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                                                  Img. 02: Flag [1]

 Img. 01: Map of Cuba [3]

                                               Img. 03: Map of Cuba [2]

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline af ter the European
discover y of the island by Chr istopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and f ollowing its
development as a Spanish colony dur ing the next sever al centuries. Large
numbers of Af rican slaves were imported to work the cof f ee and sugar plantations,
and Havana became the launc hing point f or the annual treasure f leets bound f or
Spain f rom Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule eventually provoked an independence
movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. US
inter vention dur ing the Spanish -Amer ican W ar in 1898 assist ed the Cubans in
overthrowing Spanish rule. The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence
f rom the US in 1902 af ter which the island experienced a st ring of governments
mostly dom inated by the m ilitar y and corrupt politicians. Fidel CASTRO led a
rebel army to victor y in 1959; his iron rule held the subsequent regime together
f or nearly f ive decades. He stepped down as president in Februar y 2008 in f avor
of his younger brother Raul CASTRO. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet
support, was export ed t hroughout Lat in America and Af rica during the 1960s,
1970s, and 1980s. The countr y f aced a severe econom ic downt urn in 1990
f ollowing the wit hdr awal of f ormer Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion
annually. Cuba at t imes portrays t he US embargo, in place since 1961, as the
source if its dif f iculties. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade raf ts, alien
smugglers, air f lights, or via the sout hwest border - is a continuing problem. The
US Coast Guard int ercepted 1,000 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of
Flor ida in f iscal year 2011. [ 2 ]
2. Basic information
2.1. General
Long form name: Republica de Cuba         Short form name: Cuba
Area: 110 860 km2                         Capital: Havana
Popul ation: 11,087, 330                  Location: 23°8′N 82°23′W
Relief: Car ibbean Sea 0 m; Pico          Landuse: arable land 27.63%;
Turquino 2,005 m                          permanent crops 6.54%; other 65.83%
Climate: tropical; m oderated by trade winds; dr y season (Novem ber to Apr il);
rainy season ( May t o October)

2.2. Political status
Established: 1902                                  Government type: Communist state
Divisions: 15 provinces & 1 special municipality   Time: UTC-5
Integration: ALADI, OSN, SELA                      Leader: Raul CASTRO Ruz
GDP: $9,900 (per capita)                           HDI: 0.776

3. Maps skills
Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Pico Turquino, Isla de la Juventud, Sierra Maestra, Sierra de
Los Organos, Guantanamo Bay

4. Population & Settlement
4.1. Demographics

According to the census of 2002, the population was 11,177,743, including 5,597,233 men and
5,580,510 women. The racial make-up was 7,271,926 whites, 1,126,894 blacks and 2,778,923
mulattoes (or mestizos). The population of Cuba has very complex origins and intermarriage
between diverse groups is general. There is disagreement about racial statistics. The Institute for
Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami says that 62% is black, whereas
statistics from the Cuban census state that 65.05% of the population was white in 2002. Estimates
of the percentage of people of African descent in the Cuban population vary enormously, ranging
from 33.9 per cent to 62 per cent.

Immigration and emigration have played a prominent part in the demographic profile of Cuba
during the 20th century. During the 18th, 19th, and the early part of the 20th century large waves of
Canarian, Catalan, Andalusian, Galician, and other Spanish people immigrated to Cuba. Between
1900 and 1930 close to a million Spaniards arrived from Spain. Other foreign immigrants include:
French, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Greek, British, Irish, and other ethnic groups,
including a small number of descendants of U.S. citizens who arrived in Cuba in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries.
Cuba's birth rate (9.88 births per thousand
population in 2006) is one of the lowest in the
Western Hemisphere. Its overall population
increased continuously from around 7 million in
1961 to over 11 million now, but the increase
has stopped in the last few decades, and a
decrease began in 2006, with a fertility rate of
1.43 children per woman. This drop in fertility is
among the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
Cuba has unrestricted access to legal abortion
and an abortion rate of 58.6 per 1000
pregnancies in 1996.

                                                     Img. 04: A cuban man smoking a traditional cigar [1]

Table: Ethnic groups of Cuba [1]
   Ethnic groups of Cuba (2007)
   White                                65,05%
   Mulattoes                            23,84%
   Black                                10,08%
   Asians                                1,02%

4.2. Religion
Cuba has a multitude of faiths reflecting the island's diverse cultural elements. Catholicism, which
was brought to the island by Spanish colonialists at the beginning of the 16th century, is the most
prevalent professed faith. After the revolution, Cuba became an officially atheistic state and
restricted religious practice. Since the Fourth Cuban Communist Party Congress in 1991,
restrictions have been eased and, according to the National Catholic Observer, direct challenges
by state institutions to the right to religion have all but disappeared, though the church still faces
restrictions of written and electronic communication, and can only accept donations from state-
approved funding sources.
Afro-Cuban religions, a blend of native African religions and Roman Catholicism, are widely
practiced in Cuba. This diversity derives from West and Central Africans who were transported to
Cuba, and in effect reinvented their African religions. They did so by combining them with elements
of the Catholic belief system, with a result very similar to Brazil.
Protestantism, introduced from the United States in the 18th century, has seen a steady increase
in popularity. 300,000 Cubans belong to the island's 54 Protestant denominations. Cuba has small
communities of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and members of the Bahá'í.
4.3. Language
The official language of Cuba is Spanish and the vast majority of Cubans speak it. Spanish as
spoken in Cuba is known as Cuban Spanish and is a form of Caribbean Spanish. Lucumi, a
dialect of the West African language Yoruba, is also used as a liturgical language by practitioners
of Santería, and so only as a second language. Haitian Creole is the second largest language in
Cuba, and is spoken by Haitian immigrants and their descendants. Other languages spoken by
immigrants include Catalan and Corsican.[1]

4.4. Settlement
                                              Table: Largest cities of Cuba [1]

          Rank                    City Name                          Province                       Population

            1.        Havana                            Havana                                2,201,610

            2.        Santiago de Cuba                  Santiago de Cuba                      423,392

            3.        Camagüey                          Camagüey                              301,574

            4.        Holguín                           Holguín                               269,618

            5.        Santa Clara                       Villa Clara                           210,220

            6.        Guantanámo                        Guantanámo                            208,145

            7.        Bayamo                            Granma                                144,664

            8.        Victoria de Las Tunas             Las Tunas                             143,582

            9.        Cienfuegos                        Cienfuegos                            140,734

           10.        Pinar del Río                     Pinar del Río                         139,336

  Img. 05: The capital city Havana [1]                                Img. 06: Traditional 1950s „Yank Tank“ car [1]
5. Economy

Cuba occupies the 86th place in GDP(PPP) per capita with $9,900.

Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and most of the labor force
is employed by the state. Recent years have seen a trend towards more private sector
employment. By 2006, public sector employment was 78% and private sector 22%, compared to
91.8% to 8.2% in 1981. Capital investment is restricted and requires approval by the government.
The Cuban government sets most prices and rations goods. Any firm wishing to hire a Cuban must
pay the Cuban government, which in turn will pay the employee in Cuban pesos. Cubans cannot
change jobs without government permission. The average wage at the end of 2005 was 334
regular pesos per month ($16.70 per month).

Cuba's major exports are sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, and coffee; imports
include food, fuel, clothing, and machinery. Cuba presently holds debt in an amount estimated to
be $13 billion, approximately 38% of GDP. According to the Heritage Foundation, Cuba is
dependent on credit accounts that rotate from country to country. Cuba's prior 35% supply of the
world's export market for sugar has declined to 10% due to a variety of factors, including a global
sugar commodity price drop that made Cuba less competitive on world markets. At one time, Cuba
was the world's most important sugar producer and exporter. As a result of diversification,
underinvestment, and natural disasters, Cuba's sugar production has seen a drastic decline. In
2002 more than half of Cuba's sugar mills were shut down. Cuba holds 6.4% of the global market
for nickel, which constitutes about 25% of total Cuban exports. The country is famous for
production of rum.[1]

        » Agriculture - products:
sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock[4]

       » Industries:
sugar, petroleum, tobacco,        construction,   nickel,   steel,    cement,   agricultural   machinery,

6. Tourism
Tourism in Cuba attracts over 2 million people a year, and is one of the main sources of revenue
for the island. With its favorable climate, beaches, colonial architecture and distinct cultural history,
Cuba has long been an attractive destination for tourists.
As relations between Cuba and the United States deteriorated rapidly after the Cuban
Revolution and the resulting expropriation and nationalisation of businesses, the island became cut
off from its traditional market by an embargo and a travel ban was imposed on U.S. citizens visiting
Cuba, but this restriction has been recently loosened.[1]
        » Havana, Cayo Coco, Varadero, Holguín

7. Key studies
The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the
regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1
January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro. This government
later reformed along communist lines, becoming the present Communist Party of Cuba in October

In October 1960, a commercial, economic, and financial embargo was partially imposed by the
United States on Cuba. It was enacted after Cuba nationalized the properties of United States
citizens and corporations and it was strengthened to a near-total embargo on February 7, 1962.
Titled the Cuban Democracy Act, the embargo was codified into the U.S. law in 1992.
Before the embargo took place, classic cars now called „Yank tanks“ were a popular import item.
After 1960, Cuba could no longer receive new replacement parts when something broke. Currently,
the only way to keep these cars on the road today is by using Cuban ingenuity to adapt household
products and Soviet technology into these vehicles. The owners of these “yank tanks” are sitting on
a potential “gold mine” that, if the embargo were to be lifted, the Cuban people could make quick
cash by selling their cars to people who collect and restore them.[5]

The Guantanamo bay is a bay located in Guantánamo Province at the southeastern end of Cuba.
The United States assumed territorial control over the southern portion of Guantánamo Bay under
the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty. The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base surrounds the southern
portion of the bay. Since 2002, the base has included the detainment camp for captured alleged al-
Qaeda personnel who have been, or may someday be, charged with terrorism.[6]

8. Pictures [1]

 Img. 07: UNESCO site Trinidad ↑
                                                                Img. 08 Old Havana ↑
 Img. 08: Varadero beach, popular touristic destination ↑     Img. 09: Tobacco plantation in Pinar del Río   ↑

                                                            ← Img. 10: Alejandro de Humboldt National Park

9. Videos

10. Tasks

            What do we call the original native population of the Cuban island?
            Explain the Cuban revolution. Who was the main leader of the revolution party?
            What is the Guantanamo bay and which country does it belong to?
            Think of some worldwide shipped products of Cuba. (cuban rum, cigars)
            Can we still find offsprings of the original native population?

11. Dictionary

Fidel Castro, mulattoes, embargo, Cuban Spanish language



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