In 1961, Fidel Castro closed Cuban schools for a whole year and formed teachers into a “literacy army” with the goal to eradicate illiteracy. By the end of the year, 707,212 previously illiterate people had learned how to read.
The Mexican ambassador to the United States, said in response to the Kennedy administration’s 1961 call to collective action against Cuba: “If we publicly declare that Cuba is a threat to our security, 40 million Mexicans will die laughing.”
In Cuba, picking up hitchhikers is mandatory for government vehicles, if passenger space is available. Hitchhiking is encouraged, as there are few cars, and designated hitchhiking spots are used. Waiting riders are picked up on a first come first go basis.
Some Cuban cigar factories employed a “Lector” who would read newspapers, political treatises and classical literature aloud to help break the monotony of the cigar-rollers’ work, thus even illiterate cigar-rollers would be well-informed and familiar with great literature.
For over 20 years, Cuba has been aiding and treating more than 18,000 children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, for free.
East Germany lives on – as a tiny island off Cuba. In 1972, Fidel Castro gifted the island to East Germany. The island was not addressed in the 1990 reunification, and as such is still technically East German territory, even though the nation no longer exists.
A white dove landed on Fidel Castro’s shoulder while he gave a speech, just after he liberated Cuba. It sat there one hour.
The US pays rent for Guantanamo Bay, but Cuba refuses to cash the checks.
The United Nations General Assembly has condemned the United States embargo against Cuba as a violation of the UN Charter every year since 1992.