Cuba 2002Cuba

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Fidel Crest

Cuba - Introduction 2002
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Background: Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule has held the country together since then. 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 2,600 Cubans attempted the crossing of the Straits of Florida in 2001; the US Coast Guard apprehended only about 35% of the individuals.

Cuba - Geography 2002
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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 referenceCentral America and the Caribbean

Total: 110,860 km²
Water: 0 km²
Land: 110,860 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries
Total: 29 km
Border countries: (1) 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

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

Natural resources: cobalt nickel iron ore copper manganese salt timber silica petroleum arable land
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 33.04%
Other: 59.35% (1998 est.)
Permanent crops: 7.61%

Irrigated land: 870 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

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

Note: largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles

Cuba - People 2002
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Population: 11,224,321 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 0.35% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Cuban
Adjective: Cuban

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

Languages: Spanish

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.35% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 12.08 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 7.35 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.21 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air and water pollution; biodiversity loss; deforestation
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
International agreements signed but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.06 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male/female
Total population: 1 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 7.27 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 76.6 years
Female: 79.15 years (2002 est.)
Male: 74.2 years

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

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.03% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 2,800 (2001 est.)
Deaths: 120 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Male: 96.2%
Female: 95.3% (1995 est.)
Total population: 95.7%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Cuba - Government 2002
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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

Dependent areas

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

International law organization participation


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 6 March 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
Election results: Fidel CASTRO Ruz reelected 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
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: only party - Cuban Communist Party or PCC [Fidel CASTRO Ruz first secretary]

International organization participation: CCC ECLAC FAO G-77 IAEA ICAO ICC ICRM IFAD IFRCS IHO ILO IMO Interpol IOC IOM (observer) ISO ITU LAES LAIA NAM OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962) OPCW PCA UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNIDO 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 2,630 16th Street NW Washington DC 20,009; telephone: [1] (202) 797-8,518
From the us: none; note - the US has an Interests Section in the Swiss Embassy headed by Principal Officer James C. CASON; address: USINT Swiss Embassy Calzada between L and M Streets Vedado Seccion Havana; telephone: 33-3,551 through 3,559 (operator assistance required); FAX: 33-3,700; protecting power in Cuba is Switzerland

Flag descriptionflag of Cuba: 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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Cuba - Economy 2002
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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 aimed for 3% growth in 2002 but growth was held back by hurricanes depressed tourism and faltering world economic conditions including low world sugar prices and a shortage of external financing.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 0% (2002 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 8%
Industry: 35%
Services: 58%

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

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

Industrial production growth rate: 0.2% (2001 est.)

Labor force
Note: state sector 78%, non-state sector 22% (1999) (2000 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 24%
By occupation industry: 25%
By occupation services: 51% (1999) (1999)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 4.1% (2001 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

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

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 7.1% (2002 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $1.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: sugar nickel tobacco fish medical products citrus coffee
Partners: Netherlands 22.4% Russia 13.3% Canada 13.3% Spain 7.3% China 6.2% (2001)

Imports: $4.8 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: petroleum food machinery and equipment chemicals
Partners: Spain 12.7% France 6.5% Canada 5.7% China 5.3% Italy 5.0% (2001)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $12.3 billion (convertible currency 2000 est.); another $15 billion -$20 billion owed to Russia (2001) (2002 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

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)

Cuba - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 14.87 billion kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 95%
By source hydro: 0%
By source other: 5% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 13.829 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Cuba - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

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: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .cu

Internet users: 120,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Cuba - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: roughly 4% (FY95 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Cuba - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 172 (2001)
With paved runways total: 78
With paved runways over 3047 m: 7
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 9
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 20
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6
With paved runways under 914 m: 36 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 94
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 30
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 64 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 78
Over 3047 m: 7
2438 to 3047 m: 9
15-24 to 2437 m: 20
914 to 1523 m: 6
Under 914 m: 36 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 94
914 to 1523 m: 30
Under 914 m: 64 (2002)



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.)


Waterways: 240 km

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.)

Ports and terminals

Cuba - Transnational issues 2002
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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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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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