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The island of Cuba saw first foot prints of the Native American People who were popularly known as Taino, Arawals, Gaunajatabuy and Ciboney People. Tiano, the farmers named this island as Coabana. Cristopher Columbus arrived on the Cuban lands on October 28, 1492. He was smitten by its beauty and called it a "tropical ecstasy on earth". Spain successively colonised Cuba for almost 400 years. In the 19th century, Cuba became the world leading sugarcane producer. Soon, the epidemic of Slavery crept in Cuba.
Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and is the westernmost island of greater Antilles Geography. Cuba is 150 km south of key West, Florida. It has a total area of 110, 860 sq. Km. It constitutes of total land boundaries of 29 km. Its coastline constitutes of 3735 km. It has maritime claims of 12 nautical miles of territorial sea and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles.
Its climate is tropical. It embraces moderated trade winds. It has phases of dry season from November-April and periods of rains from May-October.
The country is divided into 14 provinces and one special municipality, with its capital at Havana.
Government and Politics :
The Republic of Cuba is one of the world's four remaining Socialist States expounding the characteristics of Communism. The constitution of Cuba 1992 reflects that Cuba is guided by the ideologies of Jose Marti, Marx, Engles and Lenin. The First Secretary of Communist Party of Cuba holds a dual post as a President of Cuba on one hand and Premier of Cuba on the other. Members of both parties are elected by the Unicameral National Assembly of People's Power which is a supreme organ comprising of 609 members elected for tenure of 5 years. The candidates of this assembly are appointed through Public Referendum. Only one political party exists, which is called the Cuban Communist Party. The minimum age requirement for adult suffrage is of 16 years.
In Cuba, literacy has been defined as "A person having attained the age of 15 or more who can read or write." The total literate population of Cuba is soaring at 97%. Male literacy rate is 97.2% whereas female literacy rate is 96.9%. School attendance is compulsory from ages 6 to end of basic secondary level schooling; which is approximately till the age of 15. All students in Cuba wear school uniforms reflecting their particular grade, irrespective of gender. Primary education sustains for 6 years of age while secondary level is divided into the basic and pre-university level. Strong political and ideological prominence is played through education as students passing to higher education are required to take an oath to be committed to the goals prescribed by Cuban Government.
Cuba till date has remained a stunningly unspoilt landscape. Since time immemorial, Cuba has been a popular tourist attraction. Today largest Cuban arrival is from Canada and has been continuously increasing at a rate of 10%.
Bayamon, being the capital city of Granma Province of Cuba is a beautiful location and has turned out to be a leading town of the nation. Other important tourist cities include Ceigo de Avila and Santa Clara. Santa Clara was founded by a group of 175 people and the reputed images identified with this city are Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Marta Abreu de Estevez. The city of Santiago de Cuba played an important role in Cuban Revolution and remains to be a city of historical reverence. Havana, the capital city of Cuba includes 3 main harbours- Marimelena, Atared and Guanabacoa.
Culture and Traditions :
The Cuban culture is often regarded as being one of the richest cultures in the world. The Cuban culture has been immensely influenced by the Cuban Revolution of 1959. It is an amalgamation of varied customs of Europeans, African, and North Americans.
Due to historical association with The United States of America many Cubans participate in Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball and cricket, which are popular sports in North America.
Cubans have been popularly regarded as "born artists" Cuban music is regarded as an expression of its culture. The basis of its music is son, which has been the source of emergence of world renounced styles of music like Salsa, Rumba, Mambo and Cha-Cha-Cha. Dance has been a major source of entertainment in Cuba which has received its boost since 1990.
Cuban cuisine is often regarded as a fusion of Spanish and Caribbean.
Cuban literature found momentum during early 19th century with the upsurge of patriotism and freedom. This was exemplified with Jose Marti. Many Cuban writers still work in exile due to partial censorship of media.
Last Updated : February 07, 2014