Population: 11,163,934 (est.)
- The Cuban peso and the Cuban convertible peso are the official currencies of Cuba.
- Cuba is officially a secular state, but Catholicism is the predominant religion with up to 60% of the country being followers.
- Many Cubans also folly religions of largely African cultural origins.
- In general (with local variations), there is a drier season from November to April, and a rainier season from May to October. The average temperature is 21 °C (69.8 °F) in January and 27 °C (80.6 °F) in July.
- The Cubans refer to their island as ‘El Cocodrilo’ – viewed from above Cuba is said to resemble a crocodile.
- Cuba comprises the Island of Cuba, the Isle of Youth and some adjacent small islands.
- Cuba is the most populated country in the whole of the Caribbean.
- The US tried to invade Cuba multiple times from Florida. In 1848, they gave up and offered Spain $100 million dollars for Cuba, but the offer was rejected.
- Cuba is only 90 miles away from America.
- Foreign travel used to be extremely difficult for Cubans, but as of the end of 2012 Cuba opened its exit doors wider than at any time in 50 years following migration reforms making it easier both to leave and enter the country.
- It is thought people in Cuba have a slightly higher life expectancy that people in the United States.
- Cuba has the highest doctor-to-population ratio of any country in the world.
- Cuba is famous around the world for making top quality cigars.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, as well as the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country’s capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city. To the north of Cuba lies the United States (150 km or 90 mi away) and the Bahamas, Mexico is to the west, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on and claimed the island now occupied by Cuba, for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a territory of Spain until the Spanish–American War ended in 1898, and gained formal independence from the U.S. in 1902. A fragile democracy, increasingly dominated by radical politics eventually evolved, solidified by the Cuban Constitution of 1940, but was quashed in 1952 by former president Fulgencio Batista, who intensified and catalyzed already rampant corruption, political repression and crippling economic regulations. Batista was ousted in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, and a new administration under Fidel Castro established, which had by 1965 evolved into a single-party state under the revived Communist Party of Cuba, which holds power to date.
Cuba is home to over 11 million people and is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean, as well as the largest by area. However, the population density is lower than in most Caribbean countries. Its people, culture, and customs draw from diverse sources, such as the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and its proximity to the United States.
Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate, an infant death rate lower than some developed countries, and an average life expectancy at birth of 78 years. In 2006, Cuba was the only nation in the world which met the WWF’s definition of sustainable development; having an ecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index of over 0.8 for 2007.