Dialing code +53
ISO 2 code CU
ISO 3 code CUB
Capital Havana
Main Language Spanish
Currency Peso (CUP)
GDP $108.2 billion 63rd
Population 11,423,000 73rd


Continent North America
Location Caribbean island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean 150 km south of Key West Florida
Land 110,860 km2 106th
Terrain Mostly flat to rolling plains with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Climate Tropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
Natural Hazards Mostly flat to rolling plains with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
Note: Largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles

Neighbouring Countries

United States


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 portrays its difficulties as the result of the US embargo in place since 1961. 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 2 656 individuals attempting to cross the Straits of Florida in fiscal year 2007.
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Life Expectancy 77.45 years 47th
Median Age 37.3 years 46th
Birth Rate 11.13 births/1,000 population 161st
Death Rate 7.24 births/1,000 population 118th
Sex Ratio 0.83 male(s)/female 71st
Literacy 99.8% 8th

11.4 million


Roadways 60858 km 72nd
Railways 8598 km 23rd
Airports 147 37th
Waterways 240 km 93rd
Heliports None
Airports paved 5 26th


Currency Peso (CUP)
GDP $108.2 billion 63rd
GDP per capita (PPP) $9500 96th