Republic of Cuba |
Republica de Cuba
A Caribbean nation, Cuba is an island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Key West, Florida. At 110,860 square kilometers, Cuba is slightly smaller than the American state of Pennsylvania. Its citizens are ethnically diverse with mulattos, whites, blacks and Chinese communities. Cuba consists of 14 provinces and a single special municipality: Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Ciudad de La Habana, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara, and the municipio especial Isla de la Juventud.
A Communist state, Cuba is led by Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers. He has been Head of State and Chief of Government since his victorious rebellion in 1959 purging his opponents from office and the country. The unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular is an arm of Castro's authority, Cuba's parliament. The Assembly consists of 609 seats elected directly from slates approved by special candidacy commissions. Parliament members serve five-year terms.
With an anti-Communist tradition, it has been the official policy of the United States to seek regime change in Cuba. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy instituted the Cuban Embargo restricting trade and commerce with Cuba. The United States maintains its lease of Gunatanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba, a lease that can only be terminated by mutual agreement of both governments or abandonment by the Americans.