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Welcome to Cuba Portal

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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 few 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 arbitrary imprisonment.

Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America. It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

Selected article

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The Buena Vista Social Club was a members club in Havana, Cuba that held dances and musical activities, becoming a popular location for musicians to meet and play during the 1940s. In the 1990s, nearly 40 years after the club was closed, it inspired a recording made by Cuban musician Juan de Marcos González and American guitarist Ry Cooder with traditional Cuban musicians, some of whom were veterans who had performed at the club during the height of its popularity.

The recording, named Buena Vista Social Club after the Havana institution, became an international success, and the ensemble was encouraged to perform with a full line-up in Amsterdam in 1999. German film director Wim Wenders captured the performance followed by a second concert in Carnegie Hall, New York City for a documentary film that was accompanied by interviews with the musicians conducted in Havana. Wenders's film, also called Buena Vista Social Club, was released to critical acclaim receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary feature, and winning numerous accolades including Best Documentary at the European Film Awards.

Selected picture

The Castillo del Morro San Pedro de la Roca, near Santiago de Cuba.
Credit: DirkvdM

The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a coastal fortress near Santiago de Cuba completed in 1700.

Did you know...

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  • ...that there was, on average, one aircraft hijacking incident every eleven days in 1969 involving flights from United States being forcibly redirected to Cuba?
  • ...that there are about 1,500 known Jews living in Cuba, mostly residing in Havana?

Things you can do

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Wikipedia's maxim is that anyone can edit. If you are interested in Cuba and have useful information that would form a new article or would enhance an existing article, please feel free to take part. Here are some tasks you can do to help with WikiProject Cuba:

Selected biography

Teófilo Stevenson (born March 29, 1952) is a former Cuban boxer who made history in amateur boxing, but who refused to turn professional. Many people consider him to be one of the greatest Olympic boxers in history, alongside László Papp.

Quote of the day

Winston Churchill, 1895.
Randolph Churchill: Winston Churchill companion, vol 1, 1967, p. 617–8

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