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Solitary-star Flag of Cuba

Country Profile

Capital City: Habana (Havana, pop. 2 million)

Other major Cities: Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguin, Guantanamo, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Pinar del Rio.

Local Time: UTC -5h

Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Florida
Area: 110 860 sq. km. (44 200 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Flat or gently rolling plains, hills; mountains up to 2,000 meters (6,000 ft.) in the southeast.

Climate: Tropical, moderated by trade winds; dry season (November-April); rainy season (May-October).


Type: Communist state; current government assumed power by force January 1, 1959.
Independence: 20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902).

Nationality: Cuban(s)
Population: 11 million; 70% urban, 30% rural.
Ethnic groups: 51% mulatto, 37% white, 11% black, 1% Chinese (according to Cuban census data).
Language: Spanish.
Literacy: 95%.


Currency: Cuban Peso (CUP)

Natural resources: Nickel, cobalt, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, timber.

Agriculture products: Sugar, tobacco, citrus and tropical fruits, coffee, rice, beans, meat, vegetables.

Industries: Sugar, petroleum, tobacco, construction, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals.

Exports partners:
Netherlands 21.8%, Canada 16.2%, Russia 10.7%, Spain 8.7%, China 7.3% (2003)

Imports partners: Spain 16.6%, Venezuela 12.5%, Italy 8.6%, USA 8.5%, China 7.7%, Canada 5.4%, Mexico 5.3%, France 4.9% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Cuba
Gobierno de la República de Cuba

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

Diplomatic Missions
Mision de Cuba ante Naciones Unidas

Embajada de Cuba

Map of Cuba

Map of Central America and the Caribbean



Background:  Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron
rule has held the country together since. Cuba's Communist revolution,
with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa
during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. 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. Havana
portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place
since 1961. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien
smugglers, or falsified visas - is a continuing problem. Some 3,000
Cubans attempted the crossing of the Straits of Florida in 2001; the US
Coast Guard interdicted only about 25% of these.

Geography Cuba

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 water: 0 sq km land: 110,860 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries:   US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km note: Coastline:
3,735 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 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, copper, manganese, salt,
timber, silica, petroleum, arable land

Land use:  arable land: 33% other: 59% (1998 est.)  permanent crops: 8%

Irrigated land:  870 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  the east coast is subject to hurricanes from August
to October (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, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but
not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:  largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island
of the Greater Antilles

People Cuba

Population:  11,224,321 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 20.6% (male 1,188,125; female 1,125,743)
15-64 years: 69.3% (male 3,902,162; female 3,880,531) 65 years and over:
10.1% (male 520,849; female 606,911) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.35% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  12.08 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  7.35 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.06
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.86 male(s)/female total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  7.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   79.15 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.03% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  2,800 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  120 (1999 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 male: 96.2%
female: 95.3% (1995 est.)  total population: 95.7%

People - note:  illicit migration is a continuing problem; Cubans
attempt to depart the island and enter the US using homemade rafts, alien
smugglers, direct flights, or falsified visas; some 3,000 Cubans took to
the Straits of Florida in 2001; the US Coast Guard interdicted about 25%
of these migrants; Cubans also use non-maritime routes to enter the US;
some 2,400 Cubans arrived overland via the southwest border and direct
flights to Miami in 2000

Government Cuba

Country name:  conventional long form: Republic of Cuba conventional
short form: Cuba local short form: Cuba local long form: Republica de Cuba

Government type:  Communist state

Capital:  Havana

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)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 10 December (1898); note - 10
December 1898 is the date of independence from Spain, 20 May 1902 is
the date of independence from US administration

Constitution:  24 February 1976, amended July 1992

Legal system:  based on Spanish and American law, 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 elections: president and
vice president elected by the National Assembly; election last held 24
February 1998 (next to be held in 2003) election results: Fidel CASTRO
Ruz elected president; percent of legislative vote - 100%; Raul CASTRO
Ruz elected vice president; percent of legislative vote - 100% cabinet:
Council of Ministers proposed by the president of the Council of State,
appointed by the National Assembly; note - there is also a Council
of State whose members are elected by the National Assembly 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);
note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or
Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular (601 seats, elected directly from
slates approved by special candidacy commissions; members serve five-year
terms) elections:  percent of vote - PCC 94.39%; seats - PCC 601

Judicial branch:  People's Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremo Popular
(president, vice president, and other judges are elected by the National

Political parties and leaders:  only party - Cuban Communist Party or PCC
[Fidel CASTRO Ruz, first secretary]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77,
IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS (excluded from formal
participation since 1962), OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  none; note - Cuba has an Interests
Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer Dagoberto
RODRIGUEZ Barrera (since August 2001); address: Cuban Interests Section,
Swiss Embassy, 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; telephone:
[1] (202) 797-8518

Diplomatic representation from the US:  none; note - the US has an
Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer
Vicki HUDDLESTON; address: USINT, Swiss Embassy, Calzada between L and
M Streets, Vedado Seccion, Havana; telephone:  protecting power in Cuba
is Switzerland

Flag description:  five equal horizontal bands of blue (top and bottom)
alternating with white; a red equilateral triangle based on the hoist
side bears a white, five-pointed star in the center; design influenced
by the US flag

Economy Cuba

Economy - overview:  The government continues to balance the need for
economic loosening against a concern for firm political control. It has
undertaken limited reforms in recent years to stem excess liquidity,
increase enterprise efficiency, and alleviate serious shortages of
food, consumer goods, and services, but is unlikely to implement
extensive changes. A major feature of the economy is the dichotomy
between relatively efficient export enclaves and inefficient domestic
sectors. The average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level
than before the severe economic depression of the early 1990s, which
was caused by the loss of Soviet aid and domestic inefficiencies. High
oil prices, recessions in key export markets, and damage from Hurricane
Michelle hampered growth in 2001. Cuba paid high prices for oil imports
in the face of slumping prices in the key sugar and nickel industries
and suffered a slowdown in tourist arrivals following September 11. The
government subsequently depreciated the peso by approximately 30% and
now aims for 3% growth in 2002.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $25.5 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $2,300 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 7.6% industry: 34.5% services:
57.9% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  0.5% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  4.3 million (2000 est.)  note: state sector 78%, non-state
sector 22% (1999)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 24%, industry 25%, services 51%

Unemployment rate:  4.1% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $14.9 billion expenditures: $15.6 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  sugar, petroleum, tobacco, chemicals, construction, services,
nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, biotechnology

Industrial production growth rate:  2.4% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  14.87 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 94.63% hydro: 0.4%
other: 4.97% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  13.829 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes,
beans; livestock

Exports:  $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

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

Exports - partners:  Russia 18%, Canada 16%, Netherlands 12% (2000)

Imports:  $4.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  petroleum, food, machinery, chemicals,
semifinished goods, transport equipment, consumer goods

Imports - partners:  Spain 16%, Venezuela 13%, Italy 8% (2000)

Debt - external:  $11 billion (convertible currency, 2000 est.); another
$15 billion -$20 billion owed to Russia (2001)

Economic aid - recipient:  $68.2 million (1997 est.)

Currency:  Cuban peso (CUP)

Currency code:  CUP

Exchange rates:  Cuban pesos per US dollar - 1.0000 (nonconvertible,
official rate, for international transactions, pegged to the US dollar);
convertible peso sold for domestic use at a rate of 1.00 US dollar per
27 pesos by the Government of Cuba (January 2002)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Cuba

Telephones - main lines in use:  473,031 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  2,994 (1997)

Telephone system:  general assessment: NA domestic: principal
trunk system, end to end of country, is coaxial cable; fiber-optic
distribution in Havana and on Isla de la Juventud; 2 microwave radio
relay installations (one is old, US-built; the other newer, built during
the period of Soviet support); both analog and digital mobile cellular
service established international: Radio broadcast stations:  AM 169,
FM 55, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios:  3.9 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  58 (1997)

Televisions:  2.64 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .cu

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  5 (2001)

Internet users:  60,000 (2001)

Transportation Cuba

Railways:  total: 4,807 km standard gauge: 4,807 km 1.435-m gauge, in
public use (147 km electrified) note: in addition to the 4,807 km of
standard-gauge track in public use, 7,162 km of track is in private use
by sugar plantations; about 90% of the private use track is standard
gauge and the rest is narrow gauge (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 60,858 km paved: 29,820 km (including 638 km of
expressway) unpaved: 31,038 km (1997)

Waterways:  240 km

Ports and harbors:  Cienfuegos, Havana, Manzanillo, Mariel, Matanzas,
Nuevitas, Santiago de Cuba

Merchant marine:  total: 14 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 44,187
GRT/63,416 DWT ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 6, liquefied gas 1, petroleum
tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 3 (2002 est.)

Airports:  172 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 78 over 3,047 m: 7 2,438 to 3,047
m: 8 1,524 to 2,437 m: 20 914 to 1,523 m: 7 under 914 m: 36 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 94 914 to 1,523 m: 31 under
914 m: 63 (2001)

Military Cuba

Military branches:  Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) including Ground
Forces, Revolutionary Navy (MGR), Air and Air Defense Force (DAAFAR),
Territorial Militia Troops (MTT), and Youth Labor Army (EJT); note -
the Border Guard Troops (TGF) are controlled by the Interior Ministry

Military manpower - military age:  17 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 3,102,312 females
age 15-49: 3,036,549 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,915,586
females age 15-49: 1,869,867 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 86,632
females: 79,562 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  roughly 4% (FY95 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

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

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

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Granma Diario

Radio Habana Cuba

CubaNet News

Arts & Culture
Ballet Nacional de Cuba

Biblioteca Nacional José Martí



Business & Economy
Chamber of Commerce Cuba


Destination Cuba - Travel and Tour Guides

Ministerio de Turismo de Cuba




Academia de Ciencias de Cuba

Biblioteca Nacional "José Martí"

Universidad Cubana

Universidad de La Habana

Commander Ernesto Che Guevara

History of Cuba


Newsgroup of Cuba




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