Sunday, July 31, 2011
State of the Union: Cuba
Statehood: July 14, 1852
Area: 110,861 km2
Largest City: Havana
Crops: Tobacco, coffee, pineapples, tropical fruit
Resources: Timber, oil,
Industry: Tourism, medical, biotechnology
Cuba was purchased along with Florida from the Spanish government in 1819. It was admitted to the Union as a slave state in 1852, but did not secede upon the election of Abraham Lincoln. Cuba remained in the Union during and following the War Between the States. During the Third Anglo-American War, Confederate sympathizers rose up and overthrew the state government, and invited the C.S.A. to ‘liberate’ them. Following 1885, Cuba remained a Confederate State until the Great War. In 1914, after fighting their way through the Bahamas, American forces landed on the island, and drove the Confederates from it. At the end of the war, the Union Government was reinstated in Cuba, and Cuba was readmitted to the Union in July of 1919. During the first weeks of World War II, Confederate Marines landed on Cuba and attempted to take the island, only to be delayed by American Marines long enough for reinforcements to force their surrender. Cuba acted as a stepping stone for the invasion of the Confederate Gulf Coast.
Today, Cuba is home to over twenty-two million Americans, nearly half of them over the age of sixty. It is the most popular destination for retiring workers, and this influx of old folks helps spur Cuba’s economy. It drove a great deal of research into medical technology, and even started a biotech boom in the 1990s. Cuba exports a few tropical cash crops, along with oil off its shore, however the bulk of its income comes from retirees and tourists.