World Factbook (1990) Cuba.jpg

 See regional map III


Total area: 110,860 km²; land area: 110,860 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundary: 29.1 km with US Naval Base at Guantánamo; note—Guantánamo is leased and as such remains part of Cuba

Coastline: 3,735 km

Maritime claims:

Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: US Naval Base at Guantánamo 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

Land use: 23% arable land; 6% permanent crops; 23% meadows and pastures; 17% forest and woodland; 31% other; includes 10% irrigated

Environment: averages one hurricane every other year

Note: largest country in Caribbean; 145 km south of Florida


Population: 10,620,099 (July 1990), growth rate 1.1% (1990)

Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrant/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 12 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 78 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Cuban(s); adjective—Cuban

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

Religion: at least 85% nominally Roman Catholic before Castro assumed power

Language: Spanish

Literacy: 98.5%

Labor force: 3,400,000 in state sector; 30% services and government, 22% industry, 20% agriculture, 11% commerce, 10% construction, 7% transportation and communications (1988); economically active population 4,500,000 (1987)

Organized labor: Workers Central Union of Cuba (CTC), only labor federation approved by government; 2,910,000 members; the CTC is an umbrella organization composed of 17 member unions


Long-form name: Republic of Cuba

Type: Communist state

Capital: Havana

Administrative divisions: 14 provinces (provincias, singular—provincia) and 1 special municipality* (municipio especial); Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Ciudad de La Habana, Granma, Guantánamo, Holguin, Isla de la Juventud*, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Pinar del Río, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara

Independence: 20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)

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

National holiday: Revolution Day, 1 January (1959)

Executive branch: president of the Council of State, first vice president of the Council of State, Council of State, president of the Council of Ministers, first vice president of the Council of Ministers, Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly of the People's Power (Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular)

Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Fidel CASTRO Ruz (became Prime Minister in January 1959 and President since 2 December 1976); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raúl CASTRO Ruz (since 2 December 1976)

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

Suffrage: universal at age 16

Elections: National Assembly of the People's Power—last held NA December 1986 (next to be held December 1991); results—PCC is the only party; seats—(510 total) PCC 510 (indirectly elected)

Communists: about 600,000 full and candidate members

Member of: CEMA, ECLA, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB (nonparticipant), IAEA, IBEC, ICAO, IFAD, ICO, IHO, ILO, IMO, IRC, ISO, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, NAM, OAS (non-participant), PAHO, SELA, UN, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG, WTO

Diplomatic representation: none; protecting power in the US is Czechoslovakia—Cuban Interests Section; Counselor José Antonio Arbesu FRAGA; 2630 and 2639 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 797-8518 or 8519, 8520, 8609, 8610; US—protecting power in Cuba is Switzerland—US Interests Section; Principal Officer John J. TAYLOR; Calzada entre L y M, Vedado Seccion, Havana; telephone 320551 or 320543

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: The Soviet-style economy, centrally planned and largely state owned, is highly dependent on the agricultural sector and foreign trade. Sugar provides about 75% of export revenues and is mostly exported to the USSR and other CEMA countries. The economy has stagnated since 1985 under a program that has deemphasized material incentives in the workplace, abolished farmers' informal produce markets, and raised prices of government-supplied goods and services. Castro has complained that the ongoing CEMA reform process has interfered with the regular flow of goods to Cuba. Recently the government has been trying to increase trade with Latin America and China. Cuba has had difficulty servicing its foreign debt since 1982. The government currently is encouraging foreign investment in tourist facilities. Other investment priorities include sugar, basic foods, and nickel. The annual $4 billion Soviet subsidy, a main prop to Cuba's threadbare economy, may be cut in view of the USSR's mounting economic problems.

GNP: $20.9 billion, per capita $2,000; real growth rate -1% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): NA%

Unemployment: 6% overall, 10% for women (1989)

Budget: revenues $11.7 billion; expenditures $13.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989 est.)

Exports: $5.5 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—sugar, nickel, shellfish, citrus, tobacco, coffee; partners—USSR 67%, GDR 6%, China 4% (1988)

Imports: $7.6 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—capital goods, industrial raw materials, food, petroleum; partners—USSR 71%, other Communist countries 15% (1988)

External debt: $6.8 billion (convertible currency, July 1989)

Industrial production: 3% (1988)

Electricity: 3,991,000 kW capacity; 14,972 million kWh produced, 1,425 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 11% of GNP (including fishing and forestry); 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

Aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $657.5 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $13.5 billion

Currency: Cuban peso (plural—pesos); 1 Cuban peso (Cu$) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: Cuban pesos (Cu$) per US$1—1.0000 (linked to the US dollar)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 14,925 km total; Cuban National Railways operates 5,295 km of 1.435-meter gauge track; 199 km electrified; 9,630 km of sugar plantation lines of 0.914-1.435-meter gauge

Highways: about 21,000 km total; 9,000 km paved, 12,000 km gravel and earth surfaced

Inland waterways: 240 km

Ports: Cienfuegos, Havana, Mariel, Matanzas, Santiago de Cuba; 7 secondary, 35 minor

Merchant marine: 91 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 701,418 GRT/1,014,014 DWT; includes 62 cargo, 7 refrigerated cargo, 3 cargo/training, 10 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 chemical tanker, 2 liquefied gas, 6 bulk; note—Cuba beneficially owns an additional 34 ships (1,000 GRT and over) totaling 475,864 DWT under the registry of Panama, Cyprus, and Malta

Civil air: 59 major transport aircraft

Airports: 197 total, 168 usable; 72 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 14 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 17 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: stations—150 AM, 5 FM, 58 TV; 1,530,000 TV sets; 2,140,000 radio receivers; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Revolutionary Armed Forces (Ground Forces, Revolutionary Navy, Air and Air Defense Force), Ministry of Interior Special Troops, Border Guard Troops, Territorial Militia Troops, Youth Labor Army

Military manpower: eligible 15-49, 6,027,131; of the 3,024,385 males 15-49, 1,897,175 are fit for military service; of the 3,002,746 females 15-49, 1,879,471 are fit for military service; 96,319 males and 92,765 females reach military age (17) annually

Defense expenditures: about 6% of GNP, or $1.2-$1.4 billion (1989 est.)