|Packaged medicaments, Nickel mattes|
|Poultry meat, Concentrated milk|
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the islands of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest city Havana is 365 km (227 mi) from Miami, Florida. Geographically, Cuba is considered part of North America. Culturally, it is considered part of Latin America.
Following the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, the Cuban banking sector came under the control of the new regime. The new authorities famously appointed Che Guevara as President of the National Bank of Cuba (Spanish: Banco Nacional de Cuba) in 1959. Guevara often retold the apocryphal story of how he gained the job at the bank; Fidel Castro had asked if there were an economist in the room and he had put his hand up - much to Castro's surprise. Guevara had mistakenly thought that Castro had asked for a Comunista. Guevara's appointment seemed somewhat ironic, as he often condemned money, favored its abolition, and showed his disdain by signing Cuban banknotes with his nickname, "Che." The 1990s saw the restructuring of the Cuban banking system, with new commercial banks created, and a new central bank, "Banco Central de Cuba" set up. The architect of this restructuring, Francisco Soberón, became the first president of the new central bank. The Central Bank of Cuba (Spanish: Banco Central de Cuba - "BCC") functions as the central bank of Cuba. The Cuban government set it up in 1997 to take over many of the functions of the National Bank of Cuba. Francisco Soberón Valdés served as the Bank's President from its creation until he stepped down in 2009. He was replaced by Ernesto Medina, who had served as president of the state-run Banco Financiero Internacional since 2003 The President of the Central Bank serves ex officio as a member of the Council of Ministers of Cuba. As with most Cuban government ministries, the Central Bank acts as both banking regulator and shareholder of much of the Cuban banking system.
|Agriculture||Sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans & milk.|
|Manufacture||Oil, construction material, agricultural machinery, steel & pharmaceuticals.|
|Services (Including financial)||No Information|
|Central Bank of Cuba||Banking|
|Cupet||Oil & gas|
|Packaged medicaments, Nickel mattes|
|Poultry meat, Concentrated milk|
Cuba once had a stock market, the La Bolsa de Valores de la Habana, which lasted from the 1920s until 1959, when the Cuban revolution ended private ownership in the country. The Havana exchange was, in fact, one of the largest stock exchanges in Latin America. Prior to the revolution of 1959, for decades, Cuba embraced capitalism and issued stocks and bonds for commerce and infrastructure. Cuba has, to date, defaulted on its issued bonds and they no longer trade on the New York Bond Exchange because of the Helms-Burton Law. Since the ascent to the greater power of Raul Castro, many investors are once again looking for an enlightened change in Cuba and want to invest, in some manner, to benefit from increasing GDP and business within Cuba. The Obama Administration is also planning a fresh look at USA-Cuba relations similar to the recently announced new look at USA-Iran relations. Any move by Cuba allowing the complete release of political prisoners, pluralism, true democratic process and monitored secret ballot voting will be reciprocated by positive efforts from many nations, esp. the USA to help the people of Cuba.
The Cuban missile crisis
October always reminds us of the Cuban missile crisis. This is the 41st autumn since the defining moment that ended the first phase of the Cold War. In 2003, the memory of the missile crisis is, we believe, particularly apropos. Americans, in general, tend to think that everything the country is facing at a particular moment is unprecedented. Americans tend to think in extremes. Everything is either worse or better than ever before. Leaders are more corrupt, more perfect, more brilliant or more stupid than they have ever been. Americans lack nothing more than a sense of proportion. It is therefore interesting to look at what historian Barbara Tuchman called a distant mirror to compare the current situation with circumstances the United States faced in the past. This is not intended to either praise or condemn the current administration or the Kennedy administration. It is meant simply to gain some perspective on the current state of affairs.
The Cuban missile crisis started in a series of intelligence blunders that began under one administration and continued into the next. U.S. intelligence under Dwight Eisenhower misunderstood the nature of Fidel Castro's insurgency and miscalculated the likelihood of his victory. Eisenhower responded by initiating a covert war against Castro that suffered from Eisenhower's desire that it not only works but that the war is completely deniable. The result was the Bay of Pigs plan, which had little chance of working in the first place and no chance of working once U.S. President John F. Kennedy tinkered with it. The entire plan was based on a misreading of the mood of the Cuban people. It was based on the assumption that Cubans would welcome an invasion and that, in addition, they would be in a position to rise up against Castro. Whatever the true reason for the failure of the Cubans to rise, U.S. intelligence was wrong: There was no rising. Intelligence under Kennedy also miscalculated the Soviet Union's intentions toward Cuba. That was an intelligence failure, but it was also a failure on Kennedy's part to appreciate how Soviet leaders viewed him. Kennedy came to power in part over his persistent claim that the Soviets were ahead of the United States in strategic nuclear capability — what was called the missile gap. In fact, the strategic balance heavily favored the United States, and Kennedy knew it. He hammered the issue because it was a strong plank in his electoral platform.
From Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's point of view, however, the victory of a man who did not seem to grasp the realities of the nuclear balance opened up interesting possibilities. Khrushchev's meeting with Kennedy in Vienna left him with the conclusion that Kennedy was inexperienced, poorly informed and timid. The Bay of Pigs fiasco simply confirmed to Khrushchev that Kennedy was out of his league. Indeed, years of hagiography notwithstanding, Kennedy had little grasp of the international reality when he took office or in the following year. Khrushchev understood what he thought Kennedy did not, which was that the United States, with missiles in Germany and Turkey and a large intercontinental bomber fleet, could devastate the Soviet Union. The Soviets, on the other hand, could hardly touch the United States. Khrushchev's decision to put missiles into Cuba was a desperate attempt to rectify the balance of power. He assumed, based on Kennedy's abysmal performance to date, that U.S. intelligence might miss the missiles until after they were operational and that, even if they were detected, Kennedy would not have the nerve to take decisive action. All of that is intended to be thoughtful and deep. The point of this essay is simpler, however. Americans tend to think of each moment as extraordinarily unique and the present leaders as particularly incompetent. Those who opposed President Bill Clinton thought he was particularly venal, and those who oppose Bush think him uniquely incompetent. It is useful to look back on moments like the Cuban missile crisis, which we tend to see through the prism of time as a particular moment of U.S. courage and decisiveness. Like the current circumstance, it was a moment born of failure, ineptitude, and dishonesty, and it ultimately gave rise to the things it was intended to prevent. The president that presided over the crisis is revered today. There are few who were alive in September 1962 who would have thought that Kennedy would be remembered for his strategic acumen. And there are many historians who still wonder what the shouting was about.
Prior to Spanish colonization in the late 15th century, Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes. It remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, which led to nominal independence as a de facto U.S. protectorate in 1902. As a fragile Republic, Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batista's ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterwards established a government under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the country has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants. It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Although it fares poorly in metrics of political and economic freedom, Cuba is ranked high in human development by the United Nations, and performs well in health and education. In 2015, it became the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, a milestone hailed by the World Health Organization as "one of the greatest public health achievements possible".
The United States declined to recognize the new Cuban government, although many European and Latin American nations did so. In 1878, the Pact of Zanjón ended the conflict, with Spain promising greater autonomy to Cuba. In 1879–1880, Cuban patriot Calixto García attempted to start another war known as the Little War but did not receive enough support. Slavery in Cuba was abolished in 1875 and was completed in 1886. An exiled dissident named José Martí founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party in New York in 1892. The aim of the party was to achieve Cuban independence from Spain. In January 1895 Martí traveled to Montecristi and Santo Domingo to join the efforts of Máximo Gómez. Martí recorded his political views in the Manifesto of Montecristi. Fighting against the Spanish army began in Cuba on February 24, 1895, but Martí was unable to reach Cuba until April 11, 1895. Martí was killed in the battle of Dos Rios on May 19, 1895. His death immortalized him as Cuba's national hero.
The convertible peso (sometimes given as CUC$) (informally called acuc or chavito), is one of two official currencies in Cuba, the other being the peso. It has been in limited use since 1994 when it was treated as equivalent to the U.S. dollar: its value was official US$1.00. On 8 November 2004, the U.S. dollar ceased to be accepted in Cuban retail outlets leaving the convertible peso as the only currency in circulation in many Cuban businesses. Officially exchangeable only within the country, its value was increased to US$1.08 on 5 April 2008, and reverted to US$1.00 on 15 March 2011.
Cuba has two currencies: The Cuban peso (CUP) but tourists will be given Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) when they exchange their pounds, euros, Canadian dollars, yen or whatever on arrival. This is normally shown with a $ dollar sign, e.g. on price tickets. 1 CUC is worth 24 Cuban pesos. Where prices are quoted in local shops, the price is the same whether you’re a tourist or a local. Money should only be changed at official exchange bureaux or banks to avoid scams confusing the two currencies. Do not exchange currency on the streets, even if you are offered a seemingly better deal. On 8 November 2004, the Cuban government withdrew the U.S. dollar from circulation, citing the need to retaliate against further U.S. sanctions. After a grace period ending on November 14, 2004, a 10% surcharge began to be imposed when converting U.S. dollars into convertible pesos. The change was announced some weeks beforehand and was extended by the aforementioned grace period (it has been claimed this was because the amounts of US dollars being exchanged were more than anticipated). This measure helped the Cuban government collect hard currency.
In 1994 coins were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos, and 1 peso. 5 pesos (rarely seen) was introduced in 1999, followed by 1 centavo coins in 2000. In 1994 the Banco Central de Cuba introduced notes in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. On 18 December 2006, the Banco Central de Cuba introduced a new series of notes themed to "Socialist History and Achievements". The front of the notes is similar to its previous series except that on the back of the notes, instead of depicting the Cuban coat of arms on all denominations, each of the notes now has an individualized design.
|National Song||"El Himno de Bayamo"|
|Currency||Cuban peso (CUP)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||142 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4.3 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$12390 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Muslims
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Mulatto And Mestizo 24.8%
First Secretary of the Communist Party – Raúl Castro
President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers – Miguel Díaz-Canel
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||42.5 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||2.915 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|