Recent visit to Cuba was super. Amazing culture and warm innovative people of many cultures and creeds, great athletes and advanced medical research industry. Everyone mandated to attend college and has one of the longest running Communist Dictatorships in recent history under Castro and now his brother Raul. Remarkable to see cars over 60 yrs old running in their original splendor. Think Author Ernest Hemingway, Bay of Pigs,.President John F. Kennedy, Cuban Missile Crisis, Che Geuvara, Fidel Castro, Russian Iron Curtain, Soviet Union, Cuba Embargo.....Famous visitors from the 1930s on have been Beyonce & Jay Z, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Winston Churchill, President Jimmy Carter, Johnny Weismuller (Tarzan), Edward VIII (prince of Wales), Boxer Jack Dempsey, Buster Keaton, Errol Flynn, Mafia Don Meyer Lansky, George Raft, Betty Grable, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Tyrone Power, Mafia Don Lucky Luciano, Rita Hayworth, Ali-Khan, Fred Astaire, César Romero, Gary Cooper, Nelson Rockefeller, Sir Alexander Fleming, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Leopold and Baudouin of Belgium, Walt Disney, Kevin Costner, many others and most recently the Pope.
Havana is Cuba's capital and its largest city. The United States is to the north of Cuba 93 miles away, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to the northeast, Mexico to the west 130 miles away, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica to the south and Haiti to the southeast. Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes before the landing of explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, who claimed it for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, after which it gained nominal independence as a de facto U.S. protectorate in 1902. The fragile republic endured increasingly radical politics and social strife, and despite efforts to strengthen its democratic system, Cuba came under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Growing unrest and instability led to Batista's ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterwards established a government under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965 the country has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and, with over 11 million inhabitants, the second-most populous after Hispaniola. It is a multiethnic 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 ranked very high for human development by the United Nations, and high for health and education.