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Backgrounder: Basic facts about Cuba
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16:15, January 20, 2008

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Elections for Cuba's national and provincial assemblies are slated for Jan. 20. The following are some basic facts about the country.

With an area of 110,860 square kilometers and Havana as its capital, the Republic of Cuba lies in the Caribbean Sea. The country is an archipelago of two main islands, Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), and about 1,600 keys and islets.

Its climate is tropical, with an annual rainy season from May to October. The average annual temperature is 25 Celsius degrees and hurricanes are frequent.

Cuba has a population of 11.23 million, most of whom are of Spanish and African origin. The language spoken is Spanish. Most of Cuba's inhabitants are Christians, of whom the great majority are Roman Catholics.

Cuba's gross domestic product (GDP) was about 46.22 billion U.S. dollars in 2006.

Under Cuba's constitution, the supreme organ of state and the sole legislative authority is the National Assembly of People's Power.

Elections to the national and provincial assemblies take place every five years. The last elections for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies were held in January 2003.

The National Assembly elects 31 of its members to form the Council of State, the Assembly's permanent organ and the highest representative body of the state.

According to Cuba's National Election Commission, there are 38,000 polling stations across the country and 8.4 million eligible voters for this year's elections. At stake are 614 seats in the national assembly and 1,202 in the provincial assembly.


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