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
Population11,179,995 (July 2016 est.)
National Anthem"La Bayamesa" (The Bayamo Song)
National symbolroyal palm
National colorsred, white, blue
PresidentRaúl Castro
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersJamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, and Florida Keys.
Religionnominally Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jewish, Santeria
Life Expectancy78.7 years (2016)
Suffrage16 years of age; universal
Time ZoneCST (UTC−5)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,900 (2016 est.)
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 rate10.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Industriespetroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Exports$3.428 billion (2016 est.)
petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Imports$12.34 billion (2016 est.)
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Internet country code.cu
Calling Code+53
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedJune 28, 2017

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