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25 facts about Cuba

25 facts about Cuba

1. In October 1492, Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba. Since then and until 1898, the island was a part of the Kingdom of Spain.

2. In addition to the island of Cuba, the largest in the West Indies, the state occupies about 1,600 of medium and small islands.

3. Few people know that there were not two, but three main revolutionaries in Cuba. Camilo Cienfuegos, the poet and comrade of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, had a special charisma and was loved by the people until his mysterious death in a plane crash in 1959. After the tragedy Fidel took the reins in his hands, and Che Guevara, by all accounts, was forcibly exiled from the country. To date, both of the dead revolutionaries are honored by Cubans, and the images of Che Guevara are in great demand among the local population.

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4. Liberty Island, as Cuba is called since 1959, is the most populous island state in the Caribbean.

5. The fertility in Cuba does not exceed 9.8 per thousand of the population, which is one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.

6. The population of Cuba has a longer life than people in the United States.

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7. Cubans are very sociable people, and you can hear a lot of compliments (not vulgar), especially if you're a pretty woman with a friendly attitude. It’s quite normal for the local one to have a noncommittal conversation with a stranger on the street, simply because he has a good mood or, conversely, is sad.

8. The residents of Cuba are incredibly cleanly, they try to take a shower every time when it’s possible, change clothes at least twice a day and actively use antiperspirants and perfume.

9. Cubans do not like to leave the house in the rain. This natural phenomenon often becomes an occasion to miss a work, school, etc.

10. The country has two national currencies: the Cuban peso (CUP) and the convertible peso (CUC). The second one is used mainly by tourists, easily exchanged in dollars or euros, and the Cuban peso lives in purses of local population. Almost all stores sell products for convertible pesos, but it’s better to pay with usual one in the public transport or in the market.

11. On Liberty Island a ration card system is operated. The food is issued by standards equal for the entire country.

12. The protected natural areas form around 22 % of the country.

13. There are no plants and animals that are deadly to humans in Cuba, except a small amount of poisonous snakes.

14. The national flower of Cuba is ginger lily. Its flowers resemble the wings of white butterfly, that’s why it is commonly called "the butterfly flower" here.

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15. In spite of a sufficiently rich tropical flora, the terrestrial fauna of Cuba is presented by only a few species of birds and all sorts of reptiles and amphibians. Among the mammals the insectivorous Cuban solenodon is known, which until recently was considered to be extinct.

16. The smallest bird in the world – the bee hummingbird – lives in Cuba. This crumb’s weight is only 1.6 grams. In the inland waters of Liberty Island you can occasionally find endemic Cuban crocodiles.

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17. The climate of Liberty Island is impressive: more than 300 sunny days a year and a very comfortable temperature. The highest average temperature is in July (27°C), and the lowest – in January (23.1°C).

18. Cuba has only a free education. To enter to any university one must take three exams: in the history of Cuba, Spanish and math.

19. Cuba ranks one of the first places by the number of doctors. Here are so many doctors that they are send out to all the countries of the world where the qualified specialists are in deficit.

20. Cubans favorite sport is baseball, it came to the country from the United States in the 1860s.

21. The most traditional and favorite Cuban dish is «congri», consisting of rice and black beans. It’s served, as a rule, at least 4-5 times a week with or without meat.

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22. Cuban ballet school is one of the most respected in the world. People say: "Russian Ballet amaze with a skill, French one is emotional and spiritually rich, and Cuban one has embodied the both".

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23. Annually more than 2 million people take sightseeing tour of Cuba.

24. There is no high-speed Internet in Cuba, only expensive satellite, which provides an Internet access to residential customers, institutions and hotels. As a rule, the connection to the internet here is made with modem, and the speed is not higher than in case of a mobile phone connection. The tourists can use the Internet at the hotel or at the post office with the state computer.

25. There is no advertising at the central Cuban television channels.

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