Ahoy mateys! Are ye ready to set sail on a journey to the land of cigars, salsa, and vintage cars? That’s right. We’re talking about the one and only Cuba! This Caribbean island may be small in size, but it packs a punch when it comes to culture, history, and of course, rum.
So grab yer sunscreen because we’re about to embark on a wild ride through the streets of Havana and beyond.
Fun Facts about Cuba
1. As of 2019, 11.2 million people were living in Cuba. Now, that’s a lot of salsa dancers and cigar smokers for one Island.
2. In 1940, 12-year-old Fidel Castro wrote a letter to President F. Roosevelt requested a $10 bill because he had never seen one before.
3. Fidel Castro led Cuba for five decades and was the world’s third longest-serving head of state, behind only Queen Elizabeth II and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Castro deserves to be called King. I mean, going from requesting a $10 bill because he had never seen it to the world’s third longest-serving head of state is just the most bada*s sh*t.
4. At 99.8%, Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
5. Cubans were prohibited from owning cell phones until 2008. Can you imagine trying to coordinate a revolution without WhatsApp? Fidel Castro probably had to rely on carrier pigeons and smoke signals.
Awesome Facts about Cuba
6. In Cuba, the tourist economy operates with a different currency, the Convertible peso (CUC), set at par with the United States dollar.
7. Just hours before enacting the embargo against Cuba, JFK purchased 1,200 Cuban cigars.
8. Any hitchhikers must be picked up by government vehicles in Cuba per the law. So, if you’re ever in Cuba and need a ride, just flag down a car with “Gobierno” written on it!
9. Fidel Castro immediately commanded the destruction of all Monopoly game sets after seizing control of Cuba. Maybe he thought it would be too capitalist for his state.
10. The American Government created a Twitter clone for Cubans in 2011. I guess they figured if they couldn’t stop the revolution, they might as well join in on the tweeting. Maybe they thought “if you can’t beat them, tweet them.”
Shocking Facts about Cuba
11. There is only one kosher butcher in Cuba. Fidel Castro personally allowed him to stay and serve the 1,500 Judaism-practicing Cubans.
12. In 2007, the CIA released documents that revealed the agency’s collaboration with the Italian mafia in a failed 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro. Talk about a recipe for mafia-style disaster!
13. America pays Cuba US$4,085 a month in rent for Guantanamo Bay, but Cuba refuses to cash the checks. Talk about a landlord-tenant dispute on steroids! It’s like the U.S. is trying to pay rent for a prison on a property that the landlord doesn’t even want to acknowledge as theirs!
14. The CIA operation to invade Cuba and take down Castro was dubbed “Operation Castration.” Gotta say it’s a fitting name for a plan that was castrated before it even began!
15. Penis enhancement surgery is free in Cuba. That’s one way to boost the country’s happiness 🙂
Interesting Facts about Cuba
16. North Korea and Cuba are the countries in the world that are not allowed to sell Coca-Cola officially.
17. Every Cuban household has a ration book that entitles it to a monthly supply of food and other staples at a low cost.
18. When the Cuban Missile Crisis broke out, the Soviet Union had already given Cuba access to over 150 nuclear weapons. Talk about a close call!
19. Cuba offered to settle a debt owed to the Czech Republic from the Soviet era totaling US$270 million in rum. I bet the Czechs were toasting to that offer!
20. The national animal of Cuba is the Cuban trogon.
Bonus fact: South Korean soap operas are popular in Cuba. Talk about cultural exchange, Cubans getting a taste of capitalist melodrama while the rest of the world gets a taste of communist reality.
That’s it for this post guys, I hope you had fun while reading 20 Awesome Cuba facts.
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