The Cuban Communist Party has been in power since 1965. Fidel Castro led it until 2008 when he handed over power to his brother, Raúl. Today, despite the growing presence of private companies, the economy is still largely controlled by the state.
CUP or CUC?
Two types of currency circulate in Cuba: the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). For simplicity, the first (CUP) is the local currency used by the majority of the population and the second (CUC) is the currency used by tourists. One CUC is worth about $1 USD or 25 CUP.
The US embargo prohibited Cuban individuals from importing vehicles since the early 1960's, which is why the streets of Cuba are filled with old-school American cars, most of which date from the 1950's. As imports have been authorised since 2013, the number of collector cars in circulation is now in free-fall.
In Cuba, music is everywhere and is an integral part of the culture. Indeed, Cuban youngsters seem to grasp rhythm and dance from an early age. Salsa, Afro-Cuban rumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha, merengue, bolero -- Cuban music is one of the most exported in the world!
With nearly 4,000 kilometres of coastline, Cuba has earned the nickname "Pearl of the Caribbean". It is the ideal destination for people who are fond of sandy beaches, crystal clear water and a beautiful seabed...
Of course, Cuba is famous for its cigars but it's also known around the world for its rum and signature cocktails. A real national pastime, Cuban rum comes in white, brown and amber variants, and is consumed either alone or in a cocktail. Mojito, piña colada, Cuba Libre... What's your favourite?
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