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Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba (i/ˈkjuːbə/; Spanish: República de Cuba, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkuβa] ( listen)), is an island country in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the capital of Cuba and its largest city, followed by Santiago de Cuba. To the north of Cuba lies the United States (150 km or 93 mi away) and the Bahamas, Mexico is to the west, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic are to the southeast.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on what is now the island of Cuba and claimed it for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, after which it came briefly under the administration of the United States until gaining formal independence in 1902. Its fragile democracy became increasingly dominated by radical politics, and while the Cuban Constitution of 1940 sought to strengthen its democratic system, the country came under the dictatorship of former president Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Growing unrest and instability led to the ousting of Batista in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterward established a new administration under Fidel Castro. By 1965, the country had developed into a single-party state under the revived Communist Party of Cuba, which holds power to date.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and with over 11 million people, it is also the most populous, albeit with a much lower population density than most Caribbean nations. Its people, culture, and customs draw from diverse sources, such as the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and its proximity to the United States.

Cuba is a developing country, but it still has both a high life expectancy and literacy rate. The country operates a national health system and assumes fiscal and administrative responsibility for the health care of all its citizens; the infant death rate is lower than some developed countries, and the average life expectancy at birth is 78 years. Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate with free education at every level. According to the United Nations, Cuba was the only nation in the world in 2006 that met the World Wide Fund for Nature's definition of sustainable development, with an ecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index of over 0.8 for 2007.

Tourism was initially restricted to enclave resorts where tourists would be segregated from Cuban society, referred to as "enclave tourism" and "tourism apartheid". Contacts between foreign visitors and ordinary Cubans were de facto illegal between 1992 and 1997. In 1996 tourism surpassed the sugar industry as the largest source of hard currency for Cuba. Cuba has tripled its market share of Caribbean tourism in the last decade; as a result of significant investment in tourism infrastructure, this growth rate is predicted to continue. 1.9 million tourists visited Cuba in 2003, predominantly from Canada and the European Union, generating revenue of $2.1 billion. The rapid growth of tourism during the Special Period had widespread social and economic repercussions in Cuba, and led to speculation about the emergence of a two-tier economy. The Medical tourism sector caters to thousands of European, Latin American, Canadian, and American consumers every year.
Capital L' AVANA
Currency Peso cubano (CUP)
Country code 0053
Spoken languages ​​ Spanish
Passport

Passport: needed, with a remaining validity of at least three months upon arrival in the country and ending after the date of return to Italy if exceeded three months. For any changes to this rule you should inquire in advance at the Embassy or Consulate of the country present in Italy or at your travel agent. Remember to compatriots, Cuban and Italian citizenship, who need to travel with the Italian Passport otherwise the Cuban authorities do not allow exit from the country.

Health

Outside of Havana medical assistance is not within the European parameters. The hospitals have poor sanitation conditions and are often lacking in medical supplies and medicines. Therefore, we recommend that you bring a supply of essential medicines and first aid, especially if you plan to travel outside the capital and major tourist resorts. Please note that hospital and medical expenses, according to the seriousness of cases, are very high, which must be paid in u.s. dollars and that the Embassy, according to the law, cannot anticipate them or support them on behalf of fellow countrymen. Hospitals ' administrations require timely liquidation alien in dollars for expenses incurred to dismiss the patient; failure to pay can result in a refusal to return from the local authorities. With effect from May 1, 2010 all travellers, foreigners and Cubans resident abroad at the time of entry into the country, must obligatorily be holders of an insurance policy which also covers medical expenses to be incurred on the island. The Bill will be issued by insurance entities recognized in Cuba (see companies list published on the site www.asistur.cu) and may be purchased in the border, through the Cuban insurance companies. Cases have been reported in which exit from the country, persons who have been subject to payment of a fee and have also undergone considerable hardships. The same rules also apply to foreigners holding a temporary residence permit in Cuba. The policy should cover the entire period of their stay in the country and can be purchased either at foreign companies recognized in Cuba and Cuban companies. Always check that the insurance provides for reimbursement of medical expenses and/or provide hospital costs in case of illness or accident abroad. This is essential, to avoid having to pay hospital bills that can reach significant amounts. Make sure that the insurance has sufficient coverage, which has not sottolimiti too low and expenditure also includes any return air health or transfer in another country. In that connection it observes that the Cuban Deputy tourism assistance, particularly with regard to the health aspect, is that work normally in ASISTUR a punctual and efficient. However, it should be noted that the speed and the quality of service provided by Sistra depends on the relationship that this has with the insurance company you choose, by type of insurance, and the timeliness with which the latter guarantees the reimbursement of expenses incurred. We must point out that yet there endemic diseases, in recent times, there has been a serious recrudescence of epidemic diseases such as dengue and haemorrhagic conjunctivitis. You should, therefore, carefully follow the hygienic/sanitary conditions, protecting wherever possible with repellents and clothes that cover the body not exposed to mosquitoes and insects stings. In view of the climatic characteristics of the island and of deteriorating water and sewer system, you may also want to: drink bottled water without the addition of ice; make use of running water only if previously boiled.

Telephony

There is a local cellular network coverage is limited to certain provinces of the island. GSM phones are gaining the Activation tab at the local company CUBACEL. The three operators Omnitel/Vodafone, Tim and Wind ensure roaming and GPRS services (including Internet), both in the case of subscription contracts, both in the case of prepaid cards. The fourth operator, H3G, such services are limited to phones with subscription contracts. Is not permitted the importation of satellite phones. More detailed information can be found on the mobile site http://www.cubacel.com/.

Climate

Climate: tropical. The cyclone season runs from June to November. The most intensive period of Cyclone is from October to November. For the latest information on meteorological situation of Caribbean areas are advised to visit the website of the Tropical Prediction Center in Miami: www.nhc.noaa.gov

Viability Insurance E.S.E.N. (insurance company) www.esen.com.cu/ Remember those driving abroad, a car that is not advisable to have a delegation to conduct of the owner with a notary certified signature at. Driving rules Helmets for motorcyclists: required. Safety belts: driver and passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle must wear them. BAC: there is no legal limit of tolerance towards the driver. The police can test the driver who has committed an offence or who is involved in an accident. Transportation: automotive circulation, especially outside the city, is quite messy, with frequent breaches of the rules of the highway code. Many accidents are caused by the movement of many bicycles missing any signalling device or reflector and this little visible. Since the Government hospitals require timely payment in US dollars for expenses incurred, renews the Council aimed to conclude from the tourist a special insurance that includes also the involvement of third parties in the accident. In Cuba there is no compulsory insurance for motor vehicles. They are instead covered by insurance the car regularly chartering on condition that driving there is the holder of the contract or other person specifically designated in the contract (there is a surcharge in the event of multiple drivers). It is recommended to carry out checks on the coverage offered. In case of accidents with other means of transport (e.g. with a public taxi), please note that the company's insurance carrier's non-liquid damage until after the criminal trial, and in local currency. We strongly recommend that you be careful driving vehicles or motorcycles. According to Cuban law, indeed, in the case of fatal accidents, or causing injury to the person, the foreigner may be subjected to restrictive measures (arrest and detention) and in anticipation of its process is not allowed to leave Cuban territory. If the foreign national is convicted, must serve a minimum period of imprisonment at the Cuban penal institutions. The penalties vary from 1 to 10 years imprisonment for manslaughter. Public transport, due to the economic crisis currently underway is penalized. The service is not frequent urban buses are quite crowded; to take advantage of the inter-provincial links should retain a place in advance. Normally even for minor offences is required for legal aid. The Defender comes from lawyers Associations of Cuban State and must be paid in foreign currency, as well as in foreign currency shall be paid any deposit. It is worth noting that, in cases involving a finding of responsibility and an investigation, the accused cannot leave the country. Which-given the times of celebration of the process-can last for several months. In such cases, the countryman awaiting trial may not engage in any work, having entered the country with tourist visas, what makes it even more burdensome, economically, its permanence. Ports Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. Airports The main international airport is the Havana Jose Marti. There are also airports in Varadero, Santiago, Santa Clara, Ciego de Avila, Cayo Largo, Holguin and Camaguey. Car Rental There are a number of companies operating in the sector. It is recommended to those who wish to rent – while staying in the country-a vehicle to ensure the State of wear of tires. For more information, please refer to the Cuban website: http://www.cubaweb.cu It is also recommended to ensure that the leased vehicles are covered by insurance. When you travel you should maintain a supply of strictly respectful of guide and code of traffic signs. Cuban streets are frequent police checks, always particularly detailed. In case of accidents or even malicious intentional penalties imposed, also gaol in nature can be very hard.
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