edifices of Old Havana. Admire the glimmer authoritative autos that axial rotation past colonial architecture. Most of all, run into the warm and friendly Cuban people, who are every bit dying to interact with Americans as we are to hear their narratives and see their civilization first-hand. Cuba History & Facts >

People-to-People Educational Program

Apple Vacations, one of the state 's largest and most sure circuit operators, is proud to offer two alone people-to-people educational Tourss to Cuba in cooperation with U.S.-based Cuba Travel Services ( CTS ) . Licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department 's Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC ) , these Tourss offer you the chance to plunge yourself in Cuban civilization by interacting and prosecuting with the people of Cuba including creative persons, husbandmans, health-care professionals, kids and other locals. Your professional, English-speaking circuit usher will assist ease many of your interactions with the Cuban people that you encounter throughout your circuit.

About Cuba Travel Servicess

*Prices per individual ( grownups 18+ ) based on dual tenancy ( unless otherwise stated ) including round-trip airfare from Miami to Cuba ( Havana, Varadero, or Cienguegos depending on circuit and day of the month ) , via American Airlines, round-trip airport/hotel transportations, hotel revenue enhancements and luggage handling, fuel surcharges, all pre-collected U.S. and foreign revenue enhancements and fees ( including September 11th Security Fee, visa application fee ) , repasts, jaunts and tips as specified in the escorted circuit paths, and the services of an English speech production circuits manager, local circuit usher and driver. Restrictions may use. These escorted people to people educational Tourss are under one of the 12 general Cuba travel licence classs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC ) of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Tours are organized and provided by Cuba Travel Services. Baggage fees as imposed by the air hose apply-visit applevacations.com/baggage. All monetary values are capable to handiness and alteration without notice. Adults ( 18+ ) merely, minimal 6 riders per circuit group. Apple Vacations is non responsible for mistakes or skips. Cancellation policies apply. See the Apple Vacations Cuba Fair Trade Contract. CST2036061-40 ©2017

13 Thingss NOT to Make in Cuba

Cuba has long been a popular holiday finish for Canadians and Europeans looking for an low-cost sunny island flight. However, most tourers stick to fall back countries with small chance to interact with local Cubans beyond their hotel staff. In fact, up until 1997, it was really illegal for locals to mix with international tourers. Now that the five-decade trade stoppage with the United States is get downing to dissolve, Americans are get downing to set Cuba on their travel radio detection and ranging once more. Right now, they are restricted to household visits and packaged cultural Tourss, but it’s merely a affair of clip before dealingss normalize and a moving ridge of wonder touristry flocks to this alone “time warp” island. In the interim, there is a batch of confusion and misinformation about the Department of State and don’ts of going to Cuba. The regulations are in flux, and the civilization remains a spot of an mystery. Cuba is by and large a safe and friendly state, but to assist you calculate things out, here are a twosome of things NOT to make in Cuba.

1. Don’t Bring Bling

Beyond the veneer of the glitzy resorts, Cuba is a comparatively destitute state. From the little small towns to the streets of Havana, you can see grounds of this economic battle. The mean Cuban wage is the equivalent of about $ 20 per month. However, many life disbursals are subsidized, so you have to set that dismaying figure into position. Peoples aren’t needfully homeless and starvation in Cuba, but they’re non consumers flush with hard currency. Therefore, tourists walking around with eye-popping jewellery, interior decorator tickers, slick smart phones and iPod buds in their ears are inquiring for problem. Like anyplace, timeserving street offense can go on when the “haves” flaunt their desired properties to the “have-nots” . Just don’t conveying the bling and you won’t be as much of a mark to cutpurses.


The Republic of Cuba consists of one big island and several little 1s situated on the northern rim of the Caribbean Sea, about 160 kilometers ( 100 myocardial infarction ) South of Florida. With an country of 110,860 sq kilometer ( 42,803 sq myocardial infarction ) , it extends 1,223 kilometer ( 760 myocardial infarction ) e–w and about 89 kilometers ( 55 myocardial infarction ) n–s. Cuba is the largest state in the Caribbean, accounting for more than one-half of West Indian land country. Relatively, the country occupied by Cuba is somewhat smaller than the province of Pennsylvania. It is separated from Florida by the Straits of Florida, from the Bahamas and Jamaica by assorted channels, from Haiti by the Windward Passage, and from Mexico by the Yucatán Channel and the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba 's entire coastline is 3,735 kilometer ( 2,316 myocardial infarction ) . The largest offshore island, the Isle of Youth ( Isla de la Juventud ) , once known as the Isle of Pines ( Isla de Pinos ) , lies southwest of the chief island and has an country of 2,200 sq kilometer ( 849 sq myocardial infarction ) ; the other islands have a combined country of 3,715 sq kilometer ( 1,434 sq myocardial infarction ) .


Cuba 's dramatic natural beauty has earned it the name Pearl of the Antilles. The coastline is marked by bays, reefs, keys, and islets. Along the southern seashore are long stretches of Lowlandss and swamps, including the great Zapata Swamp ( Ciénaga de Zapata ) . Slightly more than half the island consists of level or turn overing terrain, and the balance is hilly or cragged, with mountains covering about a one-fourth of its entire country. In general, eastern Cuba is dominated by the Sierra Maestra, climaxing in Pico Real del Turquino ( 2,005 m/6,578 foot ) ; around Camagüey are turn overing fields and low mountains ; cardinal Cuba contains the Trinidad ( Escambray ) Mountains in add-on to flat or turn overing land ; and the West is dominated by the Sierra de los Órganos. The largest river, the Cauto, flows due west for 249 kilometers ( 155 myocardial infarction ) North of the Sierra Maestra but is small used for commercial pilotage intents.


Except in the mountains, the clime of Cuba is subtropical or temperate. The mean minimal temperature is 21°c ( 70°f ) , the mean maximal 27°c ( 81°f ) . The average temperature at Havana is about 25°c ( 77°f ) . The trade air currents and sea zephyrs make coastal countries more habitable than temperature entirely would bespeak. Cuba has a rainy season from May to October. The mountain countries have an mean precipitation of more than 180 centimeter ( 70 in ) ; most of the lowland country has from 90 to 140 centimeter ( 35–55 in ) yearly ; and the country around Guantánamo Bay has less than 65 centimeter ( 26 in ) . Droughts are common. Cuba 's eastern seashore is frequently hit by hurricanes from August to October, ensuing in great economic loss.


Harmonizing to a 2006 study issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources ( IUCN ) , threatened species included 11 types of mammals, 18 species of birds, 7 types of reptilians, 47 species of amphibious vehicles, 23 species of fish, 3 species of invertebrates, and 163 species of workss. Endangered species in Cuba include the Cuban solenodon, four species of hutia ( midget, Cabera 's, large-eared, and small Earth ) , two species of crocodile ( American and Cuban ) , and the Cuban tree boa. The ivory-billed peckerwood, Cuban red macaw, Caribbean monk seal, and Torre 's cave rat have become nonextant.


The population of Cuba in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations ( UN ) at 11,275,000, which placed it at figure 72 in population among the 193 states of the universe. In 2005, about 10 % of the population was over 65 old ages of age, with another 21 % of the population under 15 old ages of age. There were 100 males for every 100 females in the state. Harmonizing to the UN, the one-year population rate of alteration for 2005–10 was expected to be 0.4 % , a rate the authorities viewed as satisfactory. To suppress farther growing, the authorities has put limitations on migration to Havana. The jutting population for the twelvemonth 2025 was 11,824,000. The population denseness was 102 per sq kilometer ( 263 per sq myocardial infarction ) .


During the 1960s, Cuban emigres were preponderantly of the upper and in-between categories, but in the 1970s emigres were urban blue-collar workers and other less-educated and less-wealthy Cubans. The flow of emigres declined in the late seventiess, but get downing in April 1980, Cubans were allowed to go from Mariel seaport ; by the terminal of September, when the seaport was closed, some 125,000 Cubans in little boats ( the `` freedom flotilla '' ) had landed in the United States. Of that figure, 2,746 were classified as `` excludable foreigners '' and were being held in prisons or mental establishments. Harmonizing to an understanding of December 1984, Cuba agreed to accept the 2,746 back ; repatriation began in February 1985, but in May, Cuba suspended the understanding. By the mid-1980s, good over 500,000 Cuban expatriates were populating in the Miami, Florida, country. In 1990 there were 751,000 Cuban-born individuals in the United States. Large Numberss have besides settled in Puerto Rico, Spain, and Mexico.

Since 1979, the Cuban authorities has been supplying instruction to a figure of pupils from developing states. Due to events doing return to their fatherlands hard, many have become refugees. Sporadically, Cuba receives groups of Haitians who by and large return to their fatherland voluntarily. Between 1991 and 1994, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR ) worked with the authorities to protect and help more than 1,500 Haitians during a impermanent stay in Cuba. In 1995, Cuba was harbouring 1,500 refugees from the Western Sahara ; in 1999, the authorities was still working with UNHCR to return them to their state of first refuge. In 2000 there was a sum of 82,000 migrators populating in Cuba. UNHCR assisted a sum of 802 people in Cuba in 2004 ; 795 were refugees, 5 were refuge searchers, and 2 were returned refugees.


The Roman Catholic Church has ne'er been as influential in Cuba as in other Latin American states. In the 1950s, about 85 % of all Cubans were nominally Roman Catholic, but the Church itself conceded that merely about 10 % were active members. From the early 1980s into the 1990s, Roman Catholics represented about 40 % of the population. A 2004 study indicated that merely about 40–45 % of the population were nominally Catholic. Some beginnings indicate that a big figure of the population adhere to changing grades of syncretistic Afro-Caribbean, such as Santería. The Baptist churchs are believed to be the largest Protestant denomination. Other denominations include Jehovah 's Witnesses, Methodists, Episcopalians, the Assembly of God, and Presbyterians. There is a really little Judaic population.

Fidel Castro originally established an atheist province in conformity with the beliefs of the Communist Party. As a consequence, his authorities has closed more than 400 Catholic schools, claiming that they taught unsafe beliefs, and the figure of people who attend churches has diminished during Castro 's reign since many churches are closely monitored by the province and church members face torment. In 1992, the fundamental law was amended to label the province as layman instead than atheist. However, harmonizing to a 2004 study, Christian churches, peculiarly the Catholic Church, have still been viewed suspiciously by members of the Communist Party who have claimed that the organisations are sabotaging public policies and Torahs. Separate spiritual schools are out, though churches can supply spiritual direction to their members.

Transportation system

Cuba foremost began to develop a merchandiser Marine under the radical authorities. The USSR had supplied oceangoing vass and fishing boats and, in the mid-1960s, built a immense fishing port in Havana Bay to serve Cuban and Soviet vass. By 2005, the Cuban merchandiser fleet had 15 vass of at least 1,000 GRT, numbering 54,818 GRT. Cuba 's major ports—Havana, Cienfuegos, Mariel, Santiago de Cuba, Nuevitas, and Matanzas—are serviced chiefly by ships of the former Soviet democracies, with ships from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Eastern Europe doing up the majority of the balance. Cuba besides has 240 kilometer ( 140 myocardial infarction ) of navigable inland waterways.


Cuba was originally inhabited by about 50,000 Ciboney and Taíno Amerindians who are related to the Arawak peoples ; they were hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies. Christopher Columbus made the European find of Cuba in 1492 on his first ocean trip to the Americas. Many died from disease and ill-treatment shortly after. The African slave trade began about 1523 as the Amerindian population declined, and grew thenceforth, particularly with the development of java and sugar on the island. During the early colonial old ages, Cuba served chiefly as an boarding point for such adventurers as Hernán Cortés and Hernando de Soto. As hoarded wealth began to flux out of Mexico, Havana became a last port of call and a mark for Gallic and English plagiarists. In 1762, the English captured Havana, keeping Cuba for about a twelvemonth. It was ceded to Spain in exchange for Florida district in the Treaty of Paris ( 1763 ) . Spanish regulation was rough, and intermittent rebellions over the following century all ended in failure.

Cuba 's first of import independency motion came in 1868, when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a affluent plantation owner, freed his slaves and called for a revolution against Spain. For the following 10 old ages, guerillas ( mambises ) , chiefly in eastern Cuba, fought in vain against the Spanish colonial authorities and ground forces. Although finally subdued, Céspedes is however viewed as the male parent of Cuban independency. A 2nd hero was added in the 1890s when poet and journalist José Martí founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party during expatriate in the United States. The call to weaponries ( Grito de Baire ) on 24 February 1895 initiated a new war. After set downing with a group of recruits gathered from throughout the part, Martí was killed at Dos Ríos, in eastern Cuba. The Spanish had the rebellion under control within a twelvemonth.

In the terminal, the Cubans had to trust on the United States to get the better of the Spanish. Anti-Spanish sentiment, fueled by US newspapers, erupted after the battlewagon Maine cryptically blew up in Havana seaport on 15 February 1898. The United States declared war on Spain on 25 April, and in a few months, the Spanish-American War was over. The Treaty of Paris ( 10 December 1898 ) , established Cuban independency. During the interim period 1899–1902, the US ground forces occupied Cuba. It instituted a plan that brought about the obliteration of xanthous febrility, but it was more basically concerned with the constitution of US political and commercial laterality over the island.

Cuba entered another unstable stage in 1933. A nationalist rebellion chased Machado from office. After the United States attempted to put in a government, a `` sergeants ' rebellion '' headed by 32-year-old Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar assumed power and named Ramón Grau San Martín probationary president. Grau, a doctor and university professor noted for his nationalist ardor, was ne'er recognized by the United States, and his government lasted merely four months. From 1934 until 1940, Batista ruled through a series of puppet presidents. During these old ages, Batista made two major parts to Cuba. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt allowed Cuba to abrogate the Platt Amendment, although the United States did retain its naval base at Guantánamo Bay. Batista besides allowed the drafting of a new fundamental law, passed in 1940, under which he became president. In 1944, Batista permitted Grau San Martín, now his political enemy, to take office. The eight old ages of regulation by Grau and his ally, Carlos Prío Socarrás, were uneffective and corrupt, and in 1952, a reform party was expected to win the election.

Castro 's rebellion began unpropitiously on 26 July 1953 with an stillborn foray on the Moncada Army Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Captured, jailed, and so exiled, Castro collected protagonists in Mexico, and in 1956 landed in Cuba. Routed by Batista 's military personnels, Castro escaped into the Sierra Maestra mountains with a mere twelve protagonists. The force ne'er grew to more than a few thousand, but cagey usage of guerilla tactics evened the mark with Batista 's ill trained ground forces. Furthermore, there was about no popular support for Batista, and in 1958 the United States ended its military assistance to the falling authorities. On 1 January 1959, the Batista government collapsed, and Batista and many of his protagonists fled the state. Castro 's 26th of July Movement took control of the authorities, and began to govern by edict. The radical authorities confiscated belongings that had been venally acquired, instituted large-scale land reforms, and sought to work out Cuba 's despairing fiscal and economic jobs by agencies of a bold radical plan.

After June 1960, Cuban-US dealingss deteriorated at an accelerated gait. Largely in revenge for the nationalisation of about $ 2 billion in US-owned belongings in Cuba, the United States severed diplomatic dealingss with the Castro authorities. Tensions increased when the radical government nationalized US oil refinery companies after they refused to treat Soviet petroleum oil. The United States response was to extinguish Cuba 's sugar quota. In April 1961, a group of 1,500 Cuban exiles—financed, trained, organized, and equipped by the CIA—invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs on the southern seashore. The brigade was defeated within 72 hours, and the 1,200 lasting encroachers were captured. They were finally released after US functionaries and private beginnings arranged for a ransom of $ 50 million in nutrient and medical supplies.

However, the United States did go on its effort, through the OAS and other international forums, to insulate Cuba politically and economically from Latin America and the remainder of the non-Communist universe. All Latin American authoritiess were pressured to interrupt off diplomatic dealingss with Cuba. Castro responded with an effort to destabilise certain Central and South American authoritiess. Inspired by the Sierra Maestra run, guerilla motions became active throughout the part, frequently with Cuban support. However, by 1967, when Ché Guevara ( an Argentinean confederate of Castro ) , was killed in Bolivia, these motions had collapsed. The United States was merely somewhat more successful in its run of isolation. The OAS suspended Cuba in 1962, but in July 1975 passed the `` freedom of action '' declaration leting states to cover with Cuba as they pleased. Meanwhile, Communist influence was turning in the Cuban authorities. Castro declared Cuba to be a Socialistic state in late 1960, and the undermentioned twelvemonth declared himself to be a Marxist-leninist and a portion of the Socialist universe. All major agencies of production, distribution, communicating, and services were nationalized. Soviet-style planning was introduced in 1962, and Cuba 's trade and other dealingss turned from West to East. In October 1962, US planes photographed Soviet long-range-missile installings in Cuba. The United States blockaded Cuba until the USSR agreed to retreat the missiles, in exchange for a US authorities pledge to establish no more violative operations against the island.

US-Cuba dealingss deteriorated further, and Cuba 's diminished economic system was hampered afresh in 1996 when the US Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act, another embargo-strengthening step. The act met with rough international unfavorable judgment, and Canada and the World Trade Organization moved to strengthen trade ties with the Castro authorities as a slight to the United States. Prior to the transition of Helms-Burton, Cuba had renewed its crackdown on the pro-democracy motion. In February 1996, Cuban air force planes shot down two civilian aircraft over international Waterss, killing the four individuals on board. The planes had left the United States transporting computing machine and medical supplies.

Despite its acquiescence starting in the 1990s to some economic reforms, dollar minutess and limited self-employment in agribusiness, trades and peddling, the Castro government retains its committedness to socialism. Its economic system, still retrieving from the prostration of the Soviet Union, has been buoyed by increased touristry, excavation, and cigar and fish exports. But economic growing has non translated into an improved quality of life for most Cubans, and Castro has continued to fault poorness and rough life conditions on the US trade stoppage. After the United States declared war on terrorist act, Castro accused Washington of be aftering to occupy the island ; he has increased his prosecution of political oppositions. Critics observed that, during the clip that universe attending was focused on the US invasion of Iraq, Castro took the chance to increase force per unit area on resistance by put to deathing political dissenters.

In the period taking up to the 2004 US presidential elections, the United States limited hard currency transportations to Cuba and reduced the figure of trips Cuban-Americans could do to see household in Cuba. Since so, Castro rolled back many of the self-employment freedoms and forbid antecedently accepted US dollars, doing the merely recognized currency for aliens the Cuban exchangeable peso. Further detering the usage of US currency, there exchange rate for euros and Canadian dollars was more favourable. However, the island 's double economic system continued. Criminal punishments for ownership of foreign currency ( repealed in 1993 ) were non reinstated. Cubans were able to go on to keep dollars in hard currency and in bank histories.


A new fundamental law, foremost published on 10 April 1975, so approved by the first Congress of the Cuban Communist party in December, and ratified by a 97.7 % ballot in a particular referendum in February 1976, established the National Assembly of People 's Power as the supreme province organ. The deputies, originally elected by municipal assemblies and straight elected in national elections since 1993, serve five-year footings. The National Assembly elects the Council of State, whose president is both caput of province and caput of authorities. There are six frailty presidents in the Council of State, and 23 other members.

Political Party

On 17 December 1975, the PCC convened its first Congress, which ratified a 13-member Politburo ; Fidel Castro was reelected foremost secretary of the PCC. The 2nd Congress of the PCC took topographic point in December 1980. The 3rd Congress, in February and November-December 1986, witnessed a monolithic forces alteration when tierce of the 225-member Central Committee and 10 of 24 Politburo members were replaced, with Fidel Castro reelected foremost secretary. The Young Communist League and the José Martí Pioneer Organization for kids up to 15 old ages of age are aggregate political organisations closely affiliated with the PCC. As of 2005, the PCC remained Cuba 's merely authorised political party.


The 1976 fundamental law established the People 's Supreme Court, dwelling of a president, frailty president, and other Judgess, as the highest judicial court. All members of the tribunal are elected by the National Assembly, as are the lawyer general and deputy lawyers general. Through its Governing Council, the tribunal proposes Torahs, issues ordinances, and makes determinations that must be implemented by the people 's tribunals, whose Judgess are elected by the municipal assemblies. There are besides seven regional tribunals of entreaty, every bit good as territory tribunals with civil and condemnable legal power. Military courts assume legal power for certain counter-revolutionary instances.

ARMED Forces

Sum armed strength in 2005 came to 49,000 active responsibility forces, with 39,000 reservists. The Army had an estimated 38,000 forces, whose equipment included around 900 chief conflict armored combat vehicles, an unrevealed figure of light armored combat vehicles, reconnaissance and armoured foot contending vehicles, an estimated 700 armoured forces bearers and over 1,715 heavy weapon pieces. The naval forces had an estimated 3,000 forces including more than 550 Naval Infantry members. Major naval units included five patrol/coastal vass and six mine warfare ships. The air force had around 8,000 forces and 125 combat capable aircraft, of which merely 25 are known to be operable. The service besides has about 40 onslaught choppers. Paramilitary forces included 20,000 State Security military personnels, 6,500 boundary line guards, 50,000 Civil Defense Force members, the 70,000-member Youth Labor Army, and the million-member Territorial Militia. Cuba 's cardinal military ally and protagonist for decennaries, Russia had cut off about all military aid by 1993. In 2004, defence disbursement was estimated at $ 1.3 billion.


Cuba is a member of the United Nations, holding joined on 24 October 1945 ; it belongs to ECLAC and several specialised bureaus, such as the FAO, IAEA, IFAD, ILO, UNESCO, UNIDO, and WHO. Cuba is a portion of the ACP Group, G-77, the Latin American Economic System ( LAES ) , the Alliance of Small Island States ( AOSIS ) , the Association of Caribbean States ( ACS ) , and the Latin American Integration Association ( LAIA ) . Cuba 's charter rank in the OAS was suspended at the 2nd Punta del Este meeting, in February 1962, through US enterprise. The isolation of Cuba from the inter-American community was made about complete when, at Caracas, on 26 July 1964, the OAS voted 15–4 for compulsory expiration of all trade with the Castro authorities. Cuba has been really active in the Nonaligned Movement, and held its chairmanship between 1979 and 1983. The state is besides portion of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean ( OPANAL ) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In environmental cooperation, Cuba is portion of the Antarctic pact, the Basel Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar, CITES, the London Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change, and Desertification.


After 1959, the radical authorities, following policies espoused by Ernesto `` Che '' Guevara, attempted to liberalise the sugar economic system in order to accomplish agricultural variegation and industrialisation. When this policy proved black to the sugar harvest, Castro reversed the Guevara plan in 1962 and announced a end of 10-million-ton harvest by 1970. Despite a terrible drouth in 1968–69, Cuba did accomplish a record 7.6-million-ton end product of refined sugar in 1970. Attempts to diversify foreign trade during the early 1970s were aided by record high monetary values for sugar. Between 1971 and 1975, the Cuban economic system grew by about 10 % yearly, and moderate growing averaging about 4.4 % per twelvemonth continued through most of the eightiess. The particular relationship with the Soviet Union, whereby it supplied Cuba with oil below market monetary values and bought its sugar at above market monetary values, insulated the Cuban economic system from the vagaries of the two oil dazes of the 1970s and the Third World debt crisis of the early 1980s. However, commercial understandings with Argentina, Canada, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany indicated Cuba 's acute desire to travel off from about sole trust on the Socialistic states for both imports and exports. Trade with the then-USSR and other CMEA members, however, made up the majority of Cuba 's foreign commercialism, and Soviet assistance remained indispensable to the economic system.

From 1981 to 1985, Cuba 's GDP growing averaged 7.3 % due chiefly to increased sugar production. In 1986 and 1987, nevertheless, GDP growing dropped to about 1.7 % due chiefly to the prostration of oil monetary values, a down universe sugar market, prolonged drouth in Cuba, and the autumn in the value of the dollar. The state of affairs worsened when the Soviet axis collapsed in 1989, extinguishing its aid and subsidised markets. Cuban GDP fell 35 % between 1989 and 1993. The Castro authorities restricted public outgo and in 1993–94 introduced a series of market-oriented reforms. It legalized the dollar, allowed merchandising with market economic systems and developed new beginnings of foreign currency. The authorities placed particular accent on the publicity of foreign investing and the development of sugar and touristry. About 150 businesss were opened up for self-employment. The economic system began to spread out once more in 1994, and by 1996 GDP growing was at 7.8 % . Tourism established new records in 1996, with reachings increasing by 35 % to 1,001,739, and gross grosss lifting by 18 % to $ 1.3 billion. The figure of freelance rose to over 200,000, but after income revenue enhancements were introduced, fell to an estimated 100,000 by 2001. By the terminal of 2000, about 400 joint ventures with foreign companies had been established stand foring a entire investing of $ 4.2–4.5 billion.


The minimal pay varies, depending on the type of employment. As of 2005, the mean monthly pay was $ 9. The minimal pay is supplemented by societal security dwelling of free medical attention and instruction, and subsidized lodging and nutrient. However, a worker must still gain significantly more than minimal pay to back up a household. The eight-hour working day, a hebdomadal remainder period, an one-year paid holiday of one month, and workers ' compensation are guaranteed by the fundamental law. The standard work hebdomad is 44 hours, with shorter working daies for risky businesss. Although the legal lower limit working age is 17, the employment of bush leagues 15 and 16 old ages of age is permitted as a manner to countervail labour deficits or to obtain preparation. Adolescents can merely work 7 hours per twenty-four hours or 40 hours per hebdomad or merely on vacations.


The province owns about 3 million hectares ( 7.4 million estates ) of cultivable land, and 750,000 hectares ( 1.8 million ) of lasting harvests. About 13.1 % of the economically active population was engaged in the agricultural sector in 2003. An agricultural reform jurisprudence of June 1959 made the authorities owner of all land in Cuba, created the National Institute of Agrarian Reform ( INRA ) as decision maker, and set a general bound of 30 caballerías ( 400 hectares/990 estates ) of farming area to be held by any one proprietor. A 2nd agricultural reform, of October 1963, expropriated moderate-sized private retentions ; at that place remained about 170,000 little private farms, with mean retentions of over 16 hectares ( 40 estates ) . By 1985 there were 1,378 farm co-ops. Almost a 3rd of cultivated land is irrigated.

Sugarcane, Cuba 's most critical harvest and its largest export, is grown throughout the island, but chiefly in the eastern half. The authorities regulates sugar production and monetary values. Sugar end product reached 7.6 million dozenss in 1970, but that fell abruptly of the 10 million dozenss projected. Subsequent marks were lowered, and the end product was 7.9 million dozenss in 1979, 6.7 million in 1980 ( when harvest disease reduced production ) , 8 million in 1985, and 3.5 million in 1999. In 2004, exports of natural sugar amounted to 1.9 million dozenss, valued at $ 348.8 million. Cuba has pioneered the debut of mechanical cane reapers, and by 2002 there were 7,400 harvester-threshers ( up from 5,717 in the early 1980s ) . Cuba and Russia signed several finance and investing agreements in 1992 and 1993 whereby Russia will provide fuel, trim parts, fertiliser, and weedkiller in exchange for Cuba 's sugar crop, with Russia yearly importing a lower limit of two million dozenss of Cuban sugar. The sugar industry besides has diversified into exporting molasses, ethyl intoxicant, rum and spirits, bagasse hardboard, torula barm, dextran, and furfural. Tobacco, the 2nd most of import harvest, is grown on little farms necessitating intensive cultivation. In the late seventiess, the mean one-year production was about 35,000 dozenss, but harvest disease in 1979 resulted in a bead in production to 8,200 dozenss in 1980 ; production was 34,494 dozenss in 2004. Other harvests in 2004 included ( in dozenss ) oranges, 490,000 ; lemons and calcium hydroxides, 26,000 ; Citrus paradisi, 225,000 ; rice, 610,000 ; plantains, 790,000 ; bananas, 310,000 ; murphies, 300,000 ; Sweet murphies, 490,000 ; and java, 12,900. Other Cuban merchandises with export possible include Mangifera indicas, Ananas comosuss, ginger, papaia, and seeds.


Nickel was Cuba 's prima mineral trade good, 2nd to saccharify in export net incomes. The state produced 74,018 metric dozenss of mined Ni in 2003, up from 71,342 metric dozenss in 2002. Cuba 's nickel militias were the universe 's fourth-largest and the militias base was the largest. Recent alterations in investing and excavation Torahs have increased foreign trade. Production has been boosted by a joint venture formed in 1994 between Sherritt International of Canada, and the Cuban authorities. Nickel sedimentations and workss were located in eastern Cuba at Nicaro, Moa, and Punta Gorda, all in Holguín Province. Production of Co ( oxide, oxide sinter, sulphide, and ammonical spirits precipitate ) , a byproduct of nickel operations, totaled 3,982 metric dozenss in 2004. In 2004, Cuba besides produced ammonium hydroxides, chromite, gold, gypsum, salt from saltwater ( 180,000 metric dozenss ) , and silicon oxide sand. Production of Cu has declined well from pre-Revolutionary times.


Cuba has the second-largest proven hydrocarbon militias in the Caribbean country, surpassed merely by those of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2005, harmonizing to the Oil and Gas Journal, Cuba 's proved militias of oil stood at 750 million barrels. Over the old two decennaries the production of petroleum oil has risen perceptibly, traveling from 16,000 barrels per twenty-four hours in 1984 to 67,000 barrels per twenty-four hours in 2004. The bulk of the state 's production is centered in the northern Matanzas state. However, the oil produced is a rancid, heavy type of petroleum that requires particular processing. There is involvement in seaward production, and it has been reported by industry analysts that Cuba 's offshore basins may keep at least 1.6 billion barrels of rough oil. Cuba has a refinement capacity, dwelling of four installations operated by state-owned Cubapetroleo ( Cupet ) numbering 301,000 barrels per twenty-four hours, as of July 2005.

Cuba 's ingestion of oil in 2004 amounted to 211,000 barrels per twenty-four hours, far outpacing the state 's production capablenesss. While Cuba has had to import the difference, it has besides taken steps to countervail the cost of imported oil. In 2000, Cuba signed a five-year understanding to import rough oil and refined oil merchandises from Venezuela, paying for the oil via a swap agreement that has seen Cuban instructors and physicians sent to Venezuela to advance literacy and supply medical aid to Venezuela 's hapless. In add-on Cuba has offered offshore geographic expedition rights in its territorial Waterss in the Gulf of Mexico to international oil companies. Among them are two Canadian companies—Sherritt International ; and Pebercan—both of which are bring forthing oil in concurrence with Cupet, under joint venture understandings.


Cuba had 156 sugar Millss in 1985, and at that clip, about 10 % of exports from the then-USSR to Cuba consisted of machinery for the sugar industry. Other nutrient processing workss produced cheese, butter, yoghurt, ice pick, wheat flour, pasta, preserved fruits and veggies, alcoholic drinks, and soft drinks. Light industry comprises fabrics, places, soap, toothpaste, and corrugated composition board boxes. Other industries are crude oil merchandises ( Cuba has four oil refineries with a entire production capacity of 301,000 barrels per twenty-four hours ) , baccy, chemicals, building, cement, agricultural machinery, Ni, and steel production. In the mid-1990s, touristry surpassed sugar processing as the chief beginning of foreign exchange, although the authorities in 2002 announced programs to implement a `` comprehensive transmutation '' of the sugar industry, including the shutting of about half the bing sugar Millss. Although 1.7 million tourers visited the state in 2000, conveying in $ 1.9 billion, the planetary economic lag in 2001 and the 11 September 2001 terrorist onslaughts on the United States negatively impacted Cuba 's touristry industry.


The Academy of Sciences of Cuba, founded in 1962, is Cuba 's chief scientific establishment ; it, every bit good as the Ministry of Agriculture, operates legion research centres throughout Cuba. Institutions offering higher instruction in scientific discipline and technology include the University of Havana ( founded in 1928 ) , the University of Oriente at Santiago de Cuba ( founded in 1947 ) , the Central University of Las Villas in Villa Clara ( founded in 1952 ) , the University of Camagüey ( founded in 1967 ) , and the University Center of Pinar del Río ( founded in 1972 ) . In 1987–97, scientific discipline and technology pupils accounted for 16 % of college and university registrations.


Due to the US-organized trade boycott and the inability of production in the then-USSR and Cuba to run into Cuban demands, rationing was applied to many consumer goods in the sixtiess and 1970s. By the mid-1980s, rationing had been reduced and accounted for about 25 % of single ingestion. Allotment of major consumer points after 1971 was by the `` merely category '' rule, with the best workers having precedence. The handiness of basic consumer points increased perceptibly after 1980, when the smallholder 's free market ( mercado libre campesino ) was introduced. Under this system, small-scale private manufacturers and co-ops could sell their excess trade goods straight to consumers one time their quotas had been filled. However, the provincial markets were abolished in May 1986, allegedly because they led to widespread guess and profiteering. It has been estimated that about 40 % of the domestic economic system operates in the `` informal '' sector, or black market.


Since the United States stopped merchandising with Cuba in 1963, Cuba 's dollar militias have dropped to virtually nil, and most trade is conducted through swap understandings. In 1997, Cuba 's debt to the former Soviet Union was estimated at $ 20 billion. With the death of the USSR, Cuba has focused on trading with market-oriented states in order to increase foreign currency militias, notably by advancing sugar exports and foreign investing in industry. Remittances from Cuban workers in the United States ( numbering about $ 800 million yearly ) , touristry dollars, and foreign assistance aid to cover the trade shortage.


Cuba 's domestic province insurance company, Esen, appeared to be fixing to vie with foreign companies in the domestic market in 1997. It launched a major selling thrust with an expanded gross revenues force of 3,500 to carry Cubans to take out new personal insurance policies. Apparently, they were holding some success, despite the deficiency of a private insurance tradition. The volume of premiums was 30 % higher in 1995 than in 1990. New merchandises include non merely travel and medical insurance, but besides pensions and life insurance policies. In 1997, a new insurance jurisprudence was passed to allow the constitution of private insurance companies to vie with the state-owned companies. Although limited foreign incursion into the Cuban market will assist to develop the sector, the governments will go on to further the development of Cuban insurance companies before the sector is to the full opened. Private insurance strategies will non replace province societal security proviso.


In February 1960, Fidel Castro announced that foreign investing in Cuba would be accepted merely if delivered to the authorities to be used as it saw tantrum. The endeavors in which this capital would be invested were to be `` national endeavors, '' so that Cuba would non be dependent on aliens. Any new foreign investings were to be controlled by the Central Planning Board. From mid-1960s, US retentions in Cuba were consistently seized, partially for political grounds and partially because US corporations refused to accept Cuba 's footings of patriotism. Some of the investings of other foreign subjects were left runing under rigorous governmental ordinance.

Between 1960 and the early 1970s, foreign investing activities were restricted to limited proficient and economic aid from East European states and the then-USSR, with which Cuba concluded over 40 cooperation understandings between 1963 and 1983. Limited investings from the noncommunist universe were sought with some success in the mid-1970s. In 1982, in a farther attempt to pull investors from Western Europe, Canada, and Japan, Cuba passed its first foreign investing jurisprudence, allowing foreign companies to organize joint ventures with the Cuban authorities, but to have no more than 49 % of the stock. In 1985, nevertheless, direct investing in Cuba by OECD states totaled merely $ 200,000.


The 1975–80 development program, approved by at the PCC Congress in December 1975, set specific production ends for Cuban industry and projected an overall economic growing rate of 6 % yearly ; it was announced in 1980 that the existent growing rate was 4 % . The 1981–85 program introduced new incentive strategies and gave more freedom to market forces ; it besides eased restrictive hiring ordinance. One of the major purposes of the program was to increase industry 's portion of gross societal merchandise to 50 % , but industry accounted for merely 45.3 % in 1985. The 1986–90 program envisioned a 5 % one-year growing and aimed peculiarly at an addition in exports. In December 1986, 28 asceticism steps were approved by the National Assembly, including additions in conveyance and electricity monetary values and rationing of kerosine.

Since 1998, Cuba has sat as an perceiver at International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) /World Bank meetings. Cuba 's economic contrivers predicted a 1.5 % growing rate for 2003, as touristry declined following the 11 September 2001 terrorist onslaughts on the United States, sugar monetary values were low, hurricanes damaged the island, and external funding was missing. The Central Bank reported a $ 12.2 billion hard-currency foreign debt by late 2002. Unemployment bases at about 12 % , but near to 30 % of workers have been displaced or underemployed. Castro in 2003 replaced at least five functionaries in economy-related authorities places in an attempt to battle a faltering economic system. Cubans progressively turn to the black market for nutrient, vesture, and family goods. Cuba continued to use timid market reforms while actively seeking foreign investing. Economic growing in the late ninetiess came from an enlargement of fabrication, touristry, excavation, and services. Other positive factors included the improved tourer industry and a crisp recovery of the cigar industry. Indeed, during the 1990s, touristry replaced sugar exports as Cuba 's primary beginning of foreign exchange. The creative activity of a new Central Bank completed fiscal sector reforms begun in 1995. These reflected the increased function of the private sector in fiscal minutess. In 2000, the Cuban economic system continued its growing through the generous investing of foreign states, but the US trade trade stoppage held fast in the face of resistance from cardinal US political leaders.

The chief hindrance to growing in 1990s Cuba was the restricted entree to external funding. As a response, in 2005 the authorities strengthened its control over capital flows—especially from touristry, oil, excavation, and building. New trade understandings and investing committednesss from China and Venezuela will probably give a encouragement to the Cuban economic system in the old ages to come. Positive developments in the touristry, Ni, and oil sectors will besides lend to the overall growing tendency. However, if President Hugo Chavez were to lose power in Venezuela or if the Chinese economic system were to confront a downswing, Cuba wwould endure the reverberations.


Within the past few old ages decennaries, Cuban lodging has begun to catch up to population demand. About 1.3 million lodging units were built between 1959 and 1993. In the 1980s, over half of all lodging units were detached houses. The balance were flats, thenar huts called hohios, and cuarterias, lodging units in edifices composed of a figure of degage suites where residents portion some or all installations. More than half of all homes were concrete and brick, about one-third were solid wood, and a smaller figure were constructed with palm boards. Water was piped indoors to approximately half of all places and outside to one-fifth ; about half had private bath installations.


Education is free and compulsory for six old ages ( 6–11 old ages of age ) of primary school. Basic secondary surveies last for three old ages, after which pupils may so take to prosecute a three-year class of university homework surveies or a three-year proficient school class. The add-on of agricultural and proficient plans to the secondary-school course of study was an invention of the Castro authorities ; the work-study rule is now built-in to Cuban secondary instruction. Students in urban secondary schools must pass at least seven hebdomads yearly in rural labour. The first junior high schools, based on the work-study construct, were introduced in 1968. Catholic parochial schools were nationalized in 1961.

Cuba has five universities: the University of Havana ( founded 1728 ) , Oriente University at Santiago de Cuba ( 1947 ) , the University of Las Villas at Santa Clara ( 1952 ) , University of Camagüey ( 1974 ) , and the University of Pinar Del-Rio. Workers ' betterment classs ( superación obrera ) , to raise grownups to the sixth-grade degree, and proficient preparation schools ( mínimo técnico ) , to develop unskilled workers ' potencies and retrain other workers for new occupations, were instituted after 1961. Particular worker-farmer schools prepare workers and provincials for registration at the universities and for skilled places in industrial and agricultural endeavors. In 2003, about 34 % of the third age population were enrolled in some type of higher instruction plan. The grownup literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 99.8 % .


Most of the taking mass organisations in Cuba were founded shortly after the revolution. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were founded on 28 September 1960 to battle counterrevolutionary activities. The Federation of Cuban Women was established 23 August 1960. The National Association of Small Farmers, the taking provincials ' organisation, was established 17 May 1961 ; in 1989 it had 167,461 members, both private husbandmans and members of co-ops. The Confederation of Cuban Workers, the chief trade brotherhood federation, antedates the revolution. Founded in 1939, it had a entire rank of 3,060,838 workers in 1990.


The major heroes of the revolution against Batista are Fidel Castro Ruz ( b.1926 ) ; his brother, Gen. Raúl Castro Ruz ( b.1931 ) ; Argentine-born Ernesto `` Che '' Guevara ( 1928–67 ) , who was killed while engaged in radical activities in Bolivia ; and Camilo Cienfuegos ( d.1959 ) . Cubans noteworthy in literature include poet Nicolás Guillén ( 1902–89 ) and dramatist and novelist Alejo Carpentier Y Valmont ( 1904–80 ) . Cuban-American author Cristina Garcia ( b.1958 ) , made her introduction as a novelist with Dreaming in Cuban ( 1992 ) ; she was a Guggenheim Fellow. Alicia Alonso ( b.1921 ) , a celebrated danseuse, founded the National Ballet of Cuba.

General Description

The imperativeness state of affairs in Cuba ranks as one of the most complicated in the universe due to the political and physical distribution of the Cuban people. Since the triumph of the Castro-led forces in 1959, a important Cuban expatriate community has flourished in the United States, particularly in South Florida. This seaward Cuban community has generated a important volume of information during its decennaries of expatriate. Part of their end product has been in English, designed for the audience in the United States, while the balance has been in Spanish, aimed at ingestion by the population of Cuba. Similarly, the imperativeness offerings on the island, including both the government-sponsored media and those of the resistance, have been divided between those aimed at domestic and international audiences.

The Nature of the Audience: Literacy, Affluence, Population Distribution, Language Distribution

In 2001, the U.S. authorities estimated the population of Cuba at merely over 11 million. Of these, 21 per centum were aged 0-14, 69 per centum were aged 15-64, and 10 per centum were over age 65. The population was estimated to be turning at a rate of.37 per centum yearly. The cultural mix of the state includes 37 per centum individuals of European descent, 11 per centum individuals of African descent, and 51 per centum people of assorted races. Despite its history of bondage, the significance of race is less of an issue in Cuban society than it is in the United States. Eighty-five per centum of Cubans were nominally Roman Catholic prior to Castro coming into power. The staying sacredly identified Cubans included Protestants, Jehovah 's Witnesses, Jews, and Santeria.

The authorities 's figure for overall literacy is 95.7 per centum of all individuals aged 15 and older, although this figure is based on the alone Cuban definition of literacy. In 1961, the Castro-led authorities initiated a Literacy Campaign that claimed singular consequences, dropping the state 's illiteracy rate from about 40 per centum to below 4 per centum in a individual twelvemonth. In the old ages since the revolution, Cuban functionaries have systematically placed the state 's illiteracy rate at figures of three or four per centum, a rate better than that in Switzerland. However, the Cuban definition does non conform to universe criterions for mensurating literacy. In the Cuban theoretical account, the literacy rate describes the proportion of those individuals between the ages of 14 and 44, whom the authorities believes capable of larning how to read, who could read and compose harmonizing to a standardised Cuban trial. In the early 1980s, when the Mariel boatlift refugees came into the United States, many of them were tested for literacy in Spanish by local school territories for the intent of arrangement in the 2nd linguistic communication plans of American public schools. The consequences of these trials placed their literacy rate at more plausible degrees of between 70 and 80 per centum. These and other nonsubjective steps of Cuban literacy demonstrate that the attempts of the Cuban authorities to better literacy have been effectual, although non about every bit effectual as Cuban propaganda and UNESCO beginnings would propose.

Quality of Journalism: General Remarks

The state-employed journalists of Cuba are really literally the voice of the Cuban authorities. Because of the terrible limitations in content every bit good as in manner that are placed upon these authors and editors, the work is described as `` a really drab and sterile news media '' by Dr. José Alberto Hernández. Hernández, president of Cuba-Net, a non-profit-making, nonpartizan organisation based in the United States that works to further imperativeness freedom in Cuba, points out that upon separation from the government-controlled media, an independent journalist, while accomplishing some freedom of look, loses entree to both terminals of the journalistic procedure. Beginnings that were one time openly available become utterly unapproachable to the independent. Likewise, publication proves elusive to the independent journalist. Therefore the pick for the Cuban journalist is between a dull and extremely controlled calling within the state-sponsored media or a unstable and hard one exterior of that media.

The most noticeable trait in news media refering Cuba is the ubiquitous prejudice. On one side the prejudice is the pro-government angle found in the government-controlled imperativeness variety meats that flourish on the island and in the scattered imperativeness variety meats around the universe that sympathize strongly plenty with the Castro government to overlook its chevalier intervention of imperativeness freedom. These press mercantile establishments serve efficaciously as vindicators for all Cuban authorities activities and sounding boards for Cuban-based unfavorable judgment of the West, particularly the United States. However, the prejudice on the other side of the divide is every bit terrible. Given the trouble of functioning as an independent journalist inside Cuba, merely those with powerful and typically anti-Castro dockets tend to digest the adversities associated with this calling. Similarly, a immense sum of composing arising outside of Cuba flows from the expatriate community in South Florida, from the Radio Martí air-waves and from other anti-Castro militants.

Historical Traditions

Cuban news media traces its history to an early beginning during the Spanish colonial regulation, with the first Cuban imperativeness put into operation by 1723. The history of the state 's imperativeness can be divided into five periods. The first period, the Colonial, reaches from the earliest yearss until 1868. The 2nd period, the clip of the Independence Revolution, spans the period from 1868 to 1902. A 3rd period, the Republican period, runs from 1902 until the overthrow of the dictator Machado in 1930. The 3rd period, the Batista epoch, lasts from 1930 until 1959. The concluding and current era of the Castro epoch runs from the victory of the communist revolution in 1959 up to the present.

In comparing with Spanish settlements in other parts of the universe, Cuba developed a printing imperativeness at a instead late day of the month. However, compared to the remainder of the Caribbean and Central America, the Cuban imperativeness came early. The state 's first newspaper, Gazeta de la Habana, began publication in 1782, followed in 1790 by the settlement 's first magazine, Papel Periódico de la Habana. These early publications and those that came into being over the undermentioned century operated under Spanish imperativeness Torahs that had been in topographic point in Spanish America since the late 16th century. During the early old ages of the 19th century, Spanish ordinances on the imperativeness became relaxed, partially due to the diminishing power of Madrid on its distant settlements and partially in response to the political currents fluxing from the Gallic Revolution.

In 1895, at the beginning of the 2nd war of independency, the most of import newspaper of the reform party was Patria, which had been founded in 1892. Supplying the flicker that began Patria was José Martí , who had earlier written for a broad assortment of newspapers and magazines, including La Nación of Buenos Aires and the New York Sun. Journalism provided Martí with his most direct, immediate, and changeless signifier of look. Martí , who served as the inspiration and organiser of the War of Independence in Cuba, saw newspaper essays as a cardinal force in the development of modernism and the inspiration of his fellow revolutionists as they struggled to liberate themselves from Spanish regulation.

With the constitution of the Republic of Cuba on May 20, 1902, the history of the Cuban imperativeness entered its 3rd period, which lasted until 1930 when the dictator Gerardo Machado was overthrown. During this period Cuban news media enjoyed a clip of prosperity in which at least a twelve dailies flourished in Havana. In the sentiment of Jorge Martí , this big figure arose due to the easiness with which 1 could get down a newspaper or magazine, the willingness of political parties to function as patrons, and an overall strong economic system. Faced with increasing political resistance and an often-hostile imperativeness, in 1928 Machado attempted to co-opt the imperativeness by supplying important authorities subsidies to periodicals in exchange for support. This move prefigured the hard times to follow.

Machado 's autumn began in 1930, brought about by earlier economic troubles and aggravated by the 1933 political instability. With this, the aureate yearss of Cuban news media faded, brought to an terminal by the combination of labour agitation from within and the increased authorities efforts at control from without. The worsening province of the Cuban imperativeness might hold been much worse had it non been for the betterments brought by twentieth-century technological progresss. The reaching of steam-powered printing imperativenesss and the increased commercial edification of the publishing houses served to spread out the journalist 's audience and prestigiousness across the state. During this period, a sequence of autocratic governments which culminated in that of Batista in 1952, exerted increasing control over the state 's imperativeness.

In 1959, with the triumph of the Castro-led Communists, the history of the Cuban imperativeness entered its current stage. This stage might be described as merely a continuance of the motion toward authorities domination and control of the imperativeness that began in 1930. The four decennaries following the Cuban revolution have been marked by really tight authorities authorization over all press mercantile establishments. Although resistance has worked throughout this period to counter the authorities 's propagandistic news media plan, merely in the 1990s with the outgrowth of the Internet as a new medium has independent news media began to present a important challenge to the authorities control of information.

Although frequently castigated by the Castro government, the American imperativeness played a critical function in the constitution of an independent Cuba by taking the charge toward America 's entry into a war with Spain. At the head of this attempt stood two giants of American news media, publishing houses William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Both work forces saw in the struggle with Spain a rare chance for increased circulation of their newspapers. Correctly comprehending in the spirit of the twenty-four hours an increased loyal sense, the two publishing houses directed their newspapers to print sensational anti-Spanish narratives. These narratives were frequently illustrated diagrammatically by some of the most talented creative persons of the twenty-four hours, including Frederic Remington, and written by top quality authors such as Stephen Crane. Working in competition with each other, Hearst and Pulitzer ironically worked together in making a war craze among the American people as they reported the alleged ferociousness of the Spanish toward the Cuban Rebels. At the same clip, the violent Acts of the Apostless committed by the Cuban Rebels were seldom mentioned in the documents ' coverage. When the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, the pro-war coverage instigated by Hearst and Pulitzer had sufficiently built national war sentiment that President McKinley felt it a political necessity to bow to coerce and come in into a war with Spain.

While the imperativeness under the Castro-led authorities from 1959 to the nowadays has received important unfavorable judgment from universe imperativeness organisations and advocators of a free and unfastened imperativeness, it should non be forgotten that a history of free look is non found in old ages before 1959. Where the Castro government has used direct province control of media mercantile establishments since the 1960s, the old authoritiess exercised control of a in private owned media through frequent closings of newspapers and censoring. The state 's 1940 Constitution reacted against the censoring that had plagued the Cuban imperativeness since 1925, supplying strong protections for the imperativeness and free look. Despite these commissariats, resulting swayers returned to the censoring patterns of their predecessors, efficaciously disregarding the jurisprudence. Fulgencio Batista, who came to power in a putsch on March 10, 1952 established really strong censoring during his nine old ages of leading. Censorship under Batista was explained as a response to the menaces posed by the rebel motion that would finally un-seat him. The Union of Cuban Journalists ( UPEC ) , in discoursing the issue of imperativeness freedom, asserted that `` imperativeness freedom merely existed in the colonial and republican life of Cuba for the powerful 1s and swayers. ''

Leading Newspapers

The most of import newspaper in Cuba is Granma. In 1998, Editors and Publishers International Yearbook placed the circulation of the day-to-day at 675,000, which ranked it as the 88th most widely circulated newspaper in the universe. The international range of Granma expanded significantly with the coming of the Internet. The website Digital Granma Internacional brings much of the print edition 's content to the web, showing it in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and German. In all of its embodiments, the propaganda function of Granma is impossible to avoid. Typical front-page headlines include approximately equal Numberss of narratives justifying and observing authorities policies and place along with frequent narratives reprimanding the political leading of the United States for sensed maltreatments. In both its print edition and Internet opposite number, this day-to-day newspaper contains national and international intelligence, cultural coverage, letters, athleticss, and particular thematic characteristics.

Juventud Rebelde, the state 's newspaper with the 2nd highest circulation is, as all professionally produced publications on the island, controlled and created by the authorities. Under the editorial leading of Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, the newspaper has maintained a focal point on intelligence about and for Cuban youth civilization. In prosecuting this purpose, Juventud covers many of the same narratives as the more adult-oriented Granma. Comparisons between the coverage of narratives in these two taking newspapers show that the Juventud articles tend to be briefer, composed of shorter sentences, and drafted with a less ambitious vocabulary. The day-to-day runs a regular characteristic entitled `` Curiosidades, '' in which brief, curious intelligence narratives of the kind that the U.S. 's National Public Radio Morning Edition runs at half past the hr are related. Juventud, like its adult-oriented opposite number Granma, besides covers cultural and clean events but from a more youth-focused angle. The focal point on popular music, about nonexistent in Granma, is a outstanding illustration of this contrast. However, instead than gratifying to a youth civilization, Juventud actively works to indoctrinate the immature people of Cuba into a belief system that serves the province 's involvements. The newspaper runs regular articles observing the heroes of the revolution and frames pieces in such a manner as to promote its immature readers to place with these heroes.

A premier illustration of the news media of designation practiced by Juventud Rebelde can be seen in the on-going coverage throughout late 2001 and 2002 of the captivity within the United States of the alleged `` Cuban Five. '' Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert, Ramón Labanino Salazar, Fernando Gonzalez Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez, and Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, were arrested in the United States on charges of espionage against South Florida military bases. The Cuban authorities and the five work forces themselves have claimed since their apprehension in September 1998 and throughout their test and imprisonment that they were simply trying to supervise the activities of rightist anti-Cuban groups in Florida. The five were convicted in June 2001. Since that clip, the Cuban imperativeness has provided day-to-day focal point on these work forces, branding them the `` five inexperienced persons '' and portraying them, after September 11, 2001, as combatants against terrorist act.

The differing coverage of this issue between Granma and Juventud Rebelde is exemplifying of the audience differences between the two dailies. In Granma, the focal point of the narratives sing these five captives has been in puting them into a larger context of both history and universe political relations. The five are compared favourably with Cuban heroes of old and their actions are portrayed within the context of a longer battle against the imperialist forces of the United States. In Juventud Rebelde, the political and historical context is less of import. Alternatively, readers are urged to place with these immature work forces. In fact, the immature age of the captives is a regular focal point in Juventud, despite the fact that, in their mid-to late mid-thirtiess, most of these work forces are well older than the readership of this newspaper. Juventud besides places much more accent on the households of the captives.

Economic Model

All of the official media mercantile establishments on the island of Cuba are controlled by and about entirely funded by the authorities. The nominal subscription fees charged to Cuban subjects for the three major print media fail to cover the fringy production costs of the publication. Since the advertisement carried within the newspapers is basically all purchased by the province, the subsidies provided to cover the deficit in the publications ' budgets take the signifier of inter-agency transportation payments. Subscription rates for a hebdomadal edition of Granma Internacional cost US $ 50 per twelvemonth, once more an sum insufficient to cover the cost of production. Broadcast media are likewise supported by authorities financess. The sum of the subsidies paid to the assorted imperativeness variety meats is non public cognition.

The authorities controls some 70 per centum of all farming area on the island every bit good as 90 per centum of production industries. Although the authorities brings in considerable gross from exports, particularly sugar, Cuba 's economic system has been in deep trouble since the early 1990s. Creditss and subsidies from the Soviet Union totaled an estimated US $ 38 billion between the old ages 1961 and 1984. Equally much as US $ 4 billion was transferred from the Soviet caissons to those of Cuba during the late eightiess. The prostration of the Soviet axis, which deprived Cuba of both its leading assistance giver and trade spouse, badly damaged the state 's economic system. During the early 1990s the one-year gross national merchandise was about US $ 1,370 per capita. The one-year authorities budget included about US $ 14.5 billion in outgos, offset by lone US $ 12.5 billion in grosss.

Summary of Press Laws in Force

There is no formal imperativeness jurisprudence in Cuba, and aside from the obscure statements in the fundamental law, imperativeness freedom is non guaranteed lawfully. The Communist Party, harmonizing to a declaration approved by the first party Congress in 1975, regulates the function and map of the imperativeness. In 1997, the province passed Resolution Number 44/97, which regulated the activities of the foreign imperativeness. In the judicial admissions of this declaration there was established a Center of International Press to supply inadvertence to foreign journalists. This declaration, composed of three chapters and 26 articles, established that no foreign imperativeness bureau could contract straight with a Cuban journalist to function as a letter writer without the permission of the province. Law 80, approved in December 1997 under the rubric of the `` Law of Reaffirmation of National Dignity and Sovereignty, '' stipulates in Article 8 that no journalist may in any manner, straight or indirectly, collaborate with the journalists of the enemy. The 1999 Law 88, called the `` Law of Protection of National Independence and the Economy of Cuba '' provides more specific bounds to the rights of free look and the imperativeness with the state in the jurisprudence 's Article 7. Part of this act provides a prison term of up to 15 old ages to anyone that straight or indirectly provides information to the United States, its dependants or agents, in order to ease the aims of the U.S. Helms-Burton Act. The jurisprudence besides prescribes an eight-year prison term to those who reproduce or distribute stuff deemed to be insurgent propaganda from the U.S. authorities. Specifically, the jurisprudence forbids coaction `` in any manner with foreign wireless or telecasting Stationss, newspapers, magazines or other mass media with the intent of … destabilising the state and destructing the socialist province. '' Other commissariats of the jurisprudence create farther punishments for imperativeness activities considered damaging to the province or the communist party or good to the state 's enemies.

At the transition of Law 88, the Communist young person day-to-day Juventud Rebelde ran narratives that demonstrated the authorities 's propaganda place. `` Independent journalists are soldier of fortunes: The Empire wages, organizes, Teachs, trains, weaponries and camouflages them and orders them to hit at their ain people, '' they wrote. Castro, in public addresss, denounced the independent journalists, branding them as counterrevolutionists. The authorities has long claimed that the independent journalists receive considerable support from anti-Castro forces, particularly those in the big Cuban expatriate community in Miami. Naturally, the independent journalists deny such charges.

Independent Imperativeness

Merely those journalists that are members of the collectivist UPEC are allowed accreditation to pattern their trade in Cuba. UPEC does non work in the mode of a imperativeness organisation in a free state but alternatively serves as an extension of the authorities, helping in their control and anterior blessing of the information allowed in the imperativeness. A 1997 Communist Party publication stated overtly that UPEC serves as an ideological organ of the party and that they are charged with distributing the ideas of the revolution. Not all journalists belong to UPEC, nevertheless. In world assorted independent organisations exist, though banned by the authorities. These groups are typically formed by dissenter and resistance journalists, indisposed to undergo the control of the authorities. In many instances the authorities has removed accreditation from journalists involved with these unofficial groups.

State-Press Relationss

The Committee to Protect Journalists ( CPJ ) has, since the early 1990s, included Fidel Castro on its one-year `` Ten Worst Enemies of the Press '' list, a differentiation that he portions with such habitues as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran, President Jiang Zemin of China and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. In 2002, the CPJ named Cuba as one of the 10 worst topographic points in the universe to be a journalist, observing that `` The Cuban authorities is determined to oppress independent news media on the island but has non yet succeeded… . '' Journalists are invariably followed, harassed, intimidated, and sometimes jailed.

In early 2002, the CPJ noted with blessing the recent release from prison of two journalists, but lamented the continued detainment of Bernardo Arévalo Padrón, jailed since 1997. Arévalo is functioning a six-year sentence imposed for `` disrespecting '' President Fidel Castro. The exact nature of Arévalo 's discourtesy was to mention to Castro as a `` prevaricator '' when the president failed to ordain democratic reforms that he had promised. Previously, the journalist had garnered badly will from the authorities when he made public the members of the Communist Central Committee who appropriated cowss for their ain usage at a clip of nutrient deficit. As of August 2002, he held the differentiation as the lone journalist in the Americas behind bars for his work.

While some independent journalists find mercantile establishments in America and Europe in both Spanish and English linguistic communication locales, others attempt to print as best they can in Cuba itself. One such independent publishing house, Adolfo Fernandez, creates his ain quarterly newssheet with a production tally of approximately 1,000 on a photocopier. He so passes these newssheets out to friends and familiarities. Fernandez admits to keep back some unfavorable judgment in his narratives, preferring to chair his tone and avoid authorities clampdowns. Fernandez besides gets his message off of the island through wireless communications and occasional offshore publication. He has taken on the function of a watchdog over the two most of import authorities publications, Granma and Juventud Rebelde. Fernandez is typical of the independent journalists, many of whom once worked within the authorities information setup and who found the censoring and propaganda that rule those mercantile establishments intolerable.

The Right to Knock Government: Theory & Practice

These journalists complain of maltreatment and persecution at the custodies of the governments. In some instances the telephone company cuts off service to places from which these independent journalists work, and the constabulary routinely maintain surveillance on these edifices and the newsmans. Journalists report that relations have been deprived of occupations in state-run concerns and that they are followed by the agents of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. Another frequent ailment is that the constabulary routinely place these newsmans under house apprehension in response to events having the political resistance. Another tactic involves rounding up resistance newsmans and driving them into distant parts of the state in order to maintain them out of circulation temporarily. Harmonizing to the Gallic group Reporters sans Frontiéres, in 2001 a sum of 19 of these harassed Cuban journalists chose to go on their work from exile instead than subjecting to the continued persecution.

Although torment of both low and high strength has greeted resistance journalists throughout the old ages of the Castro government, the authorities has non succeeded in stemming the flow of describing from risk-taking newsmans working throughout the island. Alternatively, the latter half of the 1990s saw an detonation in this activity. Equally late as 1995, these journalists amounted to some 20 persons working for five separate organisations. Estimates in 2002 placed the figure of unofficial intelligence bureaus presently runing from within the island 's shores at around 20, stand foring a staff of some 100 journalists.

While some of this addition in Numberss of resistance newsmans might be attributed to the terminal of the Cold War and an increasing sense that the Castro authorities is approaching its dusk, it must non be ignored that the authorities itself, notwithstanding its continued torment, has become more unfastened to the thought of an independent imperativeness system. In May 2001, a group of 40 journalists banded together to consequence the formation of the first independent association for journalists recognized under the Castro authorities. They were spearheaded by Raul Rivero, the former Moscow letter writer for Prensa Latina, the Cuban authorities 's official intelligence bureau.

In 2001, three journalists were released from prison. Jesús Joel Díaz Hernández, the executive manager of Cooperativa Avileña de Periodistas Independientes, obtained his release after functioning two old ages of a four twelvemonth sentence for `` dangerousness. '' No account accompanied his release, except the warning that he could be jailed once more if he returned to work as an independent journalist. Díaz Hernández, arrested on January 18, 1999, in the cardinal state of Ciego de Avila, was sentenced the following twenty-four hours to a four-year prison term. The charge against Hernández was that he had six times been warned about `` dangerousness. '' The 2nd released journalist, Manuel Antonio González Castellanos, who served as letter writer for the independent intelligence bureau Cuba Press, obtained his release in February 2001. His October 1998 apprehension had been based upon charges of dissing Castro while being detained by province security agents. The concluding freed newsman was José Orlando González Bridón, who had been imprisoned since December 2000 functioning a biennial term for `` false information '' and `` enemy propaganda. ''

One of Cuba 's most widely known dissenter journalists, Raúl Rivero, has for many old ages served as the unofficial leader of the state 's independent imperativeness motion. Throughout that clip, Rivero has faced changeless torment from the Castro authorities and its security bureau. Born in 1945, Rivero graduated from Havana University 's School of Journalism in the early 1960s as one of the first in a group of journalists to be trained after the 1959 revolution. In 1966 he co-founded the satirical magazine Caián Barbudo and from 1973 until 1976 he served as the Moscow letter writer for the authorities intelligence bureau, Prensa Latina. In 1976, Rivero returned to Cuba to presume leading of the Prensa Latina scientific discipline and civilization desk, a station that he held until his interruption with the bureau in 1988. In 1989, Rivero resigned from the authorities 's National Union of Cuban Writers and sealed his position as an resistance leader in 1991 when he became one of 10 journalists, and the merely 1 to stay in Cuba, who signed the Carta de los Intelectuales ( Intellectuals ' Letter ) , which called for the authorities to liberate all captives of scruples. The same twelvemonth, Rivero declared official news media to be a `` fiction about a state that does non be. ''

Since 1995 Rivero has headed CubaPress, one of the state 's prima independent intelligence bureaus. Viewed as a dissenter for his independent work, Rivero, like all independent journalists, is prohibited from printing on the island. His lone mercantile establishments for publication are on the Internet and abroad, although in printing internationally he runs the hazard of a jail term for circulating `` enemy propaganda. '' He has been notified that while he is free to go forth Cuba, his re-entry to the state will be denied. Rivero 's celebrated February 1999 article, `` Journalism Belongs to Us All, '' reflected on the attempts of Cuban journalists trying to freely describe the intelligence from that state. In this article he proclaims that no jurisprudence can do him experience like a felon for describing the truth about his fatherland. `` I am simply a adult male who writes, '' he asserts. `` One who writes in the state where I was born. ''

Attitude toward Foreign Media

The relationship between the Castro authorities and the foreign imperativeness has long been troubled as the authorities efforts to supply some entree to foreign intelligence organisations in order to function their ain terminals while besides trying to consequence control of the stuff fluxing out of the state. A changeless chorus in the addresss of the president is the unjust and negative tone so frequently apparent in foreign histories of Cuba. British journalist Pascal Fletcher, Reuter 's intelligence bureau letter writer assigned to Cuba, has received particularly terrible onslaughts in the government-controlled imperativeness. In January 2001, Granma described Fletcher as being `` full of venom against the Cuban revolution, '' while a telecasting plan aired three yearss subsequently complained of the journalist 's `` provocative, tendencious and punic attitude. ''

President Castro, in a televised address broadcast on January 17 and 18, 2001, complained of the foreign imperativeness and described their stance as `` wholly unverifiable. '' While non adverting any media or journalists in peculiar, he struck out at journalists `` who dedicate themselves to slandering the revolution '' or who `` transmit non merely lies, but gross abuses against the revolution and against myself in peculiar. '' In the address, Castro threatened to call off the operating licenses of foreign media, observing that it would be effectual to take permission to describe from Cuba from an bureau alternatively of merely behaving a individual newsman.

Foreign Propaganda & its Impact on Domestic Media

The most important foreign broadcast presence in Cuba comes through the disbursal and attempt of the United States authorities and their Radio Martí and TV Martí plans. In 1985, Ronald Reagan signed the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act, which established a nine-member consultative board to supervise the enlargement of Voice of America services to include specifically Cuban broadcasts. The decision makers of this service describe themselves as follows: `` The Office of Cuba Broadcasting ( OCB ) was established in 1990 to supervise all programming broadcast to Cuba on the Voice of America 's Radio and TV Martí . In maintaining with the rules of the Voice of America Charter, both Stationss broadcast accurate and nonsubjective intelligence and information on issues of involvement to the people of Cuba. ''

Radio Martí initiated programming from studios in Washington, D.C. in May 1985. Their scheduling tallies seven yearss a hebdomad and 24 hours a twenty-four hours over AM and short-wave frequences. The broadcast agenda includes intelligence, intelligence analysis, and music scheduling. Roughly half of the Radio Martí broadcast twenty-four hours is composed of news-related plans. Besides traditional intelligence coverage, the broadcasts include unrecorded interviews and treatments with experts and letter writers around the universe. The station besides carries unrecorded coverage of congressional hearings of import to Cuba every bit good as addresss by Latin American leaders. The financial twelvemonth 1998 budget for Radio Martí was US $ 13.9 million. Harmonizing to the OCB, Cuban reachings in the United States indicate that Radio Martí is the most popular of Cuban wireless Stationss, although the Cuban authorities goes to great disbursal and attempt to throng the broadcasts. In 2002, in response to progressively effectual Cuban attempts to throng the Radio Martí signals, the broadcaster requested that the authorities of Belize let them to utilize the senders located in that state, which were already used to air Voice of America programming throughout Central America, for Cuban transmittals. The authorities of Belize declined this petition, trying to avoid engagement in declining U.S.-Cuban dealingss. Radio Martí transmits over the air and besides provides a cyclosis audio version of both their live scheduling and periodic intelligence studies over the Internet.

Television Martí joined its wireless opposite number on March 27, 1990. The scheduling for Television Martí originates from studios in Miami and is so transmitted to the Florida Keys via orbiter. The aerial and sender for the station are mounted onto a balloon that is tethered 10,000 pess above Cudjoe Key, Florida. Cuban authorities jamming of the Television Martí signal has proven far more successful than the radio-jamming attempts, partially due to the extremely directional broadcast signal used to aim the broadcast into the Havana country. Because of this jamming, the signal is indiscriminately moved to parts east and west of the capital in order to make Cuban telecastings without jamming.

News Agencies

The chief internal Cuban intelligence bureau is AIN, Agencia Cubana de Noticias ( Cuban News Agency ) . Founded in May 1974, AIN operates from Havana under the way of Esteban Ramírez Alonso. As a cardinal organ in the announcement of authorities information, AIN predictably carries cardinal narratives that support authorities policies and reenforce the government 's reading of universe personal businesss. For illustration, in the wake of the terrorist onslaughts of September 11, 2001, AIN condemned the actions of Al Qaeda but spent well more clip chastising the United States for its responses in Afghanistan and elsewhere. However, non all AIN coverage can be dismissed as propaganda. Presented in both English and Spanish, the intelligence narratives on any given twenty-four hours include addresss and remarks by Castro and coverage of universe events from a pro-government point of position, every bit good as less politically charged narratives sing scientific progresss, cultural events, and other ordinary narratives.

The Cuban authorities besides supports and controls Prensa Latina ( Latin Press ) , which they refer to as a Latin American Press Information Agency. While trying to look in the pretense of an Associated Press-style intelligence bureau, the propaganda map of this service is evident to any attentive perceiver. Describing themselves as the `` Premier News Agency in the Republic of Cuba, '' Prensa Latina provides a day-to-day intelligence service including synthesis of stuffs sing Cuba ; a day-to-day subdivision incorporating the chief Cuban intelligence narratives ; a Cuban economic bulletin ( in Spanish and English ) ; and a sum-up of critical Cuban economic, commercial, and fiscal intelligence. They besides publish a day-to-day English-language `` Cuba News in Brief, '' and the English-language `` Cuba Direct, '' which provide interlingual renditions of articles sing Cuban intelligence, political relations, athleticss, civilization, and art. Other occasional characteristics include touristry intelligence, medical intelligence, adult females 's issues, and coverage of Cuban and Caribbean scientific discipline and medical specialty.

Broadcast Media

The authorities maintains 5 national and 65 regional wireless broadcast Stationss along with the international service of Radio Habana Cuba. Along with the wireless services, the authorities supports 2 national and 11 regional telecasting Stationss. The most of import of these is Cubavisión, which is tightly controlled by the authorities. In September 2001, the authorities announced the constitution of a 3rd telecasting channel dedicated to educational and cultural scheduling at a cost of $ 3.7 million. In 1998, the state supported 225 wireless broadcast Stationss, 169 AM, 55 FM, and 1 short-wave. Four Internet Service Providers were in operation in 2001, although entree to Internet services remained closely restricted.

A recent add-on to the services offered by Cubavisión is a streaming Internet provender, Television nut Vivo, through which the current scheduling on the web is available internationally. Again, in position of the bantam proportion of Cubans who possess any Internet service whatsoever ( approximately half of one per centum in 2000 ) , this service must be considered as an offering for those in other parts of the universe and non for the dwellers of the island. In 2002, the broadcast twenty-four hours on Televisión Cubana ran from 6:30 ante meridiem until 6:00 p.m. A 90-minute, light intelligence plan began the twenty-four hours. A one-hour intelligence show and several brief intelligence updates provided the chief intelligence coverage. Typical intelligence coverage included political and economic coverage, narratives on scientific discipline, civilization, society, and athleticss. The web besides broadcast more developed particular studies, some of which were considered to be propaganda pieces.

Electronic News Media

Merely 60,000 Cubans had entree to the Internet in 2000, a figure that represented one-half of one per centum of the population. At the centre of the Cuban Internet presence is CubaWeb ( www.cubaweb.cu ) , a big directory of authorities and government-controlled web sites. The chief CubaWeb site appears in both Spanish and English versions and many of the subordinate sites are available in linguistic communications beyond Spanish, proposing that the mark audience for the site is non on the island where Spanish is the primary linguistic communication. Aside from links to intelligence narratives, CubaWeb provides links to media organisations, political and authorities entities, engineering suppliers, cultural and humanistic disciplines organisations, non-governmental organisations, touristry agency, concern groups, and wellness attention suppliers.

While entree to e-mail and the Internet is non permitted to the independent imperativeness, the Cuban authorities maintains more than 300 web sites dedicated to the imperativeness and official establishments. The authorities 's monopolistic control of the Internet has become utmost. For more than a twelvemonth, journalist and author Amir Valle edited an on-line periodical about Cuban literature titled `` Letras de Cuba. '' Although Valle was non join forcesing with foreign journalists and had demonstrated no political dissent, his site was all of a sudden suspended because, harmonizing to the governments, no independent publications were allowed.

Although the badly curtailed imperativeness freedom for non-government-affiliated media makes the printing of independent newspapers virtually impossible, the Internet has allowed an expanded voice for the independent imperativeness voices of the state. The most outstanding web-based newspaper in operation presently is La Nueva Cuba, which has been in operation since 1997. Under the counsel of Director General Alex Picarq, La Nueva Cuba provides coverage of international and national intelligence, civilization and economic events, athleticss, and columns. The column angle of the publication, both on its sentiment page and in its coverage, is unquestionably anti-Castro, the content turn outing to be as far toward propaganda for the resistance as is the content of Granma for the authorities. While the web site lists addresses for letter writers in New York, Madrid, and Rome, no references are found mentioning to Havana or elsewhere on the island. In fact, on close scrutiny, La Nueva Cuba proves far more orientated to the expatriate population of South Florida than to the dwellers of the island. The advertizements on the site, largely for concerns from the United States, suggest a mainland audience. Given the fact that a really little per centum of Cubans enjoy entree to the Internet and that those who do are overpoweringly affiliated with the authorities, the incursion of the content of this site to the population may be little.

Reappraisal of Education in Journalism: Degrees Granted

The taking news media school in Cuba is the University of Havana. The typical news media pupil at that place will gain a unmarried man 's grade in communicating specialising in news media. The unmarried man 's grade is a five-year class of survey that includes a broad scope of classs drawn from the scientific disciplines, societal scientific disciplines, and humanistic disciplines every bit good as more traditionally journalistic surveies. The grade besides requires six semesters of English. Students may elect classs in new media, photojournalism, and other fortes in add-on to their needed surveies. After completion of a unmarried man 's grade, the news media pupil may continue to a maestro of scientific discipline grade in communications, a plan that begins in January of each twelvemonth and by and large requires two and a half old ages of survey. Two of the three specialisations offered for the maestro of scientific discipline grades are related to news media. Students may specialise in news media, public dealingss, or communications scientific discipline.

In 1996, the Jose Martí International Institute of Journalism, founded in 1983 by the UPEC, resumed operations after a brief suspension. Officially this break of services came as the consequence of `` an obligatory deferral brought on by the current economic trouble in Cuba. '' The institute manners itself as an `` Institute of the South '' and efforts to further the continued instruction of Cuban journalists every bit good as leting them to interact with their equals in other states. The institute offers a assortment of workshops, seminars, developing plans, and other classs of a graduate student every bit good as grownup instruction nature. They besides fund a choice of research undertakings refering societal communicating on the national and international degrees.

Major Journalistic Associations & Organizations

The UPEC codification of moralss contains many statements that would look familiar to journalists in other parts of the universe. Reporters are charged with the protection of beginnings and with the duty to travel to multiple beginnings in order to guarantee an accurate study. Reporters are besides said to hold a right to entree all information of public public-service corporation. What constitutes utile information, nevertheless, is non defined. Most debatable among the moralss codification commissariats is Article 12, which states that `` The journalist has the responsibility of following the editorial line and enlightening political relations of the imperativeness organ in which he works. '' Since all of the imperativeness variety meats represented have their column lines prescribed by the authorities, this article basically dictates that all newsmans must follow the authorities line. The moralss codification provides disciplinary countenances for misdemeanors runing from private admonition to ejection from the organisation and, therefore, the profession.


Cuban media speaks in several voices, yet this polyphonic music is different than in most states. Rather than back uping an array of media mercantile establishments that span a spectrum of point of views, Cuba possesses a big, comparatively well-funded, and massive collectivist media engine paired with a little and fighting independent imperativeness. Added to these two voices are the propaganda attempts of expatriate Cubans printing from abroad and aiming both Cuban and international audiences. Finally, the authorities adds an international voice as it directs a great trade of its intelligence end product toward an international audience. This bunch of voices makes a full apprehension of the Cuban media more complex than it might look on the surface.

Trends & Prospects for the Media: Mentality for the Twenty-first Century

The 1990s were a hard period for Cuba. After the prostration of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost the considerable subsidies that flowed into the state each twelvemonth. The resulting economic adversities are merely decreasing 10 old ages after they began. Merely as the first 30 old ages of the Cuban revolution 's history can non be separated from the Superpower dealingss of the Cold War, the history of the 1990s and any future events can non be separated from Cuban dealingss with the United States. The continuance of the American economic boycott efficaciously caps the potency for Cuba 's economic prosperity. Without economic traffics with the United States, it is difficult to conceive of the hereafter keeping a great trade of promise for Cuban journalists. Recent old ages have seen budgetary cutbacks expressed in decreased sizes of newspapers and a decrease in the broadcast hours of wireless and telecasting. Continued economic want would assure more of this kind of contraction.

Merely as of import over the last decennary has been the development of the Internet and its attendant gap of possible manners of publication for heretical journalists. As personal publication power expands through the spread of the Internet and other media, one can anticipate an addition in the figure and effectivity of independent journalists in Cuba. How the authorities will respond to such an addition, nevertheless, is non at all certain. In recent old ages, the Castro authorities has shown no involvement in loosen uping their chokehold on information. While it is imaginable that the authorities will loosen up their limitations in the face of public force per unit area, it is merely every bit likely that they will redouble their attempts toward keeping control and increase the degree of torment directed at the independent imperativeness.


The island that is now the Republic of CUBA was discovered and claimed for Spain by Christopher Columbus on his first ocean trip to the New World in 1492. Except for a brief period of British business shortly after the center of the eighteenth century, it remained under Spanish control for about 400 old ages. The Cuban battle for independency, born out of discontent with a neglecting economic system, broke into unfastened rebellion in 1868, and peaked 30 old ages subsequently when the United States battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor, therefore lighting the Spanish-American War. Spain lost the war and relinquished its rights to Cuba in the Treaty of Paris.


Other more distant topographic points of involvement include Guama ( a commercial crocodile farm ) , the metropoliss of Trinidad and Cienfuegos ( Spanish colonial architecture ) , and Santiago de Cuba ( Cuba 's second-largest and most of import metropolis, which sits near to Spanish-American War sites ) . Playa Giron, better known outside Cuba as the Bay of Pigs, is a three-hour thrust sou'-east and worth an occasional weekend for snorkeling. Cayo Largo and Cayo Coco, island resorts being developed for Cuba 's touristry industry, can be reached via little aircraft. All nightlong travel outside of Havana should be arranged in progress in order to guarantee adjustments, which can run from countrified to comfortable.

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, a port on the southern seashore of the island, is the capital of Oriente Province. With a population of over 405,350 ( 2000 est. ) , it is the state 's 2nd largest metropolis. It was founded in 1514, and was the capital of Cuba until 1589. Santiago, its more normally used name, was one time a centre for alert smuggling trade with the British West Indies, but is likely better known as the scene of military activity during the Spanish-American War. U.S. ships established a encirclement here in the seaport and, on July 3, 1898, in the concluding major conflict of the war, destroyed the Spanish fleet led by Pascual Cervera y Topete. There besides was heavy land contending near the metropolis when San Juan Hill was taken two yearss before the successful encirclement.


CAMAGÜEY, with a population of about 283,000 ( 2000 est. ) , is located in east-central Cuba. It is connected with Santiago and Havana by the Central Highway. Founded in 1515, the metropolis prospered illicitly by merchandising with the English and Dutch settlements in the Caribbean. Camagüey resisted Cuba 's independency and several conflicts were fought nearby. The metropolis maintains traces of its colonial architecture. Older parts of the metropolis exhibit narrow, irregular streets and little place. Industries here include sawmilling, tanning, and dairying. The metropolis is near major main roads and railroads, and has an international airdrome.

The sugar port, CIENFUEGOS, is located about 140 stat mis south-east of Havana, on the south-central seashore. Areas environing the metropolis produce cowss, baccy, java, rice, and sugar cane. Cienfuegos is home to several industries, among them are distilleries, coffee-and tobacco-processing workss. From May through November, the conditions in Cienfuegos is hot and humid ; winter temperatures are milder, with warm yearss and cool darks. The metropolis is lovely—it self-praises broad streets, legion Parkss and promenades, a all right place, and interesting architecture. Visited by Columbus in 1494, Cienfuegos ' port began operation in the early 1800s. Cienfuegos, site of Cuba 's largest cement plant, has a population of about 195,000.

GUANTÁNAMO, a metropolis of 200,400 occupants ( 2000 est. ) , is a major sugar-producing centre in southeasterly Cuba. Its history day of the months to the early nineteenth century when Gallic settlers, flying the slave rebellion in Haiti, established a colony here. The country is likely best known to Americans because of the U.S. Navy base which has been in operation since 1903 at nearby Guantánamo Bay. The metropolis 's port is at Caimanera, on the west side of the bay. The metropolis 's main industrial activities are sugar milling, java roasting, and the processing of cocoa, salt, and cordials. Guantánamo is accessible by railway and main road.

MATANZAS, situated in western Cuba, on the route between Havana and beautiful Varadero, is known for its all right, deep-water seaport. The exuberant Yumurí vale in which it lies, and the absorbing caves in the country, have become tourist attractive forces. Known as the `` Athens of Cuba, '' Matanzas has a public library, active cultural establishments, and legion bookmans and creative persons. The metropolis offers beautiful memorials, place, and scenic thrusts. Among Matanzas ' industries are sugar refineries, fabric workss, fertiliser, and shoe mills. The metropolis, founded in 1693, has a current population of about 123,000. A municipal museum is established here.

The 300-year-old metropolis of SANTA CLARA, in the west-central portion of the state, made its grade in recent history as the scene of a decisive conflict in 1959, when Castro 's guerrilla forces overthrew the Batista authorities. This attractive metropolis, nestled among the hills of Villa Clara Province, is the site of the Universidad de Las Villas, one of Cuba 's three major institutes of higher acquisition ; the school was founded in 1948, and presently has a pupil organic structure of 8,500. Sugar and baccy are the chief merchandises of the country. The metropolis is situated near the geographic centre of the island and is a major junction for Cuba 's railwaies. Santa Clara has a population of 194,350.

Founded in 1514, and one time Cuba 's wealthiest metropolis, TRINIDAD is situated in cardinal Cuba, about 75 stat mis south-west of Havana. In order to keep its colonial ambiance and to observe celebrated former residents—including Spanish adventurer Hernán Cortés—Trinidad has been declared a national memorial. The metropolis has legion and varied industries, including sugar refineries, dairies, sawmills, and cigar and coffin nail mills. Tourists enjoy its cool clime and cragged landscape. Gold, amianthus, and Cu sedimentations are found nearby. Trinidad has an airdrome railroad that links with Cienfuegos, and good main roads.

Geography and Climate

Topographically, three-fifths of Cuba shows level or gently rolled Fieldss and broad, fertile valleys-ideal for the sugar cane and baccy harvests which are the anchor and most recognizable symbols of the Cuban economic system. The northern seashore is low and boggy. Most of what remains, peculiarly at the southeasterly terminal of the island, signifiers steep and at times formidable mountains. Three mountain ranges dominate the Cuban terrain, but by far the best-known and most rugged is the eastern Sierra Maestra, where extremums lift to about 6,000 pess ( 1,829 m. ) above sea degree. Fidel Castro began his battle at that place in the 1950s, and still today in addresss alludes to its historical significance in the Revolution.

Humanistic disciplines, Science, and Education

The scheme for long term economic recovery, stressing biotechnology, touristry development, and related Fieldss such as medical specialty and English instruction, and the tightnesss of particular period cutbacks, i.e. , the decrease of Cuban book publication from about 20 million volumes to 250,000, are coercing momentous alterations, though few are discussed really openly. The tremendous subsidies paid through the Ministry of Culture that kept 10s of 1000s of Cuban creative persons and intellectuals on the province 's paysheet have been reduced dramatically since members of the Union of Artists and Intellectuals ( UNEAC ) and the Union of Journalists ( UPEC ) were first allowed to work independently in 1992 and retain some or all of their difficult currency net incomes in 1993.

The legendary cultural exports of the revolution, runing from Alicia Alonso 's concert dance to a view of radical movies and Milanes ' laies, have decreased to a drip. The 1993 Latin American Film Festival about recouped some of the past glorification by pulling a big figure of movies from other states, but `` Fresas Y Chocolate '' was the lone Cuban movie exhibited. The Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry ( INCAIC ) and the movie institute that Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez helped found in 1986 continue to advance `` Latin American movie consciousness, '' merely with much less Cuban content.

There are tonss of film, theatres and concert halls in Havana and spread around Cuba, but public presentations as advertised are much less dependable than in the yesteryear. Concertgoers are seldom surprised to hear a figure non on the plan, and holding tickets for a public presentation of a peculiar opera or concert dance does non see that the public presentation will happen as scheduled. The Cuban National Ballet, founded by the `` primissima '' danseuse, Alicia Alonso, performs sporadically, but public presentations are limited between foreign Tourss. Camaguey 's dance company now rivals that of Havana, but it, excessively, is largely on the route outside Cuba. Noteworthy sing creative persons from around the universe on occasion visit Cuba, but in recent old ages they have come more to demo solidarity than to execute.

Education is a pillar of the revolution, and instructors, after medical cells and the armed forces, have been among its most faithful. The independent employment allowed to creative persons and intellectuals remains unavailable to instructors. The government maintains its claim of 96 % literacy despite some grounds of functional illiteracy and unfavorable judgments of the educational system. Control of reading stuff has loosened greatly in recent old ages as the agencies to get it hold diminished. In 1992-94 several Cuban universities and the National Library started accepting stuffs from the USIS book plan. The gait of petitions for more publications has now far outstripped the capacity to provide them. USIS besides has distributed post-produced publications and donated newspapers and magazines, particularly to back up English learning plans.

Beside the deficiency of financess, many Cuban bookmans trained in the former Soviet axis now are without agencies of keeping their scientific and professional development with regard to any international criterion. In some modules large-scale English plans have been started to revise the linguistic communication capacities of the staff, and professional contact with sing American bookmans is thirstily sought out where it was one time avoided. Professors are encouraged to take part in internationally-funded plans and to accept learning chances in other states that may bring forth some financess.

Academic and cultural contact with the United States is turning quickly, mostly at the enterprise of U.S. establishments, but Cuban opposite numbers are speedy to travel along and frequently to take control of plans. From a low point during the mid-1980s when merely a smattering of faculty members traveled each twelvemonth, today there are tonss of U.S. visitants each month at the University of Havana, and several hundred Cubans visit the U.S. each twelvemonth. The provincial educational centres are far less involved, particularly in leting module to go, but U.S. establishments are get downing to concentrate their attending beyond Havana.

Commerce and Industry

In 1993, the Cuban Government introduced steps to assist resuscitate the economic system, including leting more expatriates from the U.S. to see Cuba, spread outing the permission for self-employment, and legalizing difficult currency ownership. In add-on, Cuba besides established the Basic Units of Collective Production ( UBPCs ) , which allow greater control over the farms ' disposal and division of any net incomes with the farms ' workers. However, concerned by the ghost of a resurgent capitalist economy and the possibility of corruptness, the authorities already has limited the range of such steps as self-employment.

Transportation system

Increasingly, even within Cuba 's major metropoliss, the route system reflects hapless and infrequent care. Secondary roads and more rural main roads suffer from terrible disregard, with small or no grass-cutting, no fence to maintain animate beings from rolling into traffic, few marks or other distance and safety markers, and crumpling paving. Gasoline Stationss which are unfastened, have fuel, and accept dollars are about nonexistent in many outlying countries. The quality of refined crude oil in Cuba is questionable, and bad fuel has damaged or destroyed more than one fuel injector system. At $ 3.50 a gallon, the handiness and monetary value of gasolene confine most Americans to Havana or trips which can be achieved with one tankful.


For a big portion of the population, wireless and Television provide entree to amusement and information. Radio Stationss throughout the state offer programming changing from intelligence and public personal businesss to athleticss, music, and soap operas. Western music is really popular in Cuba, and classical music plans are broadcast most of the twenty-four hours. Of class, some Stationss air plans with a more political orientation. Close propinquity to the U.S. and favourable conditions conditions permit some Florida wireless signals to perforate Cuban airwaves. Major shortwave wireless signals from the VOA, BBC, and Armed Forces wireless besides can be picked up. USIA 's Radio Marti ' is easy received, but TV Marti ' is actively jammed by Cuba.

Notes FOR Traveler

The Department of the Treasury may publish licences on a individual footing authorising Cuba travel-related minutess straight incident to selling, gross revenues dialogue, accompanied bringing, and service of exports and reexports that appear consistent with the licensing policy of the Department of Commerce. The sectors in which U.S. citizens may sell and service merchandises to Cuba include agricultural trade goods, telecommunications activities, medical specialty, and medical devices. The Treasury Department will besides see petitions for specific licences for human-centered travel non covered by the general licence, educational exchanges, and spiritual activities by persons or groups affiliated with a spiritual organisation.

Unless otherwise exempted or authorized, any individual capable to U.S. legal power who engages in any travel-related dealing in Cuba violates the ordinances. Persons non licensed to prosecute in travel-related minutess may go to Cuba without go againsting the ordinances merely if all Cuba-related disbursals are covered by a individual non capable to U.S. legal power and provided that the traveller does non supply any service to Cuba or a Cuban national. Such travel is called `` fully-hosted '' travel. Such travel may non by made on a Cuban bearer or aboard a direct flight between the United States and Cuba.

Should a traveller receive a licence, a valid passport is required for entry into Cuba. The Cuban authorities requires that the traveller obtain a visa prior to reaching. Attempts to come in or go out Cuba illicitly, or to help the irregular issue of Cuban subjects or other individuals, are contrary to Cuban jurisprudence and are punishable by gaol footings. Entering Cuban district, territorial Waterss or air space ( within 12 stat mis of the Cuban seashore ) without anterior mandate from the Cuban authorities may ensue in apprehension or other enforcement action by Cuban governments. Immigration lawbreakers are capable to prison footings runing from four old ages for illegal entry or issue to every bit many as 30 old ages for aggravated instances of foreign smuggling. For current information on Cuban entry and imposts demands, travellers may reach the Cuban Interests Section, an office of the Cuban authorities, located at 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009, telephone ( 202 ) 797-8518.

U.S. citizens and occupants going under a general or specific licence from the U.S. Treasury Department may pass money on travel in Cuba ; such outgos may merely be for travel-related disbursals at a rate non to transcend the U.S. Government 's per diem rate. U.S. Treasury ordinances authorize any U.S. occupant to direct up to $ 300 per calendar one-fourth to any Cuban household ( except households of senior authorities and Communist party leaders ) without a specific licence from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Treasury Department ordinances besides authorize the transportation of up to $ 1,000 ( without specific licence ) to pay travel and other disbursals for a Cuban national who has been granted a migration papers by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. For farther information, travellers should reach the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

MONETARY Unit of measurement:

Cuban peso ( C $ ) . One peso equals 100 centavos. Coin denominations include 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 100 centavos. Paper-bill denominations include 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 pesos. The U.S. dollar is an of import pecuniary unit in Cuba, owing to the Pesos Convertibles ( exchangeable pesos ) that are besides in circulation in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars. The dollar and the Peso Convertible are used for most minutess. Cuban pesos, frequently called Moneda Nacional, have fallen into neglect, except for a few government-subsidized concerns, like bodegas ( little food market shops ) merchandising rationed nutrients, public transit, film theatres, and peso taxis.


An island located 208 kilometres ( 129 stat mis ) South of Florida, Cuba is washed by the Caribbean Sea on the South, the Gulf of Mexico on the Northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean on the nor'-east. Its westernmost point is separated from Mexico by the Straits of Yucatan. With 110,860 square kilometres ( 42,803 square stat mis ) of entire surface country, Cuba, the largest island in the Antilles archipelago, is about the size of Pennsylvania. It is 1,199 kilometres ( 745 stat mis ) long, but averages merely 97 kilometres ( 60 stat mis ) in breadth. Its coastline is 3,764 kilometres ( 2,339 stat mis ) long with several first-class seaports. The capital metropolis, Havana, is located in the Northwest of Cuba, about straight south of Key West across the Straits of Florida. The 2nd largest metropolis in Cuba is Santiago de Cuba. Located in the eastern terminal of the island, Santiago was the island 's first colonial-era capital ( 1522-89 ) .


The population of Cuba was 11,131,000 in 2000, and is projected to turn to 11,481,000 by 2010. Although the population has doubled since 1950, the growing rate has slowed down well, and is now the lowest in Latin America. Population denseness is 101 people per square kilometre. Cuba is ethnically diverse ; about 51 per centum of the people are mulatto, 37 per centum are white, 11 per centum are black, and 1 per centum are Chinese. The grounds of crossbreeding ( copulating across racial lines ) is prevailing, and it is easy to place the commixture of white, black, and Chinese characteristics. The population has progressively darkened due to the hegira of big Numberss of Whites following the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which installed a socialist authorities led by Fidel Castro. Even though Cuba is a hapless state, the literacy rate is high ( estimated at 95.7 per centum in 1995 compared to 76 per centum before the revolution ) thanks to the authorities 's strong accent on instruction.


The Cuban economic system has endured a figure of turbulences over the past century. In the early 1900s about two-thirds of the concerns in Cuba were owned by U.S. citizens, and around 80 per centum of the state 's trade was with the United States. In 1959, when Fidel Castro seized the state through revolution, the reforms enacted by the socialist authorities confiscated most of the privately-held belongings in Cuba. Relationss with the United States became labored, and finally ended in 1962 when the United States placed an trade stoppage ( prohibition ) on trade with Cuba, which continues to this twenty-four hours. Cuba turned to the former Soviet Union for aid, and shortly introduced long-range socialist state-managed planning that followed Soviet theoretical accounts. The Soviet Union efficaciously subsidized the Cuban economic system by repeatedly proroguing debt payment agendas, making new recognition lines, paying high monetary values for Cuban exports, and offering military aid. As a consequence, many Cuban economic jobs did non manifest themselves until the autumn of the Soviet Union in 1989.

With the autumn of the Soviet Union in 1989, Cuba lost more than 85 per centum of its trade and one time once more had to seek for other markets to replace this loss. The 1990s were marked by a period of economic adversity ; from 1990 to 1993, Cuba 's economic system declined by 35 per centum, doing the state to fall into what Castro called `` The Particular Period in a Time of Peace. '' The life state of affairs of the Cuban people became really hard. Because the Soviets had been a beginning of much of the state 's fuel supplies, Cuban places and concerns suffered day-to-day power blackouts, and the public transit system all but stopped. Bicycles and horse-drawn carts and tractors had to replace for motorised conveyance. Food became scarce, and many Cubans found themselves standing in long lines to secure rationed points or purchase them from black-market ( illegal ) beginnings.

The inability of the collectivist system to supply scarce consumer goods enabled the black market to presume a outstanding function in the Cuban economic system. During the 1990s, workers normally stole goods from the state-run mills they worked in to utilize in their places or to sell on the streets. As a consequence, the authorities was forced to do some drastic alterations in policy. Many little in-home eating houses, bed and breakfasts, fix stores, etc. that had antecedently been considered `` black market '' were legalized. State control was slightly decreased. The authorities divided many big state-run farms into smaller co-ops called Basic Units of Production Cooperatives ( UBPC ) . While the husbandmans who worked for them still had to sell a certain sum of their green goods to the authorities at set monetary values, they were now permitted to sell their excess goods on the free market via agropecuarios ( husbandmans ' markets ) . The authorities besides began to necessitate state-run endeavors to be more efficient ; any endeavor non demoing a net income would be eliminated. The authorities besides began to let more foreign investing, making joint ventures with foreign companies and finally leting a foreign house to have 100 per centum of an endeavor. The U.S. dollar was legalized and, by 2000, became the most normally used currency. In 1994 Cuba reported economic growing once more for the first clip since 1989, a state of affairs that has continued into the new century. It is estimated that the continuance of these reforms should lend to a growing of 4-5 per centum in the twelvemonth 2001. Still, the economic system is in a hard state of affairs, and life for the mean Cuban is non easy.

An of import part to the betterment of the Cuban economic system has been the tourer industry, which was the sector describing the greatest growing in the 1990s. In the old ages instantly following the revolution in the late fiftiess, the Cuban authorities discouraged touristry, which was viewed as a beginning of corruptness of the Cuban people and a return to what it considered the effete old ages of U.S. control ( 1898-1958 ) . Get downing with some alterations in the mid-1980s, the tourer industry is now viewed as an of import manner for Cuba to back up itself while keeping many of the reforms that had been instituted under the socialist system.

Besides touristry, of import export sectors of the Cuban economic system are agribusiness, particularly sugar, java, and baccy harvests, and nickel excavation. Because of its long-run trust on a individual crop—sugar—the economic system has frequently suffered when universe sugar monetary values have been low. Petroleum is Cuba 's most of import import. In the 1980s, Cuba received most of its oil from the Soviet Union, a supply that dropped by 50 per centum between 1990 and 1992, doing widespread energy jobs that badly stunted Cuba 's agricultural and industrial production. Cuba responded by cut downing its energy usage, as by cutting back on gasoline-powered vehicles and by enforcing day-to-day blackouts throughout the island. Cuba continued to acquire much of its reduced oil supplies from Russia, but was required to pay market monetary values alternatively of the lower monetary values that the USSR had traditionally charged Cuba as a gesture of solidarity. By 2000, Cuba was purchasing its oil at market monetary values from Venezuela, Russia, and Mexico.

Cuba had an tremendous load of unpaid external debt numbering more than US $ 10 billion by 1999. Cuba has repeatedly refinanced these debts but was forced to suspend involvement payments in 1990 due to extreme economic conditions. Because of its hapless recognition, Cuba has been unable to obtain international loans that would enable it to purchase many of the imports it needs. As the Cuban economic system improved into the late 1990s, the state did have more foreign assistance. Although Cuba has non yet been approved to have financess from either the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, it has received money from assorted United Nations organisations, but the sums have been low in comparing to those received by other Latin American states: US $ 44 million ( $ 4 per individual ) in 1993, and US $ 80 million ( $ 7 per individual ) in 1998.


Harmonizing to the Cuban fundamental law, Cuba is an independent socialist democracy that is controlled by 1 party: the Cuban Communist Party ( PCC ) , of which Fidel Castro is the caput, with his brother, Raul Castro as vice-president. The Communist Party is led by a group of 25 persons chosen by its caput. Molded by this elect group of Communists are organisations that encompass every aspect of society, including young person, adult females, workers, and little husbandmans, among others. Around 80 per centum of the population has rank in at least one of these organisations. This web ensures that the docket of the Communist Party is disseminated ( communicated ) to the multitudes.

Fidel Castro, the commander-in-chief of the Cuban Republic, heads both executive organic structures of the state 's authorities, the Council of Ministers, and a Council of State. His brother, Raul Castro, serves as first vice-president of these 2 organic structures. The members of the Council of Ministers are proposed by the president of the Council of State and ratified by the National Assembly. The members of the Council of State and its president and vice-president are elected by the National Assembly. At the last election in 1998, Fidel Castro and Raul Castro were elected nem con. The following elections have non been scheduled.

The National Assembly is the legislative organic structure of the Cuban authorities. The Assembly is composed of 601 members whose footings last 5 old ages. For these places, the Council of State nominates campaigners, who are so capable to a direct ballot by the Cuban people. The National Assembly besides elects the Judicial Branch. On the local degree, members of Municipal Assemblies are chosen by direct local election. Local authorities is closely over-seen by the Communist Party. As is evidenced by Fidel Castro 's about complete control over decision-making, most policies are the direct consequence of his personal desires.

The Cuban governmental construction is to a great extent bureaucratic ( organized into many bureaus ) . Until 1993, the Central Planning Board ( JUCEPLAN, or Junta de Planificación Central ) , was responsible for economic planning. After 1993, in a move to make greater efficiency and to deconcentrate, different sectors of the economic system became the duty of assorted ministerial organic structures, including the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Sugar Planning, and the Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, among others.

The economic system is mostly collectivist, with 75 per centum of the labour force employed by the authorities. Therefore determinations that are made within each of these state-run ministries have a great impact on the economic system and on the person. The Cuban people have really small influence over authorities policies, most of which are straight handed down from the upper echelons of authorities. Over the old ages, Fidel Castro has proved himself slightly capricious in his attack to long-run economic planning. Many economic policies are the direct consequence of his efforts to keep his tight control on the Cuban population through economic agencies.


Cuba 's substructure, power system, and communications are all in demand of betterment. In 1959 Cuba was one of the most advanced states in Latin America, but much of the substructure has non been updated since the revolution. For illustration, many of the 29,800 kilometres ( 18,476 stat mis ) of roads that were listed as paved in 1996 were done so before 1959, and have non been maintained. The original pre-Revolutionary H2O and sewage systems were installed utilizing U.S.-made equipment, for which replacing parts are unavailable due to the U.S. trade trade stoppage. Of the 170 airdromes in Cuba, merely 77 had paved tracks.

Communications systems have seen small alteration. In 2000 Cuba had about the same figure of phone lines as in 1959. There were 353,000 chief lines in usage and 1,939 cellular phone contracts in 1995. At the same clip, Cuba had merely somewhat more electrical lines, and fewer cars on the route ( 24 autos per 1,000 dwellers in 1959 as opposed to 23 per 1,000 in 1988 ) than it did before the revolution. Many of the autos on the route in 2000 dated back to the fiftiess. Public transit was inefficient and overcrowded, and private transit was hard because of the deficiency of available trim parts and the general deficiency of fuel. Vehicle proprietors on a regular basis used their autos as a cab service, normally bear downing a little fee to people who need drives. Very few people had entree to computing machines. There were some in authorities offices


Cuba 's of import economic sectors are related to its tropical clime, island location, and fertile dirts. The sectors that yearly contribute the most to the Cuban GDP are touristry ( 30 per centum, US $ 5.6 billion ) , building ( 20 per centum, US $ 3.7 billion ) , agribusiness, hunting, and fishing ( 17 per centum, US $ 3.16 billion ) , and industry ( 37 per centum, US $ 6.9 billion ) , harmonizing to Cuba: Informe Económico in 1996. All of these sectors experienced considerable growing in the latter portion of the 1990s as a consequence of a restructuring of the economic system, foreign investing, and new trading spouses. Tourism is slated for the most growing in the coming old ages because it is one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investing.

Compared to worldwide production, Cuba 's end product of its most of import merchandises is comparatively little. World production of sugar is 130 million metric dozenss, and Cuba produces merely 3 to 5 million metric dozenss, still a considerable sum for the size of the island. Cuba experienced a 50 per centum bead in sugar production between 1993 and 1994 due to the inability to secure the necessary fuel, fertilisers, and other agricultural merchandises, and bad conditions. Again in 1997 and 1998, deficiency of capital and inefficiencies caused the crop to endure, which hardly reached the 50-year depression of 3.3 million dozenss. Other states that produce more sugar are the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Australia.


Agribusiness has ever played a really of import function in Cuba 's economic system. The state 's fertile fields and tropical clime are first-class for citrous fruit, baccy, and sugar production. Cuba besides has fertile, cragged zones where java is produced. Some 2,600,000 people, or 23 per centum of the labour force, are employed in agribusiness. The most of import harvests have ever been sugar and baccy, but Cuba besides produces java, murphies, tomatoes, rice, beans, onions, and citrous fruit fruits, though non in exportable measures. Still, Cuba imports more than 60 per centum of its agricultural nutrient merchandises.


Sugar is Cuba 's most of import agricultural merchandise. Cuba 's economic system has ever been linked to the universe monetary value of sugar. After the Revolution of 1959, the Castro authorities unsuccessfully tried to alter Cuba 's monoculture ( dependance on a individual harvest ) . When the United States revoked its one-year sugar quota, the Soviet Union assumed the deficit and the make-up of Cuba 's exports did non alteration. In 1959, 75 per centum of Cuba 's export dollars came from sugar, a proportion that had increased to 80 per centum by 1989. Production rose from an norm of 5 million dozenss per twelvemonth in the 1970s to an norm of 7.5 million dozenss per twelvemonth in the eightiess. After the prostration of the Soviet Union, the Cuban sugar crop fell to a 50-year depression of 3.3 million dozenss as a consequence of a loss of fuel, fertiliser, weedkiller, and machinery imports. In 1993, the Cuban authorities began to reorganise the industry. Traditional agricultural methods were encouraged, big farms were broken up into smaller co-ops, and foreign investing was courted. Trouble obtaining needful resources caused sugar production to stay low at the terminal of the century.


Tobacco is an of import Cuban merchandise, and Cuban cigars have long been extremely esteemed around the universe for their excellence. With the exclusion of Greece, Cuba dedicates more land to tobacco production than any other state in the universe. Cuba besides has the lowest output per hectare than any other state because of its inefficient agricultural sector. Despite this, Cuba 's baccy production is turning. In 1 twelvemonth entirely ( from 1994 to 1995 ) , production grew by 52 per centum, a tendency that continues as a consequence of foreign investing from Spain, the distribution of lands to little husbandmans, and increased international selling.


Cuba has 25 per centum of the universe 's high-quality Ni sedimentations located on its northeasterly seashore, the highest concentration in the universe. Cuban Ni is cheap to pull out because there are few environmental controls and rewards are low. In 1997 Ni and Co brought US $ 350 million into the Cuban economic system. Nickel production grew from 25,787 metric dozenss in 1994 to 65,300 metric dozenss in 1998. The addition has been significant as a consequence of joint ventures between Cuba and foreign authoritiess. Mining has played an of import portion in the recovery of the Cuban economic system in the 2nd half of the 1990s, although the universe monetary value of Ni has dropped.


Tourism has late become Cuba 's biggest growing industry. Having produced US $ 5.6 billion in 1996, it topped sugar as the state 's greatest hard-currency earner. The tourer industry employs 1,109,000 people, or 10 per centum of the population. Cuba 's pristine, white-sand beaches and tropical clime make it a holiday Eden. Cuban touristry functionaries estimate the figure of available suites in Cuba reached 50,000 in 2000, conveying the island 's one-year capacity for tourers to 2.5 million. Since Cuba has merely prioritized the tourer industry for the last 15 old ages, it is missing in the efficiency and amenitiess that many tourers expect, but is working to better its services.


Before 1959, the United States was Cuba 's most of import trading spouse, a natural development due to its geographic propinquity. That relationship ended in 1960 with the U.S. trade trade stoppage. Cuba so courted the Soviet Union and its Eastern European Alliess to go its primary trading spouses. Due to the rigorous economic organisation of the Communist system, merely 50 Cuban companies were allowed to take part in foreign trade until 1987. After the autumn of the Soviet Union in 1989, Cuba was shortly merchandising with a figure of states, including Spain, France, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, and Venezuela. About 40 per centum of Cuba 's trade is within the Americas and 50 per centum is with Europe. Main imports include fuel, nutrient, semi-finished goods, wheat, veggies, machinery, provender, and maize. Main exports are sugar, fish, Ni, medicative merchandises, and fruit. Cuba has systematically faced an unfavourable balance of trade ; in 1999 imports were valued at US $ 3.2 billion and exports at US $ 1.4 billion. This state of affairs places Cuba in a dependent place, unable to gain difficult currency and reliant on other states for critical goods.


As the Cuban province has experienced a growing in demand for rewards, societal security, and subsidies, there has been a terrible deficit of imported merchandises, nutrient, and other goods. Cubans frequently had to stand in long lines to secure a limited supply of nutrient merchandises. Many necessary points could non be obtained with pesos and were available merely on the black market with U.S. dollars. Inflation resulted because the authorities kept publishing more pesos though there were few goods available. In order to reconstruct the value of the peso, a plan was initiated to cut down the inordinate sum of money in circulation. As portion of this plan, the authorities increased the monetary values of many consumer goods and services, enacted a new revenue enhancement jurisprudence, and ended subsidies to concerns that were non feasible ( economically successful ) . While these steps increased the trouble of day-to-day life for the mean Cuban, they have bit by bit restored the value of the peso. Though the official exchange rate of the Cuban peso to the U.S. dollar is 1:1, the existent exchange rate within the state has dropped from 120 pesos to the dollar in 1994 to 20 to the dollar in 1998.

Since 1993, foreign Bankss had been allowed to make concern in Cuba to provide such fiscal services as insurance, foreign commercial investings, and nest eggs histories. In 1997, a new cardinal bank, the Banco Central de Cuba, was created to oversee and modulate Cuba 's turning banking sector. The old bank, Banco Nacional de Cuba, had performed both the functions of cardinal bank and state-owned commercial bank, but would now run merely as a commercial bank. Nevertheless, a really narrow sector of the Cuban population requires banking services. Very few people earn adequate money to be able to put or salvage. Those who do are able to gain dollars or have money from household members in other states. Cuba has no stock exchange.


By some steps, Cuba is the most socially classless of the universe 's states. Apart from some governmental and military functionaries, the highest wages in the state are merely 4 times the sum of the lowest wages. This state of affairs is altering quickly toward greater inequality ; although unequivocal statistics are non available, there is a great disagreement between the gaining capacity of those in contact with dollars and those without. When Fidel Castro 's socialist authorities came into power, it inherited a societal state of affairs similar to most other Latin American states. There was a little but really affluent category of landholders and authorities functionaries, and big Numberss of destitute provincials in the countryside and poorly-paid urban workers. Havana, on the western terminal of the island was a affluent, developed urban centre while most of the island was undeveloped, rural, and hapless. Most Cubans were uneducated ( 3 out of 4 were nonreader ) , and modern wellness attention was non available to them. Castro focused his policies on destructing the center and upper categories and extinguishing the low poorness of the lowest categories. In some ways he was successful. He confiscated the big landholdings and companies of the really affluent, doing much of the upper category to fly the state. In nationalising most of the

During the period from 1959 to 1989, the province was besides trusting to a great extent on aid from the Soviet Union ( see Overview of Economy ) . When the Soviet Union was no longer able to assist, the recession of the early 1990s forced Cuba to alter its policies. It loosened control of the markets, allowed people to have their ain concerns, allowed foreign ownership within Cuba, encouraged touristry, created a revenue enhancement system, and legalized U.S. currency. Income inequality has resulted ; those who are on a fixed income from the Cuban province are gaining far less than those who have contact with U.S. dollars. For illustration, a physician might gain 40 dollars a month, while a cab driver might have 40 dollars a hebdomad in tips.


In the early 1900s Cuba experienced a great trade of labour unrest, with work stoppages and labour lags being platitude. When Fidel Castro 's radical authorities came into power in 1959 there was great force per unit area for alteration from Cuban workers, some 2 million in figure, most of whom were populating in hard conditions due to low rewards that made it impossible for them to afford expensive consumer goods and high rents. Workers besides lacked wellness attention, entree to instruction, retirement benefits, and holidaies. The authorities complied with the workers ' demands ; labour contracts were renegotiated, rewards were raised, rents were lowered, and the unemployed were given occupations. Many of the most marginalized ( poorest ) people saw immediate and existent benefits giving them a sense of security, gratitude toward the revolution, and hope for the hereafter.

These alterations were ephemeral, nevertheless. Many of the Torahs that were enacted in 1959 to profit workers were repealed every bit early as 1961. Since that twelvemonth, the radical authorities fixed rewards at a low degree, which today are the lowest in the Western Hemisphere, averaging 100-400 pesos ( US $ 5- $ 20 ) a month. The worker has been invariably asked to give for the endurance of the revolution. Cuba has a workweek of 48 hours, and workers have been asked to give voluntary clip to edifice undertakings, instruction, and reaping. The lone legal workers ' brotherhood in Cuba, the CTC, is an arm of the Communist Party. It is non legal to strike, and there is no corporate bargaining. As a consequence, the International Labor Organization has condemned Cuba for misdemeanors of human rights.

In order to maintain low unemployment rates, in the yesteryear, the Cuban province did non necessitate concerns to gain a net income. Many employees were kept on the paysheet even though they were unneeded to the concern. Because of this, a high per centum of the companies in Cuba were continually losing money. The province continued to subsidise those concerns, maintaining them working at a loss. In the economic crisis of the early 1990s, the Cuban leading was forced to rethink these patterns. Retrenchment of these bloated endeavors was one of the first policies enacted to reconstitute the Cuban economic system. Employees who were unneeded were dismissed, and companies were required to gain a net income. Unemployment increased, but the degrees are unsure because there are no dependable unemployment statistics available for Cuba. However, due to the legalisation of the dollar combined with the growing of touristry, and the fact that it is hard to populate on the official authorities wages, many people are taking to work in the informal economic system or get down their ain little endeavors. Positions that conveying an person in contact with tourers can frequently give far greater pecuniary wagess.


The hereafter of the Cuban economic system is non easy to foretell. The authorities of Cuba has no distinct long-run program. While the reforms and restructurings of the ninetiess have been thought to bespeak a desire to slowly restore capitalist economy, the Cuban authorities insists that these alterations are merely survival techniques and that they have non given up on the socialist undertaking begun more than 40 old ages ago. Questions remain whether Cuban leaders will vacate themselves to going a capitalist economic system or, if non, what new forms its economic system might take. If present tendencies continue, the Cuban economic system will go on to turn steadily.

History & Background

From the first Spanish colonies in 1511 through 1898, Cuban instruction was typical of Spanish-speaking Latin America: a combination of parochial and secular establishments back uping and supported by the flush Roman Catholic Spanish colonial elite. The first establishment of higher instruction, the University of Havana, was established in 1728. However, as the Royal Economic Society reported in 1793, larning was confined to private tutoring ( for elect households ) and church-based schools with limited course of study and poorly-trained instructors ( de Varona 1993 ) . The Society called for a secondary instruction course of study that included mathematics, natural philosophies, chemical science, natural scientific discipline, vegetation, anatomy, and pulling ; this sparked the initiation of the first secular schools in Havana.

Nineteenth Century Government & Colonial Church: In 1816 the authorities created an bureau that introduced new methods, selected texts, created criterions, and employed school inspectors. More than 90 secular schools existed in 1820, but these elect establishments relied on pupil fees and patron contributions. By 1833, Cuba had 210 schools for Whites with 8,460 pupils but merely 12 schools for 486 black pupils. Few hapless or minority pupils received free direction in public or spiritual schools. An 1842 jurisprudence required the building of public primary and secondary schools on the same site, compulsory attending for kids aged 7 to 10, and control by provincial commissions, a looking democratisation of acquisition ( de Verona 1993 ) . However, home-tutored pupils of the flush were exempted from sharing installations and conditions with the kids of little concern proprietors, workers, and provincials.

An 1863 jurisprudence enabled the authorities to run public schools and to supervise private schools, obligated attending by kids aged 6 to 9, and specified mulcts to be paid by parents who failed to follow ( de Varona 1993 ) . Major turbulences of this period—freeing of slaves in 1868 and the Ten Years War, the first War for Independence—rendered these edicts moot. These conditions ripped societal life asunder, impoverished the state, and left minimum support for instruction. For illustration, merely $ 1800 was budgeted for all school inspectors in 1880 to go throughout the state to implement mandatory attending. Besides, schools averaged merely about 1 instructor per school and about 34 and 40 pupils per category in private and public schools, severally ( Perez 1945 ) .

Equally as of import was the Roman Catholic Church. It controlled about 46 per centum of Cuba 's schools, but its influence and the larger imprint of colonial domination extended to the public schools. Local priests held seats on school boards, were lawfully entitled to reexamine and O.K. the hire of instructors, and were lawfully entitled to supply hebdomadally spiritual direction in the public schools. They used this `` 2nd dais '' to advance spiritual orthodoxy, stereotyped gender and racial hierarchies, and to consecrate the dominant agencies and dealingss of production. Thus, hapless and minority pupils had a course of study that stressed morality and faith, but were non provided with a agency to lift above their economic position ( Paulston and Kaufman 1992 ) . As a consequence, few pupils remained in public school beyond age 10. In amount, the unintegrated system established by locally unexplainable colonial elites was brooding and supportive of the slave and hacienda system of Cuba 's sugar economic system.

Governor General Leonard Wood, who succeeded Brooke, initiated programmatic reform. Wood augmented Brooke 's attempts by giving substance to the Spanish reforms—creating a countrywide system of primary schools, developing instructors, and establishing alterations identified by dissenters. He reorganized secondary and vocational schools and promoted practical cognition in universities by presenting technology and architecture. Seeking to inculcate properties of the American educational system into Cuba, Wood hired Cuban pedagogues and decision makers versed in the U.S. theoretical account of instruction. Access to instruction increased across racial and category lines, and attending rose—a looking realisation of the dissenters ' ends.

Despite these educational progresss, general dissatisfaction with the authorities led to instability and, in 1906, the United States dispatched extra forces to set up order. Among those dispatched was Judge Charles Magoon who directed attempts in Cuba until 1909. Magoon 's educational achievements were `` less sensational than Wood 's, but in some ways more effectual '' ( Thomas 1998 ) . Crisp punishments were established for misdemeanors of compulsory instruction ; school-age kids found in the street during school hours were arrested, and mill proprietors using kid labourers were fined. In 1908, the school registration was reported to be 200,000 students in the public system and 15,000 students in the private system. However, jobs remained as Magoon ignored ailments of corruptness and nepotism in the educational system.

Batista Time period: Under dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s, approximately 50 per centum of the school-aged population did non go to school, and outgos were concentrated in urban countries to the exclusion of rural states ( MacDonald 1985 ) . The mean kid progressed merely to the 2nd class, and merely 17 per centum of pupils accompanied high school. More than 1,000,000 people—half the grownup population—were nonreader. The course of study had regressed to a `` authoritative Latino instruction with a great accent on memorisation '' while disregarding practical issues and modern conditions ( Padula and Smith 1988 ) . As Arthur Gillette discussed in his book Cuba 's Educational Revolution, reaction against the insufficiencies of pre-Revolutionary instruction ( a moral force of category unfairness and reproduction, a labour force unsuited to the modern economic system, and social disaffection ) shaped the revolution 's educational ends.

Castro Period: Educational reform in Cuba took root following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, though Castro had called for educational reform every bit early as 1953. As Castro 's protagonists won control of assorted parts of the state, they taught provincials to read as portion of the radical scheme. After the 1959 Revolution, two major education-related ends emerged: doing instruction available to all and linking this new educational system to socioeconomic development ( Gillette 1972 ) . Achieving these ends required a new national educational system that could educate a mostly illiterate population.

The Great Literacy Campaign of 1961 sought to transfuse basic literacy accomplishments to citizens in the poorest and most distant parts of the state. Junior and senior high schools were closed for an full twelvemonth as the run mobilized an unprecedented 274,000 voluntary literacy workers, including pupils, workers, adult females non in the work force, and trained instructors, who taught an identified 979,000 illiterate people. Of the 979,000 nonreader persons, 707,200 gained basic accomplishments of reading and authorship ( MacDonald 1985 ) . Coachs used manuals designed to learn topics related to the Revolution ; Alfabeticemos, the teacher 's manual, was composed of lessons covering with `` such topics as the revolution, Castro, land reform, nationalisation of foreign belongings, industrialisation, and imperialism '' ( Padula and Smith 1988 ) . Similar subjects were included in the pupil text, supplying both a point of going for literacy direction and educating the multitudes about the foundations of the new societal order. Volunteers worked separately with scholars utilizing increasingly more ambitious reading and authorship exercisings. This run brought a new sense of integrity to the state.

Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Get downing in 1842, instruction policy emerged as a paradox between the poles of legal authorizations and a policy of benign disregard. While compulsory schooling, free direction, and integrating Torahs were passed, they languished, unenforced by colonial functionaries. Much of the formal instruction occurred outside the horizon of public functionaries, overseen merely by parents and spiritual leaders. After 1898 the United States imposed its ain theoretical account of system construction, methodological analysis, and administration get downing with Military Orders No. 297 and Order No. 368 in 1900. When this system was subsequently transferred to Cuban administrative officials, support and enforcement backslid and became progressively corrupt through 1958.

Educational System—Overview

The ends of this altering system have been changeless: to supply improved educational chances for all individuals, to develop accomplishments necessary to better the industrial and agricultural end product, and to advance corporate duty. Education is mandatory for pupils through the 9th class. The school twelvemonth is approximately 200 yearss per twelvemonth, organized in four 10-week footings. The linguistic communication of direction is Spanish. Schools topographic point heavy accent on Cuban history, mathematics, practical and applied cognition, community service, and job resolution. A close relationship exists between instruction, day-to-day life, and work.

Preprimary & Primary Education

The primary instruction sequence consists of two degrees. The first rhythm includes classs one through four, and the 2nd rhythm classs five and six. Most schools are located in the pupils ' community, and attending is compulsory. The figure of instructors has fluctuated during the last 40 old ages, but the pupil-teacher ratio has continually decreased during the period. From classs one through four, categories are 30 proceedingss in continuance. The course of study focuses on Spanish linguistic communication ( reading, authorship, and unwritten look ) and mathematics. These two topics together account for 57 per centum of schoolroom clip. Scientific attack, life preparation, economic sciences, labour, artistic subjects, and physical instruction are other topics. A new subject was introduced in the mid-1990s, the `` World in Which We Live '' —a blend of natural and societal ecology, wellness, and morality ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) . The course of study emphasizes basic instruction, productive activity, and societal benefit and duty. Classroom acquisition is frequently integrated with basic accomplishments, such as horticulture, pruning, wood and metal trades, and handcrafts. The boundary between schoolroom and practical acquisition is blurred into a holistic acquisition environment.

In classs five and six, categories include Cuban history, natural scientific discipline, geographics, aesthetics, civil instruction ( to convey political, ideological, moral, and judicial information ) , economic sciences, and labour instruction, which is an initial linkage of schoolroom acquisition to productive work. The behavioural end is to promote independent working wonts and concerted acquisition accomplishments. The pupils are once more expected to show competency in each subject. All pupils must finish the 6th class, and those who fail may recapture scrutinies. Less than 1.0 per centum of pupils drop out of primary instruction, and 98.2 per centum continue their surveies after the 6th class ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) .

Particular instruction is a sub-system of the primary schools designed to supply appropriate preparation and direction to develop the rational and vocational abilities of `` particular demands '' kids. These kids are ab initio evaluated by specializers in one of Cuba 's Diagnosis and Guidance Centers that refer them to an appropriate school. There are schools supplying specialised direction for pupils with mental disablements, sightlessness, ocular disabilities, amblyopia, physical disablements, hearing loss, address hindrances, behavioural upsets, larning disablements, and linguistic communication upsets. Often these schools have relationships with local schools, which allows for mainstreaming of pupils where appropriate ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) .

Secondary Education

In 1966, the `` Schools to the Countryside Program '' started when 20,000 basic secondary instruction pupils and their instructors moved to the state to work with husbandmans and agricultural workers. In 1971, this pattern was institutionalized as the `` schools in the countryside, '' which are get oning schools that operate during the work-week on a twelvemonth unit of ammunition footing. Boarding schools divide their pupils ; while half tend harvests in the forenoon, the balance learns in the schoolroom, and in the afternoon the groups exchange undertakings. Again, practical cognition and schoolroom stuffs are integrated into a individual course of study focused on observation and job resolution. During the summers, the schools are holiday centres where pupils are joined by their households. Families receive free room and board and take part in assorted recreational plans, including trips to beaches and Parkss, but they are expected to work two hours per twenty-four hours ( Carnoy and Werthein 1983 ) .

The class content in pre-university instruction is more equally distributed across the course of study. Mathematicss and Spanish comprise merely 42 per centum of the class contact hours ; natural scientific discipline is about 20 per centum. History, geographics, art, and physical instruction constitute about 18 per centum. Labor instruction, civics, military readying, and basicss of Marxist-Leninism constitute about 10 per centum of the course of study and occur in a patterned manner—labor and civics in the 7th through 9th classs and military and Marxist-leninist surveies in the ten percent through 12th classs ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) .

Since 1982, the Ministry of Higher Education has overseen sheepskins and grades granted by the 47 Cuban establishments of higher instruction. Administratively some are low-level to other Ministries, including Public Health, Center State, and Education proper ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) . Cuba has four universities, each of which has sections of technology, scientific disciplines, agribusiness, humanistic disciplines ( including jurisprudence ) , medical specialty, instruction, and economic sciences. These four universities, three university subdivision campuses, and 40 specialised institutes jointly constitute the higher instruction system of Cuba ( Mac-Donald 1996 ) .

By 1975 `` New Man '' graduates of post-Revolutionary establishments of higher instruction populated industrial, cultural, societal, and governmental establishments as employees and directors. Yet with the humanitiesfocused preparation still in topographic point within universities, merchandise development, proficient invention, and bureaucratic efficiency lagged. With pressing societal and economic demands, Cuban functionaries started stressing the importance of higher instruction as a radical tool in transforming the economic system. The terminal consequence of this attempt was the coordination of universities with national economic bureaus, better alining the demands of society with the expertness of university alumnuss.

In the immediate post-Revolutionary epoch, Cuba placed accent on agricultural autonomy. By 1980 a displacement in the focal point, composing, patronage, and results of higher instruction emerged as portion of a larger societal transmutation ( MacDonald 1996 ) . This displacement toward increased instruction and engineering, evident from 1970 to 1995, resulted in a tight coordination of national demand and educational readying. The accent on mass engagement in higher instruction increased university attending by husbandmans and workers. Additionally, a strong index of the importance of higher instruction was its enlargement. Student attending changed from 24,300 students ( per 100,000 population ) in 1958 ; to 20,600 by 1965 ; and to 26,300 by 1975.

From 1980 through 1992, higher instruction flourished in Cuba. In 1980 Cuba had 151,700 pupils enrolled in higher instruction. Registration declined during the crisis of the mid-1990s, as entire registration fell from 165,891 in 1993-1994 ; to 140,815 in 1994-1995 ; to 134,100 in 1995-1996. Despite these diminutions, Cuba 's rate of higher instruction registration per 100,000 population has, since 1978, exceeded the Latin American and universe norm ( Epstein 1988 ; Ministry of Education 1996 ) . There were about 23,000 module members in higher instruction in 1995, which resulted in an highly low module to pupil ratio, a status conducive to effectual teaching method.

Requirements for university attending include graduation from high school, transition of a forte scrutiny, a personal interview, and letters from a local `` people 's organisation '' or other indexs of radical attitude. Education is free and available to all interested and qualified persons. There are three sorts of plans available: daylight, worker in-service, and distance acquisition classs, with the latter two providing classs for non-traditional students—farmers and workers seeking to prosecute involvements and/or upgrade their accomplishments. This pupil base differs greatly from the pre-Revolutionary yearss of pupils from privileged upper category position. Clearly, universities will travel the Revolution to its following phase.

Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

The Ministry of Education oversaw the operation of 13,340 schools and 270,100 instructors ( including day care ) in 1995-1996. Consistent with Article 39B of the Constitution of the Republic, duty for instruction remainders with the province. The Ministry ushers, performs, and implements province and authorities policy in instruction, except for higher instruction. The National Education System is composed of a cardinal authorization, provincial and municipal variety meats, and several administrative organic structures that answer merely to the National Assembly of People 's Power, the legislative construction of the Republic of Cuba.

The Ministry of Education, provincial and local educational functionaries, and instructors and professors sporadically propose alterations that are consistent with their charge to carry on, form, and manage educational services in their several districts. The local instruction governments are capable to the rule of dual subordination: to the Ministry and to local councils. A sum of 2,173,000 pupils were in the formal instruction system ( excepting universities ) , and an extra 145,000 kids were in day care centres in 1995-1996. The Ministry of Higher Education is charged with supervising universities and assorted institutes and is distinguishable from the Ministry of Education.

Following the `` Nationalization of Education '' in July 1961, all educational disbursals are covered by public financess from the province budget. The Ministry of Finances controls outgos and auditing, and the Ministry of Education is accountable for disbursement. Cuba 's support for instruction is singular, lifting from about 3.4 per centum of GNP before the Revolution, to 7.0 per centum by 1965, to 7.2 per centum in 1980, to 11.0 per centum in 1994. Yet, the impacts of the `` Particular Time period '' are such that existent outgos have fallen from 1853.9 million pesos in 1990 to 1430 million pesos in 1995-1996 ( Ministry of Education 1996 ) .

Nonformal Education

Another nonformal domain is big instruction, which provides acquisition chances for workers, husbandmans, homemakers, and undereducated grownups at three degrees: Educacion Obrera Y Campesina or EOC ( a four-semester basic direction class sequence ) ; Secundaria Obrera y Campesina or SOC ( a four-semester mid-level class ) ; and Facultad Obrera y Campesina or FOC ( a six-semester higher degree direction ) ( Ministry of Education 1999 ) . The matriculation rate of these plans has remained high, and class stuffs are often refined. From 1962 to 1974 about 650,000 grownups graduated from these grownup instruction plans, with a record figure of 95,000 matriculating in 1974 ( Paulston 1976 ) . Engagement remains high ( Ministry of Education 1999 ) .

The Cuban authorities has been a leader in the usage of media for nonformal instruction. Get downing in the sixtiess, wireless has served an of import map in doing instruction available to all citizens. As of 1996, eleven of the 14 states offered local wireless direction at of import work centres. Increased usage of telecasting has besides offered chances for distance acquisition. For illustration, in 2000, `` University for All '' was introduced on province telecasting, offering telecourses in English, Spanish, and other subjects. Distance acquisition is offered through establishments of higher instruction, with periodic meetings held between pupils and professors ; about 25,000 participants were involved as of 1996. The usage of computing machines and Internet engineering is limited, although Cuba is working to increase this resource for its public.

Teaching Profession

Education of instructors is a strong precedence in Cuba, and teacher readying plans are constantly joined with the political and cultural passages of the state. Teachers are trained in one of 13 instruction ( pedagogical ) universities and plans in several methods of direction. Entry is based upon trial tonss and analysis of one 's aptitude and interpersonal qualities specific to learning. The preparation plan stopping points for five old ages, with pupils get downing their surveies in their pre-university twelvemonth of school. During the first two old ages of the plan, accent is placed on general surveies, stressing political and cultural subjects. During the 3rd twelvemonth of direction, educational psychological science is introduced, while in the 4th and 5th twelvemonth of survey, pattern instruction is emphasized under the way of experient instructors. Practicing instructors can besides achieve advanced grades from these establishments.


One of Cuba 's strengths is its integrating of civilization, societal order, and instruction. Especially notable has been its integrating of formal instruction, practical humanistic disciplines, and problem-solving applications outside of the schoolroom. Ironically, that same way is now being promoted worldwide by major corporations and conservative instruction policy experts who seek to advance job resolution and teamwork. The developed states have much to larn from Cuba 's ability to incorporate instruction into all facets of its civilization. It is besides clear that this advanced synthesis of larning activities is non entirely socialist or broad.

Another sarcasm involves Cuba 's readying to cover with alteration. The stiff construction and engineering for acquisition has created for its people a model for self-discovery and an intrinsic application of cognition. Timess are altering in Cuba, particularly with its increased trust on a tourer economic system. Educators are go forthing the profession to work in touristry, and this is yet another challenge to be faced. Cuba is once more required to make new inventions to keep its radical vision but, with alteration as its strength, Cuban instruction is good positioned to foster its transmutation and to run into its people 's demands.


Elevations of the Maestra, Escambray, and Guaniguanico mountain ranges—located in southeast Santiago de Cuba, south-central Villa Clara, and Pinar del Río states respectively—vary from 2,000 metres in the Sierra Maestra to 600 metres in Guaniguanico. Between these ironss, which cover 35 per centum of the island land mass, are hills and low-lying fields suited for a broad assortment of tropical agricultural cultivation, ranching, and forestry. The stable clime, with temperatures that rarely drop below 21° C and mean rainfall of 137 centimetres a twelvemonth, contributes to the production of tropical harvests. Cuba has frequently been in the way of lay waste toing tropical storms and hurricanes that negatively affect production.

Linguistic Affiliation. Cuba 's earliest dwellers were the seminomadic Ciboney, and small information on their linguistic communication remains. Their replacements, the Arawak, dominated the island at the clip of Spanish geographic expedition and business. Footings taken from the Arawak linguistic communication became incorporated into the major linguistic communication of Cuba, which continues to be Spanish. By the terminal of the 16th century, most of the native population had ceased to be, farther homogenising linguistic communication, but African slaves from Bantu-language groups of West Africa have contributed many footings to Spanish as spoken in Cuba.

Demography. In 1991 more than half of the Cuban population of 10.7 million was under the age of 30. This form is related in portion to the out-migration of over 1 million Cubans to other states following the 1959 Revolution. The Cuban population is 51 per centum mulatto, 37 per centum White, 11 per centum Black, and 1 per centum Chinese. Forty per centum of the population resides in the western states and the major urban countries of Havana, Matanzas, and Pinar del Río. Another 20 per centum of the population resides in the states of Villa Clara and portion of western Camagüey. Twenty per centum resides in northwesterly Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey, and the concluding 20 per centum in the eastmost country of Santiago de Cuba. The eastern naval base of Guantánamo, leased to the United States in 1903, houses 6,000 U.S. military forces and their households and is efficaciously separated from Cuba.

Since the late Spanish colonial period, the rural population has migrated to the major metropoliss of Havana, Matanzas, and Santiago de Cuba. Following the 1959 Revolution, attempts have been made to stress services to the countryside and decelerate down the migration to metropoliss. Although population growing has declined in Havana, the tendency toward urbanisation has continued: in the late 20th century 62 per centum of adult females and 58 per centum of work forces reside in metropoliss. In contrast to pre-1959 conditions, nevertheless, the rural population has enjoyed improved proviso of wellness attention, instruction, lodging, and other basic demands.

History and Cultural Relationss

The earliest known colonists in Cuba, the Ciboney ( 1000 b.c. ) were joined by Arawaks from a.d. 1100 to 1450. From Christopher Columbus 's first landing in 1492 to U.S. troop landings in 1898 during the concluding phases of the war for Cuban independency, the island was integrated into the Spanish colonial construction, bring forthing as major export harvests sugar cane, java, and baccy. The island besides served as an administrative centre for Spanish political and economic control of the part and was hence a important sphere of international competition over Spanish control of the Western Hemisphere. Population growing and economic and political activity centered on the Havana environments, marginalising authorization and economic growing in the eastern parts and keeping chances at that place even in the postcolonial period. In the 2nd half of the 19th century, the Spanish authorities proved incapable of deciding struggles over its policies, ensuing in the Ten Years War ( 1868-1878 ) and the war for Cuban independency, which began in 1895.

Between 1899 and 1902 the United States occupied Cuba and appointed military governors as decision makers ; the democracy was non officially established until a president was elected in 1902. The Cuban constitutional convention reluctantly incorporated the Platt Amendment ( to a U.S. ground forces appropriation measure of March 1901 ) , which became the legal justification for U.S. control of the naval base at Guantánamo, ownership of Cuban land, and intercession in Cuba 's internal personal businesss until the repeal of the amendment in 1934. Between 1934 and 1959 the Cuban economic system strengthened its economic and political ties with the United States. Persistent national struggles generated the formation of assorted resistance motions. After the success of the July 26th motion in 1959, Cuba built a socialist system ; even after the prostration of socialism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Cuba 's authorities continued to be a instead hardy disciple.


During the colonial period and prior to 1959, the major urban centres of Havana, Matanzas, Cárdenas, and Santiago de Cuba displayed forms of growing associated with accent on the agro-export economic system. Towns and small towns organized around production of sugar, java, and baccy exports expanded with markets. Migration of seasonal workers and subsistence husbandmans exerted strong force per unit areas on urban centres as the concentration of landownership proceeded. Since 1959, the radical authorities has attempted to cut down this migration in maintaining with its docket of supplying more societal services to rural countries and little metropoliss and towns, radically reforming land-tenure forms, and diversifying the economic system.

As before the Revolution, rural homes of the hapless, peculiarly in the cragged parts, are constructed from thenar thatch, cane, and clay with soil floors. These bohios traditionally dominated the countryside around sugar cane Fieldss and countries where household subsistence secret plans persisted ; they are merely bit by bit being replaced with dweller-constructed, partly prefabricated cement multifamily lodging. Cycles of increased building have occurred from 1959 to 1963, in the mid-1970s, in 1980, and from 1988 to 1989 but have non kept gait with lodging demands. In urban centres, lodging combines single-family Spanish-style architecture, low-rise flat units, single-story flats joined in rows, and, in the oldest metropoliss, some former single-family places converted into multiple units. The Spanish terrace agreement is more prevailing in the older homes. Construction of single-family lodging has received less precedence from the radical authorities.


Before the prostration of the socialist axis, over 40 per centum of Cuba 's nutrient supply was imported. The National Rationing Board attempted to guarantee distribution of minimal basic nutrient demands based on demographics. The island suffered terrible nutrient deficits in 1993 and 1994, following climatic catastrophes and the loss of most of its oil imports and 30 per centum of its agrochemical, machinery, and parts imports. Attempts to turn to the crisis included the transmutation of province farms into worker-owned endeavors or co-ops, the reintroduction of husbandmans ' markets, and new trade agreements for nutrient imports from other states. The authorities besides legalized private markets and private sellers and providers of services in many industries.

Trade. Until the 1990s, government-owned nutrient shops set unvarying monetary values for rationed nutrients. Monetary values remained fixed from the early 1960s to 1981, when they were increased somewhat. Government nonrationed nutrient markets were expanded in 1983 and 1994 to supply greater supplies and assortments of nutrients and to stop black marketeering. Consumer goods remained under authorities ownership and control until 1994, when the authorities legalized the nonexempt, direct sale, without monetary value controls, of trades and excess industrial goods by accredited private sellers. Price additions on services and some merchandises followed the 1994 decriminalisation of the dollar. Taxs were introduced in choice countries.

Division of Labor. The traditional division of labour by gender—casa ( place ) and calle ( street ) —ascribed to urban, upper-class Latin American societies began to alter significantly during World War II, as more middle-class adult females entered professional Fieldss. In the postrevolutionary period, transference between gender-traditional businesss has made limited paces. Although adult females have become more educated, have entered new occupation Fieldss, and play a greater function in political organisations, they continue to be concentrated in the traditional Fieldss of instruction and public wellness and remain underrepresented in political relations. The labour force of 3 million soon includes 30 per centum engaged entirely in agribusiness, 20 per centum in industry, 20 per centum in services, 11 per centum in building, 10 per centum in commercialism, and 5 per centum in authorities.

Land Tenure. Since extinguishing foreign ownership and big private estates, which were bequests of the colonial system, agricultural reform has gone through several phases. By the mid-1980s, 80 per centum of land had come under province ownership, 11 per centum was organized into co-ops, and 9 per centum was held by private proprietors. Food crises forced change of this system in 1994. State farms were replaced by Basic Units of Cooperative Production, which are allowed to sell in husbandmans ' markets any nutrient they produce in surplus of authorities demands. To diversify the economic system further and gain foreign exchange, the authorities entered into investing contracts with foreign endeavors in the Fieldss of building engineering, consumer goods, excavation, biotechnology, oil, sugar, and touristry.

Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kinship. Prerevolutionary affinity ties and societal ties of the Cuban upper category were based in portion on patrilinear descent from the Spanish colonial nobility. The ability to follow household backgrounds sharing common names and frequenter saints became slightly less important in the decennaries following constitution of the democracy and declined even more significantly after the 1959 Revolution and the hegira of big Numberss of the upper category. Lower-class Cubans demonstrated much less respect for line of descent than had the in-between category but continued the Latin tradition of godparenting and keeping close relationships with and duty for the drawn-out household.

Marriage. In the prerevolutionary period, within the model of a Catholic-Latin society and rural/urban economic polarisation, church-sanctioned matrimony and baptisms assumed more importance in the metropoliss than in the countryside. A comparatively low matrimony rate, cited as less than 5 per 1,000 in the late colonial period, reflected accent on common-law matrimonies in the countryside. Since the 1959 Revolution, rates of both matrimony and divorce have tended to increase and go more similar for rural and urban countries. The matrimony rate declined slightly in the late seventiess, nevertheless, as the lodging deficit limited the constitution of separate families. Postmarital abode tends to be patrilocal and has at times required duplicating up of households. In 1979 drawn-out households resided in 40 per centum of Cuban families. Assorted types of birth control, including abortion, are available.

Domestic Unit. Attempts to beef up household solidarity, stableness, and female equality include the passage of the 1975 Family Code, which identifies the atomic household as the indispensable societal unit responsible for bettering the wellness and public assistance of society. The codification calls for equal sharing of duties in family work, care, and kid raising, every bit good as equal committedness to esteem and trueness in matrimony. Legally mandated child-care centres and pregnancy foliages are among the undertakings and policies intended to cut down gender inequality and modify traditional gender-defined functions.

Inheritance. The Rent Reform and Agrarian Reform Laws of 1959 and subsequent statute law aimed at redistribution of wealth focused on restricting rent charges, foreign ownership of belongings, and private landownership, every bit good as nationalising rural belongings, set uping co-ops, and reassigning land to sharecrop farmers and renters. Legislation enacted with the aim of come oning toward abolishment of private belongings has restricted the sale, mortgaging, and heritage of land and has successfully increased province purchases of land. Other personal belongings assets may be inherited with some limitations.

Sociopolitical Organization

Cuba is organized politically into 14 states and 169 municipalities. Its socialist system is hierarchal and bureaucratic. The 525,000-member vanguard or cell party, the Cuban Communist party ( PCC ) is led by Fidel Castro, the first party secretary, and his brother Raúl Castro, the 2nd party secretary. The Political Bureau has duty for oversing economic, political, and military activities. In 1991 the 1,667 delegates to the Fourth Party Congress, moving on recommendations at local meetings attended by some 3.5 million people throughout the island, cut the staff of the 225-member Central Committee by one-half and reduced the figure of sections by more than one-half. Surrogates in the Political Bureau were abolished, and the Secretariat was terminated. The Congress besides called for increased reappraisal and callback of party functionaries and particular Sessionss to cover with the economic crises at the provincial and municipal degrees.

Political Organization. Prior to 1959, engagement in the national and local political procedures was limited. Between 1959 and 1970, the radical authorities mostly centralised authorization and provided limited representative or direct entree to determination devising. Reorganization of the political system in 1970 was designed to let greater input into policy formation at all degrees. Legislative reforms in 1976 and once more in 1992 and 1993 were exemplifying of a tendency toward increasing engagement in economic determination devising at all degrees. To guarantee wider input and greater apprehension of the possible effects of alteration prior to policy formation, it was required that meetings be held with mass organisations and constituencies.

Most citizens belong to at least one of the mass organisations ( commissions for the defence of the Revolution, the Confederation of Cuban Workers, the Federation of Cuban Women, the National Association of Small Farmers ) or to specific professional or pupil associations. Several human-rights organisations, founded outside the constituted political procedure, are non recognized by the authorities. In 1994 the authorities announced the visit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the creative activity of an ad hoc commission within the National Assembly to reexamine and describe on political, societal, economic, cultural, and single rights.

Conflict. From 1898 to 1959, Cuba experienced several political and economic crises that resulted in armed rebellions against authorities functionaries and in military and political intercession by the United States. Between 1953 and 1959, armed battle in the metropoliss and countryside culminated in a successful revolution. Subsequently, more than 200,000 chiefly upper- and middle-class Cubans left the island. A little per centum of the expatriates in the United States has established organisations that have actively sought the overthrow and/or destabilization of the Cuban authorities and have resisted U.S. rapproachment with Cuba.

U.S. resistance to Cuban expropriation of U.S. concerns, execution of a socialist docket, and dealingss with the Soviet Union strained U.S.-Cuban dealingss early in the radical battle. Immediate effects included U.S. preparation and arming of Cuban expatriates in the Playa Girón ( Bay of Pigs ) invasion of 1961, efforts to insulate Cuba economically and diplomatically in the Western Hemisphere, and a U.S. trade trade stoppage. The 1962 Cuban missile crisis and Cuban support of revolutions and anticolonial motions in Latin America and Africa contributed to farther tensenesss between the United States and Cuba.

Within Cuba, the most important political struggles center around perceptual experiences of counterrevolutionary activity. Although unfavorable judgment is encouraged within the socialist-revolutionary model, persons and organisations trying to run actively outside this model or perceived as oppositions of the socialist system are capable to legal proceedings that typically result in captivity. Internal struggle in the 1980s was exemplified by the hegira of more than 125,000 Cubans to the United States from Mariel, the growing of assorted human-rights organisations, and the tests of high-echelon political and military leaders on drug-trafficking and other counterrevolutionist charges. The prostration of the Soviet axis contributed to deficits of consumer goods, nutrient, and medical specialty, every bit good as to blackouts and transit and production jobs ensuing from fuel deficits. Emphasis on touristry to gain necessary foreign exchange and the decriminalisation of the dollar were progressively criticized for making a double criterion of life and societal jobs such as harlotry. The economic diminution resulted in heretofore rare public presentations against the authorities.

U.S. finding to see the Cuban authorities overthrown was reflected in the tightening of the trade stoppage in 1992. An in-migration policy that denied Cubans legal visas while leting them entry through illegal agencies created an in-migration crisis in the summer of 1994. Ultimately, the United States reversed its policy of discriminatory intervention for Cubans and sent those trying to come in the United States illicitly to cantonments at Guantanamo Naval Base and elsewhere. It besides entered into new treatments with the Cuban authorities on in-migration but rescinded many travel chances and tightened controls on dollar transportations.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs and Practices. Catholicism has been the chief faith of Cuba, although Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian schools, churches, and missions and a figure of other spiritual groups besides thrived in the prerevolutionary period. Research workers contend that the Catholic church had less influence and significance in Cuban society than in many other Latin American states, which in portion histories for decreased belligerencies during the period of strong separation between faith and the radical authorities ( 1959-1983 ) . The outgrowth of release divinity and Cuban authorities acknowledgment of a function for faith in radical society resulted in improved dealingss between the churches and the Cuban authorities in the latter portion of the 1980s.

Humanistic disciplines. Under the radical authorities, Cuba has expanded the figure of libraries from 100 to 2,000 and of museums from 6 to 250. Workshops and institutes in music, dance, theatre, art, ceramics, lithography, picture taking, and movie are available to amateurs and professionals in the 200 casas de cultura, A new movie industry and movie school have produced internationally acclaimed plants, and several publication houses, of which the Casa de las Américas is the best known, have produced and reproduced an unprecedented figure of publications. Political posting art, street theatre, and experimental workplace theatres have been typical parts of the radical period. The rich Afro-Hispanic civilization, including the traditional guajiro ( common people ) vocals and dances, have been emphasized with new energy since 1959.

Medicine. Between 1959 and 1964, about one-half of Cuba 's 6,300 doctors left the island, and the United States imposed a trade trade stoppage that cut off indispensable medical specialties. As portion of its run to increase the handiness of medical attention, Cuba has since trained more than 16,000 physicians. Medical attention is wholly free and available to all ; Cuba has besides sent many doctors and other health care workers to more than 26 states to supply attention, preparation, and biomedical research. Using the medicalteam attack and stressing preventive wellness attention, the authorities expanded the former mutualistas ( health-maintenance organisations ) to include urban and rural polyclinics, more rural infirmaries, and extended vicinity health-education and disease-prevention plans. Modern techniques and equipment available from the socialist axis improved health-care bringing dramatically.


Spanish settlers brought with them citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, every bit good as rice and veggies. They besides grew sugar cane, a major Cuban harvest. African slaves were unable to convey any points along with them on their journey to Cuba. They were, nevertheless, able to present their African civilization. The slaves developed a gustatory sensation for fruits and veggies such as corn ( maize ) , okra, and manioc. In clip, Spanish and African civilizations joined together to make several popular dishes, including arroz congri ( rice and beans, frequently known as Moors and Christians ) and tostones ( pieces of lightly fried fruit, similar to the banana ) .


Other common dishes in Cuba are ajiaco ( a typical meat, Allium sativum, and vegetable fret ) , fufú ( boiled green bananas mashed into a paste ) which is frequently eaten alongside meat, empanadas de carne ( meat-filled pies or battercakes ) , and piccadillo ( a bite of spiced beef, onion, and tomato ) . Ham and cheese is a common dressing for fish and steaks, or is eaten entirely. The best topographic point to happen the freshest fruits and veggies on the island is at a husbandmans market. Popular sweets include helado ( ice pick ) , flan ( a baked custard ) , chu ( bite-sized whiff pastries filled with meringue ) , churrizo ( deep-fried ring rings ) , and galletas ( sweet biscuits ) .


A typical Cuban breakfast, usually served between 7 and 10 ante meridiem, may include a tostada ( broiled Cuban staff of life ) and café con leche ( espresso java with warm milk ) . The tostada is frequently broken into pieces and dipped into the java. Lunch frequently consists of empanadas ( Cuban sandwiches incorporating poulet or another meat, topped with pickles and mustard ) . Pan con bistec, a thin piece of steak on Cuban staff of life with boodle, tomatoes, and fried murphy sticks, is besides popular. Finger nutrients are popular bites eaten throughout the twenty-four hours. Pastelitos, little, flakey turnovers ( in assorted forms ) filled with meat, cheese, or fruit ( such as Psidium littorale ) , are besides common bites. Because Cubans are meat feeders, meat, poulet, or angle will usually be the chief dish at dinner. It is about ever served with white rice, black beans, and fried plantains. A little salad of chopped tomatoes and boodle may besides be served.

Cuban eating houses are about wholly government-owned. They have a repute for supplying slow service and bland repasts. Privately owned eating houses, called paladares, usually serve a better repast, but are under rigorous authorities guidelines. Paladares are non allowed to sell runt or lobster, and are merely allowed to function up to twelve people at one tabular array. However, most paladares serve these dishes anyhow. Government-owned eating houses frequently try to mask themselves as being in private owned to pull more clients. In Cuban eating houses it is common to hold several bill of fares points unavailable due to deficits of nutrient. Some of the highest quality of nutrient on the island is frequently found at expensive hotels that largely serve tourers.


See W. F. Johnson, The History of Cuba ( 4 vol. , 1920 ) ; E. Abel, The Missile Crisis ( 1966 ) ; R. R. Fagen, The Transformation of Political Culture in Cuba ( 1969 ) ; B. Silverman, comp. , Man and Socialism in Cuba ( 1971 ) ; R. E. Bonachea and N. P. Valdés, ed. , Cuba in Revolution ( 1972 ) ; J. I. Dominguez, Cuba: Order and Revolution ( 1978 ) ; C. Brundenius, Revolutionary Cuba, the Challenge of a Revolutionary Society ( 1984 ) ; J. Suchlicki, Cuba: From Columbus to Castro ( 2d erectile dysfunction. 1986 ) ; P. S. Falk, Cuban Foreign Policy ( 1986 ) ; L. A. Perez, Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution ( 1988 ) ; J. Stubbs, Cuba: The Test of Time ( 1989 ) .


Cuban patriarch, José Marti ( 1853–95 ) , along with cardinal military figures Antonio Maceo ( 1845–96 ) , Máximo Gomez ( 1836–1905 ) , and Calixto Garcia ( 1839–98 ) , led a historic War of Independence against the Spanish in 1895. In 1898 a U.S. battlewagon, the Maine, was blown up in the Havana seaport, ensuing in the United States declaring war on Spain. Then a colonel, Theodore Roosevelt ( 1858–1919 ) was among the Americans who defeated the Spanish. As a consequence of losing this Spanish-American War, Spain gave Cuba to the United States under the Treaty of Paris. On May 20, 1902, the United States ended its military business of Cuba, and the Cuban democracy was created under its first president, Tomas Estrada Palma ( 1835–1908 ) . The United States and Cuba maintained close ties, and Cuba leased naval bases at Rio Hondo and Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

Governments in Cuba during the early and mid-twentieth century were frequently corrupt and changed often. In malice of an unsettled political clime, Cuba 's natural beauty made it a popular holiday topographic point for Americans and people from all over the universe. In 1959, Fidel Castro 's ( 1926– ) guerilla motion, that is warfare carried on by little forces of soldiers doing surprise foraies, successfully overthrew the bing corrupt absolutism of Fulgencio Batista ( 1901–73 ) . Castro established a long-standing relationship with the Soviet Union and led Cuba into communism. Over the following few old ages, about 1 million Cubans left place, most fleeing to the United States. In January 1961, the United States declared an economic encirclement of Cuba, holding the export of American goods to the island. In April of that twelvemonth, CIA-trained Cuban expatriates staged the Bay of Pigs invasion. The effort failed to fall in the Castro government. Possibly the most tense period of the Cold War occurred when the United States discovered Soviet missiles in Cuba. This Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved in 1962 when the Soviet Union agreed to take the missiles and the United States promised ne'er to occupy Cuba. Cuba has remained the lone communist authorities in the Western hemisphere.

2 • Location

A state of about 11 million people, Cuba is the largest island in the Antilles archipelago ( concatenation of islands ) in the Caribbean Sea. It is about 90 stat mis south of Florida. The island 's terrain is really diverse. Approximately one-third of the island consists of three extended mountain systems: the Sierra Maestra ( where Castro formulated his guerrilla-style revolution ) , the Guamuhaya, and the Guaniguanico. There are about 200 rivers ; largely short, narrow, and shoal. Two wide-ranging fields account for the staying two-thirds of the island and these fields are where most of the population lives. The combination of trade air currents, warm Waterss of the Gulf Stream, and sea zephyrs gives Cuba a moderate and stable clime. Sugar is the island 's cardinal export. Nickel is the chief mineral found on the island, doing Cuba the 4th largest exporter of Ni in the universe. Cuba is home to a figure of rare birds and animate beings, many found nowhere else. The island 's Bee hummingbird is the universe 's smallest bird, mensurating merely two inches in length.


Fidel Castro is the modern graven image in Cuba. He stands for all that is the Revolution and for this he is honored by some and despised by others. He is known for presenting long and dramatic addresss. In 1956, Castro, Ernesto `` Che '' Guevara ( 1928–67 ) , Castro 's younger brother, Raul ( 1931– ) , and other revolutionists were on a yacht going from Mexico to Cuba, when the yacht was captured by Batista. Castro and the others headed for the hills of the Sierra Maestra where they began the three-year revolution that ended the Fulgencio Batista absolutism in 1959. At one point, their invasion force consisted of merely 12 work forces.

Ernesto `` Che '' Guevara 's image can be found throughout Cuba on wall paintings and hoardings. A cardinal individual in Castro 's revolution, Guevara has been elevated to a stature normally reserved in other civilizations for sufferer and saints. Cuban schoolchildren get down their twenty-four hours by declaiming the loyal motto, `` Pioneers of communism, we shall be like Che. '' Originally a medical physician from Argentina, after the revolution in Cuba, Guevara served as president of the National Bank of Cuba. He resigned that station in 1965 and went to Bolivia to fall in the radical motion in that state. He was killed by the Bolivian ground forces in 1967. Castro declared a three-day period of national bereavement in Cuba, and even now the authorities patrons campaigns with subjects of `` Let 's Be Like Che. ''


The Soviet Union sent assistance to the island state of Cuba. Since the prostration of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba has gone through what it calls the `` Particular Time period '' —a compulsory belt-tightening, or cutting back on its criterion of life. Energy ingestion has been drastically reduced, nutrient rations are low, and people get around on bikes. Patients must convey their ain bed-sheets to the infirmary, and sawboness are given one saloon of soap per month with which to rinse their custodies. Macetas are people who illicitly buy and sell goods such as nutrient, apparels, spirits, medical specialty coffin nails, and gasolene. In crisp contrast to the life conditions of the local people, tourers enjoy the best adjustments, nutrient, and imbibe that Cuba can offer.

13 • Education

Education is free and compulsory up to the age of 17. There are more than four 100 schools and colleges in rural countries where pupils divide their clip between working in agribusiness and the schoolroom. Deficits have made it necessary for text editions to be shared and workbooks to be erased and passed along to the following category. Higher instruction is besides free. Scientific and proficient Fieldss are emphasized. The University of Havana, founded in 1728, is the taking establishment of higher instruction on the island. Cuba 's authorities initiated a run to pass over out illiteracy in 1961 and now has one of the highest literacy rates, at 94 per centum, in all of Latin America.


The long, narrow island of Cuba has a form that has been compared to a cigar caught between the fingers of Florida and the Yucatán Peninsula. It is flanked by Jamaica on the South, Hispaniola on the sou'-east, and the Bahamas on the nor'-east. Slightly smaller than the province of Pennsylvania, Cuba extends some 1,200 kilometres ( 746 stat mis ) from Cape Maisí on the E to Cape San Antonio on the West, about the distance from New York to Chicago. The largest of the West Indian islands, its district about peers that of all the other islands combined. In add-on to the chief island, the Cuban archipelago includes the Isla de la Juventud ( Isle of Pines ) near the south seashore in the Gulf of Batabanó plus over one thousand coastal keies and islets.

3 Climate

Cuba has a pleasant semitropical clime strongly influenced by soft northeast trade air currents, which shift somewhat to the E in the summer. The island 's long, tapering form allows the chairing sea zephyrs to chill all parts, and there are no marked seasonal fluctuations in temperature. July and August are the warmest months, and February is the coolest. The moisture summer season is between May and October, and the desiccant winter season runs from November through April. Annual rainfall norms over 180 centimetres ( 70 inches ) in the mountains, 90 to 140 centimetres ( 35 to 55 inches ) in the Lowlandss, and 65 centimetres ( 26 inches ) at Guantanamo Bay. On norm, rain falls on Cuba 85 to 100 yearss per twelvemonth with three-fourthss of it falling during the moisture season. The humidness varies between 75 per centum and 95 per centum year-round. The eastern seashore is capable to hurricanes from August to October, and the state averages about one hurricane every twelvemonth. Droughts are besides common.

Islands and Archipelagos

The 220-square-kilometer ( 570-square-mile ) Isla de la Juventud is the westernmost island in a concatenation of smaller islands, the Archipiélago de los Canarreos, which extends 110 kilometres ( 68 stat mis ) across the Gulf of Batabanó . The utmost northwesterly seashore of Cuba is flanked by the Archipiélago de los Colorados. Offshore to the North of Sagua la Grande lie the islands of the Archipiélago de Sabana. East of those islands, stretching around the seashore from Morón to Neuyitas, is the Archipiélago de Camagüey, the largest of the archipelagos that surround Cuba. Overall, about 4,200 coral keies and islets surround Cuba, most of them low-lying and uninhabited.


The Oriental, Central, and Occidental Mountains cover 25 per centum of the state. The loftiest mountain system is the Sierra Maestra ; it is the steepest of the Cuban scopes, and its extremums include the state 's highest acme: Pico Turquino, at 2,005 metres ( 6,578 pess ) . The southeasterly tip of the island is largely cragged and includes such scopes as the Sierra de Nipe, the Sierra de Nicaro, the Sierra del Cristal, and the Cuchillas de Toa. The Escam-bray Mountains are the chief mountains of cardinal Cuba. They are located in the southern portion of that part, and are separated by the Agabama River into two scopes: the Sierra de Trinidad in the West and the Sierra de Sancti Spíritus in the E. The chief scopes of the western Highlandss are the Sierra del Rosario and the Sierra de los Organos.


Location and Geography. The island lies about 90 stat mis south of the Florida Keys. Its western tip begins about 125 stat mis ( 210 kilometres ) from Cancún and extends 750 stat mis ( 1,207 kilometres ) east-southeast. The country of the state is 48,800 square stat mis ( 110,860 square kilometres ) . About a 3rd of the island is cragged, dwelling of the Guaniguanco concatenation in the western state of Pinar del Rio, the Escambrey in the south-central state of Las Villas, and the largest system, the Sierra Maestra, in the western state of Oriente. Between these mountain systems is a big field in the western state of Matanzas and another in the eastern state of Camaguëy. Since the European conquering, the western tierce of the island has exercised military, political, economic, and cultural laterality.

Demography. Recent population estimations range from 11.06 million to 11.17 million. At least 50 per centum of the population is classified as mulatto ( assorted African and European descent ) , although the cultural privilege assigned to whiteness likely causes many mulattos to minimise their African heritage. Thirty-seven per centum of the population claims to be entirely white, and 11 per centum is classified as `` Black. '' The staying 1 per centum is Chinese, the consequence of the importing of 132,000 Chinese indentured labourers between 1853 and 1872 to replace the loss of labour caused by the at hand terminal of African bondage. In 1862 the African population was larger than that of Whites. Although the larger slave-holding plantations were in the West, escaped and emancipated slaves frequently fled east, where they could more easy conceal or set up themselves on little unclaimed secret plans of land in Oriente. Therefore, it is at that place that Afrocuban art, faith, and music were most strongly expressed and the cultural motion `` afrocubanismo '' began.

Symbolism. The three major symbols of national individuality have arisen from the three battles for independency. The national anthem was composed at the start of the first war for independency, the Ten Years War ( 1868-1878 ) . It is a call to weaponries that evokes the image of the provincials of the town of Bayamo in the eastern heartland. The 2nd national symbol is the flag. It has a white star imposed on a ruddy trigon, modeled on the triangular symbol of the Masonic Lodges in which the battle against Spain was organized. The trigon is imposed on three bluish chevrons jumping with two white chevrons. The 3rd symbol of national pride and independency is the flag of the 26th July Movement, which contains the black initials M26J ( Movimiento 26 de Julio ) on a field of ruddy. The M26J flag commemorates Castro 's onslaught on the ground forces barracks at Moncada and served as a symbol of opposition to the absolutism of Fulgencio Batista and the imperialism of the United States, which openly supported him. Afrocuban music and dance were besides appropriated as symbols of the state get downing in 1898, when the United States invaded the island, and particularly after the victory of the Revolution in 1959.

History and Cultural Relationss

The Pre-columbian population was about 112,000, dwelling largely of Arawak ( Taino and Sub-Taino ) in the cardinal and eastern part and a few Ciboneys ( besides called Guanahacabibes ) who had fled the progress of the Arawak and moved west to Pinar del Rio. Autochthonal lands were rapidly distributed to European conquistadors and gold prospectors, and autochthonal individuals were enslaved and given to Europeans for usage in excavation and agricultural undertakings ( a system called the encomienda ) . Autochthonal people who resisted were murdered. Malnutrition, overwork, self-destruction, and ferociousness made the autochthonal population virtually nonextant within 50 old ages of the conquering.

The autochthonal yesteryear was mostly abandoned and forgotten, save merely a few cultural endurances in linguistic communication and architecture. The lone people left on the island were peninsulares ( those born in Spain ) , Creoles ( settlers of European decent who were born on the island ) , and African slaves. The battle between these three groups determined the character of the settlement and the significance of Cuban-ness ( cubanidad ) . Peninsulares came to gain their lucks and return to Spain. Their privileged position as colonisers depended on the care of colonial constructions ; therefore, their trueness was to Spain even if they were womb-to-tomb occupants of the settlement. Peninsulares had an about sole claim to administrative ( governmental ) offices and ecclesiastical assignments and a close monopoly on much trade with Spain and other states.

The peninsulares ' privileges and wealth evoked the bitterness of the Creoles, who outnumbered them. There were Creole elites, particularly merchandisers in Havana, whose privilege was dependent on the colonial position of the island, but most eastern Creoles progressively saw their involvements as opposed to those of Spain. Their rising nationalist sentiment was countered by increasing anxiousness among the African bulk. After the British business of Havana in 1752, slaves who had been stolen from Africa comprised the bulk of the population. After the Haitian revolution of 1791, Creoles and peninsulares thought that merely the presence of the Spanish ground forces could keep order and their privilege. This fright added to the reluctance of the slave-holding Creole elite to back up the motion for independency. But the eastern plantation owners had less to fear from a slave rebellion, since their farms were much smaller and had far fewer slaves.

Hence, the controversy over the significance of Cubanness was between eastern plantation owners, African slaves, freed inkinesss, impoverished white husbandmans, and urban workers one the one side, and peninsulares and western Creole elites on the other side. Planters in Oriente organized for revolution in Masonic Lodges, since the Catholic churches were staffed by Spanish clergy. In 1868, the eastern plantation owners, slackly organized into a Liberation Army, declared war on Spain by publishing the `` Cry from Yara, '' which called for complete freedom from colonialism, declaring gradual and indemnified emancipation of bondage, and beging western plantation owners to fall in the battle for independency. This `` Ten Years War '' failed, but non before doing economic ruin, particularly in Oriente and Camagüey. The Pact of Zanjón in 1878 ended the war and promised reform, but many of the lasting combatants were dissatisfied with the care of colonial authorization, and the reforms were non forthcoming. The Afrocuban General Antonio Maceo continued skirmishing but eventually conceded licking in 1880.

Over the following 17 old ages, the attempts of the poet and statesman José Martí , `` Father of the Cuban Nation, '' gave the independency cause a cohesive political political orientation which the first rebellion had lacked. Working from the United States, he formed the Revolutionary Junta to raise money and consciousness. United States capitalists mostly favorite independency, since the remotion of Spain would go forth the island defenseless against an economic invasion ; utilizing `` freedom '' and `` democracy '' as the ideological alibi, they asked the United States authorities to step in on behalf of the independency motion.

That motion had become stronger economically and militarily, and even some western plantation owners began to prefer independency. When war broke out in Oriente in 1895, the combatants had a better organized civil organisation and a more aggressive military scheme. Indeed, the war was about won by 1898, and Spain was ready to negociate independency. However, when an detonation sank the USS Maine in Havana seaport, U.S. business communities and war-hungry Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt seized on the alibi to occupy Cuba. The United States blamed Spain for the detonation and declared war on it. Spain was rapidly defeated, and in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the United States claimed ownership of the staying Spanish settlements ( Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines ) .

In 1906, Cubans once more protested United States intercession, motivating another military business that lasted until 1909. The United States embassador became the de facto caput of province by virtuousness of his ability to command another invasion. The Cuba Colonizing Company, a U.S. corporation, sold land to any United States citizen who wished to gain from inexpensive lands, bit by bit transforming ownership of the island to non-Cubans. Some Cubans benefitted from this agreement, but most resented it to no little extent. When the United States allowed President Gerado Machado Y Morales to do himself a dictator ( 1924–1933 ) and ignore civil jurisprudence in favour of force and corruptness, Cubans promulgated a new fundamental law that abnegated the despised Platt Amendment, although it left the Guantánamo naval base integral. But hopes for independency were once more dashed when Fulgencio Batista, who had in 1934 staged a putsch to put in himself as a military dictator, seized power once more in 1952 and removed the elected president. United States support of the Batista absolutism enraged the bulk of Cubans.

When Castro was released from gaol, he, along with his brother Raul Castro, Che Guevara, and a little group of revolutionists fled to Mexico to be after another military onslaught. Castro himself traveled to New York and Miami to raise financess. On 2 December 1956, the little group landed about one hundred stat mis west of Santiago in a little ship named `` Granma. '' About all were captured, but the three leaders and a few others fled into the Sierra Maestra mountains, where they were joined by 1000s of Cubans. The guerrillas were supported with nutrient, H2O, and shelter by the provincials of Oriente, about all of whom wanted an terminal to non merely the Batista absolutism but besides to its head patron, the United States military.

National Identity. There are several ways in which the development of a national civilization can be traced. Afrocuban cultural signifiers, peculiarly music and dance, were important to the definition of the new state during the neocolonial democracy. Afrocubanismo, the syncretistic consequence of the African bulk 's civilization and that of the dominant European minority, was the `` conceptual model of modern Cuban civilization. '' African beat were inserted into popular music, and the Eurocuban dances `` danza '' and `` contra-danza '' and the Afrocuban dances `` boy '' and rumba became popular. When Cuba was threatened with a decline of its national individuality because of the U.S. economic colonialism get downing in 1898, nationalist sentiment found in the Afrocuban music and dance of Oriente state a alone Cubanness free of foreign cultural and ideological influence. For a clip, Afrocubanismo was the centrepiece of nationalist representation.

But a different political/ideological docket stresses the appropriation of United States cultural, ideological, and political thoughts in the development of the Cuban character. Though merchandises and thoughts did flux from north to south and back once more, this statement contains an utmost privileging of the upper categories and white Cubans over the bulk, cut downing all of civilization to the philistinism of the rich, who bought American manner, Cadillacs, and contraptions, and sent their kids to expensive North American private schools. But there was a universe of cultural production which had nil at all to make with North America and was rather independent of its influences, such as Afrocubanism in Oriente. Probably since 1898 and surely since 1959, Cubanness has been informed by a proud patriotism, and Cuban patriotism is configured as exactly the antonym of everything `` American. '' Resentment over the two military invasions of 1898 and 1906, the smothering economic imperialism from 1902-1959, and the internationally-censured economic trade stoppage has caused most Cubans to reject everything North American. Indeed, the more the United States authorities attempts to strangulate the Cuban people with its clearly unsuccessful trade stoppage, and the more rightist the Cuban American Foundation becomes, the stronger Cubans ' committedness to the Revolution grows. Even those who might otherwise defy the Castro authorities are moved to support the ideal of Cuba Libre. And since the most fierce opposition of the Revolution is the United States, a state which attempted to colonise Cuba merely 50 old ages ago, the Revolution can convincingly claim to be the exclusive option for freedom.

Cultural Relations. Martídeclared in the ninetiess that there were no inkinesss or Whites in Cuba, merely Cubans, but this was more an ideological call to integrity against the colonial powers than a description of world. Neither the gradual abolishment of bondage from 1880 to 1886 nor the transportation of power from Spain to the United States alleviated the racial tenseness that was a heritage of bondage. After the abolishment of bondage in 1886, Afro-Cubans organized in the Central Directorate of Societies of the Race of Color. Nine old ages subsequently, every bit much as 85 per centum of the rebel ground forces was composed of black soldiers, who expected that when the war was won they would hold an improved place in society. When that did non go on, Afro-Cubans founded the Independent Party of Color in 1908, but this was banned in 1910. In 1912, a protest of that prohibition led to a slaughter of Afro-Cubans in Oriente. In the undermentioned old ages, the marginalisation of darker mulattos and Afro-Cubans continued despite the popularity of Afrocuban music and dance.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

In the colonial period, the port of Havana was strategically valuable as a military station, administrative centre, and transporting port. For this ground, Havana has been privileged in footings of public outgos, economic investing, wellness and educational establishments, and physical substructure. When the Revolution came to power, it faced the undertaking of equalising differential development within Havana and between it and the remainder of the island. When the wealthiest Cubans fled to Miami, their sign of the zodiacs were distributed to hapless on the job people. Unequal urban–rural development was dramatically transformed by the province 's installing of plumbing and electricity in distant rural countries ; the edifice of infirmaries, schools, and twenty-four hours attention centres in little towns ; and a elevation of the rural criterion of life so that it was closer to that in Havana. Since 1990, the economic crisis has once more so destitute the countryside that rural people have poured into Havana to seek occupations in the touristry sector. To stem this tide, the government has made it illegal for individuals from other states to shack in the metropolis.

Cubans are accustomed to being in close quarters both at place and in public ; the civilization does non value privateness and private infinite every bit extremely as does United States civilization. Socializing frequently takes topographic point on the street or in line for nutrient and goods. Cubans are non defensive even of bodily infinite: physical fondness is normally displayed, and physical contact among aliens is non debatable. Bing in changeless relation with others, socialising in groups, and sharing both societal infinite and organic structure infinite are the norm. In this manner, the socialist penchant of collectivity and community over individualism and privateness coincides with the Latin American inclination toward group coherence and committedness.

But this intimacy in Cuba is besides a necessity, since new lodging building has been a failure of the Revolution. Construction stuffs have been in changeless deficit because of the U.S. trade stoppage and the demand to concentrate building attempts on Import Substitution Industrialization. To work out this job, in the early 1970s, the Revolution tried a fresh new attack to self-help: the microbrigades. Coworkers would construct new lodging together ; in exchange, they would be supplied with stuff, granted paid leave from their occupations, and given ownership of the new lodging. The microbrigades created non merely new lodging but besides twenty-four hours attention centres, schools, and other public edifices. Private building utilizing black market stuffs has besides compensated slightly for the lodging deficit, but most people live in cramped quarters. This creates enormous emphasis, particularly for twosomes who are hard pressed to happen privateness.

Food and Economy

Historically, more than half the day-to-day thermal consumption has been imported. Despite attempts to change by reversal this state of affairs, agribusiness has been dedicated largely to sugar. Both the United States, and subsequently the Soviet Union, discouraged Cuba from diversifying agricultural production by punishing it with negative footings of trade if it did non accept foreign imported grain. For this ground, the state has been unable to provide its citizens with equal nutrient since the prostration of the socialist trading web. Daily nutrient rations have long been governed by the libretta, a brochure that rations monthly allowances of basics such as rice, oil, sugar, beans, and soap. Since the economic crisis of the 1990s ( labeled `` Particular Period During Peacetime '' ) caused the acceptance of utmost asceticism steps and a enormously lessened province sector, nutrient allowances have been decreased to below-subsistence degrees. Despite advanced efforts to feed themselves, many Cubans are traveling hungry. To better nutrient distribution and alleviate hungriness, the free husbandman 's markets ( MLCs ) , closed in 1986 because they had enabled some Cubans to go affluent at the disbursal of others, have been reopened.

Basic Economy. The economic system is socialist, intending that the population as a whole owns most of the agencies of production and jointly benefits from national economic activity. Private belongings is minimum, and private wealth is seen as a breach of the societal contract by which all Cubans benefit every bit from the resources of their island. Soon after the Revolution, most of the agencies of production were collectivized ; agricultural plantations, industrial mills, and nickel mines were converted to `` societal belongings '' of all Cubans jointly. The voluntary going in the period 1960–1962 of many people who had become affluent under the neocolonial dictators ( 1898-1959 ) facilitated this procedure as privileged Cubans fled to Miami and New Jersey. The province has used societal belongings to pay for wellness attention, societal security, and instruction. Unfortunately, the province has reproduced the same two mistakes as have other socialist economic systems: foremost, a focal point on production degrees at the disbursal of efficiency ; and back, an insisting on centralised planning in stead of market forces. The first Revolutionary fundamental law established the `` System of Direction and Planning of the Economy '' ( SDPE ) , a mechanism of centralised planning and constitution of production quotas. The mechanism of planning was the Central Planning Board ( JUCEPLAN ) . The SDPE was a somewhat more flexible system than was the Soviet theoretical account, but finally it excessively smothered invention. But since the Particular Period, the province has shown some willingness to compromise, leting a great trade of private economic enterprise and necessitating province ventures to be to the full self-sufficing.

There is a tenseness in Cuba between ideological pureness and economic exigency ; this is particularly seeable in the touristry sector, which has been turning quickly since 1990. In 1987, the province created the corporation Cubanacán to negociate joint ventures between the province and foreign endeavors for the building of new installations for touristry. Foreign capital has boosted touristry and saved the economic system but has created ideological jobs for the socialist Revolution: foreign capitalists and tourers are working resources that belong to Cubans and hold brought a civilization and political orientation that may non be compatible with socialist equalitarianism. To protect against ideological corruptness, the province has separated touristry from the general economic system by doing some resorts inclusive, and by censoring Cubans from some tourer countries. Tourist dollars therefore do non profit the general economic system, and this state of affairs has caused bitterness among citizens banned from parts of their ain state.

Land Tenure and Property. Before the 1959 revolution, Cuba was a extremely graded society in which 8 per centum of the population held 79 per centum of the cultivable land. Rural farm workers experienced utmost poorness and malnutrition, and about no workers owned land. The Agrarian Reform Law of 1959 divided the largest estates and distributed land to two hundred 1000s landless farm workers. In 1975, the National Association of Small Farmers led the attempt to organize agricultural co-ops. By 1986, 72 per centum of private husbandmans had chosen to take part in agricultural co-ops. In exchange, the province provided them with seeds, fertiliser, mechanisation, societal security, modern lodging, and lower income revenue enhancements. No little husbandman was forced off his land against his will.

Commercial Activity. Under the utmost duress of the Particular Period, the province has decentralized economic activity, leting an detonation of private endeavor. In 1992, a constitutional amendment recognized the right to private ownership of the agencies of production. In 1993, President Castro announced one hundred new classs of authorised private economic activity. Commercial activity is now a mixture of societal ownership of the major agencies of production, private ownership of some agricultural lands whose merchandises are sold both to the province and in the free husbandmans ' markets, small-scale craftsmans who sell to other Cubans and tourers, and the import of oil and other non-indigenous resources.

Major Industries. Tobacco and java have competed with sugar since the early 19th century, but land has ever been most productively used for sugar cultivation and external factors have discouraged harvest variegation. Diversification of the economic system has been hampered because first one world power so another has traditionally used Cuba as nil more than a sugar and citrous fruit plantation. The radical authorities has tried to prosecute in Import Substitution Industrialization to decrease its dependence on imported manufactured goods, but this attempt has been hurt by a deficiency of fuel since Soviet and Russian oil subsidies ended in 1990. Much industrial equipment was of Soviet industry, and therefore replacing parts are no longer available. Lack of fuel and replacing parts has led to the reintroduction of carnal grip for agribusiness in a retrenchment to a preindustrial yesteryear. Nickel is an abundant mineral resource, and its exportation was a major component of trade with the socialist provinces until 1989. The Revolution has had some success in developing biotechnology as an export sector, but there is has been hampered by a deficiency of bioindustrial inputs. Tourism has become the most promising new activity for the earning of difficult currency. The most pressing need aside from nutrient is crude oil, and the authorities is researching offshore boring.

Trade. The economic calamity that began in 1989 resulted from the prostration of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance ( COMECON ) , the trade web of socialist provinces. COMECON had facilitated the trading of sugar, citrous fruit, and nickel at above-market monetary values in exchange for Soviet oil at below-market monetary values. Cuba was allowed to resell the Soviet oil and maintain the net income. This advantageous agreement allowed the state to build an classless society, but when the subsidy ended the economic system was shown to be unstable. Cuba was all of a sudden forced to merchandise in a planetary capitalist market based on hard currency minutess and non on ideological compatibility.

The demand to develop new trading spouses is an pressing affair, and here once more matter-of-fact exigency runs afoul of ideological coherency. Cuba can no longer afford to restrict its trading spouses to those who portion its visions of justness and equality. It has been forced to collaborate economically with capitalist provinces whose political-economic political orientations are anathema to the socialist ideal. Spain is Cuba 's prima trading spouse, followed by Canada and Japan in volume of trading. Cuba has been sharply prosecuting an betterment in trade dealingss with Mexico, Brazil, and other Latin American provinces, and at least since 1991 has been seeking rank into CARICOM ( Caribbean Common Market ) , which might partly replace the now-defunct COMECON.

Division of Labor. The Revolution was committed to offering higher instruction to all citizens who wanted partially it in order to replace the professionals who left in the early 1960s and partially to right economic inequality. But the handiness of a higher instruction has caused increasing Numberss of immature people to be dissatisfied with agricultural and industrial businesss, doing a chronic deficit of workers. Despite the attempts of the government to change by reversal this state of affairs, professional callings, including higher governmental places, are disproportionately held by whiter Cubans, while Afro-Cubans are over-represented in agribusiness and assembly line industry.

Social Stratification

The reemergence of a privileged category in the Particular Period is the direct consequence of capitalist `` reform, '' as those who run the new private endeavors have entree to imported luxury points while some of their fellow citizens starve. Those who live in a tourer country and have an excess room in their house or flat are allowed to lease that room to tourers at market rates. Despite the heavy payments the province requires in return for mandate to make this, some citizens have amassed tremendous stuff privileges in the thick of economic calamity for the bulk. Throughout the Revolution, Cubans have accepted material adversity because, in a socialist state, everybody suffers every bit when there are difficult times. But now the poorness of the island is going progressively distributed in a grossly unjust mode. Capitalism assumes that wealth and poorness are non distributed every bit, and the increasing presence of little pockets of wealth in a sea of poorness is instead straitening to most Cubans who were reared with socialist ideals of justness and equity in economic dealingss.

Political Life

Government. The political system is termed `` Democratic Centralism. '' Every citizen has the right to take part in treatments of political, societal, and economic issues, but that engagement is slightly constrained by the hierarchal construction of society and authorities. Authority finally rests with the cardinal executive subdivision ; both the issues discussed and the determinations made are determined by the President of the Republic. The 1976 fundamental law established a system of representative legislative organic structures called the Organs of People 's Power ( OPP ) . Municipal, provincial, and national degrees of the Peoples ' Power argument issues and direct the consequences to the following degree of the hierarchy. The National Assembly of the OPP elects from its ranks a Council of State that can move on its behalf when it is non in session. From the Council of State is chosen the Council of Ministers, who have direct administrative duty for the executive sections. This is but one illustration of the conflation of the executive and legislative maps of the radical authorities so that a system of cheques and balances does non be.

Leadership and Political Officials. Although harmonizing to the Constitution the OPP is technically independent of the Cuban Communist Party ( PCC ) , in consequence the party selects campaigners for every degree of the OPP, particularly the National Assembly and the Councils of State and Ministers. In theory, the PCC merely provides ideological counsel, but in pattern, it exercises direct political power. While assignment or election to governmental stations does non necessitate party rank, those who are non party members are far less likely to be approved as campaigners for local OPP and hence can non easy get down a political calling. The party is directed by its Central Committee, which is chosen every five old ages at a Party Congress. The First Secretary of the party chooses a smaller organic structure of 25 individuals called the Political Bureau that makes day-to-day determinations. Since Fidel Castro is presently President of the Republic, First Secretary of the PCC, President of the Councils of State and the Council of Ministers, and Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces ( FAR ) , no determination can be made that does non run into with his blessing. This limits citizens ' abilities to truly take part in decision-making.

Social Problems and Control. The province has taken advantage of the leaning of Cubans to dish the dirt and descry on their neighbours. Under the menaces of invasion and internal convulsion, the authorities relied on an effectual but potentially inhibitory mechanism for societal control, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution ( CDR ) . These are groups of citizens who observe and document illegal, insurgent, or terrorist activity and form instruction, wellness, and community betterment undertakings. The CDRs were founded in September 1960 to detect and battle sabotage and internal terrorist act. In April 1961, they were mobilized to contend against the invasion at the Playa Girón ( Bay of Pigs ) . Once the invasion was defeated and the major counter radical wreckers and terrorists were expelled or fled, go oning external aggression from the United States provided an alibi to keep the CDRs.

Military Activity. Critics of the Revolution point to the CDRs and to adolescents ' compulsory annual military service to claim that Cuba is a extremely militarized society. In fact this claim is non true, since the unarmed CDRs are more gossip Millss than militia-like brigades, and since a twelvemonth of agricultural service is an acceptable replacement for the military service. It is true that the Cuban armed forces has historically been really active internationally and is good known for its function in back uping release motions worldwide. The Cuban ground forces has traveled all over the universe contending with junior-grade peoples in the 3rd universe as they struggle for independency from neo-colonial powers or release from oppressive dictators. The most celebrated attempt in this respect has been in Angola, where Cuban soldiers fought against ( apartheid ) South Africa when it invaded its northern neighbour. Indeed, Nelson Mandela has credited Cuban attempts with a major function in conveying an terminal to Apartheid. In the financial crisis of the 1990s, Cuba has been forced to retrench about wholly from its military and extended human-centered committednesss around the universe.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Social alteration plans normally are instituted by a ministry or institute of the province. Changes initiated by citizens are channeled through five mass organisations: Federation of Cuban Women ( FMC ) , Confederation of Cuban Workers ( CTC ) , Union of Cuban Youth ( UJC ) , the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution ( CDC ) , and the National Association of Small Farmers ( ANAP ) , through which the province both receives feedback from the people and implements its determinations. Aside from mass organisations and scholarly research institutes associated with a university, there is non much room for private enterprise. The province claims that private-sphere motions for alteration are unneeded, since the Revolution itself is profoundly committed to the wellbeing of all citizens in the kingdom of employment, wellness attention, instruction, lodging, and nutrient.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

The province assumes full duty for all development undertakings and the wellbeing of its citizens and is loath the to acknowledge demand for external aid. It is true that `` freedom brigades '' of protagonists of socialism from North America and elsewhere have come to work during the sugar crop, but these have been symbols of ideological support, non material charity. Another North American organisation, Curates for Peace, yearly sends a cargo of medical specialty, nutrient, and medical computing machines. Several bureaus of the United Nations work in Cuba, including the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank. And the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, ( United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization ) is involved in the architectural Restoration of the colonial metropolis of Trinidad and of Old Havana.

Gender Roles and Statuses

But work forces continue to anticipate adult females to execute housekeeping and keep child-rearing duties even if they have full-time callings outside the place and take part in FMC and PCC activities. The People 's Power attempted to turn to this refractoriness by ordaining a generous pregnancy jurisprudence in 1974 and the `` Family Code '' in 1975. This codification defined domestic jobs as the duty of both spouses and needed hubbies to make half the housekeeping if their married womans worked outside the place. This is ideologically consistent with socialism, but enforcement of the codifications has been hard, as work forces are loath to release their privilege.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. As in the United States, despite adult females 's formal legal equality, they are grossly under-represented in the highest degrees of the party, the authorities, and the armed forces. The resiliency of Cuban gender norms is non merely a affair of entrenched misogynism ; it is encoded into the Revolution itself. Victorious guerrillas entered Havana in armored combat vehicles featuring matchets, machine guns, and long face funguss from their old ages in the jungle, holding defended their adult females and fatherland. A 1965 newspaper column declared that the Revolution is `` a affair for work forces. '' However, sinful gender dealingss have so been disrupted by the socialist revolution, and Cuban adult females are far better off than adult females in most of Latin America and the remainder of the universe in footings of instruction and calling options, generative rights and wellness, formal legal protections against favoritism and domestic force, societal supports during child-rearing, and aggressive enforcement of paternity Torahs.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. In the 19th century, anxiousness about the Afrocuban bulk gave rise to attempts to `` whiten '' the population. This docket, combined with a chronic deficit of adult females, led to the development of both a legal codification and an informal codification which calculated non merely ethnicity but besides wealth, household repute, and virginity position to find which mixed-ethnicity matrimonies were allowable. The turning of illicit brotherhoods into acceptable matrimonies was portion of a societal docket that sought to relieve anxiousness over race dealingss, bastardy, and the deficit of white adult females, particularly in rural countries.

In its early old ages, the Revolution made commissariats to formalise `` common-law '' yokes. While some social-reproduction maps of the household were taken over by the radical province, matrimony itself has been encouraged. But the establishment of matrimony has suffered because of the new legal equality of adult females. Work forces have become resentful that their privilege has been disrupted, and adult females struggle to take part in the PCC and FMC, rise kids, maintain their places, and work full-time outside the place. Under these conditions, matrimonies are frequently strained, and the divorce rate is much higher than it was under the neocolonial dictators.

Domestic Unit. In add-on to emancipating adult females economically, the Revolution has attempted to emancipate adult females 's organic structures and gender. Safe, legal, and free abortion is available on demand for any adult female who has reached the age of bulk ( 16 old ages ) . Contraceptives are widely available, even to immature misss, along with effectual sex instruction which is more progressive and honest than that in most other states. However, the release of female gender, leting immature misss every bit good as male childs to experiment sexually without societal animadversion, has resulted in a high rate of gestation among misss under age 16. Adolescent male childs have therefore enjoyed increased sexual entree but are non psychologically or economically prepared to take part in the attention and care of their kids, ensuing in a high figure of really immature individual female parents. The province has exhorted work forces to take greater duty, and child support payments are extracted from some irresponsible work forces 's wages, but these attempts have met with merely partial success. Hence a typical domestic unit includes a grandma who is involved in the raising of the youngest coevals, frequently without the presence of the kids 's male parent. Ironically, the engagement of grandmas in kid raising allows work forces to disregard their parental duty and family jobs. Domestic units are therefore likely to be multigenerational and defined around adult females, while work forces come and go in hunt of work or adulterous diversions.


Child Rearing and Education. Socialization for integrating into the socialist undertaking continues throughout childhood. The general lesson is that single accomplishment should be harnessed for the good of the whole ; kids are encouraged to believe about their schoolmates and have concern for other people 's wellbeing. By the teenage old ages, high school instruction includes a twelvemonth of socialisation into the productive life of the state, as kids spend a twelvemonth off from place in a combination get oning school with agricultural work. This gives the young person a opportunity to develop societal accomplishments with others from different countries, teaches the values of concerted engagement in a common undertaking, gives parents a interruption from caring for adolescents, Teachs agricultural accomplishments to those who wish to do farming their calling, and adds to the agricultural work force.


Bing generous and hospitable is a extremely valued quality. Unlike in Central America, houses are non protected by metal fencings, doors are left unfastened, and visitants are ever welcomed. It is ill-mannered non to recognize every adult male with a handshaking and every adult female with a buss on the cheek. Touching as a presentation of fondness is non forbidden and does non transport a sexual intension. Cubans do like to kick and reason hotly ; it is said that an statement is non finished until everyone prostrations from exhaustion. But this sort of statement is performative and relieves societal tenseness. More intense interpersonal struggle requires a more elusive attack ; Cubans loath unfastened struggle, and so the societal norm is to minimise interpersonal struggles by showing them through insinuation instead than direct accusal.


Religious Beliefs. Religious religion and pattern have non been as influential in the civilization of Cuba as in other Latin American states, for two grounds: foremost, in the colonial period the Catholic clergy were about wholly peninsular ( born in Spain ) . They represented the external power of Spain, and therefore Catholicism itself was fishy, particularly with the population which supported independency. Second, there merely were non really many priests in the rural countries, particularly in Oriente. Those Cubans who chose to keep a faith pattern were left to bring forth a religionism of their ain design. The popular religionism which did develop among white and Creole Cubans was a local version of Catholicism enriched with African influences.

Religious Practitioners. Many spiritual individuals, including priests, participated in the Revolution and supported its ideals, but when it was discovered in 1961 that churches were being used as bases of counterrevolutionary plotting, all foreign priests were invited to go forth the island. This ill will was cemented by the declaration of godlessness in the first socialist fundamental law in 1976. Practicing spiritual leaders and the faithful were thenceforth excluded from some professions and publicity to high governmental offices. However, Castro was impressed by the Liberation Theology of Latin America, which sided with the hapless in their battles against oppressive authoritiess and neoliberal capitalist economy. The prima function of Christian spiritual leaders in the socialist Nicaraguan revolution was peculiarly noted by Castro, whose attitude toward faith softened well as a consequence. In the 1980s, more freedom was given to publish spiritual stuffs and preach, and in 1991, religion was removed as an hindrance to party rank.

Medicine and Health Care

The Revolution 's greatest success has been an amazing betterment of the wellness of the population since 1959: Cubans have benefitted dramatically in the last 40 old ages, with lower baby and maternal mortality rates, a higher mean thermal ingestion, and a immensely reduced figure of individuals served by each physician. Cuba has joined the United States and Canada as the lone three states in the Western Hemisphere to hold been granted `` best wellness position '' by the United Nations. Since wellness attention is non a affair of net income, and there are no insurance companies in hunt of wealth, Cuba can supply high-quality wellness attention at a sensible cost.

Several factors threaten the stableness and efficaciousness of Cuba 's wellness attention system. The deterioration of the United States embargo as a consequence of congressional statute law means that non merely can medical equipment and medical specialties non make Cuban ports, but neither can the latest research studies and scholarly diaries. Besides, the hierarchal nature of authorities and society discourages popular engagement. The consequence is a top-down attack to intervention with small patient-doctor audience. Finally, in the terrible disbursement limitations of the Particular Period, the province can non supply the same degree of services it did when the economic system was stable. Some wellness attention professionals have been forced to abandon medical pattern in favour of work in the more moneymaking touristry industry.

Secular Celebrations

Two important events in the history of Cuba are celebrated yearly with great ostentation. The first is the symbolic day of the month of the victory of the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959, when Batista fled to Miami and the Sierra Maestra guerrillas arrived in Havana. This jubilation coincides neatly with New Year 's. The 2nd event is the onslaught on the Moncada barracks by Fidel and his fellow revolutionists on 26 July 1953, symbolically get downing the concluding and exultant Cuban Revolutionary motion. This jubilation coincides with the one-year `` carnival '' in both Santiago and Havana. Carnival, dwelling of vocal and Leuciscus leuciscus, bizarre costume, and much imbibing and feeding, has a history which far precedes the Revolution.

The Arts and Humanistic disciplines

Performance Humanistic disciplines. Expressive linguistic communication, music, and dance are a cultural heritage that Cubans express often. Any Cuban can dance and bask executing at Carnival, for tourers, or at parties. Afrocuban music is performed on street corners and in life suites all over the island. Cuba is besides known worldwide for the National Ballet of Cuba, whose laminitis and artistic manager, Alicia Alonso, continues to steer the company and attend public presentations. In maintaining with the ideals of the socialist province, the concert dance is supported by public financess, so that it is accessible to all citizens, bing merely about 25 cents per public presentation.

Cuba vacation information

Populating in a Communist state means Cubans sometimes travel without the luxury points that many Westerners take for granted, with certain nutrients and merchandises non available to the Cuban populace. Despite this, particular events like birthdays, vacations and matrimonies are celebrated with relish, with particular nutrients, music and dance featuring. This love of life is besides apparent in the street parties, festivals and fetes that are celebrated throughout the twelvemonth. Coffee, cigars and rum are consumed freely and people dance with confident grace as the sound of huntsman's horns and guitars fill the air. Visitors to Cuba will shortly be enamored with this unambiguously infective manner of life and civilization, non seen anyplace else in the universe.

Early History

Originally inhabited by autochthonal people, Christopher Columbus foremost sighted Cuba in 1492, and subsequently claimed it as a Spanish district. The Spanish went on to make many colonies around Cuba, which created struggle and warfare between the Spanish colonists and autochthonal people. With the constitution of baccy plantations and other hard currency harvests like sugar cane, Cuba came to trust upon African slaves for labor during the 17th and 18th centuries. Bringing alone imposts, music, linguistic communication and nutrient with them, the African slaves added to the runing pot of civilizations already organizing in Cuba. Due to Cuba’s rich natural environment and comparative prosperity, the island became a premier mark for plagiarists and other foreign encroachers. When sing Cuba today there are a figure of fortresses and other historical leftovers that act as a reminder of Cuba’s plagiarist yesteryear. After the Spanish-American War, Cuba was handed over to the United States, which assumed control until 1902, when power was so granted to a Cuban authorities.

Recent History

Two iconic figures play the largest functions in Cuba’s more recent history. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are embedded in the national mind of Cuba, their power and influence pivotal to the Cuban Revolution of 1959. After taking control, Castro shortly set out to take political oppositions from the disposal and derive control of newspapers, wireless and telecasting Stationss. Relationss between the United States and Cuba became labored about instantly with the US resenting Castro’s coup d'etat and Communist regulation. Trade trade stoppages were put in topographic point after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 added farther tenseness to dealingss between the US and Cuba, which continues into the present twenty-four hours. Standing alongside Fidel Castro as an every bit of import political figure, Che Guevara ( although Argentinean ) holds a really of import topographic point in Cuban history. A radical, writer, physician and military leader, Guevara played polar functions in the guerilla run taking up to the Cuban Revolution and the defense mechanism of the Bay of Pigs, every bit good as diplomatic dealingss between Cuba and the Soviet Union, up until his decease in 1967. It’s impossible non to detect the fear and honour held for Guevara when sing Cuba. Street art, memorials, statues and museums dedicated to the adult male Cubans merely name ‘El Che’ can be found all over the state.

Cuba travel FAQs Expand All Collapse All

Absolutely. All riders going with Intrepid are required to buy travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance inside informations will be recorded by your leader on the first twenty-four hours of the trip. Due to the varying nature, handiness and cost of wellness attention around the universe, travel insurance is really much an indispensable and necessary portion of every journey. Proof of travel insurance may be requested at Havana airdrome by in-migration functionaries. Travelers neglecting to bring forth a valid papers will be required to buy a new policy at the airdrome, before being granted entree to Cuba.

Top responsible travel tips for Cuba

Be considerate of Cuba’s imposts, traditions, faith and civilization. For environmental grounds, seek to avoid purchasing bottled H2O. Fill a reclaimable H2O bottle or canteen with filtered H2O. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including coffin nail butts. Learn some local linguistic communication and do n't be afraid to utilize it - simple salutations will assist interrupt the ice. Shop for locally made merchandises. Supporting local craftsmans helps maintain traditional trades alive. Refrain from back uping concerns that exploit or abuse endangered animate beings. Please ask and receive permission before taking exposure of people, including kids. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.


Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba ( Spanish: República de Cuba ( help·info ) ) , is a state consisting the island of Cuba every bit good as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It is south of both the U.S. province of Florida and the Bahamas, West of Haiti, and North of Jamaica. Havana is the largest metropolis and capital ; other major metropoliss include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with an country of 109,884 square kilometers ( 42,426 sq myocardial infarction ) , and the second-most thickly settled after Hispaniola, with over 11 million dwellers.

Prior to Spanish colonisation in the late fifteenth century, Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian folks. It remained a settlement of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, which led to nominal independency as a de facto United States associated state in 1902. As a delicate democracy, Cuba attempted to beef up its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and societal discord culminated in the absolutism of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batista 's ouster in January 1959 by the July 26 Movement, which afterwards established a authorities under the leading of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the province has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba. A point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a atomic war about broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Cuba is a Marxist–Leninist one-party democracy, where the function of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent perceivers have accused the Cuban authorities of legion human rights maltreatments, including arbitrary imprisonment. It is one of the universe 's last planned economic systems and its economic system is dominated by the exports of sugar, baccy, java and skilled labour. Harmonizing to the Human Development Index, Cuba is described as a state with high human development and is ranked the 8th highest in North America. It besides ranks extremely in some prosodies of national public presentation, including wellness attention and instruction. Cuba is the lone state in the universe to have WWF 's definition of sustainable development.

Spanish colonisation and regulation ( 1492–1898 )

In 1511, the first Spanish colony was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa. Other towns shortly followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which subsequently became the capital. The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, which resembled a feudal system in Medieval Europe. Within a century the autochthonal people were virtually wiped out due to multiple factors, chiefly Eurasiatic infective diseases, to which they had no natural opposition ( unsusceptibility ) , aggravated by rough conditions of the inhibitory colonial subjection. In 1529, a rubeolas outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of those few indigens who had antecedently survived variola.

On May 18, 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto departed from Havana, Cuba at the caput of some 600 followings into a huge expedition through the Southeastern United States, get downing at La Florida, in hunt of gold, hoarded wealth, celebrity and power. On September 1, 1548, Dr. Gonzalo Perez de Angulo was appointed governor of Cuba. He arrived in Santiago, Cuba on November 4, 1549 and instantly declared the autonomy of all indigens. He became Cuba 's first lasting governor to shack in Havana alternatively of Santiago, and he built Havana 's first church made of masonry. After the Gallic took Havana in 1555, the governor 's boy, Francisco de Angulo, went to Mexico.

The Seven Years ' War, which erupted in 1754 across three continents, finally arrived in the Spanish Caribbean. Spain 's confederation with the Gallic pitched them into direct struggle with the British, and in 1762 a British expedition of five war vessels and 4,000 military personnels set out from Portsmouth to capture Cuba. The British arrived on June 6, and by August had Havana under besieging. When Havana surrendered, the admiral of the British fleet, George Keppel, the 3rd Earl of Albemarle, entered the metropolis as a suppressing new governor and took control of the whole western portion of the island. The British instantly opened up trade with their North American and Caribbean settlements, doing a rapid transmutation of Cuban society. They imported nutrient, Equus caballuss and other goods into the metropolis, every bit good as 1000s of slaves from West Africa to work on the under developed sugar plantations.

Though Havana, which had become the third-largest metropolis in the Americas, was to come in an epoch of sustained development and increasing ties with North America during this period, the British business of the metropolis proved ephemeral. Pressure from London sugar merchandisers, fearing a diminution in sugar monetary values, forced dialogues with the Spanish over colonial districts. Less than a twelvemonth after Britain seized Havana, it signed the Peace of Paris together with France and Spain, stoping the Seven Years ' War. The pact gave Britain Florida in exchange for Cuba. The Gallic had recommended this to Spain, reding that worsening to give up Florida could ensue in Spain alternatively losing Mexico and much of the South American mainland to the British. Many in Britain were disappointed, believing that Florida was a hapless return for Cuba and Britain 's other additions in the war.

The existent engine for the growing of Cuba 's commercialism in the late eighteenth and early 19th century was the Haitian Revolution. When the enslaved peoples of what had been the Caribbean 's richest settlement freed themselves through violent rebellion, Cuban plantation owners perceived the part 's altering fortunes with both a sense of fright and chance. They were afraid because of the chance that slaves might revolt in Cuba, excessively, and legion prohibitions during the 1790s on the sale of slaves in Cuba that had antecedently been slaves in Gallic settlements underscored this anxiousness. The plantation owners saw chance, nevertheless, because they thought that they could work the state of affairs by transforming Cuba into the slave society and sugar-producing `` pearl of the Antilles '' that Haiti had been before the revolution. As the historian Ada Ferrer has written, `` At a basic degree, release in Saint-Domingue helped intrench its denial in Cuba. As bondage and colonialism collapsed in the Gallic settlement, the Spanish island underwent transmutations that were about the mirror image of Haiti 's. '' Estimates suggest that between 1790 and 1820 some 325,000 Africans were imported to Cuba as slaves, which was four times the sum that had arrived between 1760 and 1790.

In portion due to Cuban slaves working chiefly in urbanised scenes, by the nineteenth century, there had developed the pattern of coartacion, or `` purchasing oneself out of bondage '' , a `` uniquely Cuban development '' , harmonizing to historian Herbert S. Klein. Due to a deficit of white labour, inkinesss dominated urban industries `` to such an extent that when Whites in big Numberss came to Cuba in the center of the 19th century, they were unable to displace Negro workers. '' A system of diversified agribusiness, with little farms and fewer slaves, served to provide the metropoliss with green goods and other goods.

In the 1820s, when the remainder of Spain 's imperium in Latin America rebelled and formed independent provinces, Cuba remained loyal. Its economic system was based on functioning the imperium. By 1860, Cuba had 213,167 free people of colour, 39 % of its colored population of 550,000. By contrast, Virginia with about the same figure of inkinesss, had merely 58,042 or 11 % who were free ; the remainder were enslaved. In the antebellum old ages, Virginia discouraged manumissions after the Nat Turner 's Slave Rebellion of 1831 and strengthened limitations against free inkinesss, as did other southern provinces. In add-on, there was a high demand for slaves, and Virginia plantation owners sold many in the internal domestic slave trade, to be shipped or taken overland to the Deep South, which had greatly expanded its cotton production.

Independence motions

Full independency from Spain was the end of a rebellion in 1868 led by plantation owner Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. De Céspedes, a sugar plantation owner, freed his slaves to contend with him for an independent Cuba. On December 27, 1868, he issued a decree condemning bondage in theory but accepting it in pattern and declaring free any slaves whose Masterss present them for military service. The 1868 rebellion resulted in a drawn-out struggle known as the Ten Years ' War. Two 1000 Cuban Chinese joined the Rebels. Chinese had been imported as apprenticed labourers. A memorial in Havana honours the Cuban Chinese who fell in the war.

Around 200,000 Spanish military personnels outnumbered the much smaller Rebel ground forces, which relied largely on guerilla and sabotage tactics. The Spaniards began a run of suppression. General Valeriano Weyler, military governor of Cuba, herded the rural population into what he called reconcentrados, described by international perceivers as `` bastioned towns '' . These are frequently considered the paradigm for 20th-century concentration cantonments. Between 200,000 and 400,000 Cuban civilians died from famishment and disease in the cantonments, Numberss verified by the Red Cross and United States Senator Redfield Proctor, a former Secretary of War. American and European protests against Spanish behavior on the island followed.

Independence ( 1902–59 )

Following disputed elections in 1906, the first president, Tomás Estrada Palma, faced an armed rebellion by independency war veterans who defeated the meagre authorities forces. The U.S. intervened by busying Cuba and named Charles Edward Magoon as Governor for three old ages. Cuban historiographers have characterized Magoon 's governorship as holding introduced political and societal corruptness. In 1908, self-determination was restored when José Miguel Gómez was elected President, but the U.S. continued step ining in Cuban personal businesss. In 1912, the Partido Independiente de Color attempted to set up a separate black democracy in Oriente Province, but was suppressed by General Monteagudo with considerable bloodshed.

In 1924, Gerardo Machado was elected president. During his disposal, touristry increased markedly, and American-owned hotels and eating houses were built to suit the inflow of tourers. The tourer roar led to additions in chancing and harlotry. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 led to a prostration in the monetary value of sugar, political agitation, and repression. Protesting pupils, known as the Generation of 1930, turned to force in resistance to the progressively unpopular Machado. A general work stoppage ( in which the Communist Party sided with Machado ) , uprisings among sugar workers, and an ground forces rebellion forced Machado into expatriate in August 1933. He was replaced by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada.

A new fundamental law was adopted in 1940, which engineered extremist progressive thoughts, including the right to labor and wellness attention. Batista was elected president in the same twelvemonth, keeping the station until 1944. He is so far the lone colored Cuban to win the state 's highest political office. His authorities carried out major societal reforms. Several members of the Communist Party held office under his disposal. Cuban armed forces were non greatly involved in combat during World War II, although president Batista suggested a joint U.S.-Latin American assault on Francoist Spain in order to subvert its autocratic government.

Batista adhered to the 1940 fundamental law 's stenosiss forestalling his re-election. Ramon Grau San Martin was the victor of the following election, in 1944. Grau further corroded the base of the already seesawing legitimacy of the Cuban political system, in peculiar by sabotaging the deeply flawed, though non wholly ineffective, Congress and Supreme Court. Carlos Prío Socarrás, a protégé of Grau, became president in 1948. The two footings of the Auténtico Party saw an inflow of investing which fueled a roar and raised life criterions for all sections of society and created a comfortable in-between category in most urban countries.

In 1958, Cuba was a comparatively well-advanced state by Latin American criterions, and in some instances by universe criterions. On the other manus, Cuba was affected by possibly the largest labour brotherhood privileges in Latin America, including prohibitions on dismissals and mechanisation. They were obtained in big step `` at the cost of the unemployed and the provincials '' , taking to disparities. Between 1933 and 1958, Cuba extended economic ordinances tremendously, doing economic jobs. Unemployment became a job as alumnuss come ining the work force could non happen occupations. The in-between category, which was comparable to that of the United States, became progressively dissatisfied with unemployment and political persecution. The labour brotherhoods supported Batista until the really terminal. Batista stayed in power until he was forced into expatriate in December 1958.

Revolution and Communist party regulation ( 1959–present )

From 1959 to 1966 Cuban insurrectionists fought a six-year rebellion in the Escambray Mountains against the Castro authorities. The authorities 's immensely superior Numberss finally crushed the insurgence. The rebellion lasted longer and involved more soldiers than the Cuban Revolution. The U.S. State Department has estimated that 3,200 people were executed from 1959 to 1962. Harmonizing to Amnesty International, decease sentences from 1959–87 numbered 237 of which all but 21 were really carried out. Other estimations for the entire figure of political executings range from 4,000 to 33,000. The huge bulk of those executed following the 1959 revolution were police officers, politicians, and betrayers of the Batista government accused of offenses such as anguish and slaying, and their public tests and executings had widespread popular support among the Cuban population.

The United States authorities ab initio reacted favourably to the Cuban revolution, seeing it as portion of a motion to convey democracy to Latin America. Castro 's legalisation of the Communist party and the 100s of executings that followed caused a impairment in the relationship between the two states. The announcement of the Agrarian Reform Law, expropriating 1000s of estates of farming area ( including from big U.S. landowners ) , farther worsened dealingss. In response, between 1960 and 1964 the U.S imposed a scope of countenances, finally including a entire prohibition on trade between the states and a freezing on all Cuban-owned assets in the U.S. In February 1960, Castro signed a commercial understanding with Soviet Vice-Premier Anastas Mikoyan.

Effective January 14, 2013, Cuba ended the demand established in 1961, that any citizens who wish to go abroad were required to obtain an expensive authorities license and a missive of invitation. In 1961 the Cuban authorities had imposed wide limitations on travel to forestall the mass out-migration of people after the 1959 revolution ; it approved issue visas merely on rare occasions. Requirements were simplified: Cubans need merely a passport and a national ID card to go forth ; and they are allowed to take their immature kids with them for the first clip. However, a passport costs on mean five months ' wage. Perceivers expect that Cubans with paying relations abroad are most likely to be able to take advantage of the new policy. In the first twelvemonth of the plan, over 180,000 left Cuba and returned.

Government and political relations

Cuba 's national legislative assembly, the National Assembly of People 's Power ( Asamblea Nacional de Poder Popular ) , is the supreme organ of power ; 609 members serve five-year footings. The assembly meets twice a twelvemonth ; between Sessionss legislative power is held by the 31 member Council of Ministers. Campaigners for the Assembly are approved by public referendum. All Cuban citizens over 16 who have non been convicted of a condemnable discourtesy can vote. Article 131 of the Constitution provinces that voting shall be `` through free, equal and secret ballot '' . Article 136 provinces: `` In order for deputies or delegates to be considered elective they must acquire more than half the figure of valid ballots cast in the electoral territories '' .

Human rights

In 2003, the European Union ( EU ) accused the Cuban authorities of `` go oning crying misdemeanor of human rights and cardinal freedoms '' . It has continued to name on a regular basis for societal and economic reform in Cuba, along with the unconditioned release of all political captives. The United States continues an trade stoppage against Cuba `` so long as it continues to decline to travel toward democratisation and greater regard for human rights '' , though the UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a declaration every twelvemonth reprobating the on-going impact of the trade stoppage and claiming it to be in misdemeanor of the Charter of the United Nations and international jurisprudence. Cuba considers the trade stoppage itself to be in misdemeanor of human rights. On December 17, 2014, United States President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic dealingss with Cuba, forcing for Congress to set an terminal to the trade stoppage.


The Cuban province claims to adhere to socialist rules in forming its mostly collectivist planned economic system. Most of the agencies of production are owned and run by the authorities and most of the labour force is employed by the province. Recent old ages have seen a tendency toward more private sector employment. By 2006, public sector employment was 78 % and private sector 22 % , compared to 91.8 % to 8.2 % in 1981. Government disbursement is 78.1 % of GDP. Any house wishing to engage a Cuban must pay the Cuban authorities, which in bend will pay the employee in Cuban pesos. The mean monthly pay as of July 2013 is 466 Cuban pesos, which are deserving about US $ 19.

Before Fidel Castro 's 1959 revolution, Cuba was one of the most advanced and successful states in Latin America. Cuba 's capital, Havana, was a `` glittering and dynamic metropolis '' . The state 's economic system in the early portion of the century, fuelled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown affluent. Cuba ranked 5th in the hemisphere in per capita income, 3rd in life anticipation, 2nd in per capita ownership of cars and telephones, and 1st in the figure of telecasting sets per dweller. Cuba 's literacy rate, 76 % , was the 4th highest in Latin America. Cuba besides ranked 11th in the universe in the figure of physicians per capita. Several private clinics and infirmaries provided services for the hapless. Cuba 's income distribution compared favourably with that of other Latin American societies. However, income inequality was profound between metropolis and countryside, particularly between Whites and inkinesss. Cubans lived in abysmal poorness in the countryside. Harmonizing to PBS, a booming in-between category held the promise of prosperity and societal mobility. Harmonizing to Cuba historian Louis Perez of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, `` Havana was so what Las Vegas has become. ''

After the Cuban revolution and before the prostration of the Soviet Union, Cuba depended on Moscow for significant assistance and sheltered markets for its exports. The loss of these subsidies sent the Cuban economic system into a rapid depression known in Cuba as the Particular Period. Cuba took limited free market-oriented steps to relieve terrible deficits of nutrient, consumer goods, and services. These stairss included leting some self-employment in certain retail and light fabrication sectors, the legalisation of the usage of the US dollar in concern, and the encouragement of touristry. Cuba has developed a alone urban farm system called organopónicos to counterbalance for the terminal of nutrient imports from the Soviet Union. The U.S. trade stoppage against Cuba was instituted in response to nationalisation of U.S.-citizen-held belongings and was maintained at the premiss of perceived human rights misdemeanors. It is widely viewed that the trade stoppage hurt the Cuban economic system. In 2009, the Cuban Government estimated this loss at $ 685 million yearly.

Cuba 's leading has called for reforms in the state 's agricultural system. In 2008, Raúl Castro began ordaining agricultural reforms to hike nutrient production, as at that clip 80 % of nutrient was imported. The reforms aim to spread out land usr and increase efficiency. Venezuela supplies Cuba with an estimated 110,000 barrels ( 17,000 M3 ) of oil per twenty-four hours in exchange for money and the services of some 44,000 Cubans, most of them medical forces, in Venezuela. Estimates place Venezuelan aid at over 20 % of the Cuban GDP for 2008–2010, similar to the assistance flows from the Soviet Union in 1985–1988.

In 2005, Cuba had exports of US $ 2.4 billion, ranking 114 of 226 universe states, and imports of US $ 6.9 billion, ranking 87 of 226 states. Its major export spouses are Canada 17.7 % , China 16.9 % , Venezuela 12.5 % , Netherlands 9 % , and Spain 5.9 % ( 2012 ) . Cuba 's major exports are sugar, Ni, baccy, fish, medical merchandises, citrous fruit fruits, and java ; imports include nutrient, fuel, vesture, and machinery. Cuba soon holds debt in an sum estimated to be $ 13 billion, about 38 % of GDP. Harmonizing to the Heritage Foundation, Cuba is dependent on recognition histories that rotate from state to state. Cuba 's anterior 35 % supply of the universe 's export market for sugar has declined to 10 % due to a assortment of factors, including a planetary sugar trade good monetary value bead that made Cuba less competitory on universe markets. It was announced in 2008 that pay caps would be abandoned to better the state 's productiveness.

On August 2, 2011, The New York Times reported that Cuba reaffirmed its purpose to legalise `` purchasing and selling '' of private belongings before the twelvemonth 's terminal. Harmonizing to experts, the private sale of belongings could `` transform Cuba more than any of the economic reforms announced by President Raúl Castro 's authorities '' . It would cut more than one million province occupations, including party administrative officials who resist the alterations. The reforms created what some call `` New Cuban Economy '' . In October 2013, Raúl said he intended to unify the two currencies, but as of August 2016, the double currency system remains in force.


With the full island South of the Tropic of Cancer, the local clime is tropical, moderated by northeasterly trade air currents that blow year-round. The temperature is besides shaped by the Caribbean current, which brings in warm H2O from the equator. This makes the clime of Cuba heater than that of Hong Kong, which is at around the same latitude as Cuba but has a semitropical instead than a tropical clime. In general ( with local fluctuations ) , there is a desiccant season from November to April, and a rainier season from May to October. The mean temperature is 21 °C ( 69.8 °F ) in January and 27 °C ( 80.6 °F ) in July. The warm temperatures of the Caribbean Sea and the fact that Cuba sits across the entryway to the Gulf of Mexico combine to do the state prone to frequent hurricanes. These are most common in September and October.

Immigration and out-migration

Immigration and out-migration have played a outstanding portion in Cuba 's demographic profile. Between the 18th and early twentieth century, big moving ridges of Canarian, Catalan, Andalusian, Galician, and other Spanish people immigrated to Cuba. Between 1899–1930 entirely, near to a million Spaniards entered the state, though many would finally return to Spain. Other outstanding immigrant groups included Gallic, Lusitanian, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Greek, British, and Irish, every bit good as little figure of posterities of U.S. citizens who arrived in Cuba in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries.

Post-revolution Cuba has been characterized by important degrees of out-migration, which has led to a big and influential diaspora community. During the three decennaries after January 1959, more than one million Cubans of all societal categories — representing 10 % of the entire population — emigrated to the United States, a proportion that matches the extent of out-migration to the U.S. from the Caribbean as a whole during that period. Other common finishs include Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden, among others. Those who left the state typically did so by sea, in little boats and delicate tonss. On September 9, 1994, the U.S. and Cuban authoritiess agreed that the U.S. would allow at least 20,000 visas yearly in exchange for Cuba 's pledge to forestall farther improper goings on boats.


Cuban music is really rich and is the most normally known look of Cuban civilization. The cardinal signifier of this music is Son, which has been the footing of many other musical manners like `` Danzón de nuevo ritmo '' , mambo, cha-cha-chá and salsa music. Rumba ( `` de cajón o de solar '' ) music originated in the early Afro-Cuban civilization, assorted with Latino elements of manner. The Tres was invented in Cuba from Hispanic cordophone instruments theoretical accounts ( the instrument is really a merger of elements from the Spanish guitar and luting ) . Other traditional Cuban instruments are of African beginning, Taíno beginning, or both, such as the maracas, güiro, marímbula and assorted wooden membranophones including the mayohuacán.


The University of Havana was founded in 1728 and there are a figure of other well-established colleges and universities. In 1957, merely before Castro came to power, the literacy rate was 4th in the part at about 80 % harmonizing to the United Nations, higher than in Spain. Castro created an wholly state-operated system and banned private establishments. School attending is mandatory from ages six to the terminal of basic secondary instruction ( usually at age 15 ) , and all pupils, irrespective of age or gender, wear school uniforms with the colour denoting grade degree. Primary instruction stopping points for six old ages, secondary instruction is divided into basic and pre-university instruction. Cuba 's literacy rate of 99.8 per centum is the tenth-highest globally, due mostly to the proviso of free instruction at every degree. Cuba 's high school graduation rate is 94 per centum.

Higher instruction is provided by universities, higher institutes, higher pedagogical institutes, and higher engineering school institutes. The Cuban Ministry of Higher Education operates a strategy of distance instruction which provides regular afternoon and eventide classs in rural countries for agricultural workers. Education has a strong political and ideological accent, and pupils come oning to higher instruction are expected to hold a committedness to the ends of Cuba. Cuba has provided province subsidised instruction to a limited figure of foreign subjects at the Latin American School of Medicine.


Cuba 's life anticipation at birth is 78.3 old ages ( 76.2 for males and 80.4 for females ) . This ranks Cuba 37th in the universe and 3rd in the Americas, behind merely Canada and Chile, and merely in front of the United States. Infant mortality in declined from 32 infant deceases per 1,000 unrecorded births in 1957, to 10 in 1990–95, 6.1 in 2000–2005 and 5.13 in 2009. Historically, Cuba has ranked high in Numberss of medical forces and has made important parts to universe wellness since the nineteenth century. Today, Cuba has cosmopolitan wellness attention and despite relentless deficits of medical supplies, there is no deficit of medical forces. Primary attention is available throughout the island and baby and maternal mortality rates compare favourably with those in developed states.

Challenges include low wages for physicians, hapless installations, hapless proviso of equipment, and the frequent absence of indispensable drugs. Cuba has the highest doctor-to-population ratio in the universe and has sent 1000s of physicians to more than 40 states around the universe. Harmonizing to the World Health Organization, Cuba is `` known the universe over for its ability to develop first-class physicians and nurses who can so travel out to assist other states in demand '' . As of September 2014, there are around 50,000 Cuban-trained wellness attention workers helping 66 states. Cuban doctors have played a prima function in battling the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

Import and export of pharmaceutical drugs is done by the Quimefa Pharmaceutical Business Group ( FARMACUBA ) under the Ministry of Basic Industry ( MINBAS ) . This group besides provides proficient information for the production of these drugs. Isolated from the West by the US trade stoppage, Cuba developed the successful lung malignant neoplastic disease vaccinum, Cimavax, which is now available to US research workers for the first clip, along with other fresh Cuban malignant neoplastic disease interventions. The vaccinum has been available for free to the Cuban population since 2011. Harmonizing to Roswell Park Cancer Institute CEO Candace Johnson: `` They 've had to make more with less, so they 've had to be even more advanced with how they approach things. For over 40 old ages, they have had a leading immunology community. ''

See other subjects:

importance of reading among students, technology, planets, leadership, unemployment rate in philippines, improper waste disposal, nature of communication, music therapy, family violence, internet and children, evolution vs creation, solar energy, internet cafe, teaching styles, business management, biology, emotions, diet, nato, henry ford, desserts, internet security, broken family, money, health, software, education sample, to prevent office romance at workplaces, architecture, drug addiction in philippines, skin cancer, poverty, plastic, racism, christianity, hip hop, adobe photoshop, microsoft word, diarrhea, bananas, postpartum depression, progeria, bullying in school, food safety, philippine economy, education, volleyball, online game addiction, global warming in philippines, dolphins