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Cuba Island

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Cuba Island

‘Cubanascan’ in Amerindian language, the Republic of Cuba is currently known as Cuba.  The island of Cuba is found in the northern hemisphere, on latitude 20°3 north and longitude 80° west. The neighbouring countries are United States, Mexico, Honduras and the other Caribbean islands namely Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti. Its capital city is Havana.

Flag of Cuba

Bordered in the north by the Florida Strait, south by Caribbean Sea, west by the Yucuttan Strait and east by the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies.
With a total surface area of 114 525 km ˛, it covers half of the total West Indies land.
Cuba has a coastline of 33735 km and stretches from west to East on 1,223 km and north to south 89 km. The island is made up of approximately 1600 little islands from West to East subdivided in five groups: the los Colorados, the Sabanas, the Camaguey, the Jardin de la Reine and Los Canaeros.  The most important island Isle de Juventud known before as Isla de Pinos or Isle of Pines in English and ‘Evangelista’ is located south west of the main island and has an area is 3715Km˛.

Cuba Island

Cuba consists of 14 provinces from west to east namely; Pinar del Rio, Habanna, City of Havana, Matanzas, Ciefuego, Villa Clara, Santi Spiritus, Ciego de Avilla, Camaguey Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.
Discovered in the 1492 by Christopher Colombus, Cuba was first inhabited by the aboriginal Guanatajabeys Amerindians, the Ciboneys( siboneyes), the Tainos and afterwards the Spaniards and the slaves came to settle in the island.

 

There are 11, 2 million inhabitants in Cuba. 37 % are of Spanish origins, 51% mixed races, 11% black (of African slave descendants) and 1% of the Asian origin, the Chinese who came to Cuba in the 1950’s. People of different faiths cohabit in Cuba. Most of the population are of catholic faith (60 %). There are also Protestants, Pentecostal, Santeria, Islamic and Jewish communities in Cuba. However, it should be noted that no one is allowed to pray in public the socialist Republic of Cuba.

Three languages are spoken in Cuba namely; Spanish Creole and Lucumi. The latter is a secret language used by the Yoruba descendants of the Niger-Congo region during their religious ceremonies. Creole is the most spoken- second language in Cuba. The Haitian community who fled the revolution in their country of origin to settle in Cuba use this language.  90 % of the population speak Spanish as first language. However with the opening of the Cuban frontiers to the outside world, English is being used to communicate with foreign investors and tourists.
A large percentage of Cubans are literate (90%). Since the Cuban revolution the government has launched an intensive battle against illiteracy and now access is available to every woman and men to school.
The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is $3900(2005 statistics). The economy is mainly based on agriculture and tourism. The main crops grown are sugar cane, tobacco fruits and coffee.

 



 

 

 

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