While usually known for its complicated history with the United States or turbulent political past, those should not be the only facts spotlighted about Cuba. Cuba has plenty of other interesting facts, tidbits, and unknown gems that the world deserves to know.
One fact that is particularly fascinating is that Cuba has the highest literacy rate out of any Latin American country. With the literacy rate at 99.8 percent, it is also one of the highest in the world. “They are very well educated. And I would argue better educated and better read than a lot of people in the United States. I thought they were generally very smart and well spoken,” states Greg Moore, editor of The Denver Post.
Moore spent some time in Cuba while on a journalistic mission with the American Society of Newspaper Editors and was a welcomed guest of the Cuban government. “We moved around freely, met with government officials, including President Castro, and were able to meet with and talk to dissidents and regular citizens. Eye opening and fruitful.”
Walking around in Cuba anyone who visits will feel as if they stepped back in time. This is clear just by looking at any vehicle that a citizen is driving. The only cars that Cuban citizens are allowed to drive or sell are cars that were made prior to 1959. Starting in 1960 the Cuban government seized all newer model cars and only government officials are allowed to own them.
Another impressive statistic that Cuba holds is the country’s doctor to patient ratio. Cuba holds the highest doctor to patient ratio currently in the world. In fact, Cuba has so many doctors that most will travel abroad to other countries that have a greater medical need.
While Cuba does have many doctors living in the country, that doesn’t mean they receive the same pay that doctors do in other countries. Because the government controls how much people are paid the average state salary is 471 pesos, which translates to about 20 dollars a month. “The standard of living is fairly low. Despite people being well educated, even doctors were making about $20 a month,” states Moore.
Another fun fact about Cuba is that Bacardi Rum was originally manufactured in Cuba but after Fidel Castro took over, the brand was moved to Puerto Rico instead. The Bolero, Mambo, and Cha Cha were also originally invented in Cuba. Throw alcohol in the mix while listening and dancing to Latin music and you’re basically guaranteed a memorable time.
So as you can see, Cuba has a lot more to offer than just the Castros or political turmoil. There are still many more fascinating facts about Cuba that can be seen in the infographic below so check it out!
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