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Posted September 02, 2003 by publisher in Cuban Culture

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Climate

Moderate subtropical. The Cuban territory grazes the Tropic of Cancer, and due to its long and narrow configuration, on an east-west axis, it receives the refreshing action of the trade winds and the sea breezes. During the short winter, it is cooled by masses of cold air from the North; those cold fronts do not last long.

The day and night temperatures differ less in the coastal regions than inland. The eastern part of the country has a warmer climate than the western part.

Temperatures

Average temperature 24,6 C (76,3 F)
Summer average25 C (77 F)
Winter average22 C (71,6 F)

Seasons

There are two, clearly defined: the dry season, from November through April; and the rainy season, from May through October. The average annual precipitation is 1 375 mm.

Orography

There are three outstanding large mountain ranges. In the West, the Sierra de los rganos; in the central part, the Sierra del Escambray; and in the southern region of eastern Cuba, the Sierra Maestra, where the highest point of the country is located, the Pico Real del Turquino, 1 974 meters above the sea level. Its longest river is the Cauto, with a length of 250 kilometers.

History

Cuba was discovered by Christopher Columbus, on October 27, 1492. The conquest and colonization caused the extermination of the aboriginal inhabitants, due to which they imported black people from Africa to enslave them. The resulting mixture defined Cuba’s population and culture.

On October 10, 1868, the Cuban people began their struggle for independence from Spain, whose colonial rule lasted 4 centuries. United States intervened in the warlike conflict and established a pseudorepublic in 1902 until the 1st. of January of 1959, when the Revolution commanded by Fidel Castro triumphed, bringing essential transformations for the life of the country.

Economy

The tourism is the main line. Other important industries are the sugar cane, tobacco, nickel, rum, coffee, and since a few years ago, the pharmaceutic and biotechnological lines.

Education

Education is free and obligatory until the ninth grade. In 1961, illiteracy was eradicated and today the population has a high instruction level.

Cuba’s national system of education comprehends from day care centers for working mothers’ children to universities disseminated throughout the whole country.

Culture

A country prodigal in artistic and creative manifestations. It has made contributions to international culture with important names of writers, thinkers, dancers, musicians, painters, poets and singers. Cuban craftwork is interesting, with outstanding works in leather, vegetable fibers, wood, stone, metal and sea products.

Cuba’s cultural infrastructure consists of theaters, museums, art galleries and cinemas, where not only samples of the national wealth of all times are shown, but also of world art. It is the seat of important international events such as the Ballet Festival, the biennial of visual arts, popular music festivals and the Festival of the New Latin American Cinema, among others.

Health

Cuba’s health system is said to have one of the world’s most complete programs of primary attention, the lowest of infantile mortality rate in Latin America and free services for all the people.

Sports

Excellent olympic results, a highlighted place in world sports and the massive and free practice in the country make Cuba proud and are counted among the achievements of the people in the past 40 years.

Religion

Lay country with freedom of cults. Catholic and Afro-Cuban religions prevail, although other tendencies also exist.

Payment Forms

At tourist facilities and other service units, the prices are fixed in US dollars and therefore it is advisable to pay with these. The following credit cards are accepted -provided they are NOT issued by American banks or their branches in other countries: MasterCard, Visa International, CABAL and BFI.

Traveler’s checks are accepted, including American ones.

Holidays

January 1 Liberation Day
May 1 May Day
July 26 Day of National Rebeliousness, together with the 25th. and 27th. of that month.
October 10 Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in 1868.
December 25 Christmas Day
Official Commemorations

Although they are not holidays, they are also considered important dates:

January 28 Anniversary of the birth of Jose Mart, Cuba’s National Hero, in 1853.
February 24 Anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence, in 1895.
March 8 International Woman’s Day.
March 13 Anniversary of the attack to the Presidential Palace of Havana, by a groTop of revolutionary youths that sought to execute the tyrant Fulgencio Batista, in 1957.
April 19 Anniversary of the defeat of the mercenary attack at the Bay of Pigs, in 1961.
July 30 Day of the Martyrs of the Revolution.
October 8 Anniversary of the death of Major Ernesto Che Guevara, in 1967.
October 28 Anniversary of Major Camilo Cienfuegos’ death, in 1959.
November 27 Commemoration of the execution of eight students of Medicine, by the Spanish colonial government, in 1871.
December 7 Anniversary of Antonio Maceo’s death in combat in 1896, an outstanding figure in Cuba’s War of Independence against the Spanish colonial rule.
Migratory Regulations

Visitors should possess an effective passport or a trip document stating their name and the corresponding visa or Tourist Card, excepting those countries that Cuba maintains Free Visa agreements with. Tourist Cards can be requested at the Cuban consular representations.

Also, in travel agencies and airlines. They are of two types: for individual tourists or tourists that travel in groups.

The businessmen, journalists at work and natural of Cuba, non-residents or with another nationality, should get a visa.

Sanitary Regulations

There are only restrictive sanitary regulations for visitors coming from countries where yellow fever and endemic cholera exist or have been declared infection areas by the World Health Organization. In such cases, an International Vaccination Certificate is demanded.

Products of animal and vegetable origin have entry restrictions. Animals may be imported, previous presentation of the corresponding certificate.

Electricity

The electric appliances endowed with round spikes should be brought with an adapter of plane spikes that are the type used for the plugs existent in the country. Electric current of general use is 110 V 60 Hz, although in the recently constructed Cubanacn hotels it is 220 V; at Gaviota’s facilities in Varadero and the Gaviota El Bosque Hotel, it is also 220 V.

Meassure units

The International Meassuring Units is the system used in Cuba.

Tips

Tips are included in the bills.

Touristic seasons

High from july 15 to august 31 and from december 16 to march 15

Low from March 16 to july 14 and from Sepmtenber 1st to december 15

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