|Republic of Cuba|
|Motto: Patria o Muerte ()
"Homeland or Death"
|Anthem: La Bayamesa("The Bayamo Song")
(and largest city)
|Ethnic groups||65.05% White (Spanish, others), 10.08% African (Igbo, other), 23.84% Mulatto and Mestizo|
|Government||Unitary communist state|
|-||First Vice President||J. R. M. Ventura|
|-||First Secretary of PCC||Fidel Castro|
|-||Declared||October 10, 1868|
|-||Republic declared||May 20, 1902
from United States
|-||Cuban Revolution||January 1, 1959|
|-||Total||109,886 km2 (105th)
42,427 sq mi
|-||2009 estimate||11,239,363 (75th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2009 estimate|
|-||Total||$111.1 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$9,700 (86th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2009 estimate|
|-||Total||$67.26 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$5,984 (78th)|
|HDI (2007)||0.863 (high) (51st)|
Cuban convertible peso (
|-||Summer (DST)||(March 11 to November 4) (UTC-4)|
|Drives on the||right|
The Republic of Cuba (; Spanish: República de Cuba, ) is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, 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 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 found and claimed the island now occupied by Cuba, for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained territory of Spain until the Spanish–American War ended in 1898, and gained formal independence from the U.S. in 1902. Between 1953-1959 the Cuban Revolution occurred, removing the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and installing a government led by Fidel Castro.
Cuba is home to over 11 million people and is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean. 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.
Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate, an infant death rate lower than some developed countries, and an average age expectancy of 77.64. In 2006, Cuba was the only nation in the world which met the WWF's definition of sustainable development; having a ecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index over 0.8.
The name Cuba comes from the Taíno language. The exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as where fertile land is abundant (cubao), or great place (coabana). Scholars who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the ancient town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
The Republic of Cuba remains the only country in the world whose name has not been changed in any way following the communist revolution. Adjectives such as "Soviet", "Socialist", "People's", "Democratic" or "Bolivarian" were in common use in other communist states.
Cuba was inhabited by Native American people known as the Taíno, also called Arawak by the Spanish, and Ciboney people before the arrival of the Spanish. The ancestors of these Native Americans migrated from the mainland of North, Central and South America several centuries earlier. The native Tainos called the island Caobana. The Taíno were farmers and the Ciboney were farmers and hunter-gatherers.