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Cuba

Everything you need to know about Cuba: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Cuba: Largest Caribbean Country Synonymous with Fidel Castro

Cuba is not just known for its Cuban cigars but also pristine white beaches and numerous bays and port cities. Cuba is a unique cultural gyroscope with Spanish, aboriginal and African influences. The country was under Spanish rule for a very long time from 15th to the 19th century who carried on sugar, coffee and tobacco plantations extensively and introduced African slaves for this purpose. Following its independence from Spain, Cuba was subjected to tortuous rule of its US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista who was finally overthrown by Fidel Castro in 1959 in the famous ‘Bay of Pigs’ uprising. Since then Cuba has had to face constant US hostilities that also has an infamous offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Cuba has remained synonymous with the name of Fidel Castro for many years but now the baton has passed to Raul Castro, his younger brother.

Cuba Facts:

    · National Name: República de Cuba
    · Capital: Havana
    · Total area: 110,860 sq km
    · Population: 11,423,952 (2008 est.)
    · Currency: Cuban Peso
    · Languages: Spanish
    · Ethnicity/ Races: mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%
    · Religion: predominantly Roman Catholic and Santería (Afro-Cuban syncretic religion)
    · GDP (Per Capita): $ 11,000 (2007 est.)
    · Life Expectancy: Male: 76 Yrs, Female: 80 Yrs
    · Literacy: 97% (2003 est.)

Cuba Geography and Climate:
Cuba is the largest and the most westerly of the Greater Antilles Islands located near south Florida with capital Havana. Tobacco production is found south of the Sierra de los Organos. The Sierra Maestra Mountains encircle the city of Santiago de Cuba, it was in these Sierra mountains that Fidel Castro hatched a plan to overthrow the Batista regime. Cuba has fine tropical plantations of Pine and Mahogany.

Located in the tropics Cubans enjoy a subtropical climate with summer temperatures of 25 degrees and 22 degrees in winter. Being situated near the Bay of Mexico has its downsides as Cuba is subject to frequent hurricanes and tropical storms.

Cuba Economy and Culture:
Cuba is well endowed with mineral resources and has the world’s second largest nickel deposits after Russia. Cubans are also renowned for producing fine Cuban cigars that are exported to all parts of the world. Cuba has a controlled economy in which public sector employment far outstrips the private one. In order to shore up its economy Cuban government is taking efforts to enhance medical tourism apart from regular tourism. Some oil has also been discovered in the North Cuba basin that has the potential of approximately 4.6 billion barrels.

Cuban culture features Spanish and African elements apart from aboriginal ones that is reflected in all their life aspects. Cubans love their sport especially Baseball followed closely by Volleyball and Boxing. The rich Cuban music has Son as the main style basis of other styles like salsa, rumbo and mambo. In fact, Havana is the Rap capital and also features the Reggae style prominently. Cuban cuisine is a rich fusion of Spanish and Caribbean cuisines and the typical Cuban meal consists of plantains, black beans, rice, Cuban bread, pork with onions and tropical fruits.

Cuban Tourist Attractions:
Cuba has a vibrant tourism scene with Havana and Satiago de Cuba leading the way. Havana or Habana boasts of an old town that also features on the World Heritage Site list and Malecon sea wall is the popular meeting point for young Cubans. La Bodeguita del Medio bar in Havana is closely associated with the famous write Ernest Hemingway who used it as his favourite joint. Camagüey in Santiago de Cuba features number of old churches and museums and also white pristine beaches the most famous of which is the Cayo Coco beach.

Other major Cuban Places to visit include:

    · Camaguey
    · Cayo Santa Maria
    · Cienfuegos
    · Havana
    · Holguin
    · Isla de la Juventud
    · Jardines de la Reina
    · Parque Nacional Vinales
    · Peninsula de Zapata
    · Santiago de Cuba
    · Trinidad
    · Varadero

Cuban lab makes medicine from banana peel

April 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Hanoi, April 28 (IANS) Scientists from a pharmaceutical laboratory in Cuba have demonstrated a new and "highly-effective" medical product made from banana peel, Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Almost half of Cuba's foreign visitors are Canadians

April 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Havana, April 28 (IANS/EFE) Just over 48 percent of foreign tourists who visited Cuba in the first quarter of 2012 came from Canada, according to figures released Friday by the National Statistics Office, or ONE.

Cuba reforms spur 11,000 real estate, auto deals

April 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Havana, April 27 (IANS/EFE) Cuba registered in the first quarter of this year 8,390 private sales of automobiles and 2,730 private real estate transactions, according to official figures published Thursday by daily Granma.

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Over 1,000 foreign workers to join Cuba's May Day Rally

April 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Havana, Apr 25 (Xinhua-ANI): More than 1,000 representatives from 162 unions and social movements from 62 countries and regions will join here the May Day celebrations, the official daily Granma reported Tuesday.

Top diplomats' meet on Apr 27 to review 'obstacles' to Afghan peace

April 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Islamabad, Apr 25 (ANI): Top diplomats from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the U.S. will meet in Islamabad on April 27 to discuss "obstacles" to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, announced Omar Daudzai, the country's ambassador in Pakistan.

Chavez says he forgives those who desired his death

April 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Caracas, April 25 (IANS/EFE) President Hugo Chavez said in a videotape broadcast Tuesday that he has forgiven all those who have desired his death.

'Cancer-hit' Chavez dismisses 'deteriorating health' rumours

April 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Caracas, Apr 24 (ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has dismissed rumours that his health took a turn for the worse, and added that he is planning to return home by Thursday after his latest round of cancer treatment in Cuba.

Chavez to return to Venezuela this week

April 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Caracas, April 24 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spoke Monday on state television for the first time since he went to Cuba for cancer treatment nine days ago and said he will be back in Caracas later this week.

Andy Garcia speaks about freedom in new film

April 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Andy Garcia a Cuba-born actor has said that his new film, "For Greater Glory", talks about the people who are ready to die for freedom if they think the freedom is taken from them. He further said that freedom is human beings' most valuable asset.

New `Che' comic inspired by his most famous portrait

April 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Madrid, April 18 (IANS/EFE) The most famous photo ever taken of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was shot by Alberto Korda in 1960, an image so endlessly reproduced it became not only a political icon but a marketing and advertising asset. That photo is the point of departure for the new graphic novel about the "Comandante" now being published in Spanish.

DiCaprio in 'Live By Night'

April 17, 2012 at 6:47 AM

London, April 17 (IANS) Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in and produce movie "Live By Night" based on Dennis Lehane's new novel of the same name.

Pope turns 85

April 16, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Vatican City, April 16 (IANS/AKI) Pope Benedict XVI marked his 85th birthday Monday.

Princess Diana's niece 'invites friend to drink out of her bra'

April 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

London, Apr 16 (ANI): Princess Diana's niece, Celia McCorquodale, has posted a wide range of pictures on Facebook including a snap in which a man can be seen drinking a cocktail from her cleavage.

Cuba upgrades power plant with Chinese technology

April 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Havana, April 16 (IANS) Cuba was renovating its oldest hydroelectric plant with Chinese parts and technology, media reports said.

Chavez in Cuba for another round of cancer treatment

April 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Havana, April 16 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Cuba again for more radiation therapy after he was operated on in February for a new cancerous tumour.

Chavez not to attend Americas summit

April 15, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Bogota, April 15 (IANS) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is battling cancer, will not attend the Sixth Summit of the Americas as advised by his doctors, said the country's foreign minister Saturday.

Mexican firm eyeing Cuba offshore oil projects

April 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Havana, April 13 (IANS/EFE) Mexican President Felipe Calderon said his country's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, is considering participating and investing in crude and natural gas exploration and production projects in Cuban territorial waters.

9/11 suspects to be arraigned May 5: Pentagon

April 10, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Washington, April 10 (IANS) Five suspects in the 9/11 terror attack will be arraigned in court May 5, the US Defense Department said Tuesday.

China, Cuba sign agreements to enhance economic ties

April 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Havana, April 10 (IANS) Entrepreneurs from Cuba and China's Shandong province have signed cooperation agreements in the fields of biotechnology and information.

Castro pokes fun at Obama's summit outfit

April 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Havana, April 10 (IANS/EFE) Fidel Castro poked fun at US President Barack Obama's plans to sport a guayabera - a tropical shirt that is Cuba's official garment - during this week's Summit of the Americas in Colombia where the Communist-ruled island will not be represented.

Chavez returns to Cuba for cancer treatment

April 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Havana, April 9 (IANS/EFE) Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, back to Havana, where he will undergo another round of cancer treatment, state media reported Sunday.

Cuba receives a million visitors

April 6, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Havana, April 6 (IANS) The number of visitors to Cuba this year reached one million Thursday.

US charges five 9/11 terror suspects

April 4, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Washington, April 4 (IANS) The US Wednesday announced charges against alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others in the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

US to release five Taliban from Guantanamo?

April 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Moscow, April 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US was ready to release five Taliban leaders from the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay under certain conditions, an Afghan official has said.

New Ernest Hemingway letters show distress over cat's death

March 31, 2012 at 5:28 PM

London, Mar 31 (ANI): A set of newly released letters of Ernest Hemingway have revealed how upset the writer was over the death of his cat.

Cuba, WHO to cooperate on generic drugs

March 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Havana, March 31 (IANS) Cuba and the World Health Organization have signed an agreement for technology transfer and production of generic drugs.

WHO praises Cuba's health care system

March 28, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Havana, March 28 (IANS) Cuba's health care system has a lot to teach the world, the deputy head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Indian boxer Shiva wins silver in Czech Grand Prix

March 25, 2012 at 7:28 PM

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Boxer Shiva Thapa was Sunday out-pointed in the final of his 56kg bout as India finished the 43rd Boxing Grand Prix at Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, with a silver and bronze.

Cancer hit Venezuelan President Chavez flying to Cuba for radiation therapy

March 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Caracas (Venezuela), Mar 24 (ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he is flying to Cuba to begin radiation therapy on Sunday, a month after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Cancer-hit-Venezuelan President Chavez flying to Cuba for radiation therapy

March 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Caracas (Venezuela), Mar 24 (ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he is flying to Cuba to begin radiation therapy on Sunday, a month after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Shiva Thapa enters final at Czech boxing meet

March 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Shiva Thapa advanced into the final of the 56 kg category at the Boxing Grand Prix in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic while Vikas Krishan lost his semifinal bout in the 69 kg to settle for a bronze.

Cuba develops mathematical models to combat dengue

March 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM

In a bid to control the epidemic of dengue, Cuba has developed mathematical models to combat dengue, a media report said on Friday.

Cuba develops mathematical models to fight dengue

March 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Havana, March 24 (IANS) Cuba has developed mathematical models to help fight dengue, a media report said Friday.

New book reveals Thatcher and Reagan fought like cat and dog

March 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM

London, Mar.17 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former U.S. president Ronald Reagan were an odd couple, as different in personality as chalk and cheese.

New book reveals Thatcher and Reagan fought like cat and dog

March 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

London, Mar.17 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former U.S. president Ronald Reagan were an odd couple, as different in personality as chalk and cheese.

Venezuelan President Chavez reveals recently removed tumor was cancerous

March 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Caracas, Mar 5(ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has revealed that a new tumor that was recently removed from his pelvic region was cancerous like the baseball-sized growth extracted from his body about seven months ago.

Venezuelan President Chavez reveals recently removed tumor was cancerous

March 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Caracas, Mar 5(ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has revealed that a new tumor that was recently removed from his pelvic region was cancerous like the baseball-sized growth extracted from his body about seven months ago.

Cuba releases photographs showing Venezuelan President Chavez recuperating from cancer

March 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Caracas, Mar 3(ANI): Cuba has released photographs showing Venezuelan President ugo Chavez smiling and chatting with former leader Fidel Castro after undergoing surgery for malignant tumour.

Cuba releases photographs showing Venezuelan President Chavez recuperating from cancer

March 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Caracas, Mar 3(ANI): Cuba has released photographs showing Venezuelan President ugo Chavez smiling and chatting with former leader Fidel Castro after undergoing surgery for malignant tumour.

Most elderly Indians 'die from stroke'

February 29, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Washington, Feb 29 (ANI): Chronic diseases are becoming the main source of death in people over 65 in low- and middle-income nations, with stroke being the leading cause, a new study has revealed.

Most elderly Indians 'die from stroke'

February 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Washington, Feb 29 (ANI): Chronic diseases are becoming the main source of death in people over 65 in low- and middle-income nations, with stroke being the leading cause, a new study has revealed.

Sallu fasts on Shiv Ratri

February 21, 2012 at 9:57 PM

New Delhi, Feb 21 (ANI): Salman Khan, who is back from shooting for 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, was fasting for the day on Shiv Ratri.

Sallu fasts on Shiv Ratri

February 21, 2012 at 10:36 AM

New Delhi, Feb 21 (ANI): Salman Khan, who is back from shooting for 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, was fasting for the day on Shiv Ratri.

Gooding Jr's dad asked Cruise 'are you gay?' during 'Jerry McGuire' shoot

February 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

London, Feb 17 (ANI): Cuba Gooding Jr banned his father from a film set for asking Tom Cruise if he was "gay".

Sallu gifts 'honeymoon package' to newlywed Riteish and Genelia

February 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM

New Delhi, Feb 15 (ANI): Salman Khan, who could not attend the wedding of Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza last week as he is busy shooting for his upcoming flick 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, surely knows how to make up for his absence.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley named top style icon for 2012

February 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

London, Feb 14 (ANI): Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been voted as the top style icon for this year at the Elle Style Awards.

JFK ordered 1,200 Cuban cigars hours before authorising them as illegal

February 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM

London, Feb 9(ANI): John F Kennedy ordered an aide to buy him as many Cuban cigars as possible just hours before he authorised the U.S. trade embargo, which subsequently made them illegal, it has been revealed.

JFK ordered 1,200 Cuban cigars hours before authorising them as illegal

February 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

London, Feb 9(ANI): John F Kennedy ordered an aide to buy him as many Cuban cigars as possible just hours before he authorised the U.S. trade embargo, which subsequently made them illegal, it has been revealed.

Prakash Karat slams neo-liberal policy of Congress

February 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 8 (ANI): Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat has slammed the neo-liberal economic policies of the Congress party and said that only Left parties alone can protect the general public's interests.

Salman to fly to US for health check-up

February 6, 2012 at 7:06 PM

New Delhi, Feb 6 (ANI): Salman Khan, who is currently shooting with Katrina Kaif for 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, is reportedly planning to go straight to the US from there for a medical check-up.

Salman to visit US for health check-up

February 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

New Delhi, Feb 6: Salman Khan, who is busy shooting with Katrina Kaif for 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, is making plans to go straight to the US from Cuba for a medical check-up.

Salman to fly to US for health check-up

February 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

New Delhi, Feb 6 (ANI): Salman Khan, who is currently shooting with Katrina Kaif for 'Ek Tha Tiger' in Cuba, is reportedly planning to go straight to the US from there for a medical check-up.

Tibetan shooting came on heels of criticism of China's rights record by Human Rights Watch

January 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Los Angeles, Jan.25 (ANI): The shooting of Tibetan protesters by Chinese security personnel came on the heels of the annual Human Rights Watch report, which criticized Beijing for repression in ethnic minority areas such as Tibet.

George Lucas retiring over non-funding of black action flick

January 19, 2012 at 9:15 PM

London, Jan 19 (ANI): George Lucas has revealed that he is retiring from making blockbuster movies as Hollywood refused to fund his latest movie because it has a black cast.

George Lucas retiring over non-funding of black action flick

January 19, 2012 at 3:59 PM

London, Jan 19 (ANI): George Lucas has revealed that he is retiring from making blockbuster movies as Hollywood refused to fund his latest movie because it has a black cast.

Doctors say cancer-stricken Chavez has 'less than one year to live'

January 17, 2012 at 9:05 PM

London, Jan 17 (ANI): Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, who suffered from cancer, has been told by doctors that he has less than a year to live.

Doctors say cancer-stricken Chavez has 'less than one year to live'

January 17, 2012 at 11:48 AM

London, Jan 17 (ANI): Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, who suffered from cancer, has been told by doctors that he has less than a year to live.

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