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Cuba

Cuba: political system

Cuba has been a socialist republic since 1959, there is one-party rule of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC); the highest state organ is the Council of State (Consejo de Estado) with 31 members and the Council of Ministers with 39 members. The 609 members of the Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular People's Congress are elected every five years. The chairman of the Council of State is both head of state and chairman of the Council of Ministers. Fidel Castro Ruz has been Head of State and Government since 1959. But as a result of his serious illness, he handed over the business of state to his brother Raúl Castro Ruz in July 2006.

Cuba: political system

And since April 19, 2018, Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has been President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, making him head of state and government in one person.

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Republic of Cuba - República de Cuba

National anthem

Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the national anthem of Cuba "La Bayamese" was composed in 1867 by Pedro Figueredo and in 1868 he wrote the lyrics. It became the country's official anthem in 1902.

Cuba flag and coat of arms

In spanish language

Al combate, corred, bayameses,

Que la Patria os contempla orgullosa;

No temáis una muerte gloriosa,

Que morir por la Patria es vivir.En cadenas vivir, es vivir

En afrenta y oprobio sumido;

Del clarín escuchad el sonido;

¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

And in the English translation

Off to battle, Bayamese,

for the fatherland regards you with pride,

do not be afraid of a glorious death,

because to die for the fatherland is to live.To live in chains means to live

immersed in abuse and disgrace.

From the trumpet hears the lute

runs to the arms, brave people

 

Cuba: Well-known people

Freedom fighters and revolutionaries

Máximo Gómez Báez

b. November 18, 1836 in Baní, died June 17, 1905 in Havana

General of the War of Independence from 1868 - 1898

Máximo Gómez was one of the most important military leaders of the Cuban independence movement from 1868 to 1898 against the Spanish colonial power. At the initiative of the Cuban revolutionary and poet José Martí, the third phase of the war of independence was initiated. Goméz was the supreme commander and he managed to put the Spanish troops on the defensive. After the victory of the Cuban and American troops, he refused to hold political office in the US-dominated Cuban republic, despite his high reputation. Unlike other leaders of the independence movement, he never capitalized on his influence and died a poor man.

Carlos Manuel de Céspedes

b. April 18, 1819 in Bayamo, died February 27, 1874 in San Lorenzo/Cuba

Freedom fighter and founder of the Cuban nation

Céspedes was a large landowner, but in 1886 he released the slaves of his possessions and called on all Cubans to fight against Spanish colonial rule. On October 10, 1887, he was elected the first president of the Cuban Republic founded underground. In the fight his son was captured and he was given the ultimatum to sacrifice his son or his fight. He made his decision with the words: "All Cubans are my sons". For this he got the name "Father of the Fatherland". After his hiding place was betrayed, he was killed in action against the Spanish colonial troops in 1874. Today he is very honored in Cuba and numerous streets and squares have received his name.

Antonio Maceo Grajales

b. June 14, 1845 in Santiago de Cuba, died December 7, 1896 in San Pedro

General of the War of Independence 1868-1898

Antonio Maceo, along with Máximo Gómez, is considered the most important general of the War of Independence. After an unsuccessful attempt, the first part of the war failed and due to the peace treaty Gómez had to retreat into exile in Mexico. The Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí finally managed to get both generals to resume the fighting. His great military success was based in particular on the fact that he succeeded in extending the guerrilla war to western Cuba, where the most important economic resource of the Spanish colonial power, sugar production, was located. Maceo succeeded in giving the revolutionary war a component of the struggle for social justice. Maceo was the first black man in Cuban history to fight for the rank of general.

Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna/"Che" Guevara

born 14. May 1928 in Rosario/Argentina; died October 9th, 1967 in La Higuera/ Bolivia

Argentine doctor, Cuban revolutionary, guerrilla leader and politician

Ernesto Che Guevara comes from an upper-class family who, despite their good social position, took a liberal and tolerant social-liberal position. From the age of two he suffered from asthma attacks, which later prompted him to study medicine at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. During his studies, Ernesto made many trips through South and Central America, where he gained an insight into the social circumstances prevailing at the time. During this time he developed a political awareness and shaped his Marxist worldview. In 1955 he met Fidel Castro in Mexico City and joined his rebel troop. In November they left for Cuba with the yacht Granma, where they arrived after just under nine days.

In the beginning he mainly worked as a doctor in the guerrilla, but gradually his use in armed actions grew. He was the first guerrillero to be raised to the rank of comandante after Castro and entrusted with the leadership of the second column. His greatest military achievement was the capture of Santa Clara on December 29, 1958, when his unit ambushed and captured an armored train that was supposed to deliver weapons supplies to the Batista troops.

After the triumph of the revolution, Che Guevara participated in the Cuban government, in which he represented a communist position. Among other things, he was responsible for the persecution of Batista supporters and political opponents, later head of the National Bank and shortly afterwards Minister of Industry and developed an economic policy concept of the planned economy. Guevara demanded self-sacrifice and the will to drive the revolution forward from others. He himself took part in voluntary work and refused any perks. A popular saying in Cuba at the time was: "Seamos como Che" (Let's be like Che). There were differences between Guevara and Castro at the end and he traveled to the Congo in 1965 in the disguise of a businessman. In the Congo he tried in vain to bring the revolution to Africa. During a visit to what was then the GDR, he met Tamara Bunke, his interpreter. Guevara went to Bolivia with her and some companions to set up a guerrilla with the Bolivian National Liberation Army. Unlike in Cuba, they do not succeed in winning the impoverished farmers over to their cause. Although the rural population supported the rebels, they never took an active part in the armed struggle. The attempt at revolution also failed because of the lack of support for the Communist Party of Bolivia. The guerrilla retreat became increasingly narrow in the middle of 1967. At the end of August, the boss of the second group, Juan Vialio Acuña Núñez and Tamara Bunke, died, among others. In the end, Che's group consisted of only 14 men. In October 1967 he was injured and taken prisoner himself after a battle with the government groups near La Higuera. The Bolivian military was supported by the American CIA in the hunt for Che Guevara. After his arrest, he was initially detained and interrogated by CIA agent and Cuban exile Felix Rodríguez. Ernesto Che Guevara was executed without trial on October 9, 1967. His body is secretly buried. It was only in 1997 that his previously lost bones were discovered and transferred to Cuba. He was buried in a state funeral in a mausoleum built especially for him in Santa Clara.

Celia Sánchez Manduley (alias Norma)

b. May 9, 1920 in Media Luna; died January 11, 1980 in Havana,

revolutionary and companion in combat and life of Fidel Castro

Celia Sánchez was born into an anti-imperialist family. Like Fidel Castro, her father was a member of the Orthodox Party. When the first (unsuccessful) attack took place in July 1953 under the leadership of Fidel Castro, she was already agitating against the authoritarian Batista regime and for social justice. Later she prepared for the arrival of Fidel and Raúl Castro, Che Guevara, with their comrades from exile in Mexico. After the successful landing of the Granma, the boat of the revolutionaries, she organized weapons, food and medicine for the liberation army entrenched in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra. In February 1957 she met Fidel Castro for the first time. In the following time she acted as a contact person between the rebels in the mountains and the comrades agitating underground. She became the first woman to become a member of the General Command in October 1958. She initiated an all-women fighting group under the name "Marina Grajales". She moved into Santiago de Cuba on January 1, 1959, alongside Fidel Castro. During her time as a guerrilla, she wrote detailed reports, which she completed in May 1964 as the founder of the history bureau. After the triumph of the revolution, she held various political offices. She was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a deputy to the National Assembly and secretary to the State Council. She died on January 11th. 1980 in Havana from cancer. January 1959 in Santiago de Cuba. During her time as a guerrilla, she wrote detailed reports, which she completed in May 1964 as the founder of the history bureau. After the triumph of the revolution, she held various political offices. She was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a deputy to the National Assembly and secretary to the State Council. She died on January 11th. 1980 in Havana from cancer. January 1959 in Santiago de Cuba. During her time as a guerrilla, she wrote detailed reports, which she completed in May 1964 as the founder of the history bureau. After the triumph of the revolution, she held various political offices. She was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, a deputy to the National Assembly and secretary to the State Council. She died on January 11th. 1980 in Havana from cancer.

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán

b. February 6, 1932 in Havana, died October 28, 1959

revolutionary

Along with Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Raúl Castro, Cienfuegos was one of the leading revolutionaries and guerrilla leaders of the July 26th Movement, also known as the rebel army against the Batista regime. After two years of guerrilla fighting in the Sierra Maestra, Cienfuegos was the first to introduce the first columns into the capital Havana on January 2, 1959. Camilo Cienfuegos was only marginally involved in setting up the new system. On October 28, 1959, Cienfuegos was killed in a mysterious aircraft accident. His plane was never found despite the rescue measures that had been initiated. There are several visions of what might have happened that day. There is evidence that on that day he had the order to arrest Hubert Matos, a good friend and also a rebel. Shortly before that, he is said to have had a conversation with Fidel Castro and to have accused him of using the revolution to establish a personal dictatorship. The Cubans in exile in particular like to claim that Cienfuegos should be killed in the name of Fidel Castro. But this is pure speculation. The anniversary of his death is still a national holiday, on which the Cuban children throw a flower into the Caribbean Sea accompanied by the slogan "Una flor para Camilo" (a flower for Camilo).

Musician

Ernesto Lecuona

b. August 6, 1895 in Guanabacoa, Cuba; died November 29, 1963 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife/Tenerife, Canary Islands

One of the most important Cuban composers and musicians of the 20th century, often referred to as the "Cuban Gershwin". As a child prodigy, he started playing the piano in public at the age of five. Six years later he published his first composition. In Havana he studied piano, instrumentation and orchestral conducting. Lecuona founded the Palau Brothers Cuban Orchestra, which was later renamed the Lecuona Cuban Boys. The group had great success in the US and Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. He wrote many styles from cantatas to piano pieces. But his most famous pieces are his songs. He composed more than 400 melodies. His most famous piece is La Malagueña, one of the most famous songs in Latin America.

Ignácio de Loyola "Arsenio" Rodríguez

born August 30, 1911; died December 30, 1972

Composer

Rodríguez went blind at the age of six as a result of a mule kick. When he was 15 years old, he met the carpenter Victor Feliciano, who gave him a basic musical education. He teaches Rodríguez the basics of Cuban music and also the playing technique of the most important instruments. Arsenio soon showed a talent for the "tres" (a Cuban type of guitar). Soon he received his first engagements as a singer and "Tresero" in his home province of Matanzas. Around 1930 he moved to Havana and quickly found a connection to the local music scene, so that after a short time he was able to found his own band, the "Sexteto Boston". His group existed from 1928 to 1937, then he joined the "Septeto Bellamar". Three years later he went into business again and made gripping compositions that revealed a strong influence of the newly emerging modern jazz. The band became a great success and in the following years performed every Sunday in the famous "Club La Tropical" in Havana. In 1947, Rodríguez traveled to New York to be examined by an ophthalmologist in hopes of being cured of his blindness. Unfortunately this was not the case and one of his most famous compositions, the bolero "La vida es un sueño" (Life is a dream), was created. A few years later he moved entirely to the United States. After the victory of the revolution in Cuba in 1959, he refrained from returning to his homeland.

In Los Angeles he tried a new start in his career, but it failed. He died, forgotten and completely impoverished, on December 30, 1972 in the southern California metropolis. Arsenio is one of the most important composers of popular Cuban music, he wrote over 200 pieces.

Dámaso Pérez Prado

b. December 11, 1916 in Matanzas, Cuba; died September 14, 1989 Mexico City

musician and composer.

He learned classical music on the piano in early childhood. In the 1940s he worked mainly in Havana. He spent most of his career in Mexico, where he moved in 1948. He specialized in Mambo, and with his characteristic fiery brass riffs and strong counterpoints through the saxophone, he played a major role in popularizing the Mambo. Dámaso Prado specialized in the mambo and composed such famous pieces as "Mambo 5" and "Mambo 8", which made him known as the king of the mambo. His works include "Cherry Pink" for the film "Underwater" and "Patricia" for the Fellini film "La Dolce Vita". In addition, Prado also appeared in films in Mexico, the USA and Europe. He died in Mexico City at the age of 72.

Edgardo Martín

Born 1915 in Cienfuegos, died May 17, 2004 in Havana

Composer

Martín studied piano with Jascha Fishermann and composition with José Ardévol. Later he taught music history at the "Conservatorio Municipal de La Habana" and at the "Escuela Superior de Arte de Cubanacán". From 1977 he was a member of the Comisión Nacional de Música of the Cuban Ministry of Culture.

Gaspar Agüero y Barreras

b. February 15, 1873 in Camagüey, died May 18, 1951

Composer and pianist

Agüero studied music in Havana and later taught at the city's conservatory. He also directed the Orfeón Catalán and performed as a concert pianist. He copied ten zarzuelas, two masses, a symphonic sketch, a symphonic ballad and various piano pieces.

Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso/Celia Cruz

b. October 21, 1925 in Havana; died July 10th 2003 in New Jersey/USA

Singer

Celia Cruz is known as the "La reina de la salsa" (Queen of Salsa). With her shrill wigs, garish outfits and extravagant appearances, she was famous until her death. The subject of her songs was her Cuban homeland, which she left in 1959 after the Cuban Revolution. One of her last solo albums from 2000 was "Siempre Viveré" "(I will always live), with the song" Por si acaso no regreso "(Maybe I'll never return) she finally said goodbye to her Cuban homeland died in Fort Lee in July 2003, tens of thousands of fans lined up their last walk at the funeral.

born May 26, 1919 in Santa Clara; died December 8th, 2003 in Havana

Pianist

He was trained at the Conservatory in Cienfuegos and later began to study medicine of traditional Cuban music. He made his first record in 1943 and soon became known beyond the borders of Cuba in Latin America. With the film by Wim Wenders "Buenas vistas social club" he celebrated an unexpected comeback. Together with his group he performed several times around the world before he gave his last concerts in Mexico and Cuba in 2000. After being bedridden for a long time, González died on December 8, 2003 in Havana.

Ibrahim Ferrer

b. February 20, 1927 in San Luís near Santiago de Cuba; died August 6, 2005 in Havana

Singer

Ferrer was an orphan at the age of 12 and had to earn his living as a shoe cleaner and newspaper seller. In addition to this livelihood, he also works as a street musician. A year later he founded his first band "Jovenes del Son" with his cousin. In the years to come he played in many groups and became known nationally. From 1953 he played in "Panchos Alonson's Orchestra" and then moved with them to Havana. He ended his career in 1991. Ry Cooder and other Cuban musicians such as Compay Segundo and Rubén González offered him to record a record in 1996. The album, produced by Cooder in connection with Wim Wenders film "Buena vista social club", became world-famous and won a Grammy in 1997, his solo album "A toda Cuba le gusta" received a Grammy nomination and in 2004 his album "Buenos Hermanos" received a Grammy in the category "Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album". In 2000 he received the Latino Grammy in the category "Best Young Artist". Ferrer died shortly after returning from a European tour on August 6, 2005 in Havana.

Natural scientist

Felipe Poey Aloy

b. May 25, 1799 in Havana; died January 28, 1891

natural scientist and writer there

Felipe Poey was born in Cuba to a French family. He spent part of his childhood in France and later returned to Havana. After studying law, he went to Spain in 1820 and became a lawyer. Due to his liberal views he had to leave Spain in 1823 and return to Cuba. In 1825 he traveled back to Paris, where he became a co-founder of the French Society for entomology. He started working in Cuvier's laboratory and began writing about butterflies. Poey worked on numerous national and international scientific publications and wrote the "Compendium for Cuban Geography" (Compendio de geografía de la Isla de Cuba), which became the basic work and was published in numerous editions. He was a member of the Zoological Society of London, the Society of Friends of Natural History in Berlin, honorary member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, the Museum and the Society for Natural History of Madrid. In 1893 he founded the Museum of Natural History in Havana. In 1842 he became professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Havana, later dean of the natural science faculty and vice-rector of the university. He founded the Ichthyology and Science Library and was a co-founder of the Academy of Medicine, Physics, and Science and President of the Havana Anthropological Society. of the Museum and Society of Natural History of Madrid. In 1893 he founded the Museum of Natural History in Havana. In 1842 he became professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Havana, later dean of the natural science faculty and vice-rector of the university. He founded the Ichthyology and Science Library and was a co-founder of the Academy of Medicine, Physics, and Science and President of the Havana Anthropological Society. of the Museum and Society of Natural History of Madrid. In 1893 he founded the Museum of Natural History in Havana. In 1842 he became professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of Havana, later dean of the natural science faculty and vice-rector of the university. He founded the Ichthyology and Science Library and was a co-founder of the Academy of Medicine, Physics, and Science and President of the Havana Anthropological Society.

Fernando Ortíz Fernández

b. July 16, 1881 in Havana; died April 10, 1969 in Havana

scientist, politician and lawyer

Fernando Ortíz, also known as Don Fernando, spent his childhood in Spain, in 1895 he returned to Cuba, where he began to study law that he finished in Spain. He obtained his doctorate in Madrid and entered the diplomatic service. In 1906 he became a lawyer at the Cuban Court of Auditors. Two years later he taught public law, political economy and constitutional law at the University of Havana. Due to his manifesto against the Cuban dictator Gerardo Machado, he had to go into exile in the USA in 1931. He returned in 1935 and was founding president of the Cuban peace movement in 1945. At the same time, he immersed himself in anthropological studies and is also known as the "Third Explorer of America" (after the Indians and Columbus) due to his groundbreaking research. Today he is considered the founder of Cuban anthropology and music ethnology. In this capacity, Ortíz taught a whole generation of modern Cuban anthropologists. He also wrote well-known criminological and historiographical writings.

Politician

Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz

b. August 13, 1926 in Birán

Fidel Castro was born the illegitimate son of a large landowner. Despite his rich origins, he came into contact with the poor rural population a lot. He studied with his brother Raúl Castro at the Jesuit college in Santiago de Cuba. From a young age he often clashed with authorities. In 1942 he switched to the Jesuit college in Havana and began studying law at the university there. Here he was already noticed by his political commitment. Among other things, he founded the student committee and joined the Orthodox party. His first militant action was his involvement in overthrowing the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Trujillo. However, this project failed. At the end of the 1940s it became known for an anti-imperialist attitude and its rejection of US influence in Cuba.

Since it was founded in 1947, Castro was a member of the Revolutionary Youth of the Cuban People's Party, for which he wanted to run for the planned parliamentary elections in 1952. After the then dictator Batista had previously staged a coup to forestall the likely victory of the Orthodox, the elections never took place. Fidel therefore sued Batista for violating the constitution. After his lawsuit was dismissed, he called for the right of resistance and began preparations for an attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The attack took place on July 26, 1953 and failed. Despite Batista's execution order, Castro was brought to justice, he defended himself at the trial and uttered his famous sentence: "History will acquit me!" ("La historia me absolverá!"). Fidel was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but was released after two years due to a general amnesty. In June 1955 he founded the "Movement of July 26th" based on the attack on the Moncada barracks. Since military training was not possible in Cuba, a group of fighters went into exile in July 1955. The guerrillas began their military training in Mexico, and it was there that he met Ernesto Che Guevara. In November 1956, Fidel set out for Cuba with Che Guevara and his fellow soldiers on the decrepit yacht "Granma", where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commandant (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. but was released after two years due to a general amnesty. In June 1955 he founded the "Movement of July 26th" based on the attack on the Moncada barracks. Since military training was not possible in Cuba, a group of fighters went into exile in July 1955. The guerrillas began their military training in Mexico, and there he met Ernesto Che Guevara. In November 1956, Fidel set out for Cuba with Che Guevara and his fellow soldiers on the decrepit yacht "Granma", where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. but was released after two years due to a general amnesty. In June 1955 he founded the "Movement of July 26th" based on the attack on the Moncada barracks. Since military training was not possible in Cuba, a group of fighters went into exile in July 1955. The guerrillas began their military training in Mexico, and there he met Ernesto Che Guevara. In November 1956, Fidel set out for Cuba with Che Guevara and his fellow soldiers on the decrepit yacht "Granma", where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. Since military training was not possible in Cuba, a group of fighters went into exile in July 1955. The guerrillas began their military training in Mexico, and it was there that he met Ernesto Che Guevara. In November 1956, Fidel set out for Cuba with Che Guevara and his fellow soldiers on the decrepit yacht "Granma", where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. Since military training was not possible in Cuba, a group of fighters went into exile in July 1955. The guerrillas began their military training in Mexico, and there he met Ernesto Che Guevara. In November 1956, Fidel set out for Cuba with Che Guevara and his fellow soldiers on the decrepit yacht "Granma", where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. to Cuba, where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle. to Cuba, where they arrived on December 2, 1956. As Commanding Commander (Comandante en Jefe), Castro led the revolutionaries to victory over the Batista regime after more than two years of struggle.

At first Castro was the link between the revolution and the bourgeois-liberal movement for some time. His brother Raúl, however, launched relations with the socialist countries. As a result of the intervention of the Cubans in exile, who fled to the USA after the revolution, Cuba lost above all an important trading partner in the USA. This meant that Castro was forced to open up to the socialist countries.

Castro was considered a brilliant politician and charismatic figure. His speeches, which could last up to 12 hours, are famous. For the socially just redistribution of social wealth, Fidel is still regarded by many as a hero.

His opponents accuse him of violating human rights and of a dictatorial regime. On 2007 he handed over his offices to his brother.

Castro died on November 25, 2016 in Havana.

Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born 1931)

brother of Fidel Castro and since 2008 President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers. He is head of state and government in one person.

actor

Juan Carlos Tabío

b. 1943 in Habana

Filmmaker

Cuba's famous director began his career as an assistant at the ICAIC and produced documentary films between 1963 and 1980. From 1981 he began to write screenplays and made the films "Se permuta" (1983), "Plaff," (1987), "Strawberry and Chocolate" (1993), "Guantanamera" (1995) and " Lista de Espera "(2000).

Writer, poet

José Julián Martí y Pérez

b. February 28, 1835 in Havana; died May 19, 1895 in Dos Ríos

Cuban national poet

Martí began to write poetry as a teenager and to sympathize with the resistance against the Spanish colonial power. He was then sentenced to forced labor and deported to Spain, where he was still able to study law. For several years in exile in the USA and Mexico, he wrote several writings, including the volume of poems "versos sencillos" (simple verses), from which the text of the famous song Guantanamera comes. In addition, he organized the fight against the Spanish crown. He founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party with other Cubans and brought the leaders Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo to resume the struggle for independence. Martí returned to Cuba in 1895 to take part in the fight against Spain. In the first few days he fell in what was then the province of Oriente. Today José Martí is very revered in Cuba, his struggle was dedicated to social justice and Cuba's independence. Many streets and squares bear his name, and especially in front of schools you can see monuments in his honor.

Works:

Gonzalo de Questa y Miranda (ed.): Obras Completas La Habana, Editorial Trópico, 1936 - 1949, 70 volumes

Dulce María Loynaz

geb. December 10, 1903 in Havana; died April 27, 1997 in Havana

poet

Before entering the University of Havana, Dulce Loyanaz had never attended school. Her first poems were published in 1920 in the magazine "La Nación". In the 1950s she published weekly chronicles in "El País", among others, and worked in various magazines such as "Social", "Díario de la Marina", "Revista Cuba" and "Orígenes". In 1959 she was elected to the Real Academia Española and was its chairman for her country. She received many awards for her work and in 1992 the Premio Cervantes. She died in her Havana home at the age of 93.

Sportsman, chess player

Alberto Juantorena

b. December 21, 1950

Former athlete and Olympic champion

He began his sports career as a basketball player and later switched to running. After a year of training, he already took part in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, but dropped out after the semi-finals. He celebrated his first victories at the World Student Games in 1973 and the Pan-American Games in 1975 over 400m.

At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, he won gold in the 400m and 800m. Juantorena is one of the exceptional runners to compete on both routes. After the World Championships in Athletics in Helsinki in 1983, where he had to be eliminated in the semifinals, he ended his sports career. In his homeland he was nicknamed "El caballo", the horse.

Silvia Chibás

born 10. September 1954

athlete and Olympic champion

at the XX. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich she won the bronze medal in the 100-meter run, as well as the bronze medal in the team in the 4x 100 relay.

Anier Garcia

b. March 9, 1976 in Santiago de Cuba

athlete and Olympic champion

Garcia started at the Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney over 110 meter hurdles and won gold. This made him the second Olympic champion after Alberto Juantorena in 1976 to celebrate a victory over this route. 1999 in Seville and 2001 in Edmonton he was runner-up world champion. He was one of the hopes for a medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and won the bronze medal.

Yumileida Cumba

born February 11, 1975

Shot Put and Olympic Champion

Her first Olympics was in Syndey in 2000, where she finished sixth. At the Olympic Games in Athens she was first second, but when the Russian first-placed Korschanenko tested positive for doping and was disqualified, she received the gold medal.

Iván Lázaro Pedroso Soler

b. 17 December 1972 in Havana

athlete, Olympic champion and world champion

Already at the age of 17 he jumped the 8-meter mark.

In the 1990s, he was the dominant long jump athlete. Between 1993 and 2001 he was nine-time world champion. At the Olympic Games in Sydney he won gold with a width of 8.55 m. His last major success was the 2001 world championship title at the World Athletics Championships.

Javier Sotomayor

b. October 13, 1967

High jumper and world champion

Sotomayor became world champion in high jump in 1997. His personal best was 2.45 m in 1993 (world record) and 2.43 m in the hall, also a world record.

Teófilo Stevenson Lawrence also Teófilo Stevenson

b. March 29, 1952

Former boxer, Olympic and world champion

Stevenson won an Olympic gold medal in boxing three times in a row. He reached the super heavyweight title in 1974, 1978 and 1986.

Félix Savón

b. September 22, 1967 in San Vicente

Boxer and Olympic champion

Félix Savón began boxing at the age of 13 and won his first important title in 1985, the Cuban national heavyweight championship, which he won every year until the end of his career. At the Olympic Games in 1992, 1996 and 2000 he won the gold medal. At the 1999 World Cup, he lost his only fight at a World Cup, but still got his title because his opponent Ruslan Chagayey had already signed a professional contract before the championship and was therefore subsequently disqualified.

After the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, he announced his resignation. Savón always refused to box as a professional and is therefore considered to be Cuba's figurehead.

José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera

b. November 19, 1888 in Havana; died March 8, 1942 in New York City

chess player and 3rd world chess champion

Already at the age of 12 the child prodigy Capablanca won a competition against the Cuban national champion Juan Corzo 4: 3 in 6 draws.

He studied chemistry and sports in New York and won a competition there in 1909 against the American champion Frank Marshall 8-1 in 14 draws.

At the tournaments in San Sebastian in 1911 he achieved his international breakthrough when he won against well-known champions such as Akiba Rubenstein, Milan Vidamr and Carl Schlechter. From 1913 he served in the Cuban diplomatic service, but was still able to devote himself to his chess game. From 1914 to 1927 he lost only five tournament games of his almost 600 games in total, only 36. Capablanca's highest rating was 2,877.

Others

Jorge Más Canosa

b. September 21, 1939 in Santiago de Cuba; died November 23, 1997 in Miami/USA

The large American entrepreneur from Cuba (division: telecommunications, sales approx. US $ 1 billion) was the founder and until his death chairman of the Cuban-American National Foundation. This society is the most influential organization of the Cuban exile in Miami. He was considered one of the leading figures among the Cubans in exile in the United States. Jorge Más used the votes of the Cuban fellow exiles to exert pressure on the various presidents of the USA to attack the Cuban revolutionary government politically, militarily and economically.

He took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and then trained as an officer in the US Army. Later he was an honorary consul in Tel Aviv, Israel. He initiated the emergence of two anti-Cuban propaganda channels (TV Martí and Radio Martí) in the USA.

Father José Olallo Valdes (1820-1889)

Father Valdes was beatified in November 2008 in the presence of Raol Castro. His beatification took place mainly for his commitment as a member of the order of nurses in the care of the wounded in the 1st Cuban War of Independence.

Cuba: animals

Mammals

Mammals are relatively rare in Cuba.

There are 32 species in total, the majority of which are bats, most of which live in caves in the limestone regions.

The second smallest bat species, the butterfly bat, is native to Cuba, as is the mustache bat, which feeds on the pollen from the royal palm.

One of the smaller mammals, the almiqui (slit weevil) is also at home in Cuba. This nocturnal rat-like insectivore is a living fossil from the island. It grows to around 28-32 cm long, weighs up to 1 kg and has a tail that can be up to 25 cm in length.

The Almiqui has a coarse, black or brown fur and strikingly large claws. You can find him in the mountains at the southwest and southeast end of Cuba. However, its future is uncertain as its habitat is increasingly being destroyed by humans.

The largest native mammals are the jutias (tree rats), but they look more like a beaver than a rat. These shy herbivores are represented in three species in Cuba.

Reptiles

The American crocodile, which is only restricted to the Peninsula de Zapata and the Lanier marshes, is critically endangered. The Cuban ear turtle, which with a little luck can be spotted in lakes and rivers, has also become rare.

A common species is the correcosta, a long and slender lizard, as well as the anole family, the most species-rich group of iguanas. They have particularly intense colors that you can change depending on the situation. Because they are excellent climbers, they can mainly be seen on trees and bushes.

There are no poisonous snakes in Cuba. But around a dozen non-poisonous species of snakes are native here. The largest snake is the Cuban slender boa. Also worth mentioning is the peaceful and very fast racing snake Jubo.

Birds

Of the more than 300 bird species, around 70 are indigenous. In the Cuban forests you can find the 12 cm tall cartacuba (multicolored todi) with its bright green back.

The smallest bird in the world, the Zunzuncito (bumblebee hummingbird), is also native to Cuba. It is only 6.5 cm tall, weighs 2 g and, in addition to the forest areas such as the Cienaga de Zapata and Sierra del Rosario, also occurs in the Sierra del Escambray and the Sierra Maestra.

The national bird of Cuba is the tocororo. This one has red, blue and white feathers, which correspond to the colors of the Cuban flag. He dies in captivity and has thus become a symbol of the urge for freedom. The Tocororo can be found in wooded areas, where it feeds on fruits, flowers and insects that it catches in flight. It has a strikingly shaped tail and a peculiar song that is reflected in its name.

There is also the silver heron, which lives in a symbiosis with cattle, and the blue heron, which is protected.

Another species of bird that is becoming increasingly rare is the Cuban pigeon, which can be recognized by its magnificent plumage. Far more often one hears and sees the light brown Cuban owl, the Bahama woodpecker with the yellow headdress and the red breast and the Cuban yellow woodpecker. Other birds in Cuba are peregrine falcons, blue-winged ducks, gray herons and weeping grapes, which can be seen in the mountains around Baracoa and the Sierra Maestra. On the coral islands of the two archipelagos Sabana and Camagüey you can find egrets, flamingos and buzzards, all of which are threatened species.

It is also worth mentioning the turkey vulture, which is also found throughout Central and South America and feeds almost exclusively on carrion.

The animals have a size between 63.5 to 76 cm - with a weight of 850 to 2,000 g and a wingspan of 1.80 to 2 m, their plumage is brown-black and shiny on the back.

The small head is bare and red with a wrinkled scalp.

Insects, vermin

There is no shortage of insects in Cuba, as well as large spiders and scorpions, none of which are toxic or are only slightly toxic.

The huge Cuban millipede is impressive, and although it is harmless to humans, it makes the skin swell uncomfortably on contact. The Cuban harvest ants, which are characterized by their astonishingly large head, are less common. The Caribbean cockroach is widespread.

One should protect oneself well against the numerous mosquitoes, especially against the black and white striped tiger mosquitoes, as these transmit dengue fever, a viral infection that is common in the tropics. However, this disease is fatal only in the rarest of cases.

Cuba is famous for its snails, such as the snail (polimeta). This species comes in all sizes and shades, and the stripes on some specimens shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow.

Although butterflies are not found all that often in Cuba, the glass winged species is a native species that is distinguished by its transparent wings.

There are also lice, fleas and bed bugs on the island

Poisonous animals

Most edible fish are not poisonous themselves. However, it can happen that they eat fish, which in turn feed on poisonous algae. In this case, barracudas can cause ciguatera (fish poisoning) when consumed.

Scorpions and black widows (a type of spider) can be encountered in the mountainous regions.

The species of black widow found here injects a nerve poison into the bite wound, but this is noticeable at the earliest after half an hour. You have to keep a bitten person under observation for at least six hours. The poison leads to muscle cramps, cramp-like abdominal pain and rapidly increasing muscle pain that can last for days if left untreated.

There is swelling and reddening of the bite wound. However, deaths rarely occur in humans. After treatment with an antiserum, this rate has dropped to almost zero. However, allergy sufferers are at risk.

Underwater world

In the sea off Cuba the typical residents of the Caribbean can be found, for example sharks, dolphins or whales.

A habitat for countless snails, sea urchins, starfish and other species is the seaweed that covers the sea floor in extensive areas.

There you can find the manatee, also known as the sea cow, which grazes the underwater pastures. It is a slow, dark brown mammal with a characteristic spatulate caudal fin. The manatees have a small head with a very bulging upper lip and are short haired. They are diurnal, sociable, and often live in herds.

The common octopus, which feeds on the fencing snail, is common.

Barracudas and porpoises are also not uncommon.

However, the hawksbill sea turtles and loggerhead turtles have almost completely disappeared.

Although the freshwater fauna is sparse, there are some rarities, such as the Cuban cave fish, the Cuban garfish and the manjuari. The last two species have existed since the time of the dinosaurs.

The Manjuaris jaw is endowed with three sets of sharp teeth. His menu includes frogs, chicks of smaller water birds and even his own offspring. This reptile-like fish can be found in the shallow waters of the lakes and rivers of the Peninsula de Zapata.

Cuba: plants

Brief info

In the past, dense forest extended over large parts of the island, today only about 18% of the island is covered with forest.

Numerous tree species have fallen victim to systematic deforestation to gain agricultural land. Nevertheless, one can still count over 6,000 different plant species that are still thriving today.

Trees

Palms

You can admire many different types of palm in Cuba, such as the coconut palm, a rare and ancient type of prehistoric cork palm and the short-stemmed sabal palm. Their petioles reach a length of 1-1.5 m and the inflorescences develop deep purple to black fruits. These are approx. 3 cm tall, egg-shaped and solitary.

This includes in particular the national tree of Cuba, the royal palm, which is widespread across the island. It has a silver-colored trunk and can grow up to 30 m high. Wood, bark and palm fronds are used in furniture and roof construction, as well as in wickerwork. The elongated fruit of the royal palm, flattened on one side, is used for feeding the animals and for oil production.

Ceiba tree

In the lowlands there is the Ceiba tree, which belongs to the wool tree family. It is not uncommon for this tree, which is sacred to all Cuban cultures, to reach a height of 45 m. The most famous Ceiba tree can be found in Havana on the Plaza de Armas, at the point where the city was founded.

Other trees

There are also about 24 types of precious woods in Cuba, such as the mahogany tree or the cedar. Mangrove swamps extend in the far west of Cuba, in many places on the north coast and especially in the area of the Peninsula de Zapata. This habitat is shaped by the American mangrove.

Flowers, cacti

Many different types of orchids and cacti can also be found in Cuba.

The national flower of Cuba is the Mariposa blanca (butterfly jasmine), which grows mainly in wetlands such as river and lagoon banks. During the Wars of Independence, it was used by Cuban women to deliver messages to the battlefields.

The hibiscus, the oleander, the poinciane, the poinsettia, the allamanda (a climbing plant) and the coral bush are very often represented.

Crops

Cuba offers the best climatic conditions for the cultivation of tropical crops. So also for the yuca, tobacco and the tropical fruits pineapple, guayava and papaya.

Other tropical fruits are the fruit banana, mango, orange, grapefruit, lime, avocado and guanábana. The last is the fruit of the Graviola tree, the leaves of which are used in medicinal medicine.

At the top of the crop is sugar cane with an annual production of 7.5 million tons. Coffee and cocoa are grown in regions with high rainfall, as well as cotton and sisal agave. This plant native to the Yucatan provides the hard-wearing leaf fibers known as sisal (sisal hemp).

Medicinal plants

The sabal palm, which is actually native to North Africa, Florida and Texas, is one of the medicinal plants. An extract is obtained from its deep purple to black fruits that alleviates prostate problems. In North American folk medicine, the fruits were also used for violent coughs, bronchitis, gonorrhea, urinary bladder infections and to stimulate digestion.

The leaves of the graviola tree also have a healing effect. They are used to combat anxiety, anxiety, nervousness and depression as well as diarrhea, colic, insomnia, fever and internal ulcers. They are also a powerful remedy for bacteria and parasites.

More plants

The evergreen and bright red and orange blooming flame tree comes from the Far East.

The casuarine and the sea almond tree, whose fruits are inedible, come from the tropical Indo-Pacific. The casuarine is a genus of plants consisting of 20 species, including leafless trees with a horsetail-like habit.

The water hyacinth from Brazil has spread in the estuary and along the lower reaches of the Rio Cauto.

The common sea grape bushes and sea apples are poisonous, the fruits of which may look appetizing but are highly toxic.

 

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