General Data of the country:Cuba

 

Official name: Republic of Cuba

 

Area: 109 884, 01 km2

 

Capital: Havana

 

Official Language: Spanish

 

Time zone: GMT -5

 

Main cities: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Cienfuegos, Camagüey and Santa Clara.

 

Geographic location: Cuba is an archipelago comprising the island of Cuba with an area of 107 464,74 km2, the Isle of Youth with 2 419,27 km2 and about 4 200 adjacent cays and islets. It is the biggest Caribbean island and has a strategic position at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea. It is bounded to the north by the United States of America (Key West) and the Commonwealth of Bahamas, which are respectively located 150 km and 21 km away; Jamaica is 140 km to the south, the Republic of Haiti lies 77 km to the east, and the United Mexican States are 210 km to the west.

 

Climate: Generally speaking, it is quite acceptable to say that Cuban climate is tropical, seasonally humid, with maritime influence and semicontinentality features. There are also reports of the existence of another type of climate in the highest areas of the main mountain ranges of the country, which is classified as relatively dry and tropical with very little rain. Temperatures are generally high. Average annual temperatures range from 22ºC to 28ºC and may be higher in the eastern coast; values lower than 20ºC are reported in the highest areas of mountain ranges. The maximum average temperature registered ranges from 27ºC to 32ºC and the minimum average temperature, from 17ºC to 23ºC.

 

Political and administrative division: Cuba is divided into 15 provinces and 168 municipalities, including the special municipality of the Isle of Youth.

 

Population: 11 210,064 inhabitants (2013).

 

Population density: 102,0 inhabitants/km2 (2013).

 

Population growth rate: 3,3 per 1 000 inhabitants (2013).

 

Official currency: The official currency is the Cuban peso (CUP), which circulates in bills to the value of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos and coins to the value of 1 and 3 pesos. The convertible peso (CUC) is also used to pay for products and services offered in that currency within the national territory.

 

Types of exchange rates in force: The CUP is worth the same as the American dollar (USD), that is to say, 1 CUP is equal to 1 USD according to the official exchange rate (which applies to all banking and commercial operations). In the case of buying and selling operations executed by the population, 25 CUP are equal to 1 CUC whereas 1 CUC is equal to 24 CUP. Exchange services are provided by banks, airports, hotels and exchange houses (CADECAS). The country is currently working on the exchange and monetary unification. Such unification will be gradual and will comprise several stages which will involve legal entities and nationals.

 

Political and governmental system: In the Republic of Cuba, sovereignty is vested in the people, from whom arises the power of the State. This power is exercised either directly or by means of the National People’s Power Assembly which is the supreme body of the power of the State, represents and expresses the sovereign will of the whole population, and constitutes the only instrument invested with constituent and legislative authority in the country-together with other bodies of the State derived from the Assembly, in the manner and under the regulations established by the Constitution and other laws. Cuban economy is governed by a centrally planned system, based on the socialist ownership of the basic means of production.

 

Educational system: The country has an educational system going from the day care centers to the universities scattered throughout the national territory. Education is mandatory up to ninth grade. In primary and secondary education, children are given a more comprehensive and differentiated treatment, and benefit from the use of educational television and audiovisual aids in the classroom.

There are about 60 higher education institutions: the University of Havana, which is the most important center of the Island including several specialized schools, as well as high-level and prestigious university centers in each of the provinces. Up to date Cuba has more than one million university graduates. Furthermore, postgraduate education is one of the components of the higher education training model.

 

 

Note:The content of this article is taken from the document "Cuba Investor Guide", at CEPEC (Centro para la Promoción del Comercio Exterior y la Inversion Extranjera en Cuba). You can download the document here.