5 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Cuba

On February 7, 1962, the United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba.  The ensuing embargo effectively restricted all trade between Cuba and the United States. Here are 5 things you didn't know about Cuba...


Cubans Were Only Recently Allowed to Buy New Cars Cuba’s cars are world famous, and it’s a popular tourist attraction to go for a ride in these old American cars. Many of them are from the ’50s before the import ban, and because of the import ban, Cubans couldn’t get spare parts to their cars.  In 2014, Cubans were finally able to buy new cars without government permission. Unfortunately, the roll-out of the new car-buying world was greeted with disgust as dealers offered cars at a 400 percent markup.

Coca Cola is Officially Not Sold in Cuba Only two countries in the world are known for banning Coca Cola, and that’s Cuba and North Korea. Coca-Cola moved out of Cuba in the early 1960s and has never returned. Currently, the United States holds a financial, economic, and commercial embargo against the Republic of Cuba. Therefore, no American firm including Coca-Cola is allowed to trade with Cuba.


Until 2008, Cubans Were Not Allowed to Own Cell Phones The same goes for computers. Since this law changed, many Cubans have gotten either a cell phone or laptop. Especially since the Wi-Fi hotspots came in 2015. 

Most Restaurants Are Owned by The Government There are also privately owned restaurants, called Paladares. However, these are quite rare, and most of the restaurants are owned and operated by the government.

Cuba Banned Christmas for 30 Years. Yep. Fidel Castro declared Cuba an atheist country when he came to power and didn't even allow the day off. Given that most Cubans were (and are) Catholic, that didn't sit well. When Castro finally unbanned Christmas and allowed the Pope to visit the country, citizens rushed out to buy Christmas items even though it was already after Christmas.

The Average Cuban Earns Roughly $20 per Month in Salary Although things are slowly developing and becoming more modern, the average Cuban still earns roughly $20 per month – that’s less than 1 dollar a day.