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About The Island


Does Size Matters?



Jose Marti



About The Island

Cuba is actually an Archipelago or "Archipielago", rather than an island but which is a fancy way of saying a collection of islands.

Although there are actually many islands (just take a close look at the map above and see for yourself), the main island is so large while the remaining ones are so small that Cubans (unlike Hawaiians) do not think of their home as several islands. Perhaps the only exception is Isla de Pinos / "Pine Island" (or Isla de la Juventud / "Youth Island" as it is currently known) which is pretty sizable (30+ miles at its widest). While Isla de Pinos/Juventud is actually inhabited, most of the remaining barrier isles are either uninhabited or in some cases lightly so.  There are some exceptions where the current goverment starved for dollars has built and is building hotels and airstrips to attract tourism. having said all this we will like all the Cubans themselves, in this site refer to Cuba as (the) main island and ignore all other isles. In fact we will ignore Isla de Pinos/Juventud as well which despite its newer name includes a prison where the existing government sends political prisoners.  In some erie sense Island de Pinos has had a history as a prison island (literally), which is a shame as it has beautiful wild life and natural resources including a beach with black sand.

Cuba is long and narrow. Approximately 700 miles in length (yes it longer than the entire state of Florida!) yet because it is so narrow it  "only" has an area of 111,860 sq. km (or roughly the area of the state of Pennsylvania). [We'll soon add Comparisons for different size comparisons ].


Geographic Location ("address"):

21 30 N, 80 00 W
Area 110, 860 km. Largest country in the Caribbean
Land Borders 29 km long (w/ Guantanamo Base at Guantanamo Bay)
Border Country US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay (leased from Cuba, part of Cuba officially)
Climate Tropical but moderated by Trade Winds.
Dry Season: Nov to April  Rainy Season: May to Oct
Terrain Flat to rolling hills and mountains in the southeast (Oriente)
Elevation Lowest Point: Sea Level (Caribbean Sea).   Highest Point: Pico Turquino 2,005 m (2km)
Natural resources Cobalt, nickel, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, timber, silica, petroleum
Land Use: (1993 est.) Arable Land Permanent Crops Forests and Woodland Permanent Pastures Other
24%   7% 24% 27% 18%
Natural Hazards East Coast (Oriente, Camaguey, etc) subject to hurricanes from Aug - Oct (country averages 1 hurricane every two years)Droughts are common
Environment Issues: 1- Havana Bay pollution 2-Overhunting threatens wild life 3-Deforestation
Environmental International Treaties Party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
Signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Marine Life Conservation
Population 11,096,395 (July 1999, estimate)
Age Structure

AGE Group

Males (%, total) Females (%,total) Total
0 - 14: 22% 51%     1,236,899 49%     1,172,560 2,409,459
15 -64: 69% 50%     3,820,255 50%     3,801,768 7,622,023
65+: 9% 47%     496,772 53%     568,141 1,064,913


Geo Political Data Details.


It's tough to catalogue the holidays currently celebrated as the Castro govt has changed the the holiday tables frequently.  For example the govt abolished Christmas and instead celebrates an equivalent holiday in July26 the anniversary of one Castros early attacks on the Batista govt. Similarly January 1st is not so much new year as the parade of weapons, etc.  Recently in an effort to attract praise some of the holidays are again being renamed.  The bottom line we will leave this area blank.


Jose Marti

Born Jose Julian Marti, Marti is the most important historical figure in Cuba, and probably the most well known throughout Central and South America.  

To begin to understand Marti's role in Cuba, one would had to merge the figures of Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Shakespeare! to begin to understand the roles he played in Cuba's history.

Marti is easily the most studied poet of his time in Hispanic Literature.  His poems range from simple (Guantanamera like cuatro por cuatros) to more complex and elaborate works.  He is also a writer of both fiction and non fiction.  But he is most revered for his role in fighting (intellectually and in the field, inside and outside of Cuba) for Cuba's independence and freedom.

There are many sites and books published about Jose Marti.

Here are some interesting links about Marti -- we suggest you collect your own:

Marti by Carl Ripoll

A comparison of Marti and M.L. King

Want to Exercise your Spanish? -- A comprehensive website about Marti totally in Spanish

[ Experimental Translation of Above -- Very poorly done -- Using a Beta Program -- For amusement only]





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Last modified: September 11, 2002