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Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: Cuba or República de Cuba, IPA: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkuβa]), consists of the island of Cuba (the largest of the Greater Antilles), the Isle of Youth and adjacent small islands. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba is south of the eastern United States and the Bahamas, west of the Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti and east of Mexico. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica are to the south.
Cuba is the most populous country in the Caribbean. Its culture and customs draw from several sources including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, years of close ties to the Soviet Union, and its proximity to the United States. The island has a tropical climate that is moderated by the surrounding waters; the warm currents of the Caribbean Sea and its location between water bodies also make Cuba prone to frequent hurricanes.
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The Plaza Mayor
, is the historic centre of the town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988
. The buildings surrounding the central square date from the 18th and 19th centuries when trade in sugar
from the nearby Valle de los Ingenios
and slaves, brought great riches to the area. Many of the buildings surrounding the central square belonged to the wealthy landowners of the city. When the trade in sugar diminished and the slave trade ended in the mid-19th century, Trinidad became a backwater and because little building work was carried until the 1950s
many of the historic buildings and streets were preserved, especially the grand constructions in the immediate vicinity of the Plaza Mayor. Today, most of the houses surrounding the square are home to museums
The colonial houses of Trinidad are typified by red terracotta tiled roofs supported out beyond the walls by wooden beams. Pastel-coloured paintwork for the houses is normal with wood and plasterwork details picked out in different colours to the brickwork.
- ...that the Cauto River is the longest river in Cuba at 213 miles?
- ...that Arsenio Rodríguez, a Cuban musician and top band leader who developed the son montuno in the 1920s, was blind for most of his life having been kicked by a horse as a child?
- ...that Baconao, a large park region, located about 20 kilometers away from the city of Santiago de Cuba, was declared a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO?
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Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (December 11, 1928 – April 16, 1996) was an influential Cuban filmmaker. He wrote and directed more than 20 features, documentaries, and short films, known for his sharp insight into post-Revolutionary Cuba, and a delicate balance between dedication to the revolution and criticism of the social, economic, and political conditions of the country.
||This republic is not a creature of Cubans - it was neither fashioned by them nor by them influenced - but on the contrary it is of all American manufacture. Americans built it. Americans set it up again when it fell flat. American influence is all that sustains it to this moment. If they discover anything to criticise in it, or its failure, let Americans remember in so criticising that they are dealing with the work of their own hands.
Writer Irene Aloha Wright in 1910, eight years after Cuban independence.
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