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The National Capitol and the Gran Teatro de La Habana in Old Havana
In the heart of Old Havana, the historic center of Havana, the capital of Cuba. The National Capitol and the Grand Theater of Havana are on the right, Central Park with the statue of José Martí in the middle and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski on the left.
Image: AussieActive

 
Location map of Cuba. Where in the world is Cuba?
Location map of Cuba


Flag of Cuba
Flag of Cuba



Cuba in brief

Destination Cuba, a Nations Online country profile and a virtual guide to the largest Caribbean island. Cuba is situated in the western West Indies, between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, south of Florida and The Bahamas, north of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Cuba shares maritime borders with The Bahamas, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and the United States.

Cuba is one of the islands of the Greater Antilles archipelago; the others are Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands.

The island group of Cuba has a combined area of 109,884 km² (42,426 sq mi), compared it is about the size of Bulgaria or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

11 million people (in 2022) live on the most populous Caribbean island; the capital and largest city is Havana (Habana); the official language is Spanish.

Cuba's population is predominantly Christian, primarily Roman Catholic (a legacy of Spanish colonization). However, the non-religious population has increased significantly in recent decades, partly because religious activity was restricted after the 1959 communist revolution.


Republic of Cuba | Republica de Cuba



Background:
The Cuban archipelago consists of the main island of Cuba, Youth Island and about 4,200 small islands and keys in the Caribbean Sea.

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries.
A US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 finally overthrew Spanish rule.

Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the country together for a long time. Cuba's communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

related countries: USA, Russia
 

 


Country Profile


Official Name:
Republica de Cuba
short form: Cuba
int'l long form: Republic of Cuba

ISO Country Code: cu

Time:
Local Time = UTC -5h
Actual Time: Wed-Apr-17  09:23

Country Calling Code: +53

Capital City: Habana (Havana, pop. 2 million)

Other major Cities:
Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguin, Guantanamo, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Pinar del Rio.

...show more



 

 


Official Sites of Cuba

Cuba State Capitol in Havana
The Cuba State Capitol (El Capitolio). The National Capitol Building is a public building in Havana. The building was home to the Cuban Congress; today, the Capitol is the headquarter of the Cuban Academy of Sciences and is used by the Science and Technology National Library.
Image: Nigel Pacquette


Cuba Government

The country's communist government has survived decades of U.S. sanctions originally designed to topple its leader, Fidel Castro.

Since the overthrow of the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Cuba has been a one-party state led by Fidel Castro and since February 2008 by his elected successor and younger brother Raul. Since 2021 Miguel Díaz-Canel has been the president of Cuba; he had replaced Raúl Castro as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba as supreme leader.



Official Sites of Cuba

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Gobierno de la República de Cuba
The Government site of the Republic of Cuba.

Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular
Cuban National Assembly.

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Cuba vs Bloqueo
Cuba against the Blockade site, Cuban point of view of the US blockade against Cuba.


Diplomatic Missions
Mision de Cuba ante Naciones Unidas
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations.
Embajada de Cuba
Embassy of Cuba, Canada
Embajadas de Cuba en el Mundo
Cuban embassies around the world.


Statistics
Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas
National Statistic Office website (in Spanish)

Weather
Instituto de Meteorología - INSMET
Cuba weather information by Cuban Institute of Meteorology (in Spanish).


Ministry of the Interior building with "Che" Guevara portrait
Plaza de la Revolución in Havana with the Ministry of the Interior building. Attached to the building is a work of art featuring a stylized line-art version of Alberto Korda's famous Guerrillero Heroico photo of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, captioned with the Spanish words "Hasta la Victoria Siempre." The phrase translates to "Until Victory Forever."
Image: Martin Abegglen

 

 


Maps of Cuba



Administrative Map of Cuba Map of Cuba (click on the map to enlarge)
Image: © nationsonline.org


Maps


Map of Cuba
Administrative map of Cuba.
Google Earth Google Earth Cuba
Searchable map and satellite view of Cuba.
Google Earth Google Earth Habana
Searchable map and satellite view of Cuba's capital city.

Map of the Caribbean
Map of the Caribbean. 

Map of Central America and the Caribbean
Reference Map of Central America and the Caribbean. 
 

 


News of Cuba



Newsstand- newspaper, kiosk of Cuba


News from Cuba

According to Freedom House, Cuba has the most repressive media environment in the Americas. Almost all traditional media are state-controlled. [FH]

Online access is tightly controlled and prohibitively expensive. Many Cubans use "the Package" - a digest of digital content distributed on USB sticks (El Paquette system). [BBC]

Although the state controls Cuban media through propaganda laws, Cuba's national newspapers are not published directly by the state but by various Cuban political organizations with official approval. [WP]


News Agencies
Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana S.A.
Cuban-based press agency.

Agencia Cubana de Noticias - ACN
Cuban News Agency.


Cuba newspapers online

Newspapers

CubaSi.cu
General country information and current news. (in Spanish and English)

Escambray
Cuban newspaper from Sancti Spiritus, published in Spanish, with an online English edition.

Granma Diario
Granma International Edition with news from Cuba. Granma is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Juventud Rebelde
Young Communist League newspaper.

Trabajadores
Trabajadores is a Cuban trade union newspaper (partly in English.)

Vanguardia
Vanguardia de Cuba is a Cuban newspaper published from Santa Clara.


Independent online news

El Estornudo
A Cuban journalism magazine.

El Toque
Cuban critical news.


Radio
Radio Habana Cuba
Short Wave Station that broadcasts in Spanish, English, Français, Português, Kreyol, Esperanto and Arabic; news about the events of Cuba and the world.


International Cuba News
Several independent Cuba-based digital media outlets offer alternative voices to censored state-run television, radio, and newspapers. [WP]

CiberCuba
The Spanish-based online newspaper CiberCuba was founded in November 2014 by Cubans expatriates.

CubaNet News
US-Florida-based site with "Cuba news from an independent journalist on the Island" (in Spanish, French, and English).

Periódico Cubano
US-based Cuban independent digital news.


 

 


Arts & Culture of Cuba


Vintage cars in Old Havana (Habana Vieja) in front of the Gran Teatro de La Habana
Colorful vintage cars in front of the Gran Teatro de La Habana, a historic theater and one of the most important cultural centers in the country. The theater houses the Cuban National Ballet, one of the leading ballet organizations in the world.
Image: diegograndi



Arts & Culture


Ministerio de Cultura
The official website of the Ministerio de Cultura de la República de Cuba (in Spanish).

Casa de las Americas
Cuban Government organization for the socio-cultural relations with the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and the rest of the world.

TodoDeArte
Huge art project with a variety of artists from Cuba.

Cubarte
Cultura Cubana - a portal to comprehensive cultural information on Cuba.

La Papeleta
Collaborative bulletin board and calendar of events for art, music, cinema, and other cultural activities.

Azurina
The city of Cienfuegos' Culture Portal.

Fusterlandia
Wikipedia article about renowned Cuban artist José Fuster, creator of Fusterlandia, private and public art in the outskirts of Havana.



Yomer Montejo - Atelier of a local Visual Artist
Yomer Montejo - Studio of the Cuban digital artist.
Image: Thomas_H_foto


Art

CubaLiteraria
A portal to Cuban literature (in Spanish).

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Cuba's National Museum of Fine Arts.

Galerie D’Art Calleyro


Museums
Museo del Ron Havana Club
Exhibitions on the history of rum production in a museum with a tasting room and liquor store.


Ballet
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
The celebrated National Ballet of Cuba was founded in 1948.

Rosario Cárdenas
Site about the director and choreographer of the dance company Danza Combinatoria.


Cinema
Cubacine. El Portal del Cine Cubano
Site about Cuban cinematics.


Vintage car in Old Havana (Habana Vieja)
Cars in Cuba are known for their vintage and classic style due to the US trade embargo that has limited imports since the 1960s. Many Cubans have had to repair and maintain their vehicles over the years, leading to a unique car culture in the country.
Image: Florian Wehde


Festivals

Havana International Jazz Festival
Many festivals in Cuba revolve around the arts, such as music, dance, art, and even filmmaking. One such festival is the annual Havana Jazz Festival, founded by Bobby Carcasses and several Cuban jazz musicians.


Habano Cigar Festival
The Habano Festival is the most famous event dedicated to Premium cigars in the world, and it takes place in Havana, Cuba.


Havana Biennial
The Bienal de La Habana was founded in 1984. It takes place every two years in Havana (Cuba). It principally aims to promote the developing world in contemporary art circles, prioritizing Latin American and Caribbean artists, although artists from all over the world submit works.


Havana Film Festival
The Havana Film Festival is a Cuban festival that promotes Latin American filmmakers. In Spanish, it is known as Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana and in English as the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana. It takes place every December in Havana, Cuba.


Carnival, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Carnival of Santiago de Cuba.
Image: Christian Pirkl
 

 


Business & Economy of Cuba



The Harbor of Havana with Old Havana, Cuba
The waters of Havana Harbor with Old Havana at night in the background.
Image: Gabriel Rodríguez


Economy of Cuba

The economy of Cuba is a planned economy based on socialism. The government controls most economic activities, including ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods and services. The main industries in Cuba are tourism, sugar, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.
The service sector in Cuba is dominated by tourism, a significant source of foreign exchange earnings.

The implementation of the 2018 Cuban Constitution introduced free market rights, recognition of private property and foreign direct investment, officially making Cuba a mixed economy, similar to the Chinese and Vietnamese models and similar to the Soviet Union under Lenin with the New Economic Policy.


Government Institutions
Cámara de Comercio de la Republica de Cuba
Official website of Cuba's Chamber of Commerce (in Spanish).

Banco Central de Cuba
The Banco Central de Cuba is the central bank of Cuba. 


Major Companies in Cuba

Oil and gas
CUPET
Cuban Petroleum Corporation - state-owned CUPET is the country's largest oil company; it is responsible for the exploration, production, refining, and distribution of petroleum and other hydrocarbon products. (March 2023, link not working)


Distillers & Vintners
Havana Club
Havana Club is a brand of Cuban rum that was launched in 1935. The rum ranked among the top 30 best-selling spirits in the world on the "Impact ranking of international premium spirits brands" in 2007.



Tobacco leaves hung to dry in the Cienfuegos Province of Cuba
Tobacco leaves hung to dry in the traditional wooden hut (kiln house). Tobacco cultivation in the Cienfuegos Province of Cuba.
Image: Tim Stief

Tobacco
Cubatabaco
Empresa Cubana del Tabaco, or in short Cubatabaco, is a state-owned company with a monopoly on all cigars in the country. The company was founded in 1962 when the socialist government nationalized the Cuban tobacco industry.


Habanos S.A.
Habanos S.A. is the subsidiary of Cubatabaco (Cuba's state-owned tobacco monopoly company) that controls the promotion, distribution, and export of cigars and other tobacco products worldwide.


Tourism
Gaviota
Gaviota (Grupo de Turismo Gaviota S.A.) is a state-owned tourism company and the country's emerging travel and tourism giant that operates hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other tourist services throughout the island.



Telecommunication
ETECSA
Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A., ETECSA. Cuba's state-owned telecommunications company is the sole legitimate provider of telephony and telecommunications and is responsible for providing the country's fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and other communications services. Every major town in Cuba has an ETECSA telegraph office with Internet workstations and a mobile phone station.


Transportation

A Cubana Airlines plane on the tarmac at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.
A Russian built Ilyushin Il-96-300 of Cubana Airlines on the tarmac of Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.
Image: Ricardo IV Tamayo

Airlines

Cubana
Cubana de Aviación, Cubana Airlines serves national and international destinations in the Caribbean and the Americas.

Airports
Jose Marti International Airport
The Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí is the international commercial airport of the Cuban capital Havana and also the largest and most important in the country.

Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport
Varadero Juan Gualberto Gómez International Airport, located in the Cuban province of Matanzas, mainly serves holidaymaker air traffic. It is the second most important international airport in Cuba after Havana Airport.


A Norwegian Sky cruise ship docked at the Sierra Maestra Terminal in the Port of Havana.
Norwegian Sky, a Sun-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, is docked at the Sierra Maestra Terminal in Havana Harbor.
Image: Chad Sparkes

 


Tourism in Cuba



View of Trinidad in Sancti Spíritus province of Cuba.
Trinidad, located in the province of Sancti Spíritus, is considered one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Caribbean. Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Image: Kate Perez


Destination Cuba - Travel and Tour Guides


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Discover Cuba: Pinar del Río, Havana, Varadero, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Trinidad de Cuba, Jardínes del Rey, Santa Lucía de Cuba, Holguín, Playa Ancón, Santiago de Cuba. Find accommodations, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, cruising, diving, tours, and much more.


Oficina Nacional de Información Turística
Travel and Tourism Cuba, the official Tourist guide to Cuba.


Cubaweb
Another official tourist guide to Cuba.


CubaInfo
Cuba information by the Tourist Office of Cuba in Frankfurt.


Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana's most famous 5-star hotel.
Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana's most famous 5-star hotel.
Image: Dan Lundberg

Cubanacan
Site of the biggest tourism organization in Cuba with extensive information on travel and tourism in Cuba.


CubaSi.cu
General country and travel information.


Hotel
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Havana's most famous 5-star hotel with sixty years of history is located in the Vedado district on Havana's Malecón promenade.


Cities
Havana
Cuba Travel website about the capital city.


Old Square in Havana
Old Square in Havana.
Image: serena_tang




What is Cuba known for?


Rehearsal of the Cuban National Ballet
Rehearsal of the Cuban National Ballet in the Royal Opera House Muscat.
Image: Khalid AlBusaidi


What is Cuba famous for?
Cuba is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, flavorful cuisine, and historical significance. Here are some of the things that Cuba is famous for:


Photograph of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda
The iconic photograph of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara taken by Alberto Korda.
Image: Alberto Korda

Revolutionary history
Cuba is known for its revolutionary history, particularly the role of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in overthrowing the government in 1959.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro was a Cuban revolutionary, communist politician, Marxist theorist and dictatorial head of government or president of Cuba, and the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Fidel Castro was one of America's most notorious bogeymen and the target of numerous U.S. assassination attempts -- all unsuccesful. [WP]


Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary, guerrilla leader, and author. He was a central leader (comandante) of the rebel army of the Cuban Revolution from 1956 to 1959 and, along with Fidel Castro, was its most important symbolic figure.


The Cuban Revolution
The Cuban Revolution (1956-59) led to the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista by the 26th of July Movement, a resistance movement led by Fidel Castro. The goal of the resistance was the restoration of the 1940 Constitution, partially suspended by Batista, including all basic democratic rights as well as the not fully implemented land reform it contained.
Batista's suspension of key provisions of the 1940 Constitution marked a significant setback for democracy and human rights in Cuba and contributed to growing discontent and opposition to his rule.
The armed struggle was waged between 1956 and 1959 by urban underground activists and a guerrilla army operating from the mountains. During 1958, the fights intensified and steadily expanded spatially. It ended with Batista's escape on 1 January 1959.


Mansion in the Moorish Revival architecture style
Mansion in the Moorish Revival architecture style, in Cienfuegos in central Cuba.
Image: Dieter Mueller

Spanish-colonial architecture
Spanish-colonial architecture in Cuba is a style of architecture that emerged during the time of Spanish colonization of the island, which began in the late 15th century.

Colonial architecture still can be seen in the Cuban cities. It's a symbol of Cuba's identity, influenced by its history and culture. The way Cuban cities were developed and their buildings were designed helped shape the country's unique character.

Several Cuban colonial historical centers are World Heritage Sites, which stand out for their cultural and functional values.


Cuban National Ballet
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba (National Ballet of Cuba) is a prestigious ballet company based in Havana, Cuba. It was founded in 1948 by the legendary Cuban ballerina and choreographer Alicia Alonso, together with her husband Fernando Alonso and brother-in-law Alberto Alonso. The Ballet Nacional de Cuba has gained international recognition for its unique style that combines elements of classical ballet with Afro-Cuban and Latin American influences.


Buena Vista Social Club
Buena Vista Social Club is the trademarked title of a music album recorded in 1996 by U.S. guitarist Ry Cooder on a project with veteran Cuban musicians of the 1940s and 1950s assembled by Juan de Marcos González. With over eight million sales, it is the most successful album in the genre of world music.


Cuban cigars
Finest Cuban cigars with banderoles, "Romeo y Julieta" and "Montecristo Habana."
Image: tiago claro

Habano
Habano is the name for a cigar originating in Cuba and made from Cuban tobacco. The exclusive distribution of these cigars lies with the company Habanos SA. The name comes from the city of Havana, which is the main port for exporting cigars abroad. Also, there are the most famous manufacturers for the production of Habanos.
Some of the famous Cuban cigars are Cohiba's Robusto and Lanceros; Cohiba is perhaps the most well-known and prestigious Cuban cigar brand. Others are Montecristo (N°4), Romeo y Julieta, the Partagas Series, Upmann Magnum, the Hoyo de Monterrey and Hoyo de San Juan, and the Bolivar and Trinidad brands.


A vintage car on the road of Havana.
A vintage car on the road of Havana.
Image: michele spinnato

Classic cars
Cuba is famous for its vintage American cars, many of which date back to the 1950s and 1960s. One of the reason was the United States embargo against Cuba, which prevented U.S. companies from doing business with the island.

The embargo covered almost all exports including cars and spare parts. In addition, private ownership of materials such as cars was illegal in communist Cuba between 1959 and 2011. [Beyond]



Guantanamera - Street music in Santiago de Cuba.
Guantanamera - Street music in Santiago de Cuba.
Image: Thomas_H_foto

Dance styles from Cuba

Cuban culture includes a wide range of dance forms. The island's indigenous people performed rituals known as areíto, which included dances, although little information is known about such ceremonies.

After the colonization of Cuba by the Spanish, European dance forms were introduced, such as the French Contredanse, from which the Cuban Contradanza emerged.

Modern dance styles originally developed in Cuba are Mambo, Cha-cha-cha, Bolero and Salsa.


Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a United States military prison located on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in southeastern Cuba. The United States first captured Guantánamo Bay in 1898 during the Spanish-American War and established a naval base there. In 1903, the United States took territorial control of the southern part of Guantánamo Bay.

Since 2002, the base has included the detainment camp for individuals deemed of risk to United States national security. Of the approximately 780 people who have been detained there since January 2002, when the military prison opened after the September 11 attacks, 735 have been transferred elsewhere, 35 remain there, and nine have died in custody. The facility has become a symbol of injustice, abuse, and disregard for the rule of law at home and around the world. Violations of international law at Guantánamo include illegal and indefinite detention, torture, inhumane conditions, unfair trials (military commissions), and many more. [ACLU] [SU Law]


Old Havana (Habana Vieja) and its fortification system
Old Havana (Habana Vieja) and its fortification system were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. To the left is Iglesia y Convento de la Merced; the Church of Our Lady of Merced was built in 1755 and reconstructed in the 19th century. The sanctuary includes a convent.
Image: Dan Lundberg
 

 


Cuba's UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Facade front of colonial-era buildings in Old Havana.
Facade front of colonial-era buildings in Old Havana, part of the World Heritage Site of Old Havana and its Fortification System.
Image: Ron Van Oers © UNESCO


UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cuba


Cuba is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven cultural, two natural, plus three sites inscribed on the Tentative List, an inventory of those properties which a State Party intends to consider for nomination. (see UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in Cuba)


World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Camagüey
Camagüey - one of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba - played a leading role as the urban center of a territory devoted to the cattle and sugar industries. Camagüey was established in 1528; it developed on an irregular urban layout that includes a system of large and small squares, winding streets, alleys and contorted urban neighborhoods, very exceptional for a Latin American colonial city.


World Heritage Site Old Havana and its Fortification System
Founded in 1519 by the Spaniards, Havana became the largest port and a major shipbuilding center for the Caribbean. From the 16th to 18th centuries, the port was the meeting point for the Spanish treasure fleets (plate fleets).
Although today Havana is a sprawling metropolis of two million inhabitants, its old center preserves an interesting mix of Baroque and Neoclassical monuments, as well as a homogeneous set of houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron railings, and inner courtyards.


World Heritage Site San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Santiago de Cuba
The construction of a series of fortifications during the 17th century aimed to protect the strategic Port of Santiago was a result of intense commercial and political rivalries. The complex of forts, magazines, bastions, and batteries in southeast Cuba is a remarkable example of Spanish-American military architecture, showcasing Italian and Renaissance design principles and serving as the most complete and well-preserved structure of its kind.


World Heritage Site Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios
Founded in the early 16th century in honor of the Holy Trinity, the city was a bridgehead for the conquest of the American continent and became a center for the sugar industry in the late 18th century. Its 18th and 19th-century buildings, such as the Palacio Brunet and the Palacio Cantero, were built during its period of prosperity.


World Heritage Site Viñales Valley
The valley is located in the Sierra de los Órganos mountains in the western part of the island. The valley is famous for its dramatic rocky outcrops and the production of tobacco using traditional techniques.


San Pedro de la Roca Castle in Santiago de Cuba
San Pedro de la Roca Castle in Santiago de Cuba. The fortress is one of the country's nine World Heritage Sites.
Image: © UNESCO - Ron Van Oers

 

 


Education in Cuba



Front view University of Havana, Cuba
Front view of the University of Havana (Cuba).
Image: Anton Zelenov


Ministry of Education Cuba
The official website of the Ministry of Education.

Biblioteca Nacional "José Martí"
The National Library of Cuba. (in Spanish)


Major universities in Cuba

Universidades y centros de investigación
List of universities and research centers in Cuba by the Ministerio de Educación Superior.

Academia de Ciencias de Cuba

The Academy of Science of Cuba.

University of Havana
The University of Havana, founded in 1728, is the greatest and oldest university in the Caribbean.

 

 


Environment & Nature



The Vinales Valley in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba
View over the Vinales Valley in the Pinar del Río province of Cuba.
Image: Simon Berger


Government institutions

Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment
Official website of the ministry.


Non-profit organizations

Cuba: Wild Island of the Caribbean

PBS features Cuba's nature.

The Nature of Cuba
Smithsonian Magazin's article about Cuba's nature.

 

 


Cuba History



Fidel Castro and his men in the Sierra Maestra
Fidel Castro and his men in the Sierra Maestra, a mountain range in the south of the old Oriente Province in southeast Cuba.
Image: Unknown


History of Cuba
The written history of Cuba began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the subsequent invasion of the island by the Spaniards. Guanahatabey, Ciboney, and Taíno native groups inhabited the island but were soon exterminated or died from disease or as a result of the conquest.

Cuba remained a Spanish colony until 1902, when it gained independence. The country then experienced a turbulent period of dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista, followed by the 1959 Cuban Revolution, a successful armed revolt led by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the US-backed authoritarian government of Batista.
On New Year's Day 1959, Batista fled Cuba, and Castro formed a liberal nationalist government.

The results of the revolution were the end of the Batista dictatorship, a gradual transition of Cuba to a communist state under Fidel Castro, the declaration of enmity with the United States, and Cuba's alliance with the Soviet Union.


History of Cuba
Cuba's history by Nations online.


Encyclopædia Britannica History of Cuba
Encyclopædia Britannica's article about the history of Cuba.


Wikipedia W History Cuba
Wikipedia entry on Cuba's history.


BBC-logo Timeline of Cuba's history
BBC page with a chronological overview of events in the history of Cuba.

 

 

Indigenous People of Cuba


Reconstruction of a Taíno village in Chorro de Maíta, Cuba
Reconstruction of a Taíno village in Chorro de Maíta, an early colonial archaeological site near Guardalavaca, Cuba.
Image: Michal Zalewski



Painting of the landing of Columbus in the Caribbean in 1492
Landing of Columbus in the Caribbean.
Image: John Vanderlyn

When Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba in 1492, he found an island already inhabited by three different groups of Arawak-speaking indigenous peoples: the Taíno, the Ciboney and the Guanahatabey.

Approximately 16 to 60,000, Bartolome de las Casas estimated 200,000 natives belonging to the Taino and Ciboney nations inhabited Cuba before the colonization.

Today, historians estimate that the interaction of slavery, overwork, and starvation killed more Indians in the Caribbean than smallpox, influenza, and malaria. [WPost]


BBC-logo Cuba’s Taíno people
Article about the indigenous people in Cuba.

Taíno: Noble and good people of the Caribbean
Page about Taíno history by Manicato Taíno Cultural Center.

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Cuba
UNHCR's Refworld page on minorities and indigenous peoples in Cuba.


Wikipedia W Arawak
The Arawak, Aruak, or Arawaken were indigenous people on the northern coast of South America. The Arawak give their name to the Arawak-speaking tribes found or found in parts of South America.


Wikipedia W Ciboney
The Ciboney culture is the name given to Mesoamerican indigenous Indian people who inhabited large parts of Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and southwestern Hispaniola (Haiti) at the time of discovery around 1500 AD. They belonged to the western group of the Taíno.


Wikipedia W Guanahatabey
The Guanahatabey (also called Guanajatabey) were indigenous people in western Cuba at the time of the first European contact.


Wikipedia W Taíno
The Taíno were the principal inhabitants of most of the islands of present-day Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the northern Lesser Antilles at the time of European contact in the late 15th century.

 

 


 



 
Other Countries and Territories in the Caribbean
Anguilla | Antigua and Barbuda | Aruba | Bahamas | Barbados | British Virgin Islands | Dominica | Dominican Republic | Grenada | Guadeloupe | Haiti | Jamaica | Martinique | Montserrat | Netherlands Antilles | | Puerto Rico | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago | U.S. Virgin Islands

Major Cities in the Caribbean:
Basse-Terre, Basseterre, Bridgetown, Castries, Charlotte Amalie, Fort-de-France, Hamilton, Havana, Kingston, Kingstown, Nassau, Oranjestad, Port-au-Prince, Port-of-Spain, Roseau, Saint George's, Saint John's, Saint Martin, San Juan, Santo Domingo, The Valley, Willemstad