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Interesting Facts About The Republic of Cuba

cuba's streets have a retro lookThe Republic of Cuba is made up of an archipelago of several islands including Cuba, the biggest island, measuring 780 miles in length. The Cuban people are expressive, vivacious, and have an upbeat attitude. Cuba is filled with vibrant art and soulful music.  Havana and the small villages are charmingly colonial. It is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a people as welcoming and interesting as its balmy tropical weather. Cuba rates as one of our top travel destinations to date.

Stephen and I made a trip to Cuba in 1997. It is one of the most memorable trips in our 25 years of worldwide travel. Cuba is a fascinating place full of contradictions, not only because it’s still one of the few stalwart communist vestiges, but also, for its rich culture and elegant, but rapidly decaying beauty. We experienced Communism for the first time and as charming and romantic as Cuba appears on the surface, you don’t have to go far to realize how restrictive the reality of Castro’s regime is. Read More>>

Picture courtesy Relocating Magazine

Interesting Facts About Cuba

  1. The Cuban government is a Marxixt-Leninist single party state that has been headed by a member of the Castro family for many decades.
  2. Cuba is 90 miles south of the tip of Key West, Florida, in the United States at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico
  3. Bacardi rum was originally manufactured in Cuba, but moved to Puerto Rico after Fidel Castro's takeover.
  4. Cuba has one of the best health care systems in the world.
  5. Ernest Hemingway wrote "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "the Old Man and the Sea" while he lived in Cuba.
  6. Cuba has one of the lowest birth rates in all of the Western Hemisphere.
  7. Cuba is the habitat of the worlds' smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird, which reaches only 2 inches in length in adulthood.
  8. In 2008, Fidel Castro, resigned as president due to health issues, after 49 years in power. He passed the presidency to his brother, Raúl Castro.
  9. Government vehicles in Cuba are legally required to pick up any hitchhikers.
  10. As of 2013 Cuba has 9 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list, 7 of these cultural sites and 2 of them natural.
  11. The U.S. pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for Guantanamo Bay, but Cuba refuses to cash the checks.
  12. The Manjuari is a prehistoric fish now only found in Cuba.
  13. The Soviet Union had transferred over 150 nuclear weapons to Cuba by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  14. Cuba is the 17th largest island in the world.
  15. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba was receiving subsidies worth $4-$6 billion a year.
  16. Christmas did not become an official holiday in Cuba until 1997 in preparation for Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba in 1998 and to work towards greater religious freedom.
  17. Cuba is the most populated country in all of the Carribean, with more than 11 million residents.
  18. The favorite sport in Cuba is baseball.
  19. Only two countries in the world are not allowed to sell or buy Coca-Cola officially: North Korea and Cuba.
  20. Cuba is famous worldwide for its cigars.
  21. Pico Real del Turquino is the highest peak in Cuba.
  22. Very few people are allowed internet access and violators are given a 5-year prison sentence.
  23. There are so many doctors in Cuba that they are often sent to other countries that have shortages.
  24. Cuba is full of US cars from the 1950s. This is because they're the only cars Cuban citizens can legally own. Only pre-1959 cars that were seized from their original owners can be privately owned and worked on. All newer cars are owned by the government. Most of the pre-1959 cars in the country are from the United States.
  25. In 2000, Fidel Castro unveiled a John Lennon Statue in John Lennon Park and declared the musician a "true revolutionary\".
  26. There is no authoritative state religion in Cuba, nonetheless, the preponderance of Cubans are Catholics.
  27. Dance is very important in Cuba. The Bolero, Mambo, and Cha Cha were invented in the country.
  28. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the whole of Latin America.
  29. Nickel is Cuba's most important mineral resource at 21% of total exports in 2011 nearly 4% of the world's production
  30. When Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, he immediately ordered all game sets of Monopoly to be destroyed.
  31. The average salary in Cuba in 2014 was 471 pesos or $20 U.S. a month.
  32. There's one kosher butcher shop in Cuba. Fidel Castro personally allowed it to remain in business to serve 1,500 people practicing Judaism.
  33. The CIA operation to invade Cuba and take down Castro was dubbed "Operation Castration."

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