Cuba

Cuba Capital: Havana
Official Language: Spanish
Wikipedia Article

 

Introducing Cuba...

Cuban Salsa DancersLa República de Cuba is not just an island! Cuba is an archipielago: chain or cluster of islands (1600), consisting on la Isla de Cuba, la Isla de la Juventud and 4195 other small keys and small islands. Its total surface is 110,922 km2.

The Cuban Archipelago is located in the Western Caribbean Sea. Due to its geographic location Cuba was called Key to the New World and Wall of the Indies. The closest territories are Hispaniola, an island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, at a distance of 77 kilometers to the east, the Bahamas archipelago, 140 Km to the Northeast, Jamaica, 146 Km to the South, the United States, 180 Km to the north and Mexico, 210 Km to the West.

Cuba is a long and narrow island whose shape reminds a crocodile or according to poet Nicolás Guillén "a long green lizard/with eyes of stone and water". The Cuban territory is 1250 Km long and its width varies between 32 and 210 Kms. Its Northernmost point is at Cayo Cruz del Padre. The Southernmost one is Punta del Inglés. Punta Quemados and Cabo San Antonio are the easternmost and westernmost points respectively. Around 290 natural beaches with no risk for swimming stretch along the archipelago's coasts.

The Cuban archipelago is close to the Tropic of Cancer marking the northern limit of the earth's subtropical region. Cuba's subtropical climate is softened by the warmth of the so-called Cuban countercurrent. Its thermal influence is strengthened by two other currents flowing the opposite direction forming the Gulf Stream or the "Great Blue River" the ideal places for fishing marlins.

Among other Cuba's most attractive tourist resorts worth to mention are Varadero Beach with nearly 20 Km of white fine sand and blue transparent waters, Cayo Largo, a different, fascinating world, Cayo Coco where Nature is protagonist...as well as the cities where the colonial past is always present and so are Cubans' laughter and joy that make this Latin American and Caribbean country the best destination. The cuban musical tradition is one of the most distintive features of its culture.

Interesting Facts

  • Cuban Administrative DivisionsOfficial Name: Republic of Cuba
  • Population (million): 11,2
  • Gross Domestic Product per Inhabitant (USD): 1 327
  • Total Area (km2): 110 860 (The Island of Cuba: 104 945, The Isle of Youth: 2 200, Adjacent keys and islets: 3 715)
  • Highest mountain (m): Pico Real del Turquino 1 97
  • Longest River (km): Cauto 370
  • Relative Humidity (%): 81
  • Average Temperature (0C): 2
  • Cuba is administratively divided in 14 provinces and one special municipality (Isla de la Juventud).

Hollidays

  • January 1st: Triumph of the Revolution, Liberation's day
  • May 1st: International Worker's day
  • July 26th: Day of National Rebellion. Assault to Moncada Garrison in 1953
  • October 10th: Independence day
  • December 25th:Christmas

Weather is always nice...

Mean temperature is 25 Celcius degrees... except from the time a Hurricane is passing by!Moderate subtropical. The Cuban territory grazes the Tropic of Cancer, and due to its long and narrow configuration, on an east-west axis, it receives the refreshing action of the trade winds and the sea breezes. During the short winter, it is cooled by masses of cold air from the North; those cold fronts do not last long.

The day and night temperatures differ less in the coastal regions than inland. The eastern part of the country has a warmer climate than the western part.

Average temperature: 24,6º C (76,3º F); Summer average: 25º C (77º F); Winter average: 22º C (71,6º F).

Flora and Fauna

El MorroCuba's flora is very rich and extremely diverse, with more than eight thousand species. The royal palm tree-the national tree-is the one that best characterizes the Cuban countryside, and so it is featured in the national coat of arms. The national flower is the butterfly jasmin.

One feature of Cuba's fauna is the lack of poisonous or other species harmful to human health. With its diverse and bright colors, the polymita is a mollusc that can only be found in the Cuban fauna, just like the zunzún, the smallest species of hummingbird in the world, and the tocororo, a climbing, colorful trogon regarded as the national bird of Cuba. Canorous birds abound in Cuban fields. In the Island's surrounding seas you can find about 900 fish species, most of which are edible, like the delicious red snapper, the sawfish, the sierra, the swordfish, shrimps, crabs, and lobsters.

National Anthem

The Cuban national anthem had its origin in the city of Bayamo in the heat of the independence struggle. Having composed the melody in 1867, Pedro Figueredo wrote -with a great sense of independence- the lyrics of this heroic anthem as rebel troops occupied Bayamo city in 1868. In its first stanza Bayamo citizens are called upon to join the fight, aware that to die for the Motherland is to live forever. The second stanza proclaims that to live in chains is to live subjected to affront and opprobrium. It ends with a second and strong call to the gallant Bayamo citizens to join the fight:

People of Bayamo, to arms in the battle
that the Homeland contemplates you proudly
Fear not a glorious death,
for dying for the Homeland is like living.

To remain in chains is to live
in dishonor and vile subjugation
O, hark to the call of your nation
take up arms, all ye brave sons.

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