Visit
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Cuban Convertible Peso

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Raúl Castro-Cuban President


Republic of CubaRepública de Cuba
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Cuban Flag

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Cuban Coat of Arms
Capital: Havana
Largest City: Havana



Official Language: Spanish
Ethnicities: 65.05% White (Spanish), 10.08% African,
23.84% Mulatto and Mestizo

Currencies: Cuban Peso and Cuban Convertible Peso(Equivalent
to US Dollar, has limited use)

Government: Unitary Republic Communist State
President: Raúl Castro
Vice President: J.R.M. Ventura
PCC First Secretary: Fidel Castro




Brief History


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Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by natives known as the Taíno, Guanajatabey, and Ciboney. The ancestors of these tribes migrated to Cuba from the mainland of North, Central, and South America. To the native Taínos the island was called Caobana. The Ciboney were farmers, fishers, and hunter-gatherers. The Taínos were a farming tribe. Christopher Columbus landed on the north-eastern coast of Cuba, near what is know known as Baracoa on October 27 or 28 of 1492. He claimed the land in the name of Spain and named it Isla Juana, after the prince of Asturias, Juan. The first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa in 1511. The land was under Spanish rule for almost 400 years (1511-1898) after the settlement at Baracoa was founded. The Spanish enslaved almost 100,000 natives, converting them to Christians. They were mainly used to search for gold. Within nearly a century the indigenous people were nearly wiped out by diseases brought by the white man. The economy of Cuba from 1511-1898 was based on plantation agriculture, mining, and the export of tobacco, sugar, and coffee to Europe, and later on North America. In 1817 the population was 630,980 people. Which was made up of 291,021 white people, 115, 691 free blacks, and 224, 268 black slaves. In the 1820s all of the other Latin and South American areas part of Spain's Empire were revolting, yet Cuba stayed loyal. They were given the motto La Siempre Fidelísima Isla, meaning "The Always Most Faithful Island".


Geography
loc_cuba.gif Cuba is located in the Caribbean, south of The Bahamas and Florida. It is east of The Dominican Republic/Haiti and North of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Cuba has a total of 109,886 square miles of land. It is slightly smaller than the size of the state of Pennsylvania. The coastline of Cuba is 3,735 km. It has a tropical climate with mild trade winds, the dry season is from November to April and the rainy season is from May to October. The land is mainly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast. The east is subject to hurricanes from August to November, Cuba usually has one every other year. Droughts are very common. Some environmental issues in Cuba are polluted air and water, and deforestation. The highest point is Pico Turquino at 6,480 ft.


Religion
The main religion is Christianity, but only about forty-four percent of the people adhere to it. About 25 percent of the people follow various occultic religions, and significant amount of the people do not practice a religion.


Population
Cuba is home to an estimated 11,204,180 people. The density is an estimated 102 persons per squared km. The age structure is a projected 19.6% for 0-14 year olds, having 60,232 more males. 70.1% of the population is 15-64 year olds with 1,292 more males. 10.4% of the population is over the age of 65, with 93,246 less males. The population growth rate is o.33%.

Famous Cubans
Desi Arnaz:
Arnaz was born in Santiago. He moved to the United States to be a part of the big band movement. He became big in film when he married Lucille Ball. Soon after, the couple became stars in the show "I Love Lucy".
Andy Garcia:

Andy Garcia is one of the most well-known Cuban stars. He was born in Havana, with the name Andres Arturo Garcia Mendez. He moved to the US at a young age and eventually became a well established actor. Some films he starred in include "The Godfather Part III", "When a Man Loves a Woman", and "Lost City".


Economy
The Cuban currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), which is rarely used due to the fact that it is the equivalent of a US dollar. The exchange rate is one US Dollar to 26.5 Cuban Pesos. The Cuban GDP is 67.67 billion US Dollars, according to a 2009 estimate. The GDP Per Capita is 5,984 US Dollars.
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Three Pesos
The Sugar Cane, Tobacco, Oil, and Nickel are the largest industries in Cuba. The average per capita income is $9,700.




Plants, Animals & Resources
There are over 3,000 species of animals in Cuba. Many of these species can only be found in Cuba and are endangered because of the loss of habitat. Mammals of Cuba include The Cuban Hutia, The Cuban Solenodon, The Indian Mongoose, The Greater Bulldog Bat, and Pallid Bat. Reptiles include The Cuban Crocodile, The Cuban Boa, The Cuban Tree Frog, and The Monte Iberia Dwarf Elueth. Birds include The Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Trogon,
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Cuban Trogon

Cuban Finch and the Bee Hummingbird. The National Animal of Cuba is The Tocororo Bird. Palm trees are grown and used in Cuba for thatched roofs and houses. Mango trees, Coffee trees, rice, and citrus trees all grow very well in Cuba. Sugar Cane and Tobacco are the most grown thing in Cuba because they fuel it's economy. Mineral resources include Iron, Nickel, Cobalt, Chromite, Gold, Manganese, and Oil. 301,000 barrels of oil are produced in Cuba every day. Cuba has the worlds second largest reserves of Nickel. Cuba is the fifth largest producer of Cobalt, a byproduct of Nickel. The Animal resources include, cow, chicken, fish, and pigs. 108,846 metric tons of fish are caught each year in Cuba.



Two Day Itinerary
Day One: Arrive in Havana around noon and explore the city, visiting old churches and buildings made as the 1500s, and stop wherever you like to have lunch. After a few hours of exploring you will take a boat ride to Morro Castle. It was built in 1589 by the Spanish to stop British ships from entering the harbor. After a few hours, you return to Havana to enjoy the night life.

Day Two: You either have the choice to visit a Cigar factory for a while before you leave, or spend half the day at Pilar Beach. There you can go snorkeling enjoying the beautiful fish and coral, but watch out for jellyfish! You can also relax on the beach or rent scooters and drive down the beautiful coastline.



Food
The food in Cuba is very tasty, and mainly consists of lots of Pork, Rice, and Spices.
Ropa Vieja:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oilAbuelitas-Ropa-Vieja-l.gif
  • 2 pounds beef flank steak
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar




References
Cuban Flag: http://www.flags.net/images/largeflags/CUBA0001.GIF
Cuban Coat of Arms: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Coat_of_Arms_of_Cuba.svg

Cuban Trogon: http://www.culturequest.us/cuba/animallife_files/Cubantrogon.jpg

Raúl Fidel: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Ra%C3%BAl_Castro_-_2008(edit).jpg

Cuban Pesos: http://www.cubatourism.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/cuban-peso-cup.jpg

Cuban Convertible Peso: http://flagpedia.net/data/currency/cuc/tres-pesos-convertibles.jpg

Havana Church: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/cuba/images/havana/cathedral/facade-cc-nicodeemus1.jpg

Map of Cuba: http://www.islandbrides.com/maps/loc_cuba.gif

Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/e/e0/20100721203129!DiegoVelazquezCuellar.jpg

Ropa Vieja: http://img4.myrecipes.com/i/recipes/ragu/Abuelitas-Ropa-Vieja-l.gif

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:CUB&dl=en&hl=en&q=cuban+population

http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blccuba.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba

http://dev.prenhall.com/divisions/hss/worldreference/CU/resources.html

http://www.havana-guide.com/cuban-animals.html

http://www.culturequest.us/cuba/animallife.htm

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5270316_plants-animals-cuba.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_national_animal_of_Cuba

http://dev.prenhall.com/divisions/hss/worldreference/CU/resources.html

http://usd.kurs24.com/cup/?q=1

http://www.havana-guide.com/famous-cuban-americans.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_religions_are_practiced_in_Cuba

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147270-d644011/Cuba:Caribbean:Pilar.Beach.Playa.Pilar..html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morro_Castle_(fortress)