The Republic of Cuba is the Caribbean's largest island and largest state. It is located between the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. North of Cuba are the United States and the Bahamas, west of Mexico, south of the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, and southeast of Haiti. The country has a total area of 110,860 km². The capital is Havana, which with about 2.4 million inhabitants is the largest city in the Caribbean.
Cuba has been a socialist republic since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, with the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) as the only party. Cuba is one of very few countries that still largely maintains a planned economy. The World Bank defines Cuba as a middle-income country with a gross national income per capita of $ 5,890, which places the country in 11th place in Latin America. Cuba, on the other hand, is ranked as Latin America's second most developed country (after Chile) on the UN Human Development Index, and number 44 in the world. The reason for this much higher ranking is that Cuba scores very high on health and education.
The United States imposed an embargo on Cuba as a result of Fidel Castro's new revolutionary government nationalizing US real estate after the revolution. This led Cuba to ally itself with the Soviet Union. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba has struggled with major economic problems due to the fact that the United States has continued to refuse to trade with Cuba, despite the embargo being condemned by the UN on a number of occasions. On December 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama declared that over 50 years of sanctions had not worked, and that the US would therefore normalize relations with Cuba.
Cuba is an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island of Cuba is the main island, surrounded by four smaller archipelagos; Colorado, Sabana-Camagüey, Jardines de la Reina and Canarreos. The island of Cuba is the 17th largest island in the world. The country's second largest island is Isla de la Juventud (Youth Island) located in the southwest.
In the Caribbean, Cuba is considered one of the Greater Antilles and is the largest island in the West Indies. The northern part of the island faces the Florida Strait. It is 150 km from Key West in Florida to the nearest point in Cuba, Punta Puerto Escondido.
The island consists mostly of a savannah landscape with flat steppes, but also has elements of swampland and lush forests. Mountain landscapes are found primarily north and northeast of the city of Trinidad and in the southeastern part of the island west and northeast of the city of Santiago de Cuba. The largest mountain range, the Sierra Maestra, is located west of Santiago de Cuba. The highest point is Pico Real del Turquino with 1,975 meters.
Most of the soil is deep and nutrient-rich, but there are also swamp areas, especially in the southern areas of the Matanzas.
Havana is the country's largest city and is also the capital. The second largest is Santiago de Cuba. Other cities are Cienfuegos, also known as the "Pearl of the South Coast", Trinidad (founded by pirates) and Camagüey. Trinidad and the "Old Havana" district (Habana vieja) are protected by UNESCO due to their unique historical value.
The climate is tropical, but the temperature is still affected by winds blowing over the island. The average daily temperature is not below 22 degrees Celsius at any time of the year.
The dry period is from November to April. The rainy season is from May to October.
The climate is very suitable for agricultural production.
However, Cuba is located in an area that is highly exposed to the Caribbean hurricanes (July - October).
Cuba is a multiethnic society with a population of native African and Spanish descent.
There is also a small Chinese grouping.
The largest organized religion is the Roman Catholic Church (85%), as well as a number of Afro-Cuban religions. Among these, Santeria - a Cuban variant of the Yoruba religion in West Africa - is the most central. There are also smaller populations of Protestants and Jews.
Officially, Cuba has been a secular state since the July 26 movement came to m