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Cuba (// ⓘ KEW-bə, Spanish: [ˈkuβa] ⓘ; Lucumi: Erekusú), officially the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkuβa] ⓘ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos, 4,195 islands and cays surrounding the main island belong to the country. Cuba is located where the northern Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean meet. Cuba is located east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the American state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic), and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The official area of the Republic of Cuba is 109,884 km2 (42,426 sq mi) (without the territorial waters) but a total of 350,730 km2 (135,420 sq mi) including the exclusive economic zone. Cuba is the second-most populous country in the Caribbean after Haiti, with over 11 million inhabitants.
Republic of Cuba
República de Cuba (Spanish)
|Motto: ¡Patria o Muerte, Venceremos!|
("Homeland or Death, We Shall Overcome!")
|Anthem: La Bayamesa|
("The Bayamo Song")
and largest city
|Other spoken languages||Haitian Creole|
|Government||Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic|
|Salvador Valdés Mesa|
|Manuel Marrero Cruz|
|Esteban Lazo Hernández|
|Legislature||National Assembly of People's Power|
|11 March 1812|
10 October 1868
|24 February 1895|
• Recognized (Handed over to the United States from Spain)
|10 December 1898|
• Republic declared (Independence from United States)
|20 May 1902|
|26 July 1953 – 1 January 1959|
|10 April 2019|
|110,860 km2 (42,800 sq mi) (104th)|
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
• 2022 census
|101.8/km2 (263.7/sq mi) (80th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2021 estimate|
|$126.694 billion (60th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2021)|| 0.764|
high · 83rd
|Currency||Cuban peso (CUP)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (CST)|
• Summer (DST)
|ISO 3166 code||CU|
The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited as early as the 4th millennium BC, with the Guanahatabey and Taíno peoples inhabiting the area at the time of Spanish colonization in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain, and slavery was abolished in 1886, remaining a Spanish colony until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained independence in 1902. In 1940, Cuba implemented a new constitution, but mounting political unrest culminated in a coup in 1952 and the subsequent dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The Batista government was later overthrown in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement during the Cuban Revolution. That revolution established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. The country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba faced a severe economic downturn in the 1990s, known as the Special Period. In 2008, Fidel Castro retired as president after 49 years of leadership of Cuba. Raúl Castro was elected as his successor. Raúl Castro retired as president on 19 April 2018 and Miguel Díaz-Canel was elected president by the National Assembly following parliamentary elections. Raúl Castro retired as First Secretary of the Communist Party in April 2021 and Miguel Díaz-Canel was elected as his successor.
Cuba is one of a few extant Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist states, in which the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Cuba has an authoritarian regime where political opposition is not permitted. Censorship of information is extensive and independent journalism is repressed in Cuba; Reporters Without Borders has characterized Cuba as one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom.
Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America. It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the Taíno Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of enslaved Africans and a close relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Cuba is a founding member of the United Nations, G77, Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, ALBA, and Organization of American States. It has currently one of the world's few planned economies, and its economy is dominated by the tourism industry and the exports of skilled labor, sugar, tobacco, and coffee. Cuba has historically—both before and during communist rule—performed better than other countries in the region on several socioeconomic indicators, such as literacy, infant mortality and life expectancy. Cuba has a universal health care system which provides free medical treatment to all Cuban citizens, although challenges include low salaries for doctors, poor facilities, poor provision of equipment, and the frequent absence of essential drugs. In 2023, according to a recent study by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH), 88% of the population in Cuba is living in extreme poverty.[undue weight? – discuss] The traditional diet in Cuban households is of international concern due to micronutrient deficiencies and lack of diversity, as highlighted by the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations, rationed food meets only a fraction of daily nutritional needs for many Cubans, leading to health issues.
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