About Cuba

About 150 million years ago, Cuba was part of a submerged North American mountain range. Movements of the earth’s crust below the sea made the mountain tops appear above the surface of the water. These peaks became the Caribbean islands that we know today.

D
uring the 17th century, pirates buried stolen treasure on an island off Cuba called the Isle of Youth. According to legend, this was the famous Treasure Island described in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel.

T
he name "Cuba" comes from the Taino word cubanacán, meaning a centre or central place.

T
he royal palm is the symbol of Cuba. It occupies the central position in Cuba’s national coat of arms and symbolizes strength.


   

Official Name:
  Republic of Cuba
Capital City:
  Ciudad de la Habana
Type of Government:
  Socialist Republic
Population:
  11 million
Area:
  110,860 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups:
  Spanish, Black, mixed ancestry, Chinese
Language:
  Spanish
Religions:
  Christianity, Santería (blend of African and Catholic beliefs)
Unit of Currency:
  Cuban peso (CUP) and Convertible Pesos (CUC)
Date of Independence:
  May 20, 1902
National flag:
  Five horizontal stripes of blue and white with a red triangle on the left side containing a white star