Portal:Cuba

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Introduction

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Cuba (/ˈkjuːbə/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkuβa]), officially the Republic of Cuba (RCUB.ogg), is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi) (109,884 square kilometers (42,426 sq mi) without the territorial waters). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonization in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902. As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba. The country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Cuba is one of a few extant Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including short-term arbitrary imprisonment.

Massive Soviet military assistance enabled Cuba to project power abroad. It was involved in a broad range of military and humanitarian activities in Guinea-Bissau, Syria, Angola, Algeria, South Yemen, North Vietnam, Laos, Zaire, Iraq, Libya, Zanzibar, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo-Brazzaville, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Cuba sent more than 300,000 of its citizens to fight in Angola (1975–91) and defeated South Africa's armed forces in conventional warfare involving tanks, planes, and artillery. Cuban intervention in Angola contributed to the downfall of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The presence of a substantial number of blacks and mulattos in the Cuban forces (40–50 percent in Angola) helped give teeth to Castro's campaign against racism and related prejudice like xenophobia.
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Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest city in Cuba and the capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province. It lies in the southeastern area of the island, some 870 km (540 mi) southeast of the Cuban capital of Havana.

The municipality extends over 1,023.8 square kilometers (395.3 sq mi), and contains the communities of Antonio Maceo, Bravo, Castillo Duany, Daiquirí, El Caney, El Cobre, El Cristo, Guilera, Leyte Vidal, Moncada and Siboney. Read more...

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Castro addressing the United Nations in New York (1959)

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (/ˈkæstr/; American Spanish: [fiˈðel aleˈxandɾo ˈkastɾo ˈrus]; 13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and President from 1976 to 2008. Ideologically a Marxist-Leninist and Cuban nationalist, he also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 until 2011. Under his administration the Republic of Cuba became a one-party communist state; industry and business were nationalized, and state socialist reforms were implemented throughout society.

Born in Birán, Oriente as the son of a wealthy Spanish farmer, Castro adopted leftist anti-imperialist ideas while studying law at the University of Havana. After participating in rebellions against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, he planned the overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, launching a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953. After a year's imprisonment, Castro traveled to Mexico where he formed a revolutionary group, the 26th of July Movement, with his brother Raúl Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista's forces from the Sierra Maestra. After Batista's overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power as Cuba's Prime Minister. The United States came to oppose Castro's government and unsuccessfully attempted to remove him by assassination, economic blockade, and counter-revolution, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. Countering these threats, Castro aligned with the Soviet Union and allowed the Soviets to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, resulting in the Cuban Missile Crisis – a defining incident of the Cold War – in 1962. Read more...

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Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈlea]; December 11, 1928 – April 16, 1996) was a Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed more than twenty features, documentaries, and short films, which are known for his sharp insight into post-Revolutionary Cuba, and possess a delicate balance between dedication to the revolution and criticism of the social, economic, and political conditions of the country.

Gutiérrez's work is representative of a cinematic movement occurring in the 1960s and 1970s known collectively as the New Latin American Cinema. This collective movement, also referred to by various writers by specific names such as “Third Cinema”, “Cine Libre”, and “Imperfect Cinema,” was concerned largely with the problems of neocolonialism and cultural identity. The movement rejected both the commercial perfection of the Hollywood style, and the auteur-oriented European art cinema, for a cinema created as a tool for political and social change. Due not in a small part to the filmmakers’ lack of resources, aesthetic was of secondary importance to cinema's social function. The movement's main goal was to create films in which the viewer became an active, self-aware participant in the discourse of the film. Viewers were presented with an analysis of a current problem within society that as of that time had no clear solution, hoping to make the audience aware of the problem and to leave the theater willing to become actors of social change. Read more...

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The 1910 Cuba hurricane, popularly known as the Cyclone of the Five Days, was an unusual and destructive tropical cyclone that struck Cuba and the United States in October 1910. It formed in the southern Caribbean on October 9 and strengthened as it moved northwestward, becoming a hurricane on October 12. After crossing the western tip of Cuba, it peaked in intensity on October 16, corresponding to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. That same day, the hurricane moved in a counterclockwise loop and hit Cuba again. It then tracked toward Florida, landing near Cape Romano. After moving through the state, it hugged the coast of the Southeastern United States on its way out to sea.

Due to its unusual loop, initial reports suggested it was two separate storms that developed and hit land in rapid succession. Its track was subject to much debate at the time; eventually, it was identified as a single storm. Analysis of the event gave a greater understanding of weather systems that took similar paths. Read more...

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Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante.

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