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 the Atlantic Ocean meet.

Terrain is mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast. The lowest point is the Caribbean Sea at 0 m (sea level) and the highest point is Pico Turquino at 1,974 m (6,476 ft), part of the Sierra Maestra mountain range, located in the southeast of the island.

 Key Cities

Key cities in Cuba include: Havana, Santiagode Cuba, Camaguey, Holguin, Santa Clara, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Las Tunas.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

Christopher Columbus landed at Cuba in 1492 and claimed the land for Spain. Columbus named the land Isla Juana, but later it would be called Cuba, which comes from the local Native American name of Cobana. The first Spanish settlement on Cuba was Baracoa which was founded by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar in 1511.

Cuba is a primarily Catholic country. Another large religion in Cuba is Santería. Santería is a blend of Catholicism and traditional Yoruba religions. When African slaves first arrived in Cuba during the 16th century, they were taught a few simple prayers and were baptized by the Spanish.

 Brief Country History

The first European to reach Cuba was Christopher Columbus in 1492. At that time the indigenous people lived by farming. They grew cassava, maize, and yams. They also smoked tobacco. In 1511 Diego Velasquez conquered the island of Cuba and he founded several settlements including Havana. The natives devastated by European diseases, to which they had no resistance. From 1526 the Spanish imported African slaves into Cuba.

By the late 18th century Cuba was prospering by growing and exporting sugar. The plantations were worked by huge numbers of slaves. However, in the 19th century, there was an increasing movement for independence.

The struggle for Cuban independence began in 1868 when a landowner named Carlos Manuel de Cespedes freed his slaves. So began the Ten Years War. It ended in failure in 1878. Then in 1886 slavery in Cuba was abolished.

The Second War of Independence began in 1895. In 1898 the USA went to war with Spain. US forces invaded Cuba and Spain surrendered shortly afterward. The peace treaty made Spain relinquish all claims to Cuba. However, after the war, Cuba was occupied by US forces for nearly 4 years. They left in 1902 and Cuba became nominally independent but in reality, it was dominated by the USA.

In the early 20th century most people in Cuba remained very poor despite efforts to modernize the country. In 1924 Gerardo Machado was elected president of Cuba. The constitution barred him from more than one term but when his term ended in 1928 Machado held onto power. However, Machado was overthrown in 1933. After a period of unrest, Cuba gained a new and democratic constitution and elections were held.

In 1952 Fulgencio Batista staged a coup in Cuba and became its dictator. At that time compared to other Latin American countries Cuba was prosperous and its people had a relatively high standard of living. Literacy rates were high and health care was relatively good. Education in Cuba was of a high standard. Cuba was known for its writers.

Today Cuba is still a dictatorship. However, the end of an era came in 2014 when the USA and Cuba normalized relations. Today the population of Cuba is 11 million.

 Language (s) Written & Spoken

The official language spoken in Cuba is Spanish and it is the first language of about 90 percent of the entire population. Other languages spoken in the country include Haitian Creole, Lucimi, Galician, and Corsican. In Cuba the spoken language is Spanish and the written language is Spanish.

Important Types of Commerce in Cuba

In 2016 Cuba exported goods worth US$1.5 billion, a -19.8 drop compared to 2015 a -37% drop compared to 2009. The ten largest exports from Cuba account for about three-quarters of the total exports. The Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook totals the country’s GDP at to $128.5 billion in 2016 based on the purchasing power parity. With the country’s population of 11.5 million people, each resident is estimated to export about $130 annually. The country is known to produce some of the world’s best cigars, but sugar is its primary export. Raw sugar, rolled tobacco, refined petroleum, hard liquor, and nickel mattes are the country’s top exports while poultry products, wheat, refined petroleum, concentrated milk, and corn are the major imports.

The main sectors of the Cuban economy include energy production, agriculture, industry, service, and foreign investment, and trade. The country’s banking sector is not well developed, and millions of people cannot access credit facilities.

  • Energy Production
  • Agriculture
  • The industry like Sugar processing, oil refinery, and pharmaceuticals
  • Tourism

 Language Services US and others will provide working with Cuba

Cuba was under Spanish domination for four centuries thereby Spanish is the official language of the city. Therefore, if you want to try to converse with them in their own language, be sure to remember to take the help of a professional language service provider. Visiting Cuba for a long stay or for the business, accurate translation of documents will help put you in good stead. While the spoken language may be difficult to master, there are experts in the field of translation and interpretation that are ready to be of help when you need to have your documents translated and provide interpretation as and when required.

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