Cuba

One of the 21 Spanish speaking countries

Geography


Cuba is an island located in Central America. Its neighboring islands include Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Cuba’s capital city is Havana, and consists of 59 other cities.

Flag

The Cuban flag has 3 colors: red, white and blue. There is a red triangle on the left part of the flag with a white star in it , and on the right part of the flag there are 5 blue and white stripes. The 3 blue stripes represent the 3 military districts of Cuba. The color red symbolizes the blood shed in the struggle for independence. The color white stands for the purity of the patriotic cause.
Big image

History

Shortly after its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492, Spanish settlers began to settle in Cuba. One famous event that occurred in Cuba was when Great Britain controlled Havana, Cuba's Capital. Fortunately, the Spaniards were able to regain control of the territory after trading Florida for Cuba. Later, tired of Spanish rule, the Cubans revolted and gained their Independence from Spain on October 10, 1868.

People

There are 11.27 million people currently living in Cuba. Cuba is a racially diverse country with 7,160,399 Caucasians, 1,034,044 Africans, and 2,972,882 Mulattoes or Mestizos. There are 3 other languages spoken in Cuba, even though it is thought to be a strictly Spanish speaking country. These three languages are Lucumi, Creole, and English. Lucumi is a secret language used for the Santeria religion. Creole is a language that migrated from Haiti to Cuba by immigrating Haitians. English is a language that is primarily spoken in health and recreational facilities.

Government/Politics

Cuba has a Communist government , meaning that the government controls and owns everything. Cuba's current president is Raúl Castro (right).

Economy

Cuba uses the Cuban Convertible peso. One U.S. dollar is worth about 1 Cuban Convertible peso. Cuba exports include raw sugar, refined petroleum, nickels, mattes, rolled tobacco, and hard liquor. Cuba's natural resources consist of cobalt, nickel, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, timber, silica, oil, and petroleum.

Culture

Santiago Carnival. You might wonder what kind of festival this is, so I'll tell you. The Santiago Carnival is the most famous festivals in Cuba. It takes place annually from July 18th to the 27th, in remembrance of Santiago de Cuba ( St. James of Cuba). During this time, many of Santiago's slaves and their descendants celebrate their liberty. Their culture has influenced some of the dances, music, and costumes of the festival. These traditions have mixed with those of Africa, Spain and France.
Cuba has diverse cultures and traditions coming from Europe, Africa, and America. Family and friends play a big role in their culture. All of their holidays are spent socializing with family and friends and celebrating with large groups. Cubans love the baseball and soccer. Some of the other activities they enjoy include hiking on Sierra Maesta, one of Cuba's scenic mountains. Cuba has also contributed a lot to art history, like the works of artist José Manuel Mendive, musician Celia Cruz, and writer Reinaldo Arenas.

Food and Drinks

Rice and chicken are a common staple of the Cuban diet. Cuba doesn't have any "pure" Cuban foods, as it was once a Spanish colony. Thus, much of their meals are an eclectic mix of Spanish cuisine. However, Cuba is accredited with developing rum, an alcoholic drink made of spices.

Tourist locations

There are many tourist locations in Cuba. Visitors can stroll on farms in Paque Nacipnal Vinales or relax on the beach of Varadero. A visit to Cuba's historic capital, Havana, is also highly recommended.

Fun Facts about Cuba

One interesting fact about Cuba is that Franklin D. Roosevelt once embargoed all trade from Cuba because of their communist government. Cuba was cut off from the United States and forced to survive on its own without any aid from its powerful neighbor. This embargo continued until President Barack Obama reopened trade with Cuba, after realizing that the embargo wasn't having an affect of Cuba's government. How fascinating!