Cuba: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 2)

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Cuba, and now we’re back with part two! Check out seven more fascinating facts about the country below.

Number Seven: Cubans Have Their Own Version of Monopoly

It’s called “la deuda eternal” (“eternal debt”). Rumor has it Fidel Castro banned Monopoly on Cuban territory, and got every game on the island destroyed. A version of the game was introduced into the country to satisfy the government’s own policies and ideologies. Players assume the role of third world nations, whose mission is to end the IMF. Instead of going to prison, players might end up in a coup.

Number Six: Cubans Love K-Dramas

It seems implausible, but South Korean soap operas are among the most watched TV shows in the country. The reason why this might be happening seems to lie within the cultural differences between both countries. Brazilian, Venezuelan and Mexican telenovelas all share a spot on Cuban television, but it’s South Korea who seems to be getting the most love from Cuban audiences since a K-drama was first broadcasted nationally in 2013.

Number Five: Sex-Change Surgery Is Free in Cuba

It might not be the most openly accepting country of LGBT rights, but Cuba has been performing state-sponsored gender reassignment operations since 2010, way ahead of the U.S. Surgery is performed on selected individuals, based on economic circumstances, and it is not accessible to foreigners visiting the country.

Number Four: It Has Over 300 Beaches

One of the best things Cuba has to offer is its 300 beaches, kissed by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these beaches remain pristine, as the coastal construction boom never really hit the country. In addition to the beautiful coastline, Cuba counts with 330 days of sunshine a year.

Number Three: Bacardi Rum Is Not Sold in Cuba

Bacardi, the most popular white rum brand worldwide, was founded in Cuba in 1862. Its production was moved to Puerto Rico after the Cuban Revolution and it has never returned to its home country. Currently, Cuba manufactures its own brand of rum, Havana Club, used for their famous mojitos.

Number Two: It Holds One of the Highest Literacy Rates

At 99,7%, Cuba leads the literacy ranking along with countries like Cyprus and Estonia. It also leads the world in the patient to doctor ratio (170), far ahead of the next best result (Belarus, 220).

Number One: Cuba Has Two Currencies

Cuba’s dual economy makes the situation a little intricate for tourists staying in the country. The country has two working currencies: The Peso Cubano (CUP), used by Cubans, and the Peso Convertible (CUC), used by tourists. Thanks for reading!