The Republic of Cuba is a socialist state in the Caribbean. Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital, Santiago de Cuba, is the second largest. North of Cuba is the U.S.A, west of Cuba are the Bahamas, the Cayman island and Jamaica are to the south and Haiti and the Domincan Republic are to the south-east. In 1492 Christopher Columbus claimed Cuba for Spain and it continued to be ruled by them until the Spanish-American war ended in 1898, Cuba then gained independance from the U.S in 1902. Cuba is home to around 11 million inhabitants and is the most populated island in the Caribbean.