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North America


A map of CubaA map of Cuba Along with the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Jamaica, Cuba is part of the Greater Antilles. About one third of Cuba is covered by high mountains and hills; they rise to their highest in the east. The rest of the island is made up of rolling, green plains, used mainly as farmland. Cuba has a warm tropical climate. The island is sometimes hit by hurricanes, usually in September and October, at the end of the rainy season. 

A map of CubaA map of Cuba

Revellers at the Havana Carnival, held in JulyRevellers at the Havana Carnival, held in July


Cubans are descended from a mixture of the Spanish, African and Native American peoples who have settled on the island over the centuries. Their different cultures have influenced Cuba’s colourful carnivals, music and dance. 

Since 1961 Cuba has been a socialist state. Although Cubans vote for their leader, they can only stand for election if the Communist Party—the only political party—approves them. Cuba has a very high standard of health care, and most people receive a good education. Cuban families receive ration books and coupons from the government which can be used to buy basic goods (such as rice and sugar) at very low prices. This system of rationing is called the libreta.

Cuba is well-known for its music. A popular musical form is “son”—a mixture of upbeat rhythms and classical guitar.

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