Guide to Cuba

Quick Facts


Population: 11 million

Major Language: Spanish

Currency: Cuban Peso and CUC

Calling Code: +53

Cuba, “the key to the Gulf of Mexico,” is the largest of the Antillean islands. Only 90 miles south of the Florida Keys, its geographic position has significantly shaped its history. Spain cherished Cuba’s location as the point of intersection of the New World’s sea-lanes, and the Dutch, French and British were equally attracted to this archipelago whose control seemed vital for the control of colonial America. Cuba’s relations with the United States, however, have arguably defined Cuba’s place in the world most significantly.

Guide to the United States

Quick Facts


Population: 309 million

Major Language: English

Currency: U.S. Dollar

Calling Code: +1

American colonies gained independence from Britain in 1776, earning official recognition as the United States of America seven years later. The 19th and 20th centuries was a period of expansion in which the United States acquired overseas territories, adding 37 new states to the original 13. This period, however, was also marked by crisis.

First, the Civil War divided the nation between a northern Union of states and the eventually defeated secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states. Later, the Great Depression of the 1930s brought the greatest wave of unemployment in the country’s history. U.S. successful participation in the two World Wars and the Cold War would restore national economic and political stability, elevating the country to the status of most powerful nation state.

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