Cuba

Cuba

 

Republic of Cuba

 

Capital (and largest city) Havana  23°8′N 82°23′W / 23.133°N 82.383°W / 23.133; -82.383
Official language(s) Spanish
Ethnic groups  65.1% White, 10.1% African, 24.8% Mulatto and Mestizo
Demonym Cuban
Government Unitary republic, communist state
 –  President & Premier Raúl Castro
 –  First Vice President J. R. M. Ventura
 –  First Secretary of Communist Party Raúl Castro
 –  President of the National Assembly Ricardo Alarcón
Independence from Spain/U.S. 
 –  Declared October 10, 1868 from Spain 
 –  Republic declared May 20,1902 from theUnited States 
 –  Cuban Revolution January 1, 1959 
Area
 –  Total 109,884 km2 (105th) 42,426 sq mi 
 –  Water (%) negligible
Population
 –  2010 estimate 11,241,894 (73rd)
 –  2002 census 11,177,743
 –  Density 102.3/km2 (106th) 265.0/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 –  Total $114.1 billion (63rd)
 –  Per capita $9,900 (86th)
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 –  Total $57.49 billion (68th)
 –  Per capita $5,100 (90th)
HDI (2011) 0.776 (high) (51st)
Currency Cuban peso(CUP) Cuban convertible peso (CUC)
Time zone (UTC−5)
 –  Summer (DST) (March 11 to November 4) (UTC−4)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code CU
Internet TLD .cu
Calling code +53
       

The Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba, is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, 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 (90 miles 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. Between 1953 and 1959 the Cuban Revolution occurred, removing the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. A new government led by Fidel Castro was later set up. The current Cuban government is considered by the 2010 Democracy Index as “authoritarian”.

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. Its people, culture, and customs draw from diverse sources, such as the aboriginal Taíno and Siboney 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 of 77.64.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

Etymology

The name Cuba comes from the Taíno language. The exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as where fertile land is abundant (cubao),[16] or great place (coabana).[17] Scholars who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the ancient town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.