People and Culture
In general, Cubans are talkative and sensitive. Part of what makes Cuban culture so rich is that Europeans, Africans, Chineses and other different people brought their own customs, language, forms of expression, music, religion, traditions to the country. This has generated a unique Cuban identity.
Various cultural manifestations such as literature, painting, movies ballet and modern dance have achieved great development in Cuba, and several Cubans in these fields have attained world acclaim. Cuba has 265 museums, over 100 art galleries, around 70 theaters, 120 publishing houses, 354 public libraries, 315 community centers, 46 schools of art and an international film school.
Cuba was originally inhabited by about 50,000 hunter-gatherer and agricultural Amerindians. Christopher Columbus made the European discovery of Cuba in 1492 on his first voyage to the Americas. The African slave trade began about 1523 as the Amerindian population declined, and grew thereafter, especially with the development of coffee and sugar on the island. During colonial years Havana became a last port of call and a target for French and English pirates. In 1762, the English captured Havana, holding Cuba for almost a year. It was ceded to Spain in exchange for Florida territory in the Treaty of Paris (1763).
Cuba's first important independence movement came in 1868, when Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a wealthy planter, freed his slaves and called for a revolution against Spain. For the next 10 years, guerrillas (mambises), mainly in eastern Cuba, fought against the Spanish colonial government and army. In 1895 they initiated a new war and with the help of USA they defeated Spain in 1901 to become a free nation.
For the next 58 years, Cuba lived through a succession of governments, constitutional and otherwise, on 1 January 1959, the president Batista regime collapsed, Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement took control of the government, and began to rule by decree. The revolutionary government confiscated property that had been dishonestly acquired, instituted large-scale land reforms, and sought to solve Cuba's desperate financial and economic problems by means of a bold revolutionary program.
What to do in Cuba?
People with the same hobby, interest or passion seek the company of one another to share their experiences. Let it be smoking fine Havana cigars, loving Cuban music and dance or being interested in the history of Socialism you have to come to Cuba to experience it all on first hand.
We can organize your trip and give you the opportunity to meet Cuban professionals in your field of interest, explore all the aspects of Cuban culture and visit the most important religious places in any of Cuban cities.
Cuba has a number of airports, both international and domestic. You can fly to some of these aiports directly from USA.
The land telecode of Cuba is 53. There is an almost nation wide mobile network and possibly with connection to your local provider so don't be surprised your own mobile phone works here. The costs for an international call is on the other hand quite expensive.
In many hotels and some public places you find wifi internet services at 2 CUC per hour.
There are almost no international newspapers or magazines available. There are a few Cuban state controlled newspapers available. Hotels have international satellite TV news channels. In private homes you have Cuban TV channels and Telesur.
In 2002, Cuba had about 60,858 km (37,817 mi) of roads, of which 29,820 km (18,530 mi) were paved, including 638 km (396 mi) of expressways. The first-class Central Highway extends for 1,223 km (760 mi) from Pinar del Río to Guantánamo, connecting all major cities. An extensive truck and bus network transports passengers and freight. In 2003, there were 184,980 registered motor vehicles, of which 210,300 were passenger vehicles.
Nationalized railways connect the east and west extremities of the island by 4,807 km (2,986 mi) of standard-gauge track, of which 140 km (87 mi) were electrified as of 2004.