35 Interesting Facts About Cuba

Cuba, officially the Republic Of Cuba, is a country in the Caribbean. One of the world’s greatest public health achievements happened in Cuba in 2015 when it eradicated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

Interesting facts about Cuba’s education, average earnings, banned items and more …

1. The literacy rate in Cuba is 99.8%, which is one of the highest in the world.

2. There are now just two countries in the world where Coca-Cola cannot be bought or sold – at least not officially. They are Cuba and North Korea, which are both under long-term US trade embargoes (Cuba since 1962 and North Korea since 1950).

3. Cubans were not allowed to own cell phones until 2008, when the ban was lifted by President Raul Castro’s government.

4. If you were employed in Cuba, you would get an average salary of just U.S. 20 dollars per month. Isn’t that strange?

5. When viewed from the air, the island of Cuba resembles a crocodile. Hence, it is also referred in Spanish as “El Crocodilo” or “El Caima.”

6. Cuban cigars are known as the finest cigars in the world. They are hand crafted with homegrown tobacco. Sugar made from sugar cane is their major crop.

7. Nickel constitutes Cuba’s major export item at 21% of total exports. This volume equals 4% of all Nickel produced in the world.

8. Of all the islands in the Caribbean, Cuba is the largest. There are as many as 4000 other islands in the region, which are much smaller than Cuba.

9. Cuba has about 250 museums.

10. January is the coolest month, while August is the warmest.

11. Out of the 38,000 miles of roadways in Cuba, half are unpaved.

12. Voting in Cuba is legally mandatory.

13. The median age in Cuba is 39.9 years.

14. Cuba has the highest doctor-to-patient ratio in the world. Due to this fact, many Cuban doctors are sent to countries where medical aid is required.

15. Internet access is restricted to less than 5% of the population among Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants.

16. No one can legally own a car today in Cuba. Legal ownership of cars was discontinued by the government after 1959. Today, all the cars are owned by the Cuban government.

cars in cuba
Cars bought before 1959 are still in Use

Facts covering Cuba’s history, sports, and world’s only species of animal and birds.

17. Bacardi rum was originally manufactured in Cuba. However, production moved to Puerto Rico after Fidel Castro overtook Cuba.

18. The world’s smallest frog and smallest hummingbird are found in Cuba.

19. It is the 17th-largest island in the world.

20. Until 1997, Cuba did not cite Christmas as its official holiday.

21. Baseball is Cuba’s favorite sport.

22. “The Old Man and the Sea,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were written by the famous writer Ernest Hemingway while he lived in Cuba.

23. Almost 100,000 barrels of oil are received by Cuba from Venezuela every day.

24. Manger – a rare, prehistoric fish – is only found in Cuba.

25. 90% of Cubans have homes under their ownership.

26. Americans visiting the island can bring home a total of $100 worth of cigars and rum.

27. The uniform color of school children depicts their grade level. Every child between the ages of 6 and 15 is required to attend school.

28. Recipes in Cuba are passed down from generation to generation. They typically do not write down their recipes.

29. The number of daily newspapers published in Cuba dropped from 58 in the 1950s to 20 in more recent times.

30. It is a tradition in Cuba to burn dolls at New Year’s Eve to symbolize the forgetting of bad times and look forward to a fresh start with the New Year.

31. Cuba, which was discovered by explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, was controlled by Spain until 1898.

32. In 1902, Cuba gained complete independence from the U.S., which held its temporary control from 1898 to 1902.

33. During April-September 1980, approximately 124,000 Cubans migrated to the U.S., as they were freely allowed to do so by Fidel Castro.

34. Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in January, 1998.

35. On August 14, 2015 The U.S. Embassy reopened in Havana.

Cuba map
Interesting facts about Cuba: Cuba Map

Fast facts about Cuba

National Anthem"La Bayamesa" (The Bayamo Song)
National Anthem tune
National symbol(s)royal palm; national colors: red, white, blue
Capital CityHavana (23°8′N 82°23′W)
Largest CityHavana (23°8′N 82°23′W)
Independence day20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902); not acknowledged by the Cuban Government as a day of independence
Government typecommunist state
Total area110,860 sq km
Population11,014,425 (2016)
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersJamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, and Florida Keys.
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Life Expectancy78.55 years (2016)
Time ZoneCST (UTC−5)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$10,200 (2010 est.)
Calling Code+53
Terrainmostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Natural resourcescobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Agricultural land60.3%
Birth rate9.9 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate7.72 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Industriespetroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Exports$4.41 billion (2015 est.)
petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Imports$15.24 billion (2015 est.)
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Internet country code.cu
Internet users3.432 million
percent of population: 31.1%
Drives on theRight

Facts about some neighboring countries including Haiti, The Bahamas and Honduras.