25 Odd Facts About Cuba To Know Before You Visit

There’s no doubting the mystery that has shrouded the island of Cuba for decades since the US travel ban to the country. These days, however, the lift on the ban has Americans flocking to the small country where bailando is all the rage and cigars are a way of life.

Gearing up for a trip to Cuba this year? Before you pack your bags check out this list of the weirdest things you should be aware of.

1. Ballet instead of basketball.

CREDIT: @panamaballetfestival / Instagram

In Cuba, ballerinas often earn more money than doctors and are considered to at the top tier when it comes to stardom. The National Ballet of Cuba was founded in 1948 and is considered to be the top in the world.

2. They don’t do rum and coke like you do.

CREDIT: @restauracja_secado / Instagram

In every other part of Latin America, a drink with rum, coke and a lime is called a “Cuba Libre.” In Cuba you can put in an order by asking for a “mentrita” AKA “little lie.”

3. Bacardi Rum comes from Cuba.

CREDIT: @beforwork / Instagram

The company moved to Puerto Rico when Fidel Castro took over.

4. It snows there

CREDIT: @bestfridayvibes / Instagram

Or, at least once it did. The most recent snowfall in March of 1857.

5. Hitchhikers always get a lift.

CREDIT: @elbelgavolador / Instagram

Government vehicles are required to pick up hitchhikers.

6. Internet access is for the 5%.

CREDIT: @martoshke / Instagram

Only this small percentage of the company is allowed access to the uncensored open Internet many across the world are able to access.

7. No selfies with the government.

CREDIT: @d3mariner / Instagram

In Cuba, it is against the law to take photos of police, airport and military workers.

8. Sex changes allowed since 2007

CREDIT: @ohvesta / Facebook

And they’re covered by the health care system.

9. But the country is hardly a queer safe haven.

CREDIT: @dr_zeitz / Instagram

Cross-dressing in the country is completely illegal.

10. America pays rent to Cuba but Cuba doesn’t cash it.

CREDIT: @attworldnews / Instagram

The United States pays the country $4,085 annually to rent the 45-square-mile naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Cuba has never cashed the checks however because they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the lease that gave U.S control over Guantanamo.

11. Dolls get burned there.

CREDIT: @jgrantbrittain / Instagram

Every New Year’s Eve the island of Cuba gets lit up when residents burn dolls. The symbolic burning represents forgetting bad times and looking forward to the new.

12. “Operation Castration”

CREDIT: @acababugunneoldu / Instagram

The CIA had worked to take down Castro for years. The operation was called “Operation Castration” and included one idea of killing him with an explosive seashell.

13. Cuba looks like a crocodile.

CREDIT: @jens_cullmann / Instagram

The country gets its nickname “El Coccodrilo” from the aerial view of the island.

14. Castro hates Monopoly

CREDIT: @emmy_bel / Instagram

One of Fidel Castro’s first orders, when he seized power over Cuba, was to ban and destroy all sets of the game Monopoly.

15. No Coca-Cola

CREDIT: @cocacola / Instagram

Just like North Korea, Cuba bans the distribution of Coca-Cola. Poor mentritas.

16. Cubans love South Korean telenovelas

Of course, the country loves a good telenovela and the drama of Kdramas is too much for them to resist.

17. John Lennon lives there.

CREDIT: @roxyguns/ Instagram

Or at least his legacy does. A statue of Lennon is on 24hr patrol to keep patrons from stealing his glasses.

18. Don’t you dare blow your nose!

CREDIT: @sneezegoddess / Instagram

It’s considered to be super rude to do in public.

19. Crocodiles leap there.

CREDIT: @brodbeckchristopher / Instagram

Cuba has a native species of leaping Cuban crocodiles that are extremely endangered.

20. Christmas came late.

CREDIT: @photography_art777 / Instagram

The country didn’t officially recognize the holiday until 1997.

21. One company makes the premium cigars.

CREDIT: @cigar_aficionado_swiss /

And oh yea they don’t call them cigars there. They call them puros or habanos.

22. No cell phones until 2008.

CREDIT: @cellphoneguys_com / Instagram

That’s a lot of years late when you consider that the rest of the world was getting their hands on the first iPhone just a year later.

23. There are a ton of readers there.

CREDIT: @mainehumanities / Instagram

At 99.8% the country holds one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

24. Cubans and American tourists pay with different money.

CREDIT: @beautybydaniela/ Instagram

In Cuba, there’s the Cuban convertible peso, AKA CUC, and the Cuban peso, AKA the CUP. U.S. visitors require the CUC, which is the exact 1:! of the U.S. dollar.

25. There’s a reason why the cars are old

CREDIT: @d.tolchennikov / Instagram

There was an import ban on cars in Cuba until 2011.

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This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

Things That Matter

This Instagram Page Is Doing The Work To Identify And Expose The People Who Stormed The Capitol

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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