Cuba (capital Havana) and neighboring states
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Country Comparisons: chart
World Fact Book: 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 1,000 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2011.
Economic growth rate
Labor force in agriculture
2011: 34.9% of GDP
Sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus, coffee
2010: China 25.5%, Canada 23.3%, Venezuela 10%, Spain 5.6%
Imports far exceed exports in cash value
2010: Venezuela 35.2%, China 11.7%, Spain 8.5%, Brazil 4.6%, Canada 4.2%, US 4.1%
Cuba's exceptional health figures:
With Fidel Castro turning socialist there was, claims a Wikipedia article, "an exodus of almost half of Cuba's physicians to the United States, leaving the country with only 3,000 doctors and 16 professors in the University of Havana's medical college... In 1976, Cuba's healthcare program was enshrined in Article 50 of the revised Cuban constitution which states "Everyone has the right to health protection and care. The state guarantees this right by providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers; by providing free dental care; by promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccinations and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease.
2009: 11.8% of GDP
Living in an urban area
Population density, calculated in 2004, is 102 persons per square kilometer, compared to 165 for the Cayman Islands and 239 persons per square kilometer for Haiti.
2001 census: white 65.1%, mulatto and mestizo 24.8%, black 10.1%
Net migration rate
2012: Net loss of 3.59 persons per 1,000 population
Island in the Caribbean, 90 miles south of Florida.
Chief of state and head of government: : Raúl Castro (prime minister) since 24 February 2008, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, brother of Fidel Castro.
Cuba has one political party, the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Fidel Castro is its First Secretary.
The legislative branch of government is a unicameral body called the National Assembly of People's Power (Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular). It has 609 seats, occupied by persons elected to five-year terms, their candidacy approved by a special commission.
The judiciary is headed by the People's Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo Popular). Its judges are elected by the National Assembly.
Cuba is one of three countries with a law against flag desecration.
From 1959 to 1976, Fidel Castro was Prime Minister – an office thatwas then abolished. In December 1976, Fidel Castro became President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, making him both the head of state and the head of government. His brother, General Raul Castro, was vice president of the Council of State and Council of Ministers.
Cuba suffered economically from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of Soviet aid. Wikipedia: "The loss of Soviet subsidies brought famine to Cuba in the early 1990s."
2003: The Castro regime imprisons 75 dissidents, including 29 journalists, librarians, human rights activists, and democracy activists, claiming that they were acting as agents of the United States by accepting aid from the US government. Amnesty International adopted 75 Cubans as prisoners of conscience. The European Union responded by imposing sanctions.
February 24, 2008: Fidel Castro steps down as president. The National Assembly has elected his brother Raul as his successor. Fidel remains First Secretary of Cuba's Communist Party, a position he has held since October 3, 1965.
June 2008: The EU lifts its sanctions against Cuba. The sanctions were suspended in 2005. The 2008 move is a formality described as an attempt to encourage Raúl Castro to make progress on civil rights.
2010: Cuba releases most of the 75 dissidents imprisoned in 2003 and exiles them to Spain.
April 2011: The government holds the first Cuban Communist Party Congress in almost 13 years, during which leaders approve a plan for wide-ranging economic changes. President Raul Castro says such changes are needed to update the economic model to ensure the survival of socialism.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.