Unión del Caribe
¡Patria o Muerte, Venceremos! (Spanish)
"Homeland or Death, We Shall Overcome!"
|Government||Federal dominant-party presidential republic|
|-||Vice President||Miguel Díaz-Canel|
|-||President of the Union Assembly||Esteban Lazo Hernández|
|-||Upper house||Union Council|
|-||Lower house||Union Assembly|
|-||War of Independence||24 February 1895|
|-||Recognised (handover from Spain to Mexico)||10 December 1898|
|-||Unification (Dominion)||20 May 1902|
|-||Current constitution||26 July 1959|
|-||Total|| 2,754,000 km2
1,063,325 sq mi
|-||Land area||239,681 km2
92,541 sq mi
|Time zone||CST (UTC–5)|
|-||Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC–4)|
|Drives on the||right|
The Caribbean Union (Spanish: Unión del Caribe) is a country comprising over 700 islands located in the Caribbean Sea. It lies to the south of Florida over the Straits of Florida; Mexico lies to the west over the Gulf of Mexico. The Caribbean Union is a federation of thirteen provinces and seventeen territories. The most populous of the provinces, Cuba, also serves as its political centre, as it is home to the country's capital, Havana. Other major urban areas include the Caribbean Union's largest city, Santo Domingo, as well as Port-au-Prince, San Juan, Kingston and Georgetown.
At the time of European contact, the dominant ethnic groups in the Caribbean included the Taíno of the Greater Antilles and northern Lesser Antilles, the Island Caribs of the southern Lesser Antilles, and smaller distinct groups such as the Guanajatabey of western Cuba and the Ciguayo of eastern Hispaniola. The population of the Caribbean is estimated to have been around 750,000 immediately before European contact, although lower and higher figures are given. After contact, social disruption and epidemic diseases such as smallpox and measles (to which they had no natural immunity) led to a decline in the Amerindian population. From 1500 to 1800 the population rose as slaves arrived from West Africa such as the Kongo, Igbo, Akan, Fon and Yoruba. Immigrants from Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark also arrived, although the mortality rate was high for both groups.
Through the 16th century, Spain through a series of wars eventually secured total control over the Caribbean region, cementing their supremacy in the Americas. The Caribbean colonies remained in Spanish hands until the Spanish-Mexican War of 1898, which resulted in the Caribbean territories' unification and nominal independence as a Dominion of Mexico in 1902. As a fragile state, the Dominion attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalisation and social strife culminated in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batista's ousting in January 1959 after the Caribbean Revolution, which replaced the unitary constitutional monarchy with a federal constitutional republic under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the Union has been governed by the Caribbean Peoples' Party.
Culturally, the Caribbean Union is considered part of Latin America. It is a multiethnic and multicultural country whose peoples, cultures and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of European and then Spanish colonialism, and the introduction of African slaves.
The Caribbean Union is a federal dominant-party presidential republic, where, although opposition parties exist and are permitted by the government, the Peoples' Party holds dominance. It is one of the world's last planned economies and its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco, coffee and skilled labour. According to the Human Development Index, the Caribbean Union is described as a country with high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America. It also ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. Cuba is the only country in the world to receive WWF's definition of sustainable development.