Cuba. A dialogue between the Cuban government and dignitaries from the Catholic Church in Cuba on human rights began in May and led to somewhat improved conditions for Cuba’s imprisoned political dissidents. In July, it was announced that 52 prisoners would be released over the following months. The origin of the government’s new attitude was the Catholic Church’s concern that a number of prisoners had begun hunger strikes to force the release of political prisoners. One of them, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, died after the 85-day hunger strike, which prompted fairly open criticism of the government’s human rights system from above all Cardinal Jaime Ortega.
|Land area||110,860 km²|
|Population density (per km²）||99.8|
|Income per capita||$ 12,300|
|ISO 3166 code||CU|
|Time zone UTC||– 5th|
|Geographic coordinates||21 30 N, 80 00 W.|
According to COUNTRYAAH, Cuba has a population of 11.34 million (2018). Cautious comments from the authorities on the introduction of capitalist elements into the economy were heard during the year, for example in the official body of the Communist Party Granma. Among other things, decisions were made on cuts in the public sector and layoffs among the country’s five million government employees, while permitting some private enterprise, especially in the form of family businesses, for the first time since 1968. Fidel Castro even said in his first interview with an American magazine since the departure in 2006 that the Cuban model no longer serves the country’s interests, but at the same time added that it does not mean abandoning socialism, but has just transitioned to a new form of socialism.
According to the Election Commission, turnout in April 25 elections was 95 percent. More than 15,000 candidates, all from the Communist Party which is the only permitted party, were elected to the 169 municipal assemblies around the country.
General information about Cuba
Cuba is the largest island in the Greater Antilles and its nature is very varied. There are large mountains in the west, east and central part of the country. However, the majority of the long island is a fertile plain between mountain ranges, where both tobacco and sugar cane grow, in addition to rice, corn and coffee.
Columbus came to the island of Cuba on his first trip. The area became Spanish property until 1898. The great name of the struggle for independence is Jose Marti, a poet and journalist. The United States occupied Cuba in 1902 and this occupation did not end until the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro. Under Castro’s leadership, the foreign company was nationalized and land reform was carried out. After the failed Gulf attack, the country became strongly committed to the socialist camp. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Cuba became economically cramped. Poverty has been escaped legally and illegally to the United States for decades.
Cuba has made concessions by allowing, among other things, the possession of dollars and private enterprise. Fidel Castro handed over the presidency to his brother Raul in 2008. In the spring of 2018, Miguel Díaz-Canel was appointed President of Cuba.
Havana, the capital of Cuba, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stone forts take the traveler to a time when the bustling trading town defended itself against attackers from the sea. As early as the end of the 18th century, the narrow alleys, squares, and surrounding palaces of the present Old City made Havana a metropolis among the few major cities in the New World. Plaza de Armas and Plaza Vieja were already, as they are today, meeting places for the townspeople. In Revolution Square, a picture of Che Gueavara greets passers-by.
The legendary Tropicana show offers Cuban rhythms. Nearly two hundred dancers, singers and musicians entertain the audience under the stars at night in Havana. The show has been running with some exceptions since 1939.
Author Ernest “Papa” Hemingway lived in Cuba for more than twenty years. His museumed apartment, Finca Vicia, is located in the suburbs of Havana. The spirit of Hemingway also continues to live in his main restaurants, where tourists can visit to enjoy a daiquir or mojito.
Varadero is one of Cuba’s first beach resorts, with holidays being spent here since the early 20th century. The approximately 20 km long white sandy beach and turquoise sea attract tourists year after year and most hotels offer a carefree holiday with all-inclusive services.