35 Interesting Facts About Cuba

Last updated on November 14th, 2017

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
Cuba Map

Cuba – country at a glance

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
Capital CityHavana (23°8′N 82°23′W)
Largest CityHavana (23°8′N 82°23′W)
Government typecommunist state
Literacy rate99.8%
Total area110,860 sq km
Population11,147,407 (July 2017 est.)
National Anthem"La Bayamesa" (The Bayamo Song)
National symbolroyal palm
National colorsred, white, blue
PresidentMiguel Díaz-Canel
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersJamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, and Florida Keys.
Religionnominally Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jewish, Santeria
Life Expectancy78.8 years (2017)
Suffrage16 years of age; universal
Terrainmostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Climatetropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
Natural resourcescobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Agricultural land60.3%
Birth rate10.7 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratio0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
Industriespetroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Exports$2.885 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Imports$10.84 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,900 (2016 est.)
Internet country code.cu
Time ZoneCST (UTC−5)
Calling Code+53
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJuly 11, 2018

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