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This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


Map of Cuba



Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Cuba Top of Page
Background:

The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule, marked initially by neglect, became increasingly repressive, provoking an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. It was US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 that finally overthrew Spanish rule. The subsequent Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence, which was granted in 1902 after a three-year transition period. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the regime together since then. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country is now slowly recovering from a severe economic recession in 1990, following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies, worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard intercepted 2,810 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2006.

 

  
   Geography    Cuba Top of Page
Location:

Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida
Geographic coordinates:

21 30 N, 80 00 W
Map references:

Central America and the Caribbean
Area:

total: 110,860 sq km
land: 110,860 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:

total: 29 km
border countries: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km
note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and remains part of Cuba
Coastline:

3,735 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:

tropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
Terrain:

mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Turquino 2,005 m
Natural resources:

cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Land use:

arable land: 27.63%
permanent crops: 6.54%
other: 65.83% (2005)
Irrigated land:

8,700 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:

the east coast is subject to hurricanes from August to November (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year); droughts are common
Environment - current issues:

air and water pollution; biodiversity loss; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:

largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles
   People    Cuba Top of Page
Population:

11,394,043 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:

0-14 years: 18.8% (male 1,100,672/female 1,042,327)
15-64 years: 70.5% (male 4,019,648/female 4,016,429)
65 years and over: 10.7% (male 554,043/female 660,924) (2007 est.)
Median age:

total: 36.3 years
male: 35.7 years
female: 37 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:

0.273% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:

11.44 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:

7.14 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:

-1.57 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.056 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.001 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.838 male(s)/female
total population: 0.992 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.04 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.26 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.08 years
male: 74.85 years
female: 79.43 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:

1.6 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

3,300 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:

noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban
Ethnic groups:

mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%
Religions:

nominally 85% Roman Catholic prior to CASTRO assuming power; Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, and Santeria are also represented
Languages:

Spanish
Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2002 census)
People - note:

illicit emigration is a continuing problem; Cubans attempt to depart the island and enter the US using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, direct flights, or falsified visas; Cubans also use non-maritime routes to enter the US including direct flights to Miami and over-land via the southwest border
   Government    Cuba Top of Page
Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Cuba
conventional short form: Cuba
local long form: Republica de Cuba
local short form: Cuba
Government type:

Communist state
Capital:

name: Havana
geographic coordinates: 23 07 N, 82 21 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:

14 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 special municipality* (municipio especial); Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Ciudad de La Habana, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Isla de la Juventud*, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara
Independence:

20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902); not acknowledged by the Cuban Government as a day of independence
National holiday:

Triumph of the Revolution, 1 January (1959)
Constitution:

24 February 1976; amended July 1992 and June 2002
Legal system:

based on Spanish civil law and influenced by American legal concepts, with large elements of Communist legal theory; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:

16 years of age; universal
Executive branch:

chief of state: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (prime minister from February 1959 until 24 February 1976 when office was abolished; president since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the president of the Council of State and appointed by the National Assembly or the 31-member Council of State, elected by the Assembly to act on its behalf when it is not in session
elections: president and vice presidents elected by the National Assembly for a term of five years; election last held 6 March 2003 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: Fidel CASTRO Ruz reelected president; percent of legislative vote - 100%; Raul CASTRO Ruz elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - 100%
note: due to an ongoing health problem, Fidel CASTRO Ruz provisionally transferred power to his brother Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz on 31 July 2006 in accordance with the Cuban Constitution; Fidel CASTRO has not yet reclaimed control of the government
Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular (609 seats; members elected directly from slates approved by special candidacy commissions to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 19 January 2003 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: percent of vote - PCC 97.6%; seats - PCC 609
Judicial branch:

People's Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo Popular (president, vice president, and other judges are elected by the National Assembly)
Political parties and leaders:

Cuban Communist Party or PCC [Fidel CASTRO Ruz, first secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

NA
International organization participation:

ACP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:

none; note - Cuba has an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer Dagoberto RODRIGUEZ Barrera; address: Cuban Interests Section, Swiss Embassy, 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone: [1] (202) 797-8518; FAX: [1] (202) 797-8521
Diplomatic representation from the US:

none; note - the US has an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer Michael E. PARMLY; address: USINT, Swiss Embassy, Calzada between L and M Streets, Vedado, Havana; telephone: [53] (7) 833-3551 through 3559 (operator assistance required); FAX: [53] (7) 833-3700; protecting power in Cuba is Switzerland
Flag description:

five equal horizontal bands of blue (top, center, and bottom) alternating with white; a red equilateral triangle based on the hoist side bears a white, five-pointed star in the center
   Economy    Cuba Top of Page
Economy - overview:

The government continues to balance the need for economic loosening against a desire for firm political control. It has rolled back limited reforms undertaken in the 1990s to increase enterprise efficiency and alleviate serious shortages of food, consumer goods, and services. The average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level than before the downturn of the 1990s, which was caused by the loss of Soviet aid and domestic inefficiencies. Since late 2000, Venezuela has been providing Cuba oil on preferential terms, and it currently supplies about 98,000 barrels per day of petroleum products. Cuba has been paying for the oil, in part, with the services of Cuban personnel, including some 20,000 medical professionals. In 2006, high metals prices continued to boost Cuban earnings from nickel and cobalt production. Havana continued to invest in the country's energy sector to mitigate electrical blackouts that have plagued the country since 2004.
GDP (purchasing power parity):

$46.22 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):

$40 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:

11.1% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$4,100 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 4%
industry: 24.8%
services: 71.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force:

4.847 million
note: state sector 78%, non-state sector 22% (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 20%
industry: 19.4%
services: 60.6% (2005)
Unemployment rate:

1.9% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:

NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):

6.2% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):

12.1% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budget:

revenues: $32.41 billion
expenditures: $34.28 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:

sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
Industries:

sugar, petroleum, tobacco, construction, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:

17.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:

14.65 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:

12.27 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:

72,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:

204,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:

NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:

260.5 million bbl (2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:

383.6 million cu m (2005)
Natural gas - consumption:

383.6 million cu m (2005)
Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:

67.89 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:

$146 million (2006 est.)
Exports:

$2.98 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:

sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, coffee
Exports - partners:

Netherlands 21.8%, Canada 21.6%, China 18.7%, Spain 5.9% (2006)
Imports:

$10.17 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:

petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners:

Venezuela 26.6%, China 15.6%, Spain 9.6%, Germany 6.4%, Canada 5.6%, Italy 4.4%, US 4.3%, Brazil 4.2% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient:

$87.8 million (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$3.447 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:

$16.62 billion (convertible currency); another $15-20 billion owed to Russia (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$11.24 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$4.138 billion (2006 est.)
Currency (code):

Cuban peso (CUP) and Convertible peso (CUC)
Exchange rates:

Convertible pesos per US dollar - 0.9231 (2006)
note: Cuba has three currencies in circulation: the Cuban peso (CUP), the convertible peso (CUC), and the US dollar (USD), although the dollar is being withdrawn from circulation; in April 2005 the official exchange rate changed from $1 per CUC to $1.08 per CUC (0.93 CUC per $1), both for individuals and enterprises; individuals can buy 24 Cuban pesos (CUP) for each CUC sold, or sell 25 Cuban pesos for each CUC bought; enterprises, however, must exchange CUP and CUC at a 1:1 ratio.
Fiscal year:

calendar year
   Communications    Cuba Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:

972,900 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular:

152,700 (2006)
Telephone system:

general assessment: greater investment beginning in 1994 and the establishment of a new Ministry of Information Technology and Communications in 2000 has resulted in improvements in the system; wireless service is expensive and remains restricted to foreigners and regime elites, many Cubans procure wireless service illegally with the help of foreigners
domestic: national fiber-optic system under development; 85% of switches digitized by end of 2004; telephone line density remains low, at less than 10 per 100 inhabitants; domestic cellular service expanding
international: country code - 53; fiber-optic cable laid to but not linked to US network; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations:

AM 169, FM 55, shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:

58 (1997)
Internet country code:

.cu
Internet hosts:

3,388 (2007)
Internet users:

240,000
note: private citizens are prohibited from buying computers or accessing the Internet without special authorization; foreigners may access the Internet in large hotels but are subject to firewalls; some Cubans buy illegal passwords on the black market or take advantage of public outlets to access limited email and the government-controlled "intranet" (2006)
   Transportation    Cuba Top of Page
Airports:

165 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:

total: 70
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 31 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 95
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 23
under 914 m: 71 (2007)
Pipelines:

gas 49 km; oil 230 km (2006)
Railways:

total: 4,226 km
standard gauge: 4,226 km 1.435-m gauge (140 km electrified)
note: an additional 7,742 km of track is used by sugar plantations; about 65% of this track is standard gauge; the rest is narrow gauge (2006)
Roadways:

total: 60,858 km
paved: 29,820 km (includes 638 km of expressway)
unpaved: 31,038 km (1999)
Waterways:

240 km (2007)
Merchant marine:

total: 12 ships (1000 GRT or over) 35,030 GRT/51,388 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Spain 1)
registered in other countries: 16 (Bahamas 1, Cyprus 2, Netherlands Antilles 1, Panama 11, Spain 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals:

Cienfuegos, Havana, Matanzas
   Military    Cuba Top of Page
Military branches:

Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR): Revolutionary Army (ER), Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria, MGR), Revolutionary Air and Air Defense Force (DAAFAR), Youth Labor Army (EJT) (2007)
Military service age and obligation:

17-28 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation; both sexes subject to military service (2006)
Manpower available for military service:

males age 17-49: 2,967,865
females age 17-49: 2,913,559 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:

males age 17-49: 2,441,927
females age 17-49: 2,396,741 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:

males age 18-49: 91,901
females age 18-49: 87,500 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

3.8% (2006 est.)
Military - note:

Moscow, for decades the key military supporter and supplier of Cuba, cut off almost all military aid by 1993
   Transnational Issues    Cuba Top of Page
Disputes - international:

US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased to US and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease
Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Cuba is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced child labor; Cuba is a major destination for sex tourism, which largely caters to European, Canadian, and Latin American tourists and involves large numbers of minors; there are reports that Cuban women have been trafficked to Mexico for sexual exploitation; forced labor victims also include children coerced into working in commercial agriculture
tier rating: Tier 3 - Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so
Illicit drugs:

territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone for US- and European-bound drugs; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999

This page was last updated on 15 November, 2007


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