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CUBA . Geography History Climate Flora and Fauna Government Economy Population Education Society Arts. Geography. Long skinny island, size of Louisiana 1250 km East to West 31-191 km North to South Forested mountains (25%) Highest peak, Pico Turquino (1972 m)

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CUBA

  • Geography

  • History

  • Climate

  • Flora and Fauna

  • Government

  • Economy

  • Population

  • Education

  • Society

  • Arts


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Geography

  • Long skinny island, size of Louisiana

  • 1250 km East to West

  • 31-191 km North to South

  • Forested mountains (25%)

  • Highest peak, Pico Turquino (1972 m)

  • Biggest river, Rio Cauto

  • Separate Island – Isla de Pino in my time now Isla de la Juventud

  • http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mapshells/caribbean/cuba/cuba.htm


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History - 1

  • Native Americans since at least 2000 BC

  • Guanahatabey in the West

  • Siboney in the rest of the country

  • 100,000 Taino Indians in Cuba when Columbus arrived in 1492

  • Columbus named the country 'Juana'

  • Columbus thought he had arrived in Asia

  • Columbus did not realized that Cuba was an island

  • Sebastian de Ocampo determined that Cuba was an island in 1508


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History - 2

  • Spaniards ignored Cuba because it did not have any gold.

  • Spaniards settled in the Dominican Republic

  • A Spaniards based in Hispanola, Diego the Velazquez led troops over to Cuba to establish Baracoa, Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camaguey, Santo Espirito, Trinidad and Habana in 1512

  • Spaniards killed thousands of Indians

  • Spaniards also brought diseases like small pox that the Indians had no resistance to.

  • Indian population declined to 5000 by 1550


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History-3

  • Indian labor was replaced by African slave labor for sugar cane development

  • Economy mostly cattle ranching, leather until tobacco development in 1580.

  • Spaniards established a monopoly on the buy and sell of tobacco

  • Ships full of goods would leave for Spain every summer. Pirates noted and attacked these ships in Habana and Santiago de Cuba

  • Led to the fortification of those harbors. Each got a fortified castle (Morro) at the entrance


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History-4

  • Other European countries noticed all the trade in the Caribbean, British secure Jamaica in 1655, Haiti became French property in 1697

  • Britain occupied Habana in 1762.

  • In 1763 Cuba was returned to Spain in trade for Florida, Spain also got Louisiana

  • Cuba was the major supplier of sugar to the US after 1783. By 1820, Cuba was the largest provider of sugar in the world


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History 5

  • By 1825 most South American countries had become independent, but the US preferred that Cuba remain under Spanish control

  • In 1848, the US tried to buy Cuba for $100M

  • In 1854, the bid was $120M

  • By 1862, Britain started to enforce limitation in the trade of African slaves. Cuba turned to Chinese and Mexican Indians to provide the labor for the sugar industry.

  • In 1868, eastern Cuba supported the abolition of slavery, but the west did not. A civil war evolved


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History 6

  • By 1890 Spain modified their practices and slavery faded away in Cuba.

  • In the 1880's the US developed a lot of interest in Cuba, bought bankrupt sugar plantations and many Cuban planters wanted Cuba to be annexed to the US.

  • US President Jefferson supported that

  • Independent thinking started to evolve in Cuba. Jose Marti a poet, playwright, etc that had traveled through Mexico and the US advocated for independence for Cuba


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History - 7

  • Marti recruited General Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo to lead the independence movement. They landed in eastern Cuba and Marti was killed immediately in 1895. Gomez and Maceo proceeded west and conquered most of the country.

  • In 1897, the Spanish Prime Minister that was against independence for Cuba was assassinated in Spain. Spain tried to convince the Cubans to adopt Home Rule under the Spanish flag. This was rejected.


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History - 8

  • The US gets in the act in 1898, sends Maine to guard US interests in Habana. Ship exploded. US offers to buy Cuba for $300M. In April US declared war on Spain over Cuba. Major battle at San Juan Hill, 700 Spaniards versus 6000 US troops led by Teddy Roosevelt.

  • Spaniards tried to leave Santiago. Boat caught on fire. Spain surrenders in July.

  • US did not allow Cubans to attend the surrender ceremonies because they were black.


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History - 9

  • US unable to take over Cuba, because Senator Teller had added a provision to the bill authorizing the war, that Cuba must be governed by self-determination.

  • So Cuba was placed under ‘US military occupation’. Generals Brooke and Wood were the first governors of Cuba. Wood had an assembly draft a constitution in 1900

  • US Senator Platt, attached a rider to the 1901 Army bill giving the US the right to intervene militarily in Cuba any time the US deemed it prudent


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History - 10

  • US secures Guantanamo Bay Base in 1903

  • Cuba obtains independence in 1902

  • Tomas Estrada Palma first president

  • People insurrection in 1906 and the US intervened. US governor until 1909.

  • Agreement to have alternate Presidents from Liberals and Conservatives

  • First Liberal President, Jose Miguel Gomez lasted until 1912 when the US intervened again. And again in 1917

  • Gerardo Machado, Liberal, President during the Depression. Toppled in 1933 by Batista


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History – 11

  • Fulgencio Batista, Army Sergeant to play a significant role for the next 25 years

  • Platt amendment cancelled in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt

  • Batista ruled until 1944. Weak Presidents Grau and Prio succeed him

  • Batista staged a military coup (backed by US) in 1952

  • In 1953, Castro attacked the Moncada Cuartel (Barrack) in Santiago de Cuba.

  • In 1955 and 1958 Batista is ‘re-elected’ in rigged elections


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History – 12

  • In 1956, Castro arrives in Granma boat from Mexico. Moves into the Sierra Maestra mountains

  • In 1958, Castro forces attacked several government outpost and on December 31, 1958 Batista leaves for Dominican Republic

  • Castro’s forces take control on Jan 1, 1959.

  • Socialist Revolution: agrarian reform- ‘give land to those that work the land’, abolish racial discrimination, educational reform- increase literacy rate throughout the country to nearly 100%


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History – 13

  • In 1959, Castro meets with VP Richard Nixon in Washington

  • In 1960, many industries (oil refineries, electrical plants, mining operations, sugar mills, etc) are nationalized; professionals and investors leave Cuba

  • In 1961, Bay of Pigs failed invasion

  • In 1962, Missile crisis, Cuba expelled from OAS, US embargo

  • Late 1960’s, involvement in Africa

  • In the 1970, involvement in Ethiopia


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Climate

  • Temperatures between 22 and 27 C

  • Relative Humidity 75 to 85%

  • Breezes always blowing, sea-to-land or land-to-sea

  • Hurricanes are common


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Flora and Fauna

  • Typical tropical flora and fauna

  • Hot zone (lower elevation) sugar cane, mangoes, avocados, palm trees, lemon, oranges, grapefruit, nisperos, guanabana, etc

  • Temperate zone- coffee, mahogany

  • Swap area- large reptiles


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Government

  • Discussed extensively in the History section

  • Predominantly dictatorships

  • Weak democratic system

  • Strong US influence for better or for worse


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Economy

  • Sugar

  • Cattle

  • Tourism

  • Mining

  • Tobacco

  • Fishing

  • Biotechnology


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Population

  • 11M citizens, 2.1 M in Habana

  • Officially, 66% white, 12% Black and 22% mulato

  • Others observe that about 50% of the population is of mixed race

  • Small group of chinese


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Education

  • 94.5% Literacy rate

  • Education to 9th grade is compulsory

  • Education at all levels is free

  • 47 institutions of higher learning, several of them offer doctorates


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Society and Religion

  • Prior to the Castro Revolution, there were at least five classes: The Very well off that hardly ever worked, Well off and Middle class that worked quite hard to maintain their position, the common labor that would extra ordinary hours and the beggars.

  • After the revolution, the Very well off were the executives in the government; the Well off, Middle class and labor merged.

  • Before the Revolution 85% of the population were nominal Catholics, 10% of which attended church, currently 5%attend church. Workers more likely to be Protestants or Baptists


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Arts

  • Many accomplished Cuban musicians perform throughout the world

  • Cubans tend to be excellent dancers

  • Several accomplished writers. Jose Marti the most famous poet. Several novel writers.

  • Some films have been produced in Cuba but usually under a foreign director


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Sources of Information

  • Cuba, a Lonely Planet travel survival kit, David Stanley, 1st ed, 1997, Lonely Planet Publications, Australia

  • Insight Guide: Cuba, Danny Aeberhard, Editor, APA Publications GmbH & Co, Verlag KG, Singapore,1999


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