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Daily Life In Cuba

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: About this sound República de Cuba (help·info)), is a country in the Caribbean comprising the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is Cuba's capital and its largest city. The United States is to the north of Cuba 150 km (93 mi) away, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to the northeast, Mexico to the west 210 km (130 mi) 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. In 2015, it became the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, a milestone hailed by the WHO as "one of the greatest public health achievements possible.
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). Authors who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
In the 1950s, various organizations, including some advocating armed uprising, competed for public support in bringing about political change.   In 1956, Fidel Castro and about 80 supporters landed from the yacht Granma in an attempt to start a rebellion against the Batista government.  It was not until 1958 that Castro's July 26th Movement emerged as the leading revolutionary group. 

By late 1958 the rebels had broken out of the Sierra Maestra and launched a general popular insurrection. After Castro's fighters captured Santa Clara, Batista fled with his family to the Dominican Republic on January 1, 1959. Later he went into exile on the Portuguese island of Madeira and finally settled in Estoril, near Lisbon. Fidel Castro's forces entered the capital on 8 January 1959. The liberal Manuel Urrutia Lleó became the provisional president.
From 1959 to 1966 Cuban insurgents fought a six-year rebellion in the Escambray Mountains against the Castro government. The government's vastly superior numbers eventually crushed the insurgency. The rebellion lasted longer and involved more soldiers than the Cuban Revolution.  The U.S. State Department has estimated that 3,200 people were executed from 1959 to 1962.  Other estimates for the total number of political executions range from 4,000 to 33,000. 

The United States government initially reacted favorably to the Cuban revolution, seeing it as part of a movement to bring democracy to Latin America.  Castro's legalization of the Communist party and the hundreds of executions that followed caused a deterioration in the relationship between the two countries.  The promulgation of the Agrarian Reform Law, expropriating thousands of acres of farmland, further worsened relations.  In February 1960, Castro signed a commercial agreement with Soviet Vice-Premier Anastas Mikoyan.  In March 1960, Eisenhower gave his approval to a CIA plan to arm and train a group of Cuban refugees to overthrow the Castro regime.
The Republic of Cuba is one of the world's last remaining socialist countries following the Marxist-Leninist ideology. The Constitution of 1976, which defined Cuba as a socialist republic, was replaced by the Constitution of 1992, which is "guided by the ideas of José Martí and the political and social ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin."  The constitution describes the Communist Party of Cuba as the "leading force of society and of the state". 

The First Secretary of the Communist Party is concurrently President of the Council of State (President of Cuba) and President of the Council of Ministers (sometimes referred to as Premier of Cuba). Members of both councils are elected by the National Assembly of People's Power.  The President of Cuba, who is also elected by the Assembly, serves for five years and there is no limit to the number of terms of office.
The country is subdivided into 15 provinces and one special municipality (Isla de la Juventud). These were formerly part of six larger historical provinces: Pinar del Río, Habana, Matanzas, Las Villas, Camagüey and Oriente. The present subdivisions closely resemble those of the Spanish military provinces during the Cuban Wars of Independence, when the most troublesome areas were subdivided. The provinces are divided into municipalities.
Cuba supported Algeria in 1961–5.  Cuba sent tens of thousands of troops to Angola during the Angolan Civil War.  Other countries that featured Cuban involvement include Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,  Mozambique,  and Yemen. Cuba has conducted a foreign policy that is uncharacteristic of such a minor, developing country. Lesser known actions include the 1959 missions to the Dominican Republic.  The expedition failed, but a prominent monument to its members was erected in their memory in Santo Domingo by the Dominican government, and they feature prominently at the country's Memorial Museum of the Resistance. Cuba is a founding member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.  At the end of 2012, tens of thousands of Cuban medical personnel worked abroad,  with as many as 30,000 doctors in Venezuela alone via the two countries' oil-for-doctors programme.
 All law enforcement agencies are maintained under Cuba's Ministry of the Interior which is supervised by the Revolutionary Armed Forces. In Cuba, citizens can receive police assistance by dialing "106" on their telephones. The police force, which is referred to as "Policía Nacional Revolucionaria" or PNR is then expected to provide help. The Cuban government also has an agency called the Intelligence Directorate that conducts intelligence operations and maintains close ties with the Russian Federal Security Service.
As of 2009, Cuba spent about $91.8 million on its armed forces.  In 1985, Cuba devoted more than 10% of its GDP to military expenditures.[169] In response to perceived American aggression, such as the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuba built up one of the largest armed forces in Latin America, second only to that of Brazil. From 1975 until the late 1980s, Soviet military assistance enabled Cuba to upgrade its military capabilities. After the loss of Soviet subsidies, Cuba scaled down the numbers of military personnel, from 235,000 in 1994 to about 60,000 in 2003. 
The Cuban state claims to adhere to socialist principles in organizing its largely state-controlled planned economy. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and most of the labor force is employed by the state. Recent years have seen a trend toward more private sector employment. By 2006, public sector employment was 78% and private sector 22%, compared to 91.8% to 8.2% in 1981.  Any firm wishing to hire a Cuban must pay the Cuban government, which in turn will pay the employee in Cuban pesos.  The average monthly wage as of July 2013 is 466 Cuban pesos, which are worth about US$19. 

Cuba has a dual currency system, whereby most wages and prices are set in Cuban pesos (CUP), while the tourist economy operates with Convertible pesos (CUC), set at par with the US dollar. Every Cuban household has a ration book (known as libreta) entitling it to a monthly supply of food and other staples, which are provided at nominal cost. 

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