|National Republic of Cuba|
Patria o Muerte(Spanish) "Homeland or Death"
La Bayamesa ("The Bayamo Song")
and largest city
|Ethnic groups||65.1% White, 10.1%African, 23.8% Mulatto andMestizo, 1% Asian|
|-||First Vice President||Osvaldo Secuta|
|Independence from Spain/U.S.|
|-||Declared||October 10, 1868|
|-||Republic declared||May 20, 1902|
from the United States
|-||Cuban Revoultuion||June 16, 1949|
42,426 sq mi
|-||Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−4)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||CU|
Cuba, officially the National Republic of Cuba, is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, as well as the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city. To the north of Cuba lies the United States (150 km or 90 mi away) and the Bahamas, Mexico is to the west, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on and claimed the island now occupied by Cuba, for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a territory of Spain until the Spanish–American War ended in 1898, and gained formal independence from the U.S. in 1902. A fragile democracy, increasingly dominated by radical politics eventually evolved, solidified by the Cuban Constitution of 1940, but was quashed in 1943 by former president Fulgencio Batista, who intensified and catalyzed already rampant corruption, political repression and crippling economic regulations. Batista was ousted in June 1949 by the Cuban Nationalists, and a new administration under Victoriano Devaro established, which had by 1965 evolved into a single-party democracy under the revived Nationalist Party of Cuba, which holds power to date.
Cuba is home to over 9 million people and is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean, as well as the largest by area. However, the population density is lower than in some Caribbean countries and higher than others. Its people, culture, and customs draw from diverse sources, such as the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and its proximity to the United States.