Countries Facts

15 Interesting facts about Cuba

interesting facts about Cuba
Written by Alizay Khan

15 interesting facts about Cuba. Nothing says class and expensive tastes like a high-quality cigar and where would premium high-end cigars be without Cuba? So without further ado, here are fifteen interesting facts about Cuba.

interesting facts about Cuba

Cuba is a nation as well as an island

Starting with a bit of geography, the Republic of Cuba is the official name of the nation of Cuba, which is made up of the main island, also called Cuba. And over 4000 other smaller islands. 

Cuba is home to some of the most expensive cigars available in the world 

Cuban cigars have long been known to be the benchmark, the best quality cigars worldwide, resulting in rolled tobacco being one of the biggest exports for Cuba. Collabra is the premium standard and is also the most famous brand of cigar in Cuba.

In 2006, a limited edition, but the cigar was released by Kerber with only approximately 100 boxes or 4,000 cigars being handcrafted and sold worldwide. As a result, demand has skyrocketed the price of these exclusive cigars with a box of genuine 2006 Kobar for the k-cigars being sold more than 18,000 U.S. dollars. That’s over 450 U.S. dollars per smoke. Now Interesting facts about Cuba, if that’s a luxury not many can afford. 

Blowing your nose in public is seen as poor social etiquette in Cuba

 Blowing your nose in public is considered to be extremely rude and disrespectful. One of those cultural quirks which can easily catch tourists unaware. So next time you’re in Cuba and you’ve got the sniffles or your allergies are acting up, find yourselves. Some have private before you blow your nose. 

interesting facts about Cuba

Cuba has a dual currency system

Sound confusing. The locals use the Cuban peso S.O.P for tourists tend to use the newer Cuban convertible peso. See, you see, this may be because the exchange rate for the sea, you see is always close to one over one against the U.S. dollar.

Take note, as of November 2004, which coincidentally is when the U.S. dollar stopped being accepted in most major tourist places like hotels, restaurants and tourist services and exchanges of U.S. dollar to Cuban convertible peso involves a 10 per cent tax on the transaction that is separate to any commission being charged by currency exchange.

That’s right. The tax only applies to the U.S. dollar. So you’re most probably better off bringing British sterling Euros or even Canadian dollars for exchange when in Cuba. 

Cuba is the one last remaining communist country in the world 

An interesting fact about Cuba is that which is enshrined in the Constitution of 1976 and 1992, it seems likely that this will continue for the indefinite future interesting facts about Cuba.

It is illegal to take certain photographs while in Cuba

 That is, it is illegal to take photographs of military police, airport personnel or government buildings. Given Cuba’s well-documented history with the USA, authorities are still rather sensitive when it comes to matters of national security. So if you’re keen to avoid being interrogated, and then wait, there are cameras around if there are officials nearby.

interesting facts about Cuba

Cuba has the highest doctor to population ratio in the world

 You may be surprised by this fact, but Cuba is known and recognized by the World Health Organization for its ability to train excellent doctors and nurses who can then go and help other countries in need. Cuban trained doctors and nurses played a leading role in the eradication of the Ebola virus academic in West Africa. So next time you find out that your doctor or nurse was trained in Cuba, rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Coca-Cola does not officially exist in Cuba

 Cuba is one of only two countries with the other one being North Korea in the world where Coca-Cola doesn’t officially exist. This has been a direct result of the U.S. trade embargo established in 1962. Of course, this does not mean the Coca-Cola cannot be found in Cuba.

It is often still found in places frequented by tourists and foreigners such as hotels. But even these supplies cannot be marketed to locals. You may find it has arrived in Cuba via Mexico or Panama, interesting facts about Cuba.

interesting facts about Cuba

South Korean soap opera dramas are shown on local Cuban television

 Now, that’s something you probably didn’t expect. In 2013, they first started showing the drama queen of Housewives, which soon became so popular. Another series, Jewel in the Palace, started broadcasting in 2014. It sure is an interesting audience demographic. 

Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world as of 2015

UNESCO recalls that Cuba has a literacy rate of ninety-nine point seven per cent, which is one of the top 20 countries in the world. This is largely a result of the work of Fidel Castro and the governments years of the education campaign, which saw Cuba’s literacy rate improve from approximately 60 per cent to 76 per cent based on official numbers in 1959 to 96 per cent by 1961. A remarkable turnaround. 

Ordinary citizens in Cuba were banned from owning cell phones until 2008

That’s right. Well, the majority of the rest of us were watching the development of the humble cell phone and deliberating which one to get. Next, the Cuban people weren’t allowed to own one until the ban was lifted in 2008 by Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother and successor. It seems very hard to imagine, doesn’t it, life about cell phones? 

Until 2008, Cuban citizens could not purchase personal computers

Life without a cell phone doesn’t seem so crazy when you consider that the ordinary Cubans citizen also didn’t own a personal computer during the same period, even after the ban was lifted in 2008. The vast majority of Cuba could not afford to purchase one due to the sky-high prices and comparison, you could purchase a computer that was twice as good for half the price being charged with a single available computer model in Cuba. 

interesting facts about Cuba

Cuba has a native species of leaping crocodile

 The Cuban crocodile was relatively small compared to other crocodile species, could thrust its body out of the water at snatches prey from low hanging branches. Yes, that’s correct. In Cuba, crocodiles may fly out of the water. However, humans have been well and truly hunting this species, with the crocodile listed as critically endangered by the International Union of the Conservation of Nature. 

Government vehicles are legally required to stop the hitchhikers

 Originally part of a grand plan to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. This quirky law means that thriftier tourists can save on transport costs if willing to be patient. As a side note, government vehicles are easily distinguished as they have white or light blue license plates.

The US government pays 4850 dollars per year to Cuba

 to lease the infamous Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, or at least it tries to. In 2007, Fidel Castro released an essay, which is Splaine, that Cuba refuses to catch any of the checks as a protest against what he says is an illegal occupation of the land. He admitted, however, that on one single occasion, one of the checks were cashed out of confusion but otherwise, there are at least 50,000 dollars in rent money sitting there unclaimed.

Well, there you have it. Cuba certainly is an interesting and unique place. Did any of the facts list surprise you? If so, let us know which one in the comments below. 

JFK was known to enjoy, but he’d Aardman Cuban cigars

He bought himself 1200 of those bad boys just hours before enacting the 1962 Cuban trade embargo. Talk about enjoying the perks of the job. President Kennedy’s actions would have been illegal had they taken place even a few hours later. In 2014, the Cuban trade embargo was relaxed so that U.S. citizens were able to bring back up to 100 U.S. dollars worth of Cuban rum and cigars from Cuba. It has recently been announced this limit will be eliminated and Cuban rum and cigars will now be subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco.

For most other countries, some travellers will now be able to bring back as many as 100 cigars and several bottles of rum. We’ve had some US base. A Lutzes will be salivating at the opportunity to get their hands on premium Cuban cigars and rum. Once these changes are in place, interesting facts about Cuba

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Alizay Khan

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