|Republic of Cuba|
|Current President||Fidel Castro|
Cuba is an island country in the Gulf of Mexico. In the southeast section of the island there are rugged hills and high mountains. The rest of the island has mostly plains with small hills and beaches along the coast line.
|Sierra Maestra||Pico Turquino||Sierra de los Órganos|
|Climate||Cuba's climate is tropical. The trade winds cause a dry climate to develop from the months of November to April and a rainy season from May to October.|
|Population||11,184,023 July 2001 estimation|
|People||The people of Cuba are descendants of the Spanish and African people. Most Cubans are members of the Roman Catholic Church. An African religion called Santería and some Protestant churches are becoming popular.|
|Economy||Cuba's government is completely in charge of Cuba's economy. The citizens of Cuba do not have access to ways to make money unless they are somehow related or friends of Fidel Castro or another leader of the country. The citizens who hold jobs have more than those who do not, but most citizens live in poverty and depend on the Cuban government to supply them with food and other needed items. The government provides for their citizens only on a very limited basis.|
Cuba is a Communist country. From 1959 - 1976 the highest office was prime minister. The title prime minister was changed to president in 1976. Fidel Castro is the president of Cuba. The government of Cuba has an executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. The executive branch is led by the president, Fidel Castro, who is also the chief of state and the head of government. The Council of Ministers advises the president. Elections are made by the National Assembly, but no regular elections are ever scheduled. They just have one when the president wants one.
The National Assembly of the People's Power is a unicameral legislature with 601 members who are selected by a special candidate commission. They serve 7 year terms.
The members of the judicial branch of government are elected by the National Assembly. This branch of Cuba's government is called the People's Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo Popular.
Cuba gained its independence from Spain on December 10, 1898. After that date Cuba was in the control of, but not a state of the United States of America. It gained independence from the United States on May 20, 1902. In 1959 Fidel Castro led a revolution against the government of Cuba and won. He became the leader of Cuba and still is the leader today. The Soviet Union helped Castro, a military leader, in his take over of Cuba. The Soviet Union wanted to have land and a home base near the United States so that they could expand their communist rule. In 1990 the Soviet Union stopped sending money to support Cuba and its people have suffered since. Since 1961 the United States has held an embargo on Cuba. That means that they can not send goods out of Cuba to sell and goods can not be sent in to Cuba. This is because the Soviet Union was sending nuclear weapons to Cuba to be used to threaten America. The American military stopped the shipments and won't allow shipments to come to Cuba. This situation was named, "The Bay of Pigs". Fidel Castro's regime has been so strict and harsh that most Cubans want to leave Cuba. Since the United States State of Florida is about 70 miles north of Cuba a lot of Cubans try to make it by taking rafts and other small boats to Florida.
|Bibliography and Citations|
|Photographic Citations: Photographic citations can be found by moving your mouse over the picture.|
Electronic Encyclopedia: http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/03312.html
CIA Factbook: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/