Ernst Thällmann Island is a tiny, uninhabited and inaccessible island off the coast of Cuba. It is less than 30 km and has no significance, except for its unique indigenous species, and its odd history.
Erich Honecker, a socialist German politician, visited Communist Cuba in 1972. Castro welcomed Erich by renaming Cayo Blanco del Sur to Ernst Thällmann Island, after Ernst Thällmann, a notable communist German politician who led the Communist Party of Germany. Many things had already been named after Ernst, including a republican battalion, streets, and a city in Ukraine*. His legacy lived on through many things, including a two-part film, a school in Vietnam, and a musical number. His politics were very influential. Not only was the island named after an East German politician, but a beach on its southern coast was named the German Democratic Republic Beach.
On the 18th of August, 1972, a ceremony, which was attended by Cuban and East German representatives, the island was transferred over to East Germany.
Later, in 1975, Frank Schöbel shot footage of the island and used it in a music video** and the footage was later used in a documentary as a symbol of the friendship between East Germany and Cuba.
In 1990, when Germany reunified, the island was never mentioned in the German Reunification Treaty. After that, Germany never made any formal claims to the island.
In 2001, a German newspaper brought to attention Ernst Thällmann Island. Cuba was embarrassed, to say the least, as Germany was now capitalist. Cuba denied German journalists from entering the island, saying the 1972 transfer of land was symbolic and that the ceremony was only a name change, not a transfer of land.
It seems that Hurricane Mitch predicted this in 1998 when strong winds toppled over the statue of Ernst Thällmann. The statue has yet to be replaced.
Molossia is well known for being a micronation centered in Nevada. It is not recognized by any government. In 1983, Kevin Baugh, the founder of Molossia, declared war on East Germany, mainly focusing on Ernst Thällmann Island. He failed to end the war when Germany reunified, so he claims that the war is ongoing. The micronation is even commissioning war bonds to support the war. Since the island is uninhabited, there is no one there to negotiate peace with, except for, according to Keven Baugh, “covertly trained attack iguanas.” Still, Molossia is looking to end this war soon
*Telmanove, Ukraine is named after Ernst Thällmann
**“Insel im Golf von Cazones” in Spanish or “Island in the Gulf of Cazones” in English