Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor group of islands. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It is south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti, and north of Jamaica. Havana is the largest city and capital, other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with an area of 109,884 square kilometres (42,426 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.
The national flag of Cuba consists of five stripes (three blue and two white) alternating , and a red equilateral triangle at the hoist with a white five-pointed star. It was adopted on May 20, 1849. The three blue stripes represent the three departments in which Cuba was divided at that time, the white purity of ideals, the light; the red triangle, originating from the French Revolution – and the three ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity: red for the blood and the courage; the star was the new state that should be added to the United States.
Men's traditional Cuban dress style is casual. The most well-known piece of clothing is the Guayabera, or Guayavera, shirt. The authentic Guayabera is commonly recognized as the Mexican Wedding Shirt. Nonetheless, Cuba has made the Guayabera their honorary, traditional piece of clothing. More popularly called the Havana or Cigar Shirt, this conventional style of Cuban men's fashion has become a worldwide classic. Its cool, casual style is associated with quality and fashion. Traditional Cuban attire for women, like other aspects of Cuban culture, has its roots in Spanish and African influences. Most of the traditional outfits worn by Cuban women focus on lightweight fabrics and bright colors. While traditional outfits are not always worn by Cuban women anymore, visitors are likely to see influence of traditional dress on their trip to the country and may be able to purchase a guayabera.
Cuba has a subtropical climate, with an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) in winter and 31 degrees (88 Fahrenheit) in summer. This means that if you like warm weather it is a lovely place all year round.
The tropical climate produces fruits and root vegetables that are used in Cuban dishes and meals. A typical meal would consist of rice and beans, cooked together or apart. When cooked together the recipe is called either "Congri" or "Moros" or "Moros y Cristianos" (black beans and rice).
The demographic characteristics of Cuba are known through census which have been conducted and analyzed by different bureaus since 1774. The National Office of Statistics of Cuba (ONE) since 1953. The most recent census was conducted in September 2012. The population of Cuba at the 2012 census was 11.1 million. The population density is 100.7 inhabitants per square kilometer, and the overall life happen in Cuba is 78.0 years. The population has always increased from one census to the next, with the exception of the 2011 census, when the count decreased by 10,000. Since 1950, Cuba's birth rate has surpassed its death rate; the natural growth rate of the country is positive. Cuba is in the fourth stage of demographic transition. In terms of age structure, the population is dominated (71.1%) by the 15- to 64-year-old segment. The median age of the population is 39.5, and the gender ratio of the total population is 0.99 males per female.
Cuba's money "Cuban Convertible Peso." For international exchange purposes 1.00 Cuban Convertible Peso = $1.00 USD. Note that there is a 10% penalty charged when exchanging USA dollars cash, so, you will only receive 87 centavos CUC for one USA dollar when changing the money, allowing for the 10% penalty and a 3% currency exchange fee. Cubas economy is bad.
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (American Spanish: born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban politician, who has been President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008. Castro previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008. Castro is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force), and has also been First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) since 2011. Castro is the nation's highest ranking general.
The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492. After Columbus' arrival, Cuba became a Spanish colony, ruled by a Spanish governor in Havana. In 1762, Havana was briefly occupied by Great Britain, before being returned to Spain in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end Spanish rule. However, the Spanish–American War resulted in a Spanish withdrawal from the island in 1898, and following three-and-a-half years of subsequent US military rule, Cuba gained formal independence in 1902. The Cuban War of Independence (Spanish: Guerra de Independencia cubana, 1895–98) was the last of three liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, the other two being the Ten Years' War (1868–1878) and the Little War (1879–1880). The final three months of the conflict escalated to become the Spanish–American War, with United States forces being deployed in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands against Spain. Historians disagree as to the extent that United States officials were motivated to intervene for humanitarian reasons but agree that yellow journalism exaggerated atrocities attributed to Spanish forces against Cuban civilians. They got their independence in 1895-1898.
These are the national languages.
Cuba's prevailing religion is Christianity, primarily Roman Catholicism, although in some instances it is profoundly modified and influenced through syncretism. A common syncretic religion is Santería, which combined the Yoruba religion of the African slaves with Catholicism and some Native American strands; it shows similarities to Brazilian Umbanda and has been receiving a degree of official support. The Roman Catholic Church estimates that 60 percent of the population is Catholic, but only 5% of that 60% attends mass regularly, while independent sources estimate that as few 1.5% of the population does so.