Cuba was first visited by Europeans when explorer Christopher Columbus made landfall there for the first time on October 28, 1492, at the eastern tip of Cuba, in the Cazigazgo of Baracoa. Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar led the Spanish invasion, subdued the indigenous populations, became governor of Cuba for Spain in 1511 and built a villa in Baracoa, which became the first capital of the island and. It also became the seat of the (Diocese) of the first bishop of Cuba in 1518. At that time Cuba was populated by at least two distinct indigenous peoples: Taino and Ciboney (or Siboney). Both groups were prehistoric neolithic, perhaps copper age, cultures. The Taíno were skilled farmers and the Ciboney were a hunter-gatherer society with supplemental farming. Tainos and Ciboney took part in similar customs and beliefs, one being the sacred ritual practiced using tobacco called cohoba, known in English as smoking.
The capital of Cuba is called Havana which is also the largest city. Cuba is the largest, most varied and one of the most beautiful of the Greater Antilles islands. It is bound by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and east, the Caribbean Sea on the south, and the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico on the west. It is located a mere 144 km south of the United States and is separated by it by the Straits of Florida; it is 140 km from the Bahamas, 210 km from Cancun and 146 km fro Jamaica. Climate
Cuba, often called the "Pearl of the Antilles," has a subtropical trade wind climate, adequate rainfall, significant mineral resources, and vast areas of level fertile land suitable for mechanized farming. It has a tropical trade-wind climate moderated by surrounding waters. The moist northeast trade winds reach most of the island except the deep isolated valleys and parts of the southeast coast, making the summers bearable and the winters usually warm and pleasant. The temperature decreases slightly with elevation and exposures to open waters, but the mean temperature in Havana is 77 degrees F. Land
Cuba is part of a limestone platform related to the limestone areas of the Yucatan, Florida and the Bahamas. The Central American Antillean System, the main mountain system in the West Indies, crosses southeastern Cuba, where it is known as the Sierra Maestra. Although most of Cuba is low, there are several upland and mountain areas that increase to height from west to east. In the extreme west along the coast is a beautiful and unusual area of eroded limestone, the Guanahacabibes Peninsula. Just west of Havana is the narrow Sierra de los Organos, which has elevations of 150 of 170 m. Many of the hills resemble isolated haystacks and border magnificent valleys, rich in vegetation and endowed with great variety of beautiful and exotic orchids. Several mountain formations are found in central Cuba, the most important being the Sierra del Escambray, with Pico San Juan, its highest peak, at 1,160 m. Government
Cuba is a totalitarian state...