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The Republic of Cuba is a Communist state located on the island of the same name in the northern Caribbean Sea. Fidel Castro led a rebel army to victory in 1959 against dictator Fulgencio Batista. He has led the country ever since. Between April 17 and 21 1961, there was a failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs by about 1500 revolution refugees, recruited, paid and trained by the United States' CIA.

The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually, in 1990. Havana, the capital, blames its difficulties on the US embargo in place since 1962.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.