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© 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.1 Cuba 2 Cuba sits ninety miles from the southernmost point of Florida and is the largest of the Greater Antilles islands. When the Spanish arrived in 1492, Arawak tribes dominated the island. Cuba quickly became an important Spanish colony, la Perla de las Antillas. Its size and location made it the “key” to the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba was among the last colonies that Spain lost in the Spanish-American war in Sixty years after Cuba gained independence from Spain, Fidel Castro launched a successful revolution, overthrowing U.S-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista to establish a Communist dictatorship. Castro holds the world’s record for the longest serving dictator. Under his long rule, Cuba has seen improvement in health services and education, but Cubans have lived in poverty and without freedom of speech, assembly, and press for almost fifty years. Castro has defiantly survived U.S. sanctions, the fall of the Soviet Union, and other setbacks. On July , just days before his eightieth birthday and for the first time in his forty-seven years of rule, Fidel temporarily handed over control to his brother Raúl, resulting in a frenzy of speculation about Fidel’s health and about the future of Cuban leadership among Miami Cubans and political analysts. La Habana, officially named San Cristóbal de la Habana, is the capital and largest city of Cuba. In colonial times, Havana was an important stop-off port for ships traveling back to Europe, and became one of the main shipbuilding centers of the Caribbean. Today, Havana is a sprawling metropolis of over two million inhabitants. La Habana Vieja, the older district of the capital, was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Cuba has nearly 3700 miles of coastline and some 300 sandy beaches. Cubans who try to defect generally set sail on makeshift rafts and boats in the middle of the night from Cuba’s southern beaches. Santiago de Cuba is Cuba’s second most important and populous city. This seaport is located on a deep-water bay of the Caribbean coast in the east of Cuba and is surrounded by mountains. The city is an important music hub, known for its laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle. The Castillo de Los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro, popularly known as El Morro, was built between 1589 and 1630 to help safeguard the Spanish fleet that would stop twice a year in Havana before transporting New World treasures across the Atlantic back to Spain. Credits Havana: © Amanda Clement/Getty Images; Beach: © Sexto Sol/Getty Images; Santiago: © AG/LatinFocus.com; El Morro: © Adalberto Rios Szalay/Sexto Sol/Getty Images 4 3 © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
Artes teatrales: música y baileCuba 3 Una mujer baila la yoruba Bobby Carcasses El Festival Internacional de Jazz 1 The music and dance of Cuba is a rich combination of cultures, with predominantly African rhythms. Although African slaves in Cuba were initially separated from their families and other tribe members in order to diffuse unity and control them, the Spanish tried to piece the tribes back togeth er in the 18th century, in order to preserve some of their ethnic and cultural heritage. To do this, cabildos were formed, for example, el cabildo Yoruba, el cabildo Congo, and el cabildo Arara. This regrouping helped preserve sacred dances and music that the slaves brought with them from Africa. Cuban musical traditions also include European and indigenous elements. El Festival Internacional de Jazz was born from a 1978 concert at the Casa de la Cultura Plaza in Havana. Today, the concert attracts international artists, and is hosted annually for four days of December. In the two images here, a festival favorite, Bobby Carcasses, plays the fluegelhorn, a brass instrument similar to a trumpet and a bugle, and Coto (Juan de la Cruz Antomarchi), considered by some the Jimmy Hendrix of Cuba, plays the tres, a type of guitar often used in Hispanic music. La rumba, originally a marriage dance, is one of Cuba’s signature dances. The music and dance integrate Spanish poetry and African rhythms. Yambu, guaguanco, and columbia are three different rumba styles. When exported to the United States, the rumba was performed as a ballroom dance, losing much of its rhythm and erotic movements. Yoruba is a sacred dance and music brought to Cuba by slaves from Yoruba, Africa. Also called Lucumi, the Yoruba music and dance are associated with Cuban santería and are traditionally performed to worship orishas, spiritual beings from the Yoruba mythology. The rhythm is carried by el batá, a set of three double-headed, hourglass-shaped drums. Credits all images: ©Jimmy Dorantes/LatinFocus.com 2 Coto, famoso guitarrista cubano del tres Una pareja que baila la rumba © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
Cuba Deportes: El béisbol 1 2 Un juego entre amigos en la HavanaFor the baseball purist, Cuba is paradise, and is one of the few remaining places where baseball is a passion, not a business. Cuban baseball is still played for the fun of it, and is not strangling under the grip of business ventures and labor conflicts. Teams are truly regional in Cuba because baseball players play for their home team, unlike in the United States, where players are free agents and easily traded. Baseball is the dream sport of Cuba. The local and national games are wildly popular, and many young Cuban boys dream of growing up to become a baseball star. Omar Linares was one of Cuba’s most celebrated baseball players of the 80s and 90s. He joined the Cuban national team at the age of seventeen and played in all three of the first official Olympic baseball tournaments. In those tournaments, Cuba won two gold medals (1992 and 1996) and one silver medal (2000). During his career in Cuba, Linares always played for Pinar del Río, the western province where he was born. He had an impressive career at home and at the Olympics. His Olympic career batting average was .444, and he holds Olympic career records for the most hits, the most at bats, and the most homeruns. He was the only baseball player to appear in twenty-seven Olympic games. Credits all images: ©LatinFocus.com Omar Linares, uno de los mejores beisbolistas cubanos Omar Linares y sus aficionados © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
Comida: Platos típicosCuba 4 1 Arroz con leche Lechón asado con moros y cristianos Cuban cuisine is a fusion of traditions and ingredients from four continents: Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. Spanish ingredients include olive oil, garlic, cilantro, green peppers, saffron, and much more. Indigenous ingredients range from tubers such as the yucca and boniato (a Caribbean sweet potato) to tropical fruits such as plantains, mangos, and papayas. Milk, creams, and heavy sauces are not used in Cuban recipes. Pork and chicken are the main meats used in dishes. Black beans, rice, yucca, and plantains are also popular. Typical Cuban spices are not hot, but rather savory, like cumin and coriander. Most Cuban recipes begin with a sofrito, a sautéed mixture of onions, green peppers, garlic, and olive oil. Arroz con leche reflects Spanish heritage, where sweet rice dishes are a popular dessert. Mojo is a sauce or marinade prepared with olive oil, lime juice, and garlic. Yuca con mojo is boiled or blanched and fried yucca topped with mojo. The plantain is prepared in many different ways, often deep-fried and served as a side vegetable, but also fried and bagged like potato chips. Tostones are plantains that have been mashed, formed into patties, and deep-fried. Lechón (suckling pig) is one of the most popular meats, prepared over an open spit or baked or barbecued. Lechón asado is baked and often served with moros y cristianos, or black beans and rice. Credits Arroz con leche: ©Jimmy Dorantes/LatinFocus.com; yuca con mojo: © LatinFocus.com; tostones: © LatinFocus.com; lechón asado: © LatinFocus.com 2 3 Yuca con mojo Tostones © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
Cuba hoy: Una crisis agri-económica1 4 El azúcar El café cubano The Cuban economy has been primarily agriculture-based, but recently the agricultural industry, especially the sugar industry, has suffered major setbacks, sending the whole country into an economic crisis. As Cuba becomes more open to the outside world, tourism may provide a venue for economic recovery. For years, Cuba drew relatively few tourists, especially compared to its Caribbean neighbors. Since the beginning of this century, tourism has been growing. Old, elegant buildings and homes are being restored, and tourist accommodations are being developed. After the economic crisis, the Cuban government has allowed limited privatization of business. Some Cubans rent space in their homes for tourists who want a more intimate experience. Additionally, the Cuban government is taking positive steps to develop ecotourism on the island. Sugar has been the most important product and export. At one time, 60% of the cultivated land was for sugarcane. Other agricultural exports include coffee, tobacco, and citrus fruits. The sugar industry suffered a crisis in the early 21st century, when over half of its 156 sugar mills were closed down, and workers were relocated and/or retrained. Some of the Cuban ecotours include trips through tobacco and sugar plantations in places like Valle de Viñales. This valley is also a UNESCO World Heritage site (1999). Located in the Pinar del Río province, the Viñales Valley is the most beautiful of the Cuban karst valleys. Karst areas are characterized by soft, soluble stone such as limestone and large aquifers. The flat surface of this karst valley is dotted with mogotes, knolls with rounded tops and steep slopes. One of Cuba’s most celebrated products is the Cuban cigar. Tobacco is grown in many parts of Cuba, but the best area is the western province of Pinar del Río. Only the best leaves are harvested and sent to Havana, where torcedores and anilladores hand roll the dried leaves into cigars. Cubans love their coffee. Coffee production began in the 1700’s. When the French fled Haiti in the early 1800s, many settled in Cuba, bringing with them their coffee traditions as well. Cubans grow Arabica beans, and most Cuban coffee is consumed in Cuba. Traditionally, the beans are dark roasted, finely ground, prepared espresso style, and served with a heavy helping of sugar. Credits Sugar harvest: © RP/LatinFocus.com; cigar: © Jimmy Dorantes/LatinFocus.com; coffee pickers: © James Quine/LatinFocus.com; Valle de Viñales: © James Quine/LatinFocus.com 3 2 El tabaco y los cigarros El Valle de Viñales © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.
La República Dominicana © 2007 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved
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Las comidas del Caribe.
Hoy voy a hablar de un baile típico de cuba la salsa.
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