The Republic of Cuba is a country comprises of the island of Cuba itself and Isla de la Juventud, while several smaller islands make up the entirety. Cuba is surrounded by water; it is situated at a point where the Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico converge. It is north of Jamaica and Cayman Islands, west of Haiti, south of Florida and the Bahamas, and east of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Havana serves as both its largest city and capital. The original inhabitants of the area known as Cuba today are the Ciboney Taino people, who had resided within the area from the 4th millennium BC until the Spaniards came in the 15th century.
The area was a Spanish colony until 1898 when the Spanish-American War took place. The US occupied the area until 1902 when it obtained nominal independence with a status of de facto US protectorate. The republic tried to implement democracy in 1940 but all attempts ended in a coup in 1952 by Fulgencio Batista. The Batista Regime was plagued with corruption and the leader ruled the country through dictatorship.
Fidel Castro took over control and subsequently the country was under communist rule by the Communist Party of Cuba since 1965. Cuba is a culturally diverse country whose culture and customs are a merge of several different subjects and influences including the aboriginal peoples, long period when the Spanish colonialism, many introduction of African slavery happen, and a close bond with the Soviet Union during the era of the Cold War.
The republic is a sovereign state. It also participates in many organizations of global scale including being one of the founding members of the United Nations, the G77, the Organization of American States, ALBA, the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the African-Caribbean-Pacific Group of States. The tourism industry combined with exports of skilled labor, coffee, tobacco, and sugar make up its economy, which is also one of the only planned economies in the world. The Human Development Index stated that Cuba ranks the eighth highest in North America in human development. Still, the country only ranks the 67th in the world. The country also performs very well in several national performance metrics such as education and health care. The WWF puts forth a sustainable development program and Cuba comes up as the only country in the world that meets all of the conditions in said program.