About Cuba*   

  • Background:

    The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule, marked initially by neglect, became increasingly repressive, provoking an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. It was US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 that finally overthrew Spanish rule. The subsequent Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence, which was granted in 1902 after a three-year transition period. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the regime together since then. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard intercepted 2,712 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2005.

  • Location:

    Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida.

  • Area - comparative:

    Slightly smaller than Pennsylvania.

  • Natural Resources:

    cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land

  • WNatural Hazards:

    The east coast is subject to hurricanes from August to November (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year); droughts are common.

  • Government Type; and Capital:

    Communist state — Havana

  • Independence:

    20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)

  • Population:

    11,382,820 (July 2006 est.)

  • Ethnic groups:

    mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%

  • Religions:

    nominally 85% Roman Catholic prior to CASTRO assuming power; Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Santeria are also represented

  • Disputes - International:

    US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased to US and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease.

About Guatemala*   

  • Background:

    The Maya civilization flourished in Guatemala and surrounding regions during the first millennium A.D. After almost three centuries as a Spanish colony, Guatemala won its independence in 1821. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments, as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. In 1996, the government signed a peace agreement formally ending the conflict, which had left more than 100,000 people dead and had created some 1 million refugees.

  • Location:

    Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean,
         between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea)
         between Honduras and Belize.

  • Natural Resources:

    petroleum, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle, hydropower

  • Natural Hazards:

    Numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms.

  • Area - comparative:

    Slightly smaller than Tennessee.

  • Government Type; & Capital:

    Constitutional democratic republic — Guatemala

  • Population:

    12,293,545 (July 2006 est.)

  • Independence:

    15 September 1821 (from Spain)

  • Ethnic groups:

    Mestizo (mixed Amerindian-Spanish - in local Spanish called Ladino) and European 59.4%, K'iche 9.1%, Kaqchikel 8.4%, Mam 7.9%, Q'eqchi 6.3%, other Mayan 8.6%, indigenous non-Mayan 0.2%, other 0.1% (2001 census)

  • Religions:

    Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs

  • Disputes - International:

    Guatemalan squatters continue to settle in the rain forests of Belize's border region; Organization of American States (OAS) is attempting to revive the 2002 failed Differendum that created a small adjustment to land boundary, a Guatemalan maritime corridor in Caribbean, a joint ecological park for the disputed Sapodilla Cays, and a substantial US-UK financial package; Guatemalans enter Mexico illegally seeking work or transit to the US.


* Based on CIA-The World Factbook


Ron Maggard

The MAGGARD Family
The Maggards

Working In Cuba, Guatemala And With Spanish Speaking In South Florida.

Their Ministry & Mission ...


Address:   430 Center Street
(Jupiter, Florida 33458
561-818-4937

Map & Flag of Cuba*

Map of Cuba

Flag of Cuba


* Based on CIA-The World Factbook

Map & Flag of Guatemala*

Map of Guatemala

Flag of Guatemala


* Based on CIA-The World Factbook