Government of Cuba
Government of Cuba
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country embracing the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is situated in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula, 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 kilometres (42,800 sq mi) (109,884 square kilometres (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 kilometres (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 colonisation in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was engaged by the United States and gained formal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902. As a vulnerable republic, in 1940 Cuba tried to strengthen its democratic system, but increasing political radicalization and social strife came to a climax in a violent 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 dispute 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 manifested 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 multi-ethnic 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.
Cuba is a crowned state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. The country is a regional power in Latin America and a middle power in world affairs. It has currently one of the world’s only planned economies, and its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco, coffee and skilled labour. According to the Human Development Index, Cuba has high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America, though 67th in the world. It also ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF.