Cuba holidays information and travel tips
Cuba is an island; the biggest of the Antilles, and together with Isla de la Juventud and about other 4.195 keys make up an archipelago. The island of Cuba resembles a sleeping alligator that rests on the waters of the golf of Mexico, next to the Tropic of Cancer. Cuba is situated in a privilege position between south and North America, only 140 KMS from Bahamas, 180 from Florida, 146 from Jamaica and 210 from Cancun.
The Cuban territory is 110 922 SQ/KMS and it encompasses 5 476 KM of coastline with about 200 bays and more than 400 natural beaches, the total length of the island is 1200 KMS.
The Cuban population is at the moment over 11 million inhabitants and the city of Havana, capital of the country, hosts more than 2.7 millions in a territory of 740 SQ/KMS to be the most populated city in the country.
The Cuban fauna is a very rich one; our national bird is the Trogon bird, better known as Tocororo, an onomatopoeic name given to the bird due to its singing. Species like the colibrí Rombipher Crocodile, Manatí and Manjuary are found in certain areas of the country. The manjuarí for example, is a pre-historical fishes that now a days is only found in Cuba.
The Cuban national tree is the royal palm tree, chosen as such by the guerrilla men that fought against the Spanish domination in the 18th century. The tree provided these fighters with shelter, since they used the trunk as tables to make up the walls and the leaves of the tree served as roof. Our national flower is the butterfly jasmine, women that supported the independence cause in the 18th century, used this flower as an ornament in their hair to indicate their support to the independents cause.
Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba on October 27th, 1492. Columbus arrived through the port of Bariay, nowadays province of Holgu? When Columbus arrived, in Cuba, the indigenous population was made up of three main groups the Tainos, Siboneyes and Guanajatabeyes, being the first ones the most civilized and developed and the last ones the most primitives, still living in caves.
The conqueror of the island was Diego Velazquez, also founder of the first seven villas, which in chronological order were founded as follows:
- - Villa de Nuestra Señora de Baracoa ( Baracoa )
- - Villa de San Salvador de Bayamo. (Bayamo)
- - Villa de Santiago de Cuba
- - Villa de la Santisima Trinidad. (Trinidad)
- - Villa de Santi Spiritus
- - Villa de Nuestra Se?a del Puerto del Principe (Camaguey)
- - Villa de San Cristobal de la Habana.
Santiago de Cuba was the fist capital city of the country but due to the economical importance that Havana earned in the 17th century, the tittle of capital was awarded to the city and the Captain General of the Island moved to Havana.
Cuban history is continuously marked by wars for independence, first from the Spanish colonizers in the 19th century and later on, during the first half of the 20th century, the battles for liberation against different regimes, imposed by the United States. These wars finished in 1959 with the triumph of the revolution leaded by Fidel Castro. Immediately after the triumph, the new revolutionary government settled a campaign to eradicate illiteracy and carried out a process of nationalization that applied to all property owners, mainly in the fields of public services like electricity, communications, real states and transportation. A limit in the amount of acres of land was established, 1000 acres was the maximum any person was entitled to have. At the same time public health care became free to all Cubans and so it happened with education.
The Cuban people are a nice mixture of Spanish, African, Chinese, and many other cultures that give the Cuban that gentle, happy and warm character that many people talk about. Cubans love to sing, dance and party, so join us in these good liking
January 1st: Anniversary of the revolution triumph. On January 1st, 1959, Fidel Castro heading what at the time was Ejercito Rebelde (Rebel Army) triumphed in Santiago de Cuba then started to move towards Havana, to arrive in the city on the 8th of January.
May Day (May 1st): International Labor Day.
26 July: Rebelliousness Day. In July 26th, 1953, a group of revolutionaries tried to take by force the Moncada Garrison in the city of Santiago de Cuba, said garrison was the second fortress in importance for the regime of Batista, whose main fort was Columbia, nowadays Ciudad Libertad.
October 10th: Date in which the first war of independence started. This day of the year 1868, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes a Spanish descendant freed his slaves and urged them to join him and fight against the colonial power of Spain. Cespedes was killed during the first years of war but the war he started, continued. A series of wars followed until 1898 when the EE.UU intervene in Cuba and the republic was established 4 years after.