What Happened to Cuba?

Aug 15, 2011
1:26 pm

This is a translation of ¿Qué pasó con Cuba?

First nation in Ibero-America, including SPAIN AND PORTUGAL to use BOATS AND STEAM MACHINES was CUBA in 1829.

The FIRST NATION IN LATIN AMERICA and the third in the world (after England and the U.S.) that has a railroad was Cuba in 1837.

In 1847, it was a Cuban who first applied ether anesthesia in Latin America

The first demonstration of ELECTRICITY to power an industry occurred in Havana in 1877.

Dr. Carlos Finlay

In 1881, it was a Cuban doctor, Carlos J. Finlay, who discovered the transmitting agent of a yellow fever that decimated villages and indicated its prevention and treatment.

The first set of electric public lighting throughout Latin America (including Spain) ocurred in Cuba in 1889.

Between 1825 and 1897 Spain received between 60 and 75% of all its outside gross income from Cuba.

It was Cuba that abolished bullfighting before the end of the eighteenth century, saying it was "unpopular, bloody, and abusive to animals"

The first trolley in Latin America went around Havana in 1900.

Also in 1900, the first car in Latin America arrived in Havana.

The world's first city to have a direct line telephone system (without operator) was Havana in 1906

In 1907 first X-ray department in Latin America was established in Havana.

On May 19, 1913 the FIRST LATIN AMERICAN AIR FLIGHT, piloted by Cubans Domingo Rosillo and Agustín Parlá, lasted two hours and 40 minutes between Cuba and Key West.

The first Latin American country to grant a divorce to couples in conflict was Cuba in 1918, the law was enacted.

The first Latin American to win a World Chess Championship was the Cuban Jose Raul Capablanca, who was also the first world chess champion to be born in a underdeveloped nation. He won every world championship from 1921 to 1927.

In 1922 Cuba was the second nation to inaugurate a WORLD RADIO STATION (The PWX) and the first nation in the world to broadcast a music concert and present a radio news show.

The first radio announcer in the world was a Cuban: Esther Perea de la Torre. In 1928 Cuba already had 61 RADIO STATIONS, 43 of them in Havana, ranking fourth in the world, trailing only to U.S., Canada, and the Soviet Union.  Cuba was the first in the world for number of radio stations per population and land area.

In 1937, Cuba was the first country in Hispanic America to decree the Working Hours Act of 8 hours, minimum wage, and university autonomy.

In 1940, Cuba adopted the most advanced of all the world's constitutions of that time.  It was the FIRST COUNTRY IN LATIN AMERICA to recognize the vote to women, equal rights between sexes and races, and the right of women to work. The feminist movement in Latin America first appeared in the late thirties in Cuba.Cuba was 36 years ahead of Spain, which did not recognize the right for Spanish women to vote, the power to have custody of their children, nor their right to obtain a passport or open a bank account without the permission of their husbands until 1976.

Ernesto Lecuona

In 1942, a Cuban becomes the first Latin American musical director for a film producer and the world FIRST LATIN AMERICAN TO RECEIVE an Oscar nomination. His name: Ernesto Lecuona.

The second country in the world that formally transmitted TV signals since 1950 was Cuba.  The biggest stars of all America, who did not enjoy such television access in their countries, went to Havana to act before Cuban cameras.


The first apartment building in the world built with 100% concrete was in Havana (The FOCSA) in 1952.

In 1954, Cuba had a cow for every inhabitant.  It was ranked third in Latin America (after Argentina and Uruguay) in meat consumption per capita.

In 1955, Cuba is the second country in Latin America with the lowest infant mortality. (33.4 per thousand births)

In 1956 the UN recognized Cuba as the second Ibero-American country with the lowest literacy rate (only 23.6%). Haiti had 90%, Spain, El Salvador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic had 50%

In 1957 the UN recognized Cuba as the best country in Latin America with the highest number of doctors per capita (1 per 957 inhabitants), with the highest percentage of households with electricity in Latin America (behind Uruguay) and the highest in calorie consumption per capita daily: (2870).

In 1958 Cuba is the second country in the world to broadcast in color TV and has the third color TV channel network in the world.

In 1958, Cuba has the most cars in Ibero-America (160 thousand, one per 38 inhabitants).  It also had the most appliances.  Cuba also had the most kilometeres of railways per km2 and second in the total number of radio receivers.

Throughout the fifties, Cuba was THE SECOND AND THIRD PER CAPITA VISITS to all of Ibero-America, ahead of Italy and more than double that of Spain. Despite its small size and only 6.5 million inhabitants in 1958, Cuba was the 29th larget economy in the world.

In 1959, Havana had with the largest number of movie theaters in the world: (358) beating New York and Paris, who occupied second and third respectively.