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Children's LiteratureThis book is part of the "First Reports" series. It provides a broad overview of Cuba, its people, culture, and geography. Cuba is an island 90 miles south of the state of Florida. In 1492, Christopher Columbus claimed Cuba for Spain and it became a Spanish settlement. Now it is a communist country run by the dictator Fidel Castro. There have been some very rocky political problems between Cuba and the United States. There was an embargo placed against Cuba that made it illegal for American's to visit Cuba unless it's for educational purposes. Over 11 million people live in Cuba. Many of them are descendants of the Spanish settlers and the African slaves that were brought over by the Spanish. The culture is a mix of both of influences. Different music styles including the cha-cha and the mambo originated in Cuba. The photographs and maps help the reader get a sense of Cuba and its people. It is an informative research tool for educators and parents teaching children about Cuba. 2004, Compass Point Books, Ages 7 to 9.