Countries that surround Cuba include the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Aruba, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Mexico and the United States. Cuba is an island nation surrounded by many other island countries nearby in the Caribbean.
Cuba was inhabited by ancestors of the Native Americans, called the Taino, before being colonized by Spain beginning in 1492. Cuba rebelled in 1868, which started the Ten Years' War. Spain retained control of Cuba, but Cuba began a revolution in 1892. The United States became involved, and after the Spanish-American War, Spain sold Cuba to the United States in 1898. Cuba became an independent nation on May 20, 1902. The United States leased Guatanamo Bay, a naval base, from Cuba around that time and still controls the base as of 2014. Cuba was home to 11,167,325 people as of the 2012 Census, making it the most populated island in the Caribbean. The largest city in Cuba is the capitol, Havana. Cuba has a tropical climate, and the rainy season runs from May to October, while the dry season runs from November to April. Cuba is prone to hurricanes, particularly during September and October.