Cuba is a Caribbean island nation which has survived more than 50 years of US sanctions intended to overturn the government of Fidel Castro, in power since the 1959 revolution and the subsequent fall of the US-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Since then Cuba has been a one-party state led by Fidel Castro and, since February 2008, by his younger brother Raul.
It also defied predictions that it would not survive the collapse of its historic supporter, the Soviet Union. Indeed, after 1991 the country went over the so-called “peak oil crisis”, showing the world that another way of leaving is possible, through “the power of community”.
It has sugar-white beaches and huge tobacco fields, where the production of the country’s legendary cigars starts.