1. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with an area of 110,860 square kilometres (42,800 sq mi).
  2. Fidel Castro led Cuba for five decades and was the world's third longest-serving head of state, after Britain's Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand.
  3. Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world: 99.8%.
  4. In Cuba, the tourist economy operates with a different currency, the Convertible pesos (CUC), set at par with the US dollar.
  5. Cubans
    were prohibited
    from owning
    cell phones until 2008.
  6. The CIA had a plot to use a depilatory chemical on Fidel Castro to cause his beard to fall out.
  7. Government vehicles in Cuba are legally required to pick up any hitchhikers.
  8. JFK bought 1,200 cuban cigars just hours before signing the embargo against Cuba.
  9. When Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, he immediately ordered all game sets of Monopoly to be destroyed.
  10. A man left Havana in a hot air balloon in 1856 and has been missing ever since.
  11. Fidel Castro has said that he saved ten working days a year by not bothering to shave.
  12. The U.S. Government
    created a
    Twitter clone
    for Cubans in 2011.
  13. Fidel Castro was born on a Friday the 13th.
  14. In 1940, 12-year-old boy Fidel Castro wrote a letter to President F. Roosevelt to request a $10 bill because he had never seen one before.
  15. The U.S. pays Cuba US$4,085 a month in rent for Guantanamo Bay, but Cuba refuses to cash the checks.
  16. A drink of rum and coke is called a "Cuba Libre" (Free Cuba) in Latin America except in Cuba, where it is called a "mentirita" (little lie).
  17. The average salary in Cuba in 2013 was 471 pesos or US$20 a month.
  18. South Korean soap operas are popular in Cuba.
  19. "Usnavi" is a personal name in Cuba, after "US Navy" ships that visited the country in the 1970s.
  20. After Hurricane Katrina, Cuba offered medical aid and Venezuela gasoline plus US$5 million. The U.S. rejected them all.
  21. There's one kosher butcher in Cuba. Fidel Castro personally allowed him to stay and serve 1,500 people practicing Judaism.
  22. The CIA operation to invade Cuba and take down Castro was dubbed "Operation Castration."
  23. Cuba was caught sending Weapons to North Korea in 2013.
  24. Penis enhancement surgery is free in Cuba.
  25. Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in almost a century.
  26. 5%
    of Cubans have access to the open Internet.
  27. Only two countries in the world are not allowed to sell Coca-Cola officially: North Korea and Cuba.
  28. Cuba had the second-highest number of imprisoned journalists of any nation in 2008, according to various sources.
  29. Until 1997, contacts between tourists and Cubans were de facto outlawed by the Communist regime.
  30. Every Cuban household has a ration book entitling it to a monthly supply of food and other staples, which are provided at a nominal cost.
  31. The Cuban trogon is the national animal of Cuba.
  32. Because Fidel Castro has chosen not to create a cult of personality, inside Cuba there are no streets, buildings, institutions or localities named for him.
  33. 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.
  34. Fidel Castro took personal responsibility for the persecution suffered by homosexuals in Cuba.
  35. Fidel Castro banned The Beatles and other bands in Cuba in 1964. He changed his mind two years later.
  36. The Soviet Union had transferred over 150 nuclear weapons to Cuba by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  37. Fidel Castro's father joined the Spanish Army in the late 19th century to fight against Cuban independence.
  38. Cuba is often called "El Cocodrilo", Spanish for alligator, which is what the island looks like from an aerial view.
  39. Cuba offered to pay a US$270 million Soviet-era debt to the Czech Republic entirely in rum.
  40. Fidel Castro made Cuba the first Communist country in the Western Hemisphere.
  41. Although it is said the Cuban Missile Crisis lasted for 13 days, it went on for 3 additional weeks.
  42. Officially, no Americans were supposed to be involved in the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion, but two U.S. B-26B bombers were shot down and four Americans were killed.
  43. The U.S. government initially reacted favorably to the Cuban revolution, seeing it as part of a movement to bring democracy to Latin America.
  44. There are people here named after ships that have visited Cuba. "Usnavi," from US Navy, is a famous case.
  45. Cuba has an active maximum wage law, where individuals cannot earn more than 20 U.S. dollars per month.
  46. In the 90s, Cuba was unable to afford pesticides, so the government embraced organic agriculture. Organic honey is now Cuba's fourth biggest agricultural export, as pesticide use has been linked to declining bee populations elsewhere.
  47. Cuba bans statues of living Cubans.
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