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Cubans ( es, Cubanos) are people born in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
and people with Cuban
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizenship
. Cuba is a
multi-ethnic Multiracial people (or mixed-race people) are people of many races. Many terms exist for people of various multiracial backgrounds, including ''multiracial'', ''biracial'', ''multiethnic'', ''polyethnic'', '' Métis'', '' Creole'', '' Muwallad' ...
nation, home to people of different ethnic, religious and national backgrounds. As a result, Cubans generally do not equate their
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...

ethnicity
with
nationality Nationality is a of a person in , establishing the person as a subject, a ''national'', of a . It affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of the state against other states. Article 15 of the stat ...
but with
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...
and their allegiance to Cuba.


Racial and ethnic groups


Census

The population of Cuba was 11,167,325 inhabitants in 2012. The largest urban populations of Cubans in Cuba (2012) are to be found in
Havana Havana (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguati ...

Havana
(2,106,146),
Santiago de Cuba Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest city in Cuba and the capital city of Santiago de Cuba Province. It lies in the southeastern area of the island, some southeast of the Cuban capital of Havana. The municipality extends over , and contain ...

Santiago de Cuba
(506,037),
Holguín Holguín () is a municipality and city in Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor Archipelago, arch ...

Holguín
(346,195),
Camagüey Camagüey () is a city and municipality in central Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud ...
(323,309), Santa Clara (240,543) and
Guantánamo Guantánamo (, , ) is a municipality and city in southeast Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la J ...

Guantánamo
(228,436). According to Cuba's Oficina Nacional de Estadisticas ONE 2012 Census, the population was 11,167,325 including: 5,570,825 men and 5,596,500 women. Source.


White or European, Criollo

In the 2012 Census of Cuba, 64.1% of the inhabitants self-identified as white. Based on genetic testing (2014) in Cuba, the average European, African and Native American ancestry in those auto-reporting to be white were 86%, 6.7%, and 7.8%. The majority of the European ancestry comes from Spain. During the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th century especially, large waves of Canary Islanders,
Galicians Galicians ( gl, galegos, es, gallegos) are a Celtic- Romance ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a ...
,
Asturians Asturians ( ast, asturianos) are a Romance peoples, Romance ethnic group native to the autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, Asturias, in Spain. Culture and society Heritage The Asturians have Visigothic, Ancient Romans, Latin and H ...
and
Catalans The Catalans are a Romance-speaking The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of the Ita ...

Catalans
emigrated from Spain to Cuba. Other European nationalities with significant influx include:
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
, French,
Germans Germans (, ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas ...
,
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
,
Italians Italians ( it, italiani ) are a Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong att ...
,
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

Poles
and Scots. Europeans with lesser influx were
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
,
Romanians The Romanians ( ro, români, ; dated exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeas ...
and
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...

Russians
.
Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe, the Baltic states, Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Europe (also called the Balkans), usually meaning former communist states from the Eastern Bloc and War ...
an influence was mostly during the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
years and immigration from the British Isles was mostly to Havana and Pinar del Rio Province. There is a small remnant of Jewish as well as
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
ine peoples, mainly
Lebanese Lebanese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Lebanon * Lebanese people, people from Lebanon or of Lebanese descent * Lebanese Arabic, the colloquial form of Arabic spoken in Lebanon * Lebanese culture * Lebanese cuisine See also

,
Palestinians The Palestinian people ( ar, الشعب الفلسطيني, ''ash-sha‘b al-Filasṭīnī''), also referred to as Palestinians ( ar, الفلسطينيون, links=no, ''al-Filasṭīniyyūn''; he, פָלַסְטִינִים) or Palestinian ...
and
Syrians Syrians ( ar, سُورِيُّون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشَّعْب السُّورِيّ, ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization ...
.


Black or Sub-Saharan African

The Afro-Cuban population was 9.3% in the 2012 Census of Cuba. Just about 1.3 million Cubans described themselves as
black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a rout ...
. Thus a significant proportion of those living on the island affirm some sub-Saharan African ancestry. The matter is further complicated by the fact that a fair number of people still locate their origins in specific African ethnic groups or regions, particularly the
AkanAkan may refer to: People and languages *Akan people The Akan () are a meta-ethnicity living in the countries of present-day Ghana and Ivory Coast. The Akan language (also known as ''Twi/Fante'') are a group of dialects within the Central Tano ...
,
Yoruba Yoruba may refer to: * Yoruba people The Yoruba people () are a Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the U ...
(or Lucumí),
Igbo Igbo may refer to: * Igbo people, an ethnic group of Nigeria * Igbo language, their language * anything related to Igboland, a cultural region in Nigeria See also

* Ibo (disambiguation) * Igbo mythology * Igbo music * Igbo art * * Igbo-Ukwu, ...

Igbo
and , but also Arará, Carabalí, Mandingo, Fula, Makua, and others. Based on genetic testing in 2014, the average African, European and Native American ancestry in those self-reporting to be "negro (Black)" was 65.5% "African", 29% "European" ancestry and 5.5% "Native American" or other ancestry. Although Afro-Cubans can be found throughout Cuba, Eastern Cuba has a higher concentration of Blacks than other parts of the island, and
Havana Havana (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguati ...

Havana
has the largest population of blacks of any city in Cuba. In Cuba, there is an Afro-Gypsy population.


Multiracial

In the 2012 Census of Cuba, 26.6% (2.97 million) of the Cubans self-identified as
mulatto Mulatto (, ) is a Race (human categorization), racial classification to refer to people of mixed Sub-Saharan African, African and Ethnic groups in Europe, European ancestry. Its use is considered outdated and offensive. A mulatta (Spanish: ''mu ...

mulatto
or
mestizo (; ; fem. ) is a racial classification used to refer to a person of a combined Ethnic groups in Europe, European and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous American ancestry. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category for mixed-ra ...
.


Asian

Cubans of
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
n origins made up 1.02% of the population in the 2002 Census of Cuba. They are mostly of Chinese (especially Cantonese), Japanese or Korean origins. The Chinese population in Cuba is descended mostly from indentured laborers who arrived in the 19th century to build
railroads Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport, transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehic ...

railroads
and work in
mines Mine, mines, miners or mining may refer to: Extraction or digging *Miner, a person engaged in mining or digging *Mining, extraction of mineral resources from the ground through a mine Grammar *Mine, a first-person English possessive pronoun Mil ...

mines
. After the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, many of these laborers stayed in Cuba because they could not afford return passage to China.


Amerindian

Of the
Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cub ...
s the number of people claiming descent have not been formally recorded. Most, however, live on the eastern part of the island, notably in Granma, Guantánamo, and Las Tunas. According to a 2018 genome-wide data study, the eastern region of the island had an average Native American ancestry contribution of 10% as compared to an average of 5% in the rest of the island. Additionally, many North American Indians living in Spanish missions in Georgia and
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...
were evacuated to
Spanish Cuba The Captaincy General of Cuba ( es, Capitanía General de Cuba) was an administrative district of the Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, Imperio Español; la, Imperium Hispanicum), historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, Mona ...
along with the fleeing Spanish settlers following the loss of
Spanish Florida Spanish Florida ( es, La Florida) was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age ...
. As a result, descendants of the
Calusa The Calusa ( ) were a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigen ...

Calusa
,
Tequesta The Tequesta (also Tekesta, Tegesta, Chequesta, Vizcaynos) were a tribe. At the time of they occupied an area along the southeastern coast of . They had infrequent contact with Europeans and had largely migrated by the middle of the 18th cent ...
,
Timucua The Timucua were a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenou ...
and other now-extinct
indigenous peoples of Florida The indigenous peoples of Florida lived in what is now known as Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the north by , to the east by and , and to the south b ...
are now assimilated into the mainstream Cuban population, comprising part of Cuba's Amerindian genetic makeup. Intermarriage between diverse groups is so general as to be the rule.


Population changes

Cuba's
birth rate The crude birth rate (CBR) in a period is the total number of live births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; population ...
(9.88 births per thousand population in 2006) is one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Its overall population has increased continuously from around 7 million in 1961 to over 11 million now, but the rate of increase has stopped in the last few decades, and has recently turned to a decrease, with the Cuban government in 2006 reporting the first drop in the population since the
Mariel boatlift The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans Cubans ( es, Cubanos), are people born in Cuba or with Cuban citizenship. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic, religious and national backgrounds. As a result, Cu ...
. Immigration and emigration have had noticeable effects on the demographic profile of Cuba during the 20th century. Between 1900 and 1930, close to a million Spaniards arrived from Spain. Since 1959, over a million Cubans have left the island, primarily to
Miami, Florida Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a metropolis located in in southeastern , . With a population of 467,963 as of the , it is the 44th-largest city in the United States and the core of the nation's eighth-largest metropolitan area. Th ...

Miami, Florida
, where a vocal, well-educated and economically successful
exile To be in exile means to be forced away from one's home (i.e. village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scien ...

exile
community exists (
Cuban-American lobbyThe Cuban-American lobby describes those various groups of Cuban exile A Cuban exile is a term for a person who emigrated from Cuba in the Cuban exodus. Exiles have various differing experiences as emigrants depending on when they migrated during t ...
).


Genetics

An
autosomal An autosome is any chromosome that is not a sex chromosome (an allosome). The members of an autosome pair in a diploid Ploidy () is the number of complete sets of chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the ...
study from 2014 found the genetic ancestry in Cuba to be 72% European, 20% African and 8% Amerindian. This study was of Cubans in Cuba, not the Cuban exile community in United States or other parts of the
world In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the world ...

world
, who may have different genetic profiles. Of note, there is high variability between regions within Cuba, with individuals from Western provinces having higher European ancestry on average, and those in the Eastern region having more African and Native American genetic contribution. Cuban genealogy has become a rising interest for Cubans in the last 15 years. A 1995 study done on the population of
Pinar del Río Pinar del Río is the capital city of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba. With a population of 139,336 (2004) in a municipality of 190,332, it is the List of cities in Cuba, 10th-largest city in Cuba. Inhabitants of the area are called ''Pinareños'' ...

Pinar del Río
, found that 50% of the Mt-DNA lineages (female lineages) could be traced back to Europeans, 46% to Africans and 3% to Americans. This figure is consistent with both the historical background of the region, and the current demographics of it. According to another study in 2008, the geographical origin attributed to each mtDNA haplogroup, 55% of the sequences found in Cubans are of West Eurasian origin (namely, Europe and the Middle East) and 45% of African origin Regarding Y-chromosome haplogroups (male lineages), 78.8% of the sequences found in Cubans are of West Eurasian origin, 19.7% of African origin and 1.5% of East Asian origin. Among the West Eurasian fraction, the vast majority of individuals belong to West European
haplogroup R1b Haplogroup R1b (R-M343), previously known as Hg1 and Eu18, is a human Y-chromosome haplogroup. It is the most frequently occurring paternal lineage in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a contin ...

haplogroup R1b
. The African lineages found in Cubans have a Western (haplogroups E1, E2,
E1b1a Haplogroup E-V38 is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It is primarily distributed in Africa. E-V38 has two basal branches, E-M329 (formerly E1b1c or E1b1*) and Haplogroup E-M2, E-M2 (formerly E3a & E1b1a). The E-M329 subclade is today almost ...
) and Northern ( E1b1b-M81 ) African origin. The North African haplogroup E1b1b1b (E-M81), is found at a frequency of 6.1%. According to Fregel et al. (2009), the fact that autochthonous male E-M81 and female U6 lineages from the Canaries have been detected in Cuba and Iberoamerica, demonstrates that Canary Islanders with indigenous
GuancheGuanche may refer to: *Guanches The Guanches were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in a ...
ancestors actively participated in the American colonization.


Cubans abroad

The United States has the largest number of Cubans outside Cuba. As of 2019, the
United States Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, ...
's
American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educati ...
showed a total population of 1,359,990 Cubans. As of 2015, 68% of Cuban-born residents of the United States have
naturalized Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local jurisdiction) of belongi ...
automatically losing their Cuban citizenship. Significant populations of Cubans exist in the cities of
Hialeah Hialeah ( ) is a city in Miami-Dade County Miami-Dade County is located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United ...
and
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
in
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
(995,439 Cubans in this state in 2017) and in
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
(60,381),
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
(44,974),
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
(35,364),
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
(26,875), and Illinois (22,541) The second largest Cuban diaspora is in Spain. As of 2019, there were 151,423 Cubans in Spain. Smaller numbers of Cubans live in
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
*,
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
*, and
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
. After the founding of the republic in 1902, a considerable migration (over 1 million) arrived from the
Iberian peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region ...

Iberian peninsula
to the island, between them were more than a few former Spanish soldiers who participated in the wars, and yet it never created an obstacle for the respect and affection of Cubans, who have always been proud of their origins. In December 2008, Spain began accepting citizenship applications from the descendants of people who went into exile after its brutal 1936-39 Civil War, part of a 2007 law meant to address the painful legacy of the conflict. This new
Historical Memory Law Law 52/2007 That recognises and broadens the rights and establishes measures in favour of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the Dictatorship (in Spanish: ''Ley 52/2007 por la que se reconocen y amplían derechos ...
has granted to more than 140,000 Cubans of
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
ancestry the
Spanish citizenship Spanish nationality law refers to all the laws of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , nationa ...
, and there were 143,048 Cubans with Spanish citizenship in Cuba and 93,004 in Spain on January 1, 2019. Under the law, the descendants had until December 2011 to present themselves at the Spanish embassy in their home country and turn in documentation that proves their parents or grandparents fled Spain between 1936 and 1955. They did not need to relinquish their current citizenship.


History

The first people known to have inhabited Cuba was the Siboney, an
Amerindian The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who n ...
people. They were followed by another Amerindian people, the
Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cub ...
who were the main population both of Cuba and other islands in The Antilles when
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
first sighted the island in 1492. He claimed the islands for Spain and Cuba became a
Spanish colony The Spanish Empire ( es, Imperio Español; la, Imperium Hispanicum), historically known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, Monarquía Hispánica) and as the Catholic Monarchy ( es, Monarquía Católica), was a colonial empire A colonial empire is a ...
. It was to remain so until 1902 apart from a brief occupation by
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
in 1762, before being returned in exchange for
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
. Towards the end of the 19th century, Spain had lost most of its American possessions and a series of
rebellions Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and ...
had shaken Cuba. This, combined with calls for annexation of Cuba in the United States, led to the
Spanish–American War The Spanish–American War (April 21 – August 13, 1898, es, Guerra hispano-estadounidense or ; fil, Digmaang Espanyol-Amerikano) was an armed conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, S ...
, and in 1902 Cuba gained formal independence. During the first decades of the 20th century, USA interests were dominant and in Cuba, leading to large influence over the island. This ended in 1959 when
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
leader
Fulgencio Batista Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (; ; born Rubén Zaldívar, January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and as its U.S.-backed military dictator f ...

Fulgencio Batista
was ousted by
revolutionaries A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. D ...
led by
Fidel Castro Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (; ; 13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary, lawyer, and politician who was the leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2008, serving as the prime minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and President of Cuba ...

Fidel Castro
. Quickly deteriorating relations with the US led to Cuba's alliance with the Soviet Union and Castro's transformation of Cuba into a declared
socialist republic Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and Economic ideology, economic philosophy encompassing a range of Economic system, economic and social systems characterised by social ownershipArnold, N. Scott (1998 ...
. Cuban soldiers were sent overseas to fight in the Angolan Civil War and Ogaden War in the 1970s-1980s. Castro remained in power until 2008, first as Prime Minister of Cuba, Prime Minister then from 1976 as President of Cuba. Fidel was succeeded by his brother Raúl Castro.


Culture and traditions

The culture of Cuba reflects the island's influences from various cultures, primarily European ethnic groups, European (Spanish),Taino and African. One of the most distinctive parts of Cuban culture is Music of Cuba, Cuban music and dancing, being well-known far outside the country. Well known Latin music styles such as Mambo (music), mambo, salsa music, salsa, Cuban rumba, rumba, Cha-cha-chá (music), cha-cha-chá, bolero, and Son cubano, son originated in Cuba. The origins of much of Cuban music can be found in the mix of Spanish and West African music, while American musical elements such as trombones and big band were also significant elements in the formation of Cuban music. Cuban literature includes some of the most well-known names of the islands, such as writer and independence hero José Martí in the late 19th century. More contemporary Cuban authors include Daína Chaviano, Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, Antonio Orlando Rodríguez, Zoé Valdés and Leonardo Padura Fuentes. The Spanish language is spoken by virtually all Cubans on the island itself. Cuban Spanish is characterized by the reduction of several consonants, a feature that it shares with other dialects of Caribbean Spanish as well as the Canary Islands. Many Cuban-Americans, while remaining fluent in Spanish, use American English as one of their daily languages.


Religion

Cuba's prevailing religion is Catholic Church, Roman Catholicism, although in some instances it is profoundly modified and influenced through syncretism. A common syncretic religion is Santería, which combined the
Yoruba Yoruba may refer to: * Yoruba people The Yoruba people () are a Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the U ...
religion of the African slaves with some Catholicism; it shows similarities to Brazilian Umbanda and has been receiving a degree of official support. The Roman Catholic Church estimates that 60 percent of the population is Catholic, with 10 percent attending mass regularly, while independent sources estimate that as few 1.5 percent of Catholics do so. Membership in Protestant churches is estimated to be 5 percent and includes Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Presbyterians, Episcopal Church of Cuba, Episcopalians, Methodists, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and Lutherans. Other groups include the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Buddhists, History of the Jews in Cuba, Jews, Baháʼí Faith, Baháʼís, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Cuba is home to a variety of syncretic religions of largely African cultural origin. According to a US State Department report, some sources estimate that as much as 80 percent of the population consults with practitioners of religions with West African roots, such as Santeria or Yoruba. Santería developed out of the traditions of the
Yoruba Yoruba may refer to: * Yoruba people The Yoruba people () are a Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the U ...
, one of the African peoples who were imported to Cuba during the 16th through 19th centuries to work on the sugar plantations. Santería blends elements of Christianity and West African beliefs and as such made it possible for the slaves to retain their traditional beliefs while appearing to practice Catholicism. La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady Of Charity) is the Catholic patroness of Cuba, and is greatly revered by the Cuban people and seen as a symbol of Cuba. In Santería, she has been syncretized with the goddess Ochún. The important religious festival "La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre" is celebrated by Cubans annually on 8 September. Other religions practised are Palo Monte, and Abakuá, which have large parts of their liturgy in African languages.


Influence of the Canary Islands

Many words in traditional Cuban Spanish can be traced to those of the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands. Many Canary Islanders emigrated to Cuba and had one of the largest parts in the formation of the Cuban dialect and accent. There are also many elements from other areas of Spain such as Andalucian, Galician, Asturian, Catalan, as well as some African influence. Cuban Spanish is very close to Canarian Spanish. Canarian emigration has been going on for centuries to Cuba, and were also very numerous in emigration of the 19th, and 20th centuries. Through cross emigration of Canarians and Cubans, many of the customs of Canarians have become Cuban traditions and vice versa. The music of Cuba has become part of the Canarian culture as well, such as Mambo (music), mambo, salsa music, salsa, son, and punto Cubano. Because of Cuban emigration to the Canary Islands, the dish "Moros y Cristianos (food), moros y cristianos" (black beans and rice mixed together with traditional spices, different from "frijoles negros", which is a thick black bean soup served over white rice), also known as simply "moros", can be found as one of the foods of the Canary Islands; especially the island of La Palma. Canary Islanders were the driving force in the cigar industry in Cuba, and were called "Vegueros". Many of the big cigar factories in Cuba were owned by Canary Islanders. After the Fidel Castro, Castro revolution, many Cubans and returning Canarians settled in the Canary islands, among them were many cigar factory owners such as the Garcia family. The cigar business made its way to the Canary Islands from Cuba, and now the Canary Islands are one of the places that are known for cigars alongside Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The island of La Palma has the greatest Cuban influence out of all seven islands. Also, La Palma has the closest Canarian accent to the Cuban accent, due to the most Cuban emigration to that island. Many of the typical Cuban Spanish, Cuban replacements for standard Spanish vocabulary stem from Canarian lexicon. For example, ''guagua'' (bus) differs from standard Spanish ''autobús'' the former originated in the Canaries and is an onomatopoeia stemming from the sound of a Klaxon horn (wah-wah!). The term of endearment "socio" is from the Canary Islands. An example of Canarian usage for a Spanish word is the verb fajarse ("to fight"). In standard Spanish the verb would be ''pelearse'', while ''fajar'' exists as a non-reflexive verb related to the hemming of a skirt. Cuban Spanish shows strong heritage to the Spanish of the Canary Islands. Many names for food items come from the Canary Islands as well. The Cuban sauce mojo (sauce), mojo, is based on the mojos of the Canary Islands where the mojo was invented. Also, Canarian ropa vieja is the father to Cuban ropa vieja through Canarian emigration. Gofio is a Canarian food also known by Cubans, along with many other kinds.


Symbols

The flag of Cuba is red, white, and blue; and was first adopted by Narciso López on a suggestion by the poet Miguel Teurbe Tolón. The design incorporates three blue stripes, representing the three provinces of the time (Oriente, Centro, and Occidente), and two white stripes symbolizing the purity of the patriotic cause. The red triangle stands for the blood shed to free the nation. The white star in the triangle stands for independence. Narciso López, Miguel Teurbe Tolón, José Aniceto Iznaga Borrell, his nephew José Maria Sánchez Iznaga, Cirilo Villaverde and Juan Manuel Macías, designed the flag of Cuba and swore to fight to the death for Cuban independence from Spain.


See also

*Cuban nationality law *Afro Latin American *Cuban Americans *Cuban British *Cuban exile *Cuban Spanish *Cubans in Italy *Cuba-United States relations *History of Cuban Nationality *Latin Americans *List of Cubans *List of Cuban Americans *Spanish American *White Latin American *
Taíno The Taíno were an indigenous people of the Caribbean. At the time of European contact in the late fifteenth century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cub ...


References

{{Authority control Cuban people, Ethnic groups in the Caribbean