Cuba

Cuba’s nearly 12 million people are mostly Spanish and Africans who came to the island over the past 500 years.  About 65 percent of Cubans consider themselves as white or descendants of Spanish colonial settlers and other immigrants. Cuba’s Indian population was virtually wiped out centuries ago, so the Spanish imported 800,000 African slaves. The percentage of blacks is much higher in eastern Cuba. Many of Cuba’s blacks are followers of various Afro-Cuban cults or religions similar to the voodoo cult of Haiti.  These cults have their origins in Africa, were introduced by African slaves and are a blend of elements from Catholicism and African native traditions.  They are reflected in the country’s literature, poetry, dance songs and dramatic arts.  Santería is the most widespread of the Afro-Cuban religions.

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