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The Republic of Cuba, which includes the island of Cuba, the Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) and dozens of smaller offshore islands, is 746 miles long and 25 to 125 miles wide. Cuba is separated from the U.S. by the 90-mile-wide Florida Strait. Southern Mexico lies 130 miles (210 km) west across the Yucatan Channel. Nearby islands include the Bahamas to the north, Haiti to the east and Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to the south.

Since Fidel Castro seized power in...

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