Cuba Population: 11,116,396


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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 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 Spain in 1898 and, following three-and-a-half years of subsequent US military rule, Cuba became an independent republic 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 authoritarian 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. Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez, hand-picked by Raul CASTRO to succeed him, was approved as president by the National Assembly and took office on 19 April 2018. The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4-6 billion annually. Cuba traditionally and consistently portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source of its difficulties. As a result of efforts begun in December 2014 to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Cuban Government, which were severed in January 1961, the US and Cuba reopened embassies in their respective countries in July 2015. The embargo remains in place, and the relationship between the US and Cuba remains tense.  Illicit migration of Cuban nationals to the US via maritime and overland routes has been a longstanding challenge. On 12 January 2017, the US and Cuba signed a Joint Statement ending the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy – by which Cuban nationals who reached US soil were permitted to stay. Illicit Cuban migration by sea has since dropped significantly, but land border crossings continue. In FY 2018, the US Coast Guard interdicted 312 Cuban nationals at sea. Also in FY 2018, 7,249 Cuban migrants presented themselves at various land border ports of entry throughout the US.

    Largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles
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
Area: total: 110,860 sq km
land: 109,820 sq km
water: 1,040 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land Boundaries: total: 28.5 km border countries (1): US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay 28.5 km note: Guantanamo Naval Base is leased by the US and remains part of Cuba
Coastline: 3,735 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 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
Natural resources: cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 60.3% (2011 est.) arable land: 33.8% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 3.6% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 22.9% (2011 est.) forest: 27.3% (2011 est.)
other: 12.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 8,700 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: the east coast is subject to hurricanes from August to November (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year); droughts are common
Current Environment Issues: soil degradation and desertification (brought on by poor farming techniques and natural disasters) are the main environmental problems; biodiversity loss; deforestation; air and water pollution
International Environment Agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
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Nationality: noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban
Ethnic groups: white 64.1%, mulatto or mixed 26.6%, black 9.3% (2012 est.) note: data represent racial self-identification from Cuba's 2012 national census
Languages: Spanish (official)
Religions: Christian 59.2%, folk 17.4%, other .4%, none 23% (2010 est.)

note: folk religion includes religions of African origin, spiritualism, and others intermingled with Catholicism or Protestantism; data is estimative because no authoritative source on religious affiliation exists in Cuba
Population: 11,116,396 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.44% (male 940,787 /female 886,996)
15-24 years: 12.1% (male 698,220 /female 646,684)
25-54 years: 43.69% (male 2,443,190 /female 2,414,119)
55-64 years: 12.54% (male 677,304 /female 716,704)
65 years and over: 15.22% (male 773,636 /female 918,756) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 43.3 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 23.3 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 19.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 5 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 41.8 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 43.1 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.27% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 10.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 8.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 77% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.14% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 2.136 million HAVANA (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 39 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.9 years male: 76.6 years
female: 81.4 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.71 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 73.7% (2014)
Physicians density: 8.19 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density: 5.2 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 96.4% of population
rural: 89.8% of population
total: 94.9% of population

urban: 3.6% of population
rural: 10.2% of population
total: 5.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 94.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 89.1% of population (2015 est.)
total: 93.2% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 10.9% of population (2015 est.)
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.4% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 30,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <500 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 24.6% (2016)
Education expenditures: 12.8% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 14 years female: 14 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 6.1% male: 6.4% female: 5.6% (2010 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Cuba
conventional short form: Cuba
local long form: Republica de Cuba
local short form: Cuba
etymology: name derives from the Taino Indian designation for the island "coabana" meaning "great place"
Government type: communist state
Capital: name: Havana
geographic coordinates: 23 07 N, 82 21 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November; note - Cuba has been known to alter the schedule of DST on short notice in an attempt to conserve electricity for lighting
etymology: the sites of Spanish colonial cities often retained their original Taino names; Habana, the Spanish name for the city, may be based on the name of a local Taino chief, Habaguanex
Administrative divisions: 15 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 special municipality* (municipio especial); Artemisa, Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Granma, Guantanamo, Holguin, Isla de la Juventud*, La Habana, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Mayabeque, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara
Independence: 20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902); not acknowledged by the Cuban Government as a day of independence
National holiday: Triumph of the Revolution (Liberation Day), 1 January (1959)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest drafted 14 July 2018, approved by the National Assembly 22 December 2018, approved by referendum 24 February 2019 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly of People’s Power; passage requires approval of at least two-thirds majority of the National Assembly membership; amendments to constitutional articles on the authorities of the National Assembly, Council of State, or any rights and duties in the constitution also require approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on the Cuban political, social, and economic system cannot be amended (2018)
Legal system: civil law system based on Spanish civil code
Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (since 19 April 2018); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Salvador Antonio VALDES Mesa (since 19 April 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (since 19 April 2018); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Salvador Antonio VALDES Mesa (since 19 April 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the president of the Council of State and appointed by the National Assembly; it is subordinate to the 31-member Council of State, which is elected by the Assembly to act on its behalf when it is not in session elections/appointments: president and vice presidents indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (may be reelected for another 5-year term); election last held on 19 April 2018 (next to be held in 2023)

election results: Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (PCC) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 98.8%; Salvador Antonio VALDES Mesa (PCC) elected vice president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (605 seats; members directly elected by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - the National Candidature Commission submits a slate of approved candidates; to be elected, candidates must receive more than 50% of valid votes otherwise the seat remains vacant or the Council of State can declare another election

elections: last held on 11 March 2018 (next to be held in early 2023)

election results: Cuba's Communist Party is the only legal party, and officially sanctioned candidates run unopposed; composition - men 283, women 322, percent of women 53.2%
Judicial branch: highest courts: People's Supreme Court (consists of court president, vice president, 41 professional justices, andn/alay judges); organization includes the State Council, criminal, civil, administrative, labor, crimes against the state, and military courts) judge selection and term of office: professional judges elected by the National Assembly are not subject to a specific term; lay judges nominated by workplace collectives and neighborhood associations and elected by municipal or provincial assemblies; lay judges appointed for 5-year terms and serve up to 30 days per year

subordinate courts: People's Provincial Courts; People's Regional Courts; People's Courts
Political parties and leaders: Cuban Communist Party or PCC [Raul CASTRO Ruz]
International organization participation: ACP, ALBA, AOSIS, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IAEA, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IFAD, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS (excluded from formal participation since 1962), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, PIF (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): royal palm;
national colors: red, white, blue
National anthem: name: "La Bayamesa" (The Bayamo Song)
lyrics/music: Pedro FIGUEREDO

note: adopted 1940; Pedro FIGUEREDO first performed "La Bayamesa" in 1868 during the Ten Years War against the Spanish; a leading figure in the uprising, FIGUEREDO was captured in 1870 and executed by a firing squad; just prior to the fusillade he is reputed to have shouted, "Morir por la Patria es vivir" (To die for the country is to live), a line from the anthem
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Ramon CABANAS Rodriguez (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-8518
consulate(s) general: NA
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mara TEKACH (since 20 June 2018)
embassy: Calzada between L & M Streets, Vedado, Havana
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [53] (7) 839-4100
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The government continues to balance the need for loosening its socialist economic system against a desire for firm political control. In April 2011, the government held the first Cuban Communist Party Congress in almost 13 years, during which leaders approved a plan for wide-ranging economic changes. Since then, the government has slowly and incrementally implemented limited economic reforms, including allowing Cubans to buy electronic appliances and cell phones, stay in hotels, and buy and sell used cars. The government has cut state sector jobs as part of the reform process, and it has opened up some retail services to "self-employment," leading to the rise of so-called "cuentapropistas" or entrepreneurs. More than 500,000 Cuban workers are currently registered as self-employed. The Cuban regime has updated its economic model to include permitting the private ownership and sale of real estate and new vehicles, allowing private farmers to sell agricultural goods directly to hotels, allowing the creation of non-agricultural cooperatives, adopting a new foreign investment law, and launching a "Special Development Zone" around the Mariel port. Since 2016, Cuba has attributed slowed economic growth in part to problems with petroleum product deliveries from Venezuela. Since late 2000, Venezuela provided petroleum products to Cuba on preferential terms, supplying at times nearly 100,000 barrels per day. Cuba paid for the oil, in part, with the services of Cuban personnel in Venezuela, including some 30,000 medical professionals.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $137 billion (2017 est.) $134.8 billion (2016 est.) $134.2 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2016 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $93.79 billion (2017 est.) note: data are in Cuban Pesos at 1 CUP = 1 US$; official exchange rate
GDP - real growth rate: 1.6% (2017 est.) 0.5% (2016 est.) 4.4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,300 (2016 est.) $12,200 (2015 est.) $12,100 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 US dollars
Gross national saving: 11.4% of GDP (2017 est.) 12.3% of GDP (2016 est.) 12.1% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 57% (2017 est.) government consumption: 31.6% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 9.6% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 14.6% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -12.7% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 4% (2017 est.) industry: 22.7% (2017 est.) services: 73.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
Industries: petroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
Industrial production growth rate: -1.2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 4.691 million (2017 est.) note: state sector 72.3%, non-state sector 27.7%
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 18%
industry: 10%
services: 72% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2.6% (2017 est.) 2.4% (2016 est.) note: data are official rates; unofficial estimates are about double
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 54.52 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 64.64 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 58.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -10.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 47.7% of GDP (2017 est.) 42.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.5% (2017 est.) 4.5% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $985.4 million (2017 est.) $2.008 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $2.63 billion (2017 est.) $2.546 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
Exports - partners: Venezuela 17.8%, Spain 12.2%, Russia 7.9%, Lebanon 6.1%, Indonesia 4.5%, Germany 4.3% (2017)
Imports: $11.06 billion (2017 est.) $10.28 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partners: China 22%, Spain 14%, Russia 5%, Brazil 5%, Mexico 4.9%, Italy 4.8%, US 4.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $11.35 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $12.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $30.06 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $29.89 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: n/a
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $4.138 billion (2006 est.)
Exchange rates: Cuban pesos (CUP) per US dollar - 1 (2017 est.) 1 (2016 est.) 1 (2015 est.) 1 (2014 est.) 22.7 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 19.28 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 16.16 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 6.998 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 91% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 50,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 112,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 124 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 104,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 175,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 24,190 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 52,750 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 1.189 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.189 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 70.79 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 26.94 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 4,613,782
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: fixed-line and mobile services run by the state-run ETESCA; mobile-cellular telephone service is expensive and must be paid in convertible pesos; Cuban Government has opened several hundred Wi-Fi hotspots around the island, which are expensive, and launched a new residential Internet pilot in Havana and other provinces; as of 2018, 3G mobile service is available, if limited (2018)

domestic: fixed-line density remains low at about 12 per 100 inhabitants; mobile-cellular service is expanding to about 41 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 53; the ALBA-1 fiber-optic submarine cable links Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela;  January 2016 the FCC allowed US firms to do business directly with the Cuban telecom sector, satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); several US telecommunication companies have signed voice and data deals to serve their customers while in Cuba
Broadcast media: Government owns and controls all broadcast media: five national TV channels (Cubavision, Tele Rebelde, Multivision, Educational Channel 1 and 2,) two international channels (Cubavision Internacional and Caribe,) 16 regional TV stations, six national radio networks and multiple regional stations; the Cuban government beams over the Radio-TV Marti signal; although private ownership of electronic media is prohibited, several online independent news sites exist; those that are not openly critical of the government are often tolerated; the others are blocked by the government; there are no independent TV channels, but several outlets have created strong audiovisual content (El Toque, for example); a community of young Youtubers is also growing, mostly with channels about sports, technology and fashion; Christian denominations are creating original video content to distribute via social media (2019)
Internet country code: .cu
Internet users: total: 4,334,022
percent of population: 38.8% (July 2016 est.) note: private citizens are prohibited from buying computers or accessing the Internet without special authorization; foreigners may access the Internet in large hotels but are subject to firewalls; some Cubans buy illegal passwords on the black market or take advantage of public outlets to access limited email and the government-controlled "intranet"
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Airports: 133 (2017)
Airports (paved runways): total 64
(2017) over 3,047 m: 7 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2017)
under 914 m: 27 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 69
914 to 1,523 m: 11 (2013)
under 914 m: 58 (2013)
Pipelines: 41 km gas, 230 km oil (2013)
Railways: total 8,367 km
(2017) standard gauge: 8,195 km 1.435-m gauge (124 km electrified) (2017)
narrow gauge: 172 km 1.000-m gauge (2017)

note: 82 km of standard gauge track is not for public use
Roadways: total 60,000 km
(2015) paved: 20,000 km (2001)
unpaved: 40,000 km (2001)
Waterways: 240 km (almost all navigable inland waterways are near the mouths of rivers) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 41

by type: general cargo 11, oil tanker 3, other 27 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Antilla, Cienfuegos, Guantanamo, Havana, Matanzas, Mariel, Nuevitas Bay, Santiago de Cuba
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The collapse of the Soviet Union deprived the Cuban military of its major economic and logistic support and had a significant impact on the state of Cuban equipment; the army remains well trained and professional in nature; the lack of replacement parts for its existing equipment has increasingly affected operational capabilities (2013)
Military branches: Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, FAR): Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario, ER, includes Territorial Militia Troops (Milicia de Tropas de Territoriales, MTT) and Production and Defense Brigades), Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria, MGR, includes Marine Corps), Revolutionary Air and Air Defense Forces (Defensas Anti-Aereas y Fuerza Aerea Revolucionaria, DAAFAR); Youth Labor Army (Ejercito Juvenil del Trabajo, EJT) (2019)
Military service age and obligation: 17-28 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation for males, optional for females (2017)
Military expenditures: 3.08% of GDP (2015) 3.54% of GDP (2014) 3.51% of GDP (2013) 3.94% of GDP (2012) 3.08% of GDP (2011)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased to US and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the facility can terminate the lease
Illicit drugs: territorial waters and air space serve as transshipment zone for US- and European-bound drugs; established the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes in 1999
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