Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies, lying south of Florida
and east of Mexico\'s Yucatán Peninsula. The Republic of Cuba is combined with
the surrounding islands. On the East, Cuba is separated from the island of
Hispaniola by the Windward Passage. The U.S. maintains a naval base at Guantá
namo Bay in the Southeast. The capital and largest city of Cuba is Havana.
The island extends about 760 miles from Cabo de San Antonio to Cabo Maisí
, the western and eastern extremities. The average width is about 50 miles. The
total area is 44,218 square miles including the area of the Isla de la Juventud
(Isle of Youth) and of other islands of the country.

Land and Resources

About 1/4 of the surface of Cuba is hilly, the remaining consists of
flat or rolling terrain. The hilly areas are scattered throughout the island and
do not come from a central mass. The main 3 ranges are the Sierra de Trinidad in
the central part of the island, the Sierra Maestra, in the Southeast, and Sierra
de los Órganos in the West. The first two ranges are under 3000 feet. The Sierra
Maestra, has the greatest in altitude and mass, and contains Pico Turquino (6561
ft), the highest point in Cuba. Most of the soil of Cuba is relatively fertile.
One of the natural features of the island is the large number of
limestone caverns. Most of the many rivers of Cuba are short and unnavigable.
The main river is the Cauto, located in the Southeast. The coast of Cuba is very
irregular and is indented by numerous gulfs and bays. The total length is about
2500 miles. The island has a large number of harbors.

The climate of Cuba is subtropical, the annual temperature is 77°. The
annual rainfall averages about 52 inches. More than 60% of the rain fall during
the wet season, which extends from May to October. The island lies in a region
heavily hit by hurricanes during the hurricane season.

Category: Social Issues