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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Cubanos), a nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense); the principal population of the Republic of Cuba. There are about 8.2 million Cubans (1970, estimate). They speak Spanish distinguished by local characteristics, such as words of West Indian and African derivation and abbreviated variants of Spanish words. Most of the believers are Catholics, but there are also some Protestants and adherents of various Afro-Christian syncretic cults.

From an anthropological point of view, the Cubans are a heterogeneous people, for they include representatives of the Caucasoid and Negroid races, as well as mulattoes. Cubans are descended from Spanish settlers who intermingled with Negro slaves, most of whom were imported from West Africa, between the 16th and 19th centuries. Aboriginal Indians also mixed with these groups in the initial phase of the formation of the Cuban people, but by the mid-16th century they had been almost completely exterminated by the Spanish colonialists. Important stages in the national consolidation of the Cubans were the Thirty Years’ War of National Liberation (1868–98), the Revolution of 1933, and the Popular Revolution of 1959, which later developed into a socialist revolution. The Cubans are becoming a socialist nation (natsiia).

Most of the Cubans are engaged in agriculture (the principal crop is sugarcane). There is some industry. Cuban folk culture —particularly music and dance—combines Spanish and African elements.


Narody Ameriki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959.
Mokhnachev, M. I. “Stanovlenie sotsialisticheskoi natsii na Kube.” In the collection Natsii Latinskoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1964.
Chain, C. Formatión de la natióon cubana. Havana, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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