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Cuba

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Cuba

BACKGROUND

Information: Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean meet. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America.

The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BCE until Spanish colonization in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902. As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro.

The Cuban government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions. Human Rights Watch has stated that the government "represses nearly all forms of political dissent" and that "Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law."

Cuba has a dual currency system, whereby most wages and prices are set in Cuban pesos (CUP), while the tourist economy operates with Convertible pesos (CUC), set at par with the United States dollar.[193] Every Cuban household has a ration book (known as libreta) entitling it to a monthly supply of food and other staples, which are provided at nominal cost.

Post-revolution Cuba has been characterized by significant levels of emigration, which has led to a large and influential diaspora community. During the three decades after January 1959, more than one million Cubans of all social classes, constituting ten percent of the total population, emigrated to the United States, a proportion that matches the extent of emigration to the United States from the Caribbean as a whole during that period.

National Dance: Danzón

Language: Spanish

Religion: Catholic and Protestant


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