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Ernst Thälmann Island (La Agüera)
| Ernst Thälmann Island |
National languages; Spanish and German
|Government||Constituent country of the Independent State of La Agüera|
|Established||16 April 2011|
|Currency||Cuban Convertible Peso|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (UTC-4 March 11 to November 4)|
Ernst Thälmann Island (German: Ernst-Thälmann-Insel, Spanish: Cayo Ernesto Thaelmann or Cayo Blanco del Sur) is a 15 kilometre long and 500 metre wide Cuban island in the Gulf of Cazones named for German Communist politician Ernst Thälmann. It contains highly developed reef formations with a high degree of biodiversity and hosts a number of endangered species, including black coral and various ornamental reef fish species. It has extensive largely-untouched beaches and provides nursery areas for snappers. The island is uninhabited, other than occasional tourists and the indigenous Cuban Iguanas and birds that have their habitat there. For approximately nine months, the island was claimed by the Independent State of La Agüera.
Formation of Ernst Thälmann Island
Until 1972, the island was known as Cayo Blanco del Sur. On the occasion of a state visit in June 1972 by Erich Honecker, Fidel Castro renamed the island in honour of German Communist politician Ernst Thälmann, who was the leader of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) during much of the Weimar Republic. According to a newspaper article in Neues Deutschland dated 20 June 1972 the Cuban leader announced the renaming of the island, and one of its beaches to Playa "República Democrática Alemana" (English: "German Democratic Republic" Beach, German: Strand "Deutsche Demokratische Republik"). East Germany's state television newscast, Aktuelle Kamera, reported on the ceremony and the unveiling of a bust of Ernst Thälmann on 18 August 1972 in the presence of the GDR ambassador, some East German delegates, and approximately 100 Cuban representatives.
La Agüera Takeover
When Germany was re-unified, Ernst Thälmann Island was not included in the re-unification treaty. Hence, Ernst Thälmann Island still remained part of the German Democratic Republic. On the 16th of April 2011, the Independent State of La Agüera oficially claimed to be the legal successor state to the German Democratic Republic. By doing so, it claimed Ernst Thälmann Island. However, the Independent State of La Agüera did not inherit any diplomatic obligations, debts, commitments and duties of the German Democratic Republic.
La Agüera later renounced its claim on the 17th of January 2012 and wiped the claim from its records.
Ernst Thälmann has a typical Caribbean climate. It is also in the hurricane zone - in 1998 the island was hit severely by Hurricane Mitch, knocking over the bust of Ernst Thälmann.