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The native Amerindian population of Cuba began to decline after the European discovery of the island by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 and following its development as a Spanish colony during the next several centuries. Large numbers of African slaves were imported to work the coffee and sugar plantations, and Havana became the launching point for the annual treasure fleets bound for Spain from Mexico and Peru. Spanish rule eventually provoked an independence movement and occasional rebellions that were harshly suppressed. US intervention during the Spanish-American War in 1898 assisted the Cubans in overthrowing Spanish rule. The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the US in 1902 after which the island experienced a string of governments mostly dominated by the military and corrupt politicians. Fidel CASTRO led a rebel army to victory in 1959; his iron rule held the subsequent regime together for nearly five decades. He stepped down as president in February 2008 in favor of his younger brother Raul CASTRO. Cuba's Communist revolution, with Soviet support, was exported throughout Latin America and Africa during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4 billion to $6 billion annually. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source if its difficulties. Illicit migration to the US - using homemade rafts, alien smugglers, air flights, or via the southwest border - is a continuing problem. The US Coast Guard intercepted some 1,000 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2011.


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Economy - overview
The government continues to balance the need for loosening its socialist economic system against a desire for firm political control. The government in April 2011 held the first Cuban Communist Party Congress in almost 13 years, during which leaders approved a plan for wide-ranging economic changes. President Raul CASTRO said such changes were needed to update the economic model to ensure the survival of socialism. The government has expanded opportunities for self employment and has introduced limited reforms, some initially implemented in the 1990s, to increase enterprise efficiency and alleviate serious shortages of food, consumer goods, services, and housing. The average Cuban's standard of living remains at a lower level than before the downturn of the 1990s, which was caused by the loss of Soviet aid and domestic inefficiencies. Since late 2000, Venezuela has been providing oil on preferential terms, and it currently supplies over 100,000 barrels per day of petroleum products. Cuba has been paying for the oil, in part, with the services of Cuban personnel in Venezuela including some 30,000 medical professionals.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 68
$114.1 billion (2010 est.)
$112.4 billion (2009 est.)
$110.8 billion (2008 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$57.49 billion (2010 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 169
1.5% (2010 est.)
1.4% (2009 est.)
4.1% (2008 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 111
$9,900 (2010 est.)
$9,800 (2009 est.)
$9,700 (2008 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 4%
Industry 20.8%
Services 75.2% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 74
5.153 million
State sector 78%, non-state sector 22% (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 20%
Industry 19.4%
Services 60.6% (2005)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 8
1.4% (2011 est.)
1.6% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line

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

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 147
10.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $43.57 billion
Expenditures $46.17 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 3
75.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 148
-4.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 95
35.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
35.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 115
4.7% (2011 est.)
2.9% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 74
$11.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$11.67 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 76
$34.77 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$36.02 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

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

Sugar, petroleum, tobacco, construction, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 93
3.2% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 74
16.99 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 78
14.2 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 61
53,690 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 59
176,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 99
6,882 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 61
109,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 67
124 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 63
1.16 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 87
1.16 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 85
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 179
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 60
70.79 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 49
$328.4 million (2011 est.)
-$22.04 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 107
$6.347 billion (2011 est.)
$4.598 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, coffee

Exports - partners
China 24.9%, Canada 21.6%, Venezuela 7.2%, Netherlands 7.1%, Spain 6.5% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 87
$13.26 billion (2011 est.)
$10.65 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners
Venezuela 37.6%, China 9.9%, Spain 8.5%, Brazil 5.2%, Canada 4.4% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 88
$5.147 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$4.847 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 78
$21.52 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$20.54 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 62
$4.138 billion (2006 est.)

Exchange rates
Cuban pesos (CUP) per US dollar -
0.9847 (2011 est.)
0.9259 (2010 est.)
0.9259 (2009)
0.9259 (2008)
0.9259 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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Cuba (Havana):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Cuba (Havana)

square Arroyo Cayamas Municipio Especial Isla De La Juventud

square Apeadero Puente Guillen Provincia Granma

square Bay Of Pigs Provincia De Matanzas

square Rio Bianco Provincia De Pinar Del Rio

square El Ocuje Provincia De Matanzas

square Sabanazo Provincia De Camaguey

square Ensenada Arroyo Blanco Provincia De Holguin

square Caravela Point Provincia De Guantanamo

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