An overview of cuba

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An overview of various interesting aspects of Cuba

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An overview of cuba

  1. 1. By Terry Onley
  2. 2. Although Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean, it is only about a quarter the size of California About 90 miles South of Florida, and 50 miles west of Haiti, Cuba enjoys a tropical climate, moderated by the trade winds.
  3. 3. The Sierra Maestra Mountain range is located at the Southeastern end of the main island of Cuba, but the rest of the country is mostly flat to rolling plains, with very little inland open water. Cuba has about 2,500 square miles of subtropical pine forest; Now, that’s different… Don’t see much of that in the rest of Latin America.
  4. 4. This is a statue of Hatuey, the first Cuban Revolutionary leader. When the Spanish invaded Cuba in 1511, Hautey and other Taíno chieftains led the population in a series of revolts against the conquerors. By 1514, the Spanish were in complete control of Cuba’s mainland The Spanish captured Hatuey and the other chieftains, and burned them alive, just one of the many atrocities they committed during their conquest Oddly, although there are thousands of individuals of primarily Taíno descent living in the Eastern mountain ranges of Cuba, and studies indicate the presence of Taíno DNA in many, if not most of the folk living in the Caribbean region, none of the official demographic studies I was able to find mentioned Native American heritage… Science vs. politics? The forgotten people?
  5. 5. There is a great variance in different agencies’ assessments of the ethnic makeup of the Cuban people. Estimates of the number of folk of African Descent vary from 10% to 62%. All authorities agree that at least a quarter of the population is of mixed heritage, probably far more. Thomas, p 219 White: 65% Mulatto: 24% Black: 10% Asian: 1% A little bit of this, a little bit of that… Including Taíno…
  6. 6. About 1% of the Cuban population is of Chinese descent. Mostly, their ancestors were brought from China in the mid 1800s to work in the cane fields as indentured servants, although some 5000 came from the US, mostly California, to escape the discrimination at that time (late 1800s)
  7. 7. When Fidel Castro’s regime nationalized all the businesses belonging to Chinese owners, most of the full-blooded Chinese immigrants left Cuba, giving rise to hundreds of Cuban-Chinese restaurants all over the eastern seaboard of the USA, and Puerto Rico. Most of the Chinese left in Cuba are of mixed ancestry. Spanish sausage fried rice, anyone?
  8. 8. Unlike most Latin American countries, Cubans seem to like baseball better than football (soccer). Many great baseball players have come to America and other countries from Cuba. They are never mentioned in a Cuban newspaper again, although folks still talk about them on the streets… Carefully. Yes, that’s Fidel himself “¡Hola, compañeros!”
  9. 9. Cuba’s automotive culture is comprised of many unique vehicles: old, pre-revolution American cars, some Russian vehicles, and some utterly Cuban constructs. Not a whole bunch of new-car salesmen in Cuba…
  10. 10. You’ve been bad, you’ve been bad, you’ve been very, very bad!
  11. 11. Fidel Castro overthrew the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Between them, these two men have defined the history of Cuba for nearly sixty years; a bit more if you consider Batista’s 1940-44 stint as President, before electing himself Dictator in 1952. Economically, Cuba did very well under Batista, perhaps less so after Castro took over; most especially during the unfortunate “Special Period” after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  12. 12. Unlike other Latin American nations, Cuba allowed Russia to place nuclear weapons and delivery systems in their country, thus precipitating the “Cuban Missile Crisis” of 1962 Maybe the Cubans were mad about that US trade embargo put in place several months earlier…
  13. 13. It was not recognized until the Cuban Missile Crisis Havana Conference in October 2002 that this Soviet B-59 submarine was within minutes of firing a 15 kiloton nuclear torpedo at US warships which surrounded it on October 26, 1962, and forced it to surface. Apparently the captain had already ordered the nuclear torpedo made ready to fire, when his second in command , Vasili Arhipov, persuaded him not to deploy the weapon. Thank you, Vasili!
  14. 14. One of the legacies of the Cuban Missile Crisis was the “Hot Line” in the White House and the Kremlin, designed to help prevent further misunderstandings like the 13 days of fear that gripped the world in 1962… The End (but not of the world…)
  15. 15. Sources: • All Slides: Google Images and Various Wikipedia Articles • Slide 3 (Cuban Pine forests): wwf.panda.org • Slide 4&5 (Population ratios): havanaguide.com(Thomas, p 219) • Slide 7 (Spanish sausage fried rice): toliveandeatinnyc.com •Slide 14 (Hot Line): http://www.globalaffairs.es/en/the-cuban- missile-crisis-the-eluded-perspectives-of-the-soviet-union- and-the-cuban-government/

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