Mike is a veteran of the New Hampshire public school system and has worked in grades 1-12. He has a Master's of Education specializing in Social Studies.
Cuba: A Land of Mixed Cultures
Cuba is an interesting country because of all the different groups of people who have lived there over the years. While the citizens of Cuba were originally members of Native American tribes, Cuba's population began to change greatly in 1492, when explorer and conqueror Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain. Today, Cuba is a combination of Native American, African and Spanish cultures, and the people of Cuba speak Spanish.
Cuba remained under Spanish control until 1898, when the United States invaded and forced the Spanish out during what was known as the Spanish-American War. A few years later, the people of Cuba tried to take control of the country for themselves. During this process the Cuban military had total control of Cuba for two years.
After Cuba became an independent country in 1904, it went through a violent period with many different leaders. This changed in 1959 when Fidel Castro took control of the country. Castro established the Cuban Communist Party, which is the only political party allowed in Cuba. A political party is a group of people who agree how government should work.
The people of Cuba are allowed to vote, but cannot vote to remove Fidel Castro from power. Also, Castro chooses all the people who are allowed to run for office. In Cuba, if you try to run for government office without Fidel Castro's approval, you will be put in jail.
In 2008, Fidel Castro got sick, and declared his brother, Ra`ul Castro Cuba's president.
Throughout its history, so many countries were interested in taking control of Cuba because of its valuable natural resources. Cuba is currently one of the world's largest producers and suppliers of nickel, which is a precious metal that's used to make many different products.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Cuba was one of the world's greatest suppliers of sugar. While Cuba still produces large amounts of sugar, it's not as valuable to the economy as it once was. Cuba also sells large amounts of petroleum, medical products, fish, citrus and coffee to other countries.
The Geography of Cuba
Did you know that Cuba is close enough to the U.S. that you can swim to it? In fact, in 2013, a long-distance swimmer swam from Cuba to America in what was the equivalent of a little more than two days.
Located just 110 miles south of Florida, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean Sea. Most of the land in Cuba is flat, and most of the country is used for farming. As you travel further south in Cuba, the land becomes more mountainous and cannot be used for farming. The rest of Cuba is made up of cities, such as the capital, Havana.
Cuba is a Spanish-speaking island country in the Caribbean Sea, and its capital is Havana. Cuba has a varied culture that includes Native American, Spanish and African influences. Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in the 1950s and established the Cuban Communist Party; Ra`ul Castro now runs Cuba.
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