The revolution in the 1950s had a huge impact on Cuban society and the way it is structured. The Communist Party of Cuba has complete control over all facets of society and has nationalized public utilities. Cuba has universal health care, which is considered to be one of the greatest triumphs of the post-revolutionary system. The infant and maternal mortality rates are considerably low and the life expectancy is better than that of the United States. In addition, the education system is entirely state-operated. Education has a strong political and ideological emphasis, with students being expected to commit to the goals of the state.
Officially, Cuba is a secular state, as churches are considered to be sources of subversive activity. However, there is complete religious freedom and Cuban people are allowed to practice their religions freely. Catholicism remains the predominant religion, with approximately half of the population affiliated with the Catholic church.
While Cuban people are subject to censorship and political expression is limited, Cuban culture is extremely vibrant. It is a complex mix of diverse influences hailing from Europe, Africa, and North America. As a result, Cuban customs vary greatly, depending on the cultural influences.