Treatment of Cubans of African extraction


Demographics and Diversity

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Despite the fact that the first face many Americans of the 1950’s saw of Cuban nationals was the white face of Desi Arnez on their television screens during a live episode of “I Love Lucy,” Cuba was, is, and is likely to remain a tremendously ethnically and culturally diverse nation — a particularly impressive and striking aspect of its racial and ethnic history given its status an island and its relative isolation over the years of communist rule.

Describe the indigenous groups or religious or ethnic minorities within your country. Be sure to approximate each group’s percentage within the general population.

According to the Nation Master Encyclopedia on the World Wide Web, most Cubans have some African and Hispanic roots. Cuba’s ethnic groups and composition are broken down as thus, as of 2004. Its mulatto or mixed population measured 51% of the population, its exclusively white or Latin American and Caucasian population translated into 37% of its overall demographic, its exclusively African or Black population was 11%, and its Chinese population measured 1%. (“Demographics,” 2004)

Yes, there are some naturalize Chinese Cubans residing in the country. (“Chinese Cubans,” 2004) Most of these reside in Havana, which remains Cuba’s most diverse city and area, while rural regions of Cuba tend to be more ethnically and racially homogeneous. (“Havana,” 2004) However, the Chinese population used to be larger — many Cuban individuals of Chinese origin left for United States after the start of reign of Fidel Castro.

In the past, how have the dominant population treated minority populations in your country?

The treatment of Cubans of African extraction in Cuba, and to a lesser extent its small indigenous or Indian Cuban population (which often practices the religion of Sanatoria) was particularly poor during the pre-Castro regime, and the anti-discriminatory reforms introduced by the communist leader was one reason for his strong support by the African community of Cuba, which exceeded that of the white community of the land, even during the early post-Baptista era. During Castro’s early reign, inroads into industries and the professions were made by African-originated Cubans and women in historic numbers, although time and the worsening Cuban economy has dimmed some of the initial and early fervor for communism and the communist leader amongst these groups. (“Economics,” 2004)

What is the role of women in your country deciding reproductive strategies?

The total estimated 2004 fertility rate of Cuba was1.66 children born per woman. The de-emphasizing of the Catholic influence in the region is largely thought to have reduced the yearly population growth. Women have free access to birth control, as much as the health care system can be accessed by the individual woman — however, access as a practical matter, as with most health care, is much better and more open in urban as opposed to rural communities.

What is the per capita income of your country? How unevenly is income distributed?

The population of Cuba was 11,308,764 (July 2004 est.) Officially, there is an equal and egalitarian distribution of income amongst all members of the population, depending upon the standard of living in the community. The 2004 per capita income was $381.76, in a nation where there is provision, on the part of the government, for health care and other social services. (“Labor,” 2004) Still, in 1993 the Cuban Government was effectively forced, because of the Cuban people’s economic privation, to make legal for its people to possess and use the U.S. dollar. Since then, the dollar has become the major currency in use. “The gap in the standard of living has widened between those with access to dollars and those without. Jobs that can earn dollar salaries or tips from foreign businesses and tourists have become highly desirable. It is common to meet doctors, engineers, scientists, and other professionals working in restaurants or as taxi drivers.” (“Economics,” 2004)

Works Cited

Chinese Cubans” (2004) Nation Master. Encyclopedia. Retrieved on October 24, 2004 at

Demographics of Cuba.” (2004) Nation Master. Encyclopedia. Retrieved on October 24, 2004 at

Economy of Cuba.” Nation Master. Encyclopedia. Retrieved on October 24, 2004 at

Havana.” (2004) Nation Master. Encyclopedia. Retrieved on October 24, 2004 at

Labor” (2004) Nation Master. Encyclopedia. Retrieved on October 24, 2004 at Nation Master.

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