Cuba (Officially the Republic Of Cuba – La Republica de Cuba)
Offical languages: Spanish Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atalntic Ocean, 150km south of Key West, Florida Population: 11.2 million Capital: Havana Area: 110,860 sq km (comparitively slightly smaller than Pennsylvania) Current Head of State: Raul Castro Currency: Peso (CUP) and convertible peso (CUC) 1.00 CUP is equivalent to 0.0377358 USD, whilst 1.00 CUC is equivalent to 1.00 USD
Patria o Muerte
Foreign relations: With it being a communist state, Cuba has always been controversial to other countries. It has been described as 'beyond the axis of evil' and an 'outpost of tyranny'. Cuba has positive relations with many other communist states, specifically the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Cuba is also known to have positive ties with countries such as Venezuela. The Commonwealth of Australia, Canada and several European countries have also stopped condemning Cuba. Cuba used to have a very close relation with the Soviet Union, with the Cuban Missile Crisis being one of the most tense points during the Cold War. Cuba's enemies with the United States of America, who have imposed sanctions against the island, as well as many of the USA's allies.
Politics: Cuba has been defined as a unitary Marxist-Leninist socialist semi-presidential republic. The premiership has been described as a dictatorship, and condemned by many “democracies”. The country is headed mainly by the Castro Ruz family, with Fidel Castro being the president during the Cold War, and Raul Castro being the current president. Elections are held in Cuba, with the last election being held 3rd February 2013, but only one party has been permitted to stand; the Communist Party of Cuba.
Economy: Cuba is largely a centrally planned economy. Public sector employment was 76%, and private sector employment was 23% in 2000. Investment is restricted. Cuba's GDP (2010 est.) is $57.49 billion, and has around a 3% GDP growth. Cuba has business in many sectors, some of the most popular being in sugar, petroleum, tobacco and tourism.
Human Rights: Human Rights in Cuba are under the scrutiny of the Human Rights Watch, who accuse the Cuban government of systematic human rights abuses, including torture, arbitary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial execution. The law limits freedom of experession, association, assembly, movement and the press. However, the human rights record of Cuba has gradually improved since the end of the Cold War, the LGBT communtiy, for example, were largely persecuted in the 1960s, whereas in the early 2000s reforms proved beneficial for the community. One of the most prominent figures of LGBT reform is Mariela Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro, who managed to help his father overcome his homophobia. Catholics and Jehovah's witnesses have also been persecuted in the past.
Diplomatic contact: Since February 2013, the Cuban ambassador to the Model United Nations has been Bonoahx. He is also the representative for the State of Eritrea.