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Countries > Cuba Cuba Flag

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Capital: Havana
Population: 11,688,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Cuba Map


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

Geographic coordinates: 21 30 N, 80 00 W

Map references: Central America and the Caribbean

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 thus remains part of Cuba

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

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

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: pollution of Havana Bay; overhunting threatens wildlife populations; deforestation

Environment - 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

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


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:
total population : 76.6 years
male: 74.2 years
female: 79.15 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban

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

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

Languages: Spanish

definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.7%
male: 96.2%
female: 95.3% (1995 est.)


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

Data code: CU

Government type: Communist state

National 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; does not accept 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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
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
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%

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: last held 11 January 1998 (next to be held in 2003)
election results:percent of vote - PCC 94.39%; seats - PCC 601

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

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

International organization participation: CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IAEA, ICAO, ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, 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, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

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) 797-8609, 8610, and 8615

Diplomatic representation from the US: none; note - the US does have an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy, headed by Principal Officer Vicki HUDDLESTON; address: USINT, Swiss Embassy, Calzada between L and M, Vedado Seccion, Havana; telephone: 33-3551 through 3559 and 33-3543 through 3547 (operator assistance required); FAX: 33-3700; 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


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.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:0.5% (2001 est.)

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

Unemployment rate: 4.1% (2001 est.)

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

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

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

Electricity - capacity: 4.082 million kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 14.87 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 13.829 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes and other tubers, beans; livestock

total value: $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: sugar, nickel, tobacco, shellfish, medical products, citrus, coffee
partners : Russia 18%, Canada 16%, Netherlands 12% (2000)

total value: $4.9 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities : petroleum, food, machinery, chemicals
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: $68.2 million (1997 est.)

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

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


Telephones:473,031 (2000)

Telephone system:
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: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region)

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)


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.)

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:
914 to 1,523 m : 31
under 914 m: 63 (2001)


Military branches: Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) includes ground forces, Revolutionary Navy (MGR), Air and Air Defense Force (DAAFAR), Territorial Troops Militia (MTT), and Youth Labor Army (EJT); Border Guards (TGF), which 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 : 3,102,312
females: 3,036,549 (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% (1995 est.)

Military - note: Moscow, for decades the key military supporter and supplier of Cuba, cut off almost all military aid by 1993

Transnational Issues

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

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