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Where Is Cuba Located? And 5 Other Fast Facts About Caribbean State

By    |   Tuesday, 10 November 2015 05:22 PM

Most Americans know few facts about Cuba, given the country's relative isolation and the U.S. embargo against doing business there. 

Here are six facts about Cuba:

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1. It's located in the Caribbean.
Cuba is an island; its closest neighbors are Jamaica, Florida, Haiti, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The country is located at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico and beneath the Tropic of Cancer.

2. Its flag was influenced by the American flag.
What would become Cuba's official flag was conceived and designed in 1849 by anti-Spanish Cubans living in exile in New York City. Narciso Lopez, leader of the group of exiles, and Miguel Teurbe Tolon, a poet and friend of Lopez, were responsible for the design, which incorporates the colors red, white, and blue, along with stars and stripes, all elements inspired by the flag of the United States. The flag wasn't officially adopted until 1902, but Lopez carried it in two battles against the Spanish in 1850 and 1851.

3. Cuba was the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere.
When Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba in 1959, he transformed it into a communist country. The new system initially improved several aspects of quality of life, including health care, education, and social welfare programs. However, in the 1990s, the country lost the support of countries it had traded with in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This devastated Cuba's economy and led to rationing and restrictions.

4. It has an abundance of natural beauty.
Twenty-two percent of Cuba's land is protected, one of the highest rates in the world. Unlike many other countries where natural habitats have been damaged or destroyed, Cuba has large areas of pristine wetlands, rainforest, and reefs.

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5. There's a robust healthcare system.
Healthcare is "a top national priority" in Cuba, says a 2006 BBC report, with life expectancy there equaling that of many other modernized countries. The patient-per-doctor ratio there is the lowest in the world, and medical education is free. A 2007 survey of Cuban residents found three-quarters of them responded positively about their healthcare system.

6. It consists of several land areas.
Cuba is actually comprised of 4,000 islands and cays, and its main island is the largest in the West Indies.

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Most Americans know few facts about Cuba, given the country's relative isolation and the U.S. embargo against doing business there.
cuba, facts, location, caribbean
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 05:22 PM
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