Cuba, formally the Republic of Cuba (Spanish: República de Cuba), is a country in the Caribbean, consisting of the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud and more than 4000 smaller islands. Cuba is bordered on the north by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the Windward Passage, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the Yucatan Strait.
The country has been officially a socialist state since 1959 and has been ruled since 2008 by Raúl Castro, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Cuba. The country is divided into fifteen provinces and one special municipality: the island of Isla de la Juventud.
Cuba has a literacy rate of 99.8%, an infant mortality rate lower than some developed countries, and an average life expectancy of 78.3 years, giving Cuba a higher life expectancy than the United States. In 2006, Cuba was the only country in the world to meet the WWF definition of sustainable development; with an ecological footprint of less than 1.8 hectares per capita and a Human Development Index of more than 0.8 for 2007.