Cuba: History, geography and culture
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Is Cuba an ancient and magical country in your mind? Do you think it is very attractive country? Most of you must know the cigar from Cuba are the most famous one in the world. But now I am going to tell you that the women volleyball from Cuba is also very powerful. So I will introduce something of Cuba, including the history, the people there , the food and fun facts as well in my project.
Introduction of Cuba
Official Name: Republic of Cuba
Form of Government: Socialized Republic
Official Language: Spanish
The largest island in the Caribbean Sea is Cuba. Cuba and its neighbour countries are the islands which formed by two of Earth's tectonic plates collided million years ago. Cuba is a long and narrow island, and the country stretches 1200 kilometers from east to west, but is only 100 kilometers wide in most places. It lies in the west of the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Gulf of Mexico, south of the Straits of Florida, northwest of the Windward Passage, and northeast of the Yucatan Channel.
High mountains and rolling hills cover about one-third of Cuba. The other two-thirds of the island is lowland plains which is uesed mainly for farming. It has many different habitats, from mountain forests to jungles, and grasslands. There are even small deserts. These different ecosystem are home to unique plants and animals found only in Cuba.
The Ciboney and Guanahatabey people were Cuba's original inhabitants. The Taino people in charged of the island 1000 thousand years ago.
Cuban history began at the moment of Columbus arrival in 1492. Later, he sight Cuba, and gave its a name as Juana. Cuba became the major sugar producer in the world, because of the the collapse of another sugar-producer Haiti.
Till the end of 19th century, Spaniards kept on governing of the island by increasing the despotism and taxation. Creole people began to against with the government. As as a result, the Ten Years' War against Spain(1868-1878) was made but unfortunately, it was failure to win the independence of Cuba. But the continued growth of Cuban nationalism caused the second independence war(1895-1898)) and finally it was suppressed by the Spaniards and the leader José Martí was killed.
Then, the Americans invovled into the conflict in 1898. The United States intervened in Cuba in 1906-1909, 1917, and 1921. U.S. economic lock also impacted the growth of Cuba down and made the island more relied on Spain.
On August 12, 1933, the cruel dictator of Gerardo Machado was forced to resign because of the dropping-down economic of the world depression. U.S. Backed The dictator Fulgencio Batista who was supported by U.S. led Cuba from 1933-1944 and from 1952-1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution.
On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro Ruz, who is a charismatic, anti-U.S. revolutionary seized power. As the Castro confiscated U.S. properties and investments and from April 16, 1961, to convert Cuba into a one-party communist system, relationship between the United States and Cuba deteriorated immidiately. A Continuing Cuban-U.S. Cold War began from that time.
Economy of Cuba
Cuba has a lot of natural resources, including cobalt, nickel, salt, silica and petroleum. The whole island was covered with forests and there are still many cedar and other valuable trees. Large areas were cleared to grow more sugarcane. Sugarcane was the most important part of the economy in Cuba's history. Tobacco, used for some of the world's cigars, is grown especially in the Pinar del Río Province. The most important Cuban mineral economic resource is nickel. Cuba has the second largest nickel reserves in the world.
The economy of Cuba is a largely centrally planned economy controlled by state-own enterprises which are run by the Cuban government as well as the productions. Most of the labor force is employed by the state. Capital investment is restricted and requires approval by the government. The Cuban government sets most prices and rations goods to people.
Since the U.S. has locked and economic toward Cuba at the time the communists took power. Cuba has close relationship with Russia until 1991, the time that Soviet Union broke up. This caused an economic crisis in Cuba, which had relied on financial assistant from Russia. Cuba announced in 1995 that GDP dropped by 35% during 1989-1993, because of lost the help of Soviet's and domestic inefficiencies. The decreasing in GDP stopped in 1994, at that period Cuba reported 0.7% growth, followed by increases of 2.5% in 1995 and 7.8% in 1996. Growth flat again in 1997 and 1998 to 2.5% and 1.2% . Due to the continued growth of tourism, growth began in 1999. In 2007 the Cuban economy increased by 7.5%, although below the expected of 10%, still higher than other countries in the Latin American.
People of Cuba
The total population of Cuba is 11,241,161 on December 31, 2010. Ethnically mixed population as white 65.1%, mixed race 24.8%, black 10.1% according to official 2002 census. The mixture of native, African and European influences in Cuba gives this island a lively culture that is know around the world.
Government of Cuba
ã€€ã€€Cuba is a socialist state run by the Cuban Communist Party. Cubans vote for their leaders, but the communist party is the only legal party. Fidel Castro was president, prime minister and commander of the armed forces until Feb. 2008, when he quit down due to a lengthy illness.
Cuba is divided into 14 provinces and 1 special municipality. Each one of these provinces is subdivided into municipalities and zones.
Cuban cuisine has been influenced by Spanish, French, African, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures. People like to saute or slow-cooked the food over a low flame. Only little food is deep-fried with light cream. Most dished mix a few basic spices, such as garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay laurel leaves inside. Meats and poultry are usually put into citrus juices in advance, such as lime or sour orange juices, and then roasted over low heat. Kinds of root vegetables such as yuca, malanga, and boniato are always found in Latin markets. These vegetables are flavored with a marinade, called mojo, which includes hot olive oil, lemon juice, sliced raw onions, garlic, cumin, and little water.
A traditional Cuban breakfast have a tostada and cafe con leche. The tostada is a kind of Cuban bread with butter. The cafe con leche is a combination of strong, espresso coffee with warm milk. In a addition, some may eat ham croquets. It is smoky creamed ham with the shape of finger rolls.
Lunch consists of empanadas, chicken or meat, or cuban sandwiches. People may also would like to have a side of mariquitas which is thinly sliced plantain chips, accompanying the hearty sandwich.
Dinner will usually have a meat, chicken, or fish dish as the entree accompanied by white rice, black beans, and maduros, sweet fried plantains. At times, a small salad of sliced tomatos and onions might be added to the meal. The meal is followed by dessert, such as the typical flan, a Cuban caramel-flavored custard, and another shot of cafe.
For holidays or special occasions, the typical Cuban cuisine would be a small pig, flavored with salt, garlic, and sour orange juice, then roasted over an open fire, slowly cooked for several hours.
Fun Facts of Cuba
Many interesting creatures live in Cuba's dense forests. Most notorious is the bee hummingbird, the world's smallest bird. Adult bee hummingbird grows to only two inches long. The world's smallest frog also lives in Cuba.
Unlike most countries, in Latin America, Cuba's favourite sport is not soccer. It's baseball! Baseball came to Cuba from U.S. In the 1860s. Numerous international baseball stars have come from Cuba, and the Cuban national team is one of the best in the world.
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