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guan-provminimapBesides Havana, Guantánamo probably has  the greatest name recognition of any place in Cuba. 

Located in the province's capital, Guantánamo, is a U.S. naval base. It is a constant source of humiliation to the Castro government and a symbol of the United States' universal economic power today - even in the stronghold of Communism.

Besides the large city of Guantánamo, Guantánamo province is fairly sparsely populated.  This is largely because of its poor economic condition.  This, in turn, is caused by the province's remoteness.  Thus, Guantánamo receives less than its fair share of the government's increasingly scarce resources.  Predictably, Guantánamo was especially hard hit during the early 90's as Cuba's economy was shocked by the sudden withdrawal of aid from Russia as the Communist government there collapsed.

Guantánamo's geography has also been a barrier to economic development.  Because much of the province is mountainous, its agricultural potential is very limited; indeed, very little of the land is suitable to grow sugarcane or tobacco.  Unlike the province of Holguín, Guantánamo does not have significant mineral resources, or they have not been discovered.

The region has not been very effective in supplementing its economic production through the development of tourism. Guantánamo province receives fairly little tourist attention, and most of that which it does receive comes from ecotourists, who are not generally as extravagant spenders as tourists heading to places like Havana or Varadero.

Despite its relative poverty and remoteness, Guantánamo's unique culture has a definite appeal.  There are definite influences of French culture from Haitian settlers, as well as some of the island's highest percentages of indigenous blood.


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