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lauantai 28. helmikuuta 2015

Cuba, Cool Facts #14

13. Puerto Rico <=                                                                                    => 15. Dominican Republic

1. The Story of Cuba's Flag

The Cuban flag was designed in New York in the mid-1800s. The Cuban revolutionary immigrants led by Narciso Lopez designed the flag. Lopez wanted Cuba to join USA. The model of the flag was taken from the symbols of USA and France, the most revolutionary countries of that time.

Symbolism in the flag:

Blue stripes: refer to Cuba's eastern and western coastal provinces and to highlands of the central parts.
White stripes: describes the purity of the ideals
Red triangle: represents freedom, fraternity and equality and the color represent the blood sacrifice on the behalf of independence
Star: the symbol of free and independent nation

2. Cuba's independence and Guantanamo

In 1902 Cuba became independent under the condition that USA gained control of the naval base, Guantanamo. The second condition was the right to intervene in Cuba's internal affairs. USA used that right when it occupied Cuba in 1906-1909 and 1917. The american investors bought a lot of land and real estates, expanding the plantations and opening summer resorts to the coast.

3. Most developed communist state

Cuba is the only communist state which has got a "very high" human development ranking from the UN. Nobody knows how developed it would have become if it didn't need to spend so much money on defense costs and fighting the embargo.
In Cuba inequality is low, education is free and available for everyone. Health services are exceptionally broad and high-quality. The life-expectancy at birth is a staggering 79 years for a developing country.

4. The Communist Revolution

The gap between rich and poor deepened in 1933 and sergeant Fulgencio Batista took the power after the general strike. Batista's dictatorship, growing unrest and unstability gave birth to the July 26 Movement which was led by Fidel Castro. The revolutionaries displaced Batista and Fidel Castro took the power. Cuba became an enemy to USA so Cuba had to turn to Soviet Union's side as a communist country. After the Bay of Pigs USA promised to not to intervene with Cuba's affairs but it also isolated Cuba into a strict embargo.

5. Siempre Fidelisima

Spain gave Cuba the nickname "La Siempre Fidelisima Isla" which means "always faithful island". This was after the Spanish Empire collapsed in the America's because Cuba remained part of Spain. The plantation owners wanted to continue under the Spanish throne because it gave protection against the slave rebellions and pirates. It also protected it from the british and americans who tried to abolish slavery which the plantation owners opposed.

Famous Cubans

Javier Sotomayor - World Record man in high jump
Fidel Castro - Revolutionary Leader


Prior to the arrival of the Spanish the land was inhabited by the Arawak people
1492 Christopher Columbus lands to Cuba and claims it for the Kingdom of Spain
1513 Slaves from West Africa are being shipped to Cuba
1800s Cuba produced more than 40% of the sugar in the world market
1868 First large-scale rebellion against Spain led by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, it led to a war of 10 years
1886 Slavery abolished
1890s Second rebellion attempt led by the poet Jose Martin
1895 Jose Martin dies in a battle and becomes a national hero
1898 USA in war against Spain, it invades Cuba
1902 Cuba gets independence
1933 Sergeant Fulgencio Batista's corrupted government rises to power
1959 The revolutionaries supersede Batista with Fidel Castro as their leader
1961 Bay of Pigs
1970s Cuban troops support in Africa the marxist regimes of Ethiopia and Angola
1990 Economical problems after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
2008 Fidel Castro gives up power to his brother Raul Castro

Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen

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