Cuba, in the Rio Puerco Valley, is a trade center for ranching and the Navajo Reservation and Jicarilla Apache Reservation. It's also a stopping place for travelers on U.S. 550 and the closest business district to Chaco Canyon National Monument. Flanked by the Nacimiento Mountains and surrounded by the Santa Fe National Forest, Cuba is the gateway to such attractions as the San Pedro Parks Wilderness and Gregorio Lake.
Highway-related services have benefited from increased travel along U.S. 550, a result of growth in both the Rio Grande valley and the San Juan Basin to the northwest. Nearly half of jobs were in the government sector, while the rest were in retail and services.
Native Americans have occupied the area for centuries. In the 1700's Spanish settlers arrived; the area was part of the San Joaquin del Nacimiento Spanish Land Grant.
Cuba was founded in 1879. The town takes its name, not for the Caribbean island, but from the Spanish word for trough, tank or sink, which probably refers to the broad basin of the Rio Puerco valley.