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While Cruz's mother encouraged her to enter other contests around Cuba, her more traditional father had other plans for her, encouraging her to become a teacher—a common occupation for Cuban women at that time.

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But what was most important was that the colony developed as an urbanized society that primarily supported the Spanish colonial empire.

By the mid-18th century, its colonists held 50,000 slaves, compared to 60,000 in Barbados; 300,000 in Virginia, both British colonies; and 450,000 in French Saint-Domingue, which had large-scale sugar cane plantations.

It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

Cuba is a founding member of the UN, G77, NAM, ACP, ALBA, and OAS.

Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment.

Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America.A point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.Cuba is one of the few remaining Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution.Relocating to the United States after the ascent of Fidel Castro, Cruz recorded 23 gold records with Tito Puente, the Fania All-Stars and other collaborators. Celia Cruz grew up in the poor Havana neighborhood of Santos Suárez, where Cuba's diverse musical climate became a growing influence.In the 1940s, Cruz won a "La hora del té" ("Tea Time") singing contest, propelling her into a music career.Tempering her own growing ambitions with her father’s wish for her to stay in school, she enrolled at Havana's National Conservatory of Music.

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