57 Interesting Facts About Cuba

Last updated on March 15th, 2020

36. Cuba is one of the first countries to ban the sale of incandescent lighting.

37. The Cauto River is the longest river in Cuba. It flows for 230 miles.[12]

38. Cuba is the most populous nation in the Caribbean. Other Caribbean countries include the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada, Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and Mexico to name a few.

39. The first Spanish settlement on Cuba was Baracoa which was founded by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar in 1511.[27]

40. Since Cuba was a Spanish territory between 1492 and 1898, during the Spanish- American War, the United States assisted Cuba in gaining independence from Spain. Between 1898 and 1902, Cuba was under the temporary control of the United States. Cuba gained independence from the U.S. in 1902.[13]

41. Cuba was the Spanish empire’s most-important source of raw sugar in the 18th century.[28]

Facts about Fidel Castro, tourism, and economy of Cuba

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, arriving at MATS Terminal, Washington D.C. (1959). Image via Wikipedia.org

42. On October 16, 1953, the dictator (Fidel Castro) of Cuba was sentenced to prison for a term of 15 years.[13]

43. Fidel Castro smoked Cohiba cigars. The CIA even allegedly tried to assassinate Castro once by sending him a box of poisoned cigars.[32]

44. On February 19, 2008, Fidel Castro resigns as the president and on February 24, 2008, his brother Raul Castro is chosen by the country’s National Assembly as the nation’s new president. Fidel Castro died in November 2016.[13]

45. State-run enterprises dominate the economy of Cuba. Most of the labor force is owned by the state as the majority of the industries are owned and operated by the government. Healthcare, food and education are subsidized by the government for the Cubans.[16]

46. On April 18, 2018, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez became the president of Cuba with the stepping down of the former president Raul Castro.[17]

47. In 2017, an estimated 4.7 million tourists rolled into Cuba. President Barack Obama authorized individual people to people travel, which resulted in an influx of U.S travelers to the island nation. However, after the announcement of new regulations in June 2017 by the Trump administration, there was a noticeable drop-off in U.S. travelers to Cuba. He restricted the ability of Americans to travel to Cuba as tourists. Tourism is one of the main sources of revenue for the island.[18]

48. Gay marriages in Cuba are set to become legal after the National assembly signs off on a document which describes marriage as “consensual union of two people, regardless of gender.”[19]

49. Cuba has nine properties inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Seven of these are cultural while two are natural.[20]

50. In 1886, Slavery was abolished in Cuba.[21]

51. Did you know that Cubans take home net $20 per month despite the fact that the gross national income per capita of Cuba is $5,539?[22]

52. According to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI), Cuba is the 138th largest export economy in the world and the 75th most complex economy. China, Spain, Germany, and Indonesia are some of the top export destinations of Cuba; while Brazil, Algeria, China, Spain, and Mexico are some of the top import origins for Cuba.[29]

53. Between 1959 and 2011, sale of property in Cuba was banned. However, Cuba is set to recognize private property under a new constitution which is yet to take effect.[23]

54. Did you know that the Castro brothers, first Fidel and them Raul, ruled the country between 1959 and 2018?[23]

55. The U.S. embassy in Havana which recently reopened sits empty to this day because of the recent incidents with the U.S. diplomats who reported an unexplained medical condition that left some with hearing loss or mild brain damage. Interestingly, no cause for the ailments has been found in more than a year of investigation by the FBI and other U.S. and Cuban authorities. Reports suggest that at least 2 dozen employees were withdrawn from the embassy last year. Some sources have referred to these occurrences as “sonic attacks.” Similar incidences of these attacks were reported by the U.S. diplomats in China as well.[24,26]

People are gathering in the public park to surf the wi-fi internet.

56. The first-ever public Wi-Fi hotspots were opened in Cuba in 2015. However, some usage fee for accessing the internet was also levied from the users.[25]

57. It is almost impossible to eat beef in Cuba. Beef is sold at high prices and is generally available in limited number of restaurants.[33]

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
Population11,059,062 (July 2020 est.)
Population growth rate-0.25% (2020 est.)
National Anthem"La Bayamesa" (The Bayamo Song)
National symbolroyal palm
National colorsred, white, blue
PresidentMiguel Díaz-Canel
Prime MinisterManuel Marrero Cruz
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersJamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, and Florida Keys.
Religionnominally Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jewish, Santeria
Life Expectancy79.2 years
Suffrage16 years of age; universal
Terrainmostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Mean elevation108 m
Lowest pointCaribbean Sea 0 m
Highest pointPico Turquino 1,974 m
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 rate10.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio0.989 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Industriespetroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Exports$2.63 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Imports$11.06 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
GDP - per capita (PPP)$12,300 (2016 est.)
Internet country code.cu
Time ZoneCST (UTC−5)
Calling Code+53
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 23, 2020