[Country map of Cuba]



Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Florida

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

total area: 110,860 sq km
land area: 110,860 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries: total 29 km, US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 29 km
note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and thus remains part of Cuba

Coastline: 3,735 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

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

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

Natural resources: cobalt, nickel, iron ore, copper, manganese, salt, timber, silica, petroleum

Land use:
arable land: 23%
permanent crops: 6%
meadows and pastures: 23%
forest and woodland: 17%
other: 31%

Irrigated land: 8,960 sq km (1989)

current issues: pollution of Havana Bay; overhunting threatens wildlife populations; deforestation
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
international agreements: party to - Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Desertification, Marine Life Conservation

Note: largest country in Caribbean


Population: 10,937,635 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 22% (female 1,191,320; male 1,256,928)
15-64 years: 68% (female 3,732,434; male 3,751,464)
65 years and over: 10% (female 528,104; male 477,385) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.65% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.54 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 6.53 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 8.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.05 years
male: 74.86 years
female: 79.37 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.63 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban

Ethnic divisions: mulatto 51%, white 37%, black 11%, Chinese 1%

Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 85% prior to Castro assuming power

Languages: Spanish

Literacy: age 15-49 and over can read and write (1981)
total population: 98%

Labor force: 4,620,800 economically active population (1988); 3,578,800 in state sector
by occupation: services and government 30%, industry 22%, agriculture 20%, commerce 11%, construction 10%, transportation and communications 7% (June 1990)


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

Digraph: CU

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: Rebellion Day, 26 July (1953)

Constitution: 24 February 1976

Legal system: based on Spanish and American law, with large elements of Communist legal theory; does not accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state and 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, appointed by the National Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly of People's Power: (Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular) elections last held February 1993 (next to be held NA); seats - 589 total, elected directly from slates approved by special candidacy commissions

Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo Popular)

Political parties and leaders: only party - Cuban Communist Party (PCC), Fidel CASTRO Ruz, first secretary

Member of: CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Principal Officer Alfonso FRAGA PEREZ (since August 1992) represented by the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC
chancery: 2630 and 2639 16th Street NW, Cuban Interests Section, Swiss Embassy, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-8609, 8610, 8615

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Principal Officer Joseph G. SULLIVAN
US Interests Section: USINT, Swiss Embassy, Calzada Entre L Y M, Vedado Seccion, Havana
mailing address: use street address
telephone: 33-3551 through 3559, 33-3543 through 3547, 33-3700 (operator assistance required)
FAX: Telex 512206
note: protecting power in Cuba is Switzerland - US Interests Section, Swiss Embassy

Flag: 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


Overview: Cuba's heavily statist economy remains severely depressed as the result of its own inefficiencies and the loss of massive amounts of economic aid from the former Soviet Bloc. Total output in 1994 was only about half the output of 1989. The fall in output and in imports is reflected in the deterioration of food supplies, shortages of electricity, inability to get spare parts, and the replacement of motor-driven vehicles by bicycles and draft animals. Higher world market prices for sugar and nickel in 1994, however, resulted in a slight increase in export earnings for the first time in six years, despite lower production of both commodities. The growth of tourism slowed in late 1994 as a result of negative publicity surrounding the exodus of Cubans from the island and other international factors. The government continued its aggressive search for foreign investment and announced preliminary agreements to form large joint ventures with Mexican investors in telecommunications and oil refining. In mid-1994, the National Assembly began introducing several new taxes and price increases to stem growing excess liquidity and restore some of the peso's value as a monetary instrument. In October the government attempted to stimulate food production by permitting the sale of any surplus production (over state quotas) at unrestricted prices at designated markets. Similar but much smaller markets were also introduced for the sale of manufactured goods in December. The various government measures have influenced a remarkable appreciation of the black market value of the peso, from more than 100 pesos to the dollar in September 1994 to 40 pesos to the dollar in early 1995. Policy discussions continue in the bureaucracy over the proper pace and scope of economic reform.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $14 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 0.4% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,260 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $9.3 billion
expenditures: $12.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994 est.)

Exports: $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: sugar, nickel, shellfish, tobacco, medical products, citrus, coffee
partners: Russia 15%, Canada 9%, China 8%, Egypt 6%, Spain 5%, Japan 4%, Morocco 4% (1994 est.)

Imports: $1.7 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: petroleum, food, machinery, chemicals
partners: Spain 17%, Mexico 10%, France 8%, China 8%, Venezuela 7%, Italy 4%, Canada 3%, (1994 est.)

External debt: $10.8 billion (convertible currency, December 1993)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 3,990,000 kW
production: 12 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,022 kWh (1993)

Industries: sugar milling and refining, petroleum refining, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, paper and wood products, metals (particularly nickel), cement, fertilizers, consumer goods, agricultural machinery

Agriculture: key commercial crops - sugarcane, tobacco, and citrus fruits; other products - coffee, rice, potatoes, meat, beans; world's largest sugar exporter; not self-sufficient in food (excluding sugar); sector hurt by persistent shortages of fuels and parts

Economic aid:
recipient: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $710 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $18.5 billion

Currency: 1 Cuban peso (Cu$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Cuban pesos (Cu$) per US$1 - 1.0000 (non-convertible, official rate, linked to the US dollar)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 12,623 km
standard gauge: 4,881 km 1.435-m gauge (151.7 km electrified)
other: 7,742 km 0.914- and 1.435-m gauge for sugar plantation lines

total: 26,477 km
paved: 14,477 km
unpaved: gravel or earth 12,000 km (1989)

Inland waterways: 240 km

Ports: Cienfuegos, La Habana, Manzanillo, Mariel, Matanzas, Nuevitas, Santiago de Cuba

Merchant marine:
total: 48 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 278,103 GRT/396,138 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 22, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas tanker 4, oil tanker 10, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 9
note: Cuba beneficially owns an additional 24 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 215,703 DWT under the registry of Panama, Cyprus, Malta, and Mauritius

total: 181
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 7
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 10
with paved runways under 914 m: 106
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 36


Telephone system: 229,000 telephones; 20.7 telephones/1,000 persons; among the world's least developed telephone systems
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 150, FM 5, shortwave 0
radios: 2.14 million

broadcast stations: 58
televisions: 1.53 million

Defense Forces

Branches: Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) includes ground forces, Revolutionary Navy (MGR), Air and Air Defense Force (DAAFAR), Territorial Militia Troops (MTT), and Youth Labor Army (EJT); Interior Ministry Border Guards (TGF),

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 3,065,751; females age 15-49 3,023,997; males fit for military service 1,909,901; females fit for military service 1,878,768; males reach military age (17) annually 72,582; females reach military age (17) annually 69,361 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - approx. $600 million, 4% of GSP (gross social product) in 1994 was for defense

Note: Moscow, for decades the key military supporter and supplier of Cuba, cut off military aid by 1993