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cu ft
cu in
cub reporter
Cub Scout
cub shark
Cuba grass
Cuba libre
cubage unit
Cuban bast
Cuban capital
Cuban heel
Cuban itch
Cuban mahogany
Cuban monetary unit
Cuban peso
Cuban Revolution
Cuban sandwich

Cuba definitions

Flags of the World

Flag of Cuba

CIA World Factbook, 2008

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule, marked initially by neglect, became increasingly repressive, provoking an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. It was US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 that finally overthrew Spanish rule. The subsequent Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence, which was granted in 1902 after a three-year transition period. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the regime together since then. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic downturn in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard intercepted 2,864 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2006.

total: 110,860 sq km land: 110,860 sq km water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative
total: 29 km border countries: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and remains part of Cuba

territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m highest point: Pico Turquino 2,005 m

Natural resources
arable land: 27.63% permanent crops: 6.54% other: 65.83% (2005)

Irrigated land
Total: 8.2 cu km/yr (19%/12%/69%) Per capita: 728 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note
0-14 years: 18.8% (male 1,100,672/female 1,042,327) 15-64 years: 70.5% (male 4,019,648/female 4,016,429) 65 years and over: 10.7% (male 554,043/female 660,924) (2007 est.)

Median age
total: 36.3 years male: 35.7 years female: 37 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.056 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.001 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.838 male(s)/female total population: 0.992 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate
total: 6.04 deaths/1,000 live births male: 6.76 deaths/1,000 live births female: 5.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 77.08 years male: 74.85 years female: 79.43 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate
noun: Cuban(s) adjective: Cuban

Ethnic groups
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 99.8% male: 99.8% female: 99.8% (2002 census)

People - note
conventional long form: Republic of Cuba conventional short form: Cuba local long form: Republica de Cuba local short form: Cuba

Government type
name: Havana geographic coordinates: 23 07 N, 82 21 W time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions
chief of state: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government head of government: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976) cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the president of the Council of State and appointed by the National Assembly or the 31-member Council of State, elected by the Assembly to act on its behalf when it is not in session elections: president and vice presidents elected by the National Assembly for a term of five years; election last held 6 March 2003 (next to be held in March 2008) election results: Fidel CASTRO Ruz reelected president; percent of legislative vote - 100%; Raul CASTRO Ruz elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - 100% note: due to an ongoing health problem, Fidel CASTRO Ruz provisionally transferred power to his brother Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz on 31 July 2006 in accordance with the Cuban Constitution; Fidel CASTRO has not yet reclaimed control of the government

Legislative branch
elections: last held 19 January 2003 (next to be held in 20 January 2008) election results: Cuba's Communist Party is the only legal party, and officially sanctioned candidates run unopposed

Judicial branch
agriculture: 4.6% industry: 26.1% services: 69.3% (2007 est.)

Labor force
note: state sector 78%, non-state sector 22% (2007 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 20% industry: 19.4% services: 60.6% (2005)

Unemployment rate
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
revenues: $35.01 billion expenditures: $36.73 billion (2007 est.)

Public debt
note: Cuba has two currencies in circulation: the Cuban peso (CUP) and the convertible peso (CUC); in April 2005 the official exchange rate changed from $1 per CUC to $1.08 per CUC (0.93 CUC per $1), both for individuals and enterprises; individuals can buy 24 Cuban pesos (CUP) for each CUC sold, or sell 25 Cuban pesos for each CUC bought; enterprises, however, must exchange CUP and CUC at a 1:1 ratio.

Fiscal year
general assessment: greater investment beginning in 1994 and the establishment of a new Ministry of Information Technology and Communications in 2000 has resulted in improvements in the system; wireless service is expensive and must be paid in convertible pesos which effectively limits mobile cellular subscribership domestic: national fiber-optic system under development; 95% of switches digitized by end of 2006; fixed telephone line density remains low, at less than 10 per 100 inhabitants; domestic cellular service expanding but remains at only about 2 per 100 persons international: country code - 53; fiber-optic cable laid to but not linked to US network; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations
note: private citizens are prohibited from buying computers or accessing the Internet without special authorization; foreigners may access the Internet in large hotels but are subject to firewalls; some Cubans buy illegal passwords on the black market or take advantage of public outlets to access limited email and the government-controlled "intranet" (2006)

total: 70 over 3,047 m: 7 2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 1,524 to 2,437 m: 18 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 31 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 95 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 23 under 914 m: 71 (2007)

total: 4,226 km standard gauge: 4,226 km 1.435-m gauge (140 km electrified) note: an additional 7,742 km of track is used by sugar plantations; about 65% of this track is standard gauge; the rest is narrow gauge (2006)

total: 60,858 km paved: 29,820 km (includes 638 km of expressway) unpaved: 31,038 km (1999)

total: 12 ships (1000 GRT or over) 35,030 GRT/51,388 DWT by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 2 foreign-owned: 1 (Spain 1) registered in other countries: 16 (Bahamas 1, Cyprus 2, Netherlands Antilles 1, Panama 11, Spain 1) (2007)

Ports and terminals
males age 17-49: 2,967,865 females age 17-49: 2,913,559 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 17-49: 2,441,927 females age 17-49: 2,396,741 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 91,901 females age 18-49: 87,500 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
current situation: Cuba is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced child labor; Cuba is a major destination for sex tourism, which largely caters to European, Canadian, and Latin American tourists and involves large numbers of minors; there are reports that Cuban women have been trafficked to Mexico for sexual exploitation; forced labor victims also include children coerced into working in commercial agriculture tier rating: Tier 3 - Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so

Illicit drugs
territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone for US- and European-bound drugs; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba [syn: Cuba, Republic of Cuba]
2: the largest island in the West Indies

Merriam Webster's

geographical name 1. island in the West Indies N of Caribbean Sea area 41,620 square miles (107,800 square kilometers) 2. country largely coextensive with island; a republic capital Havana area 42,804 square miles (110,862 square kilometers), population 10,892,000 Cuban adjective or noun


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