Cuba vs. Dominican Republic


CubaDominican Republic

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.

The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the US led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in the presidential election. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was later reelected to a second consecutive term. In 2012, Danilo MEDINA Sanchez became president; he was reelected in 2016.


CubaDominican Republic
Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti
Geographic coordinates
21 30 N, 80 00 W
19 00 N, 70 40 W
Map references
Central America and the Caribbean
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 110,860 sq km
land: 109,820 sq km
water: 1,040 sq km
total: 48,670 sq km
land: 48,320 sq km
water: 350 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
slightly more than twice the size of New Jersey
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

total: 376 km
border countries (1): Haiti 376 km
3,735 km
1,288 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
tropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
rugged highlands and mountains interspersed with fertile valleys
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 108 m
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Turquino 1,974 m
mean elevation: 424 m
lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point: Pico Duarte 3,098 m
Natural resources
cobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver, 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.)
agricultural land: 51.5% (2011 est.)
arable land: 16.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 10.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 24.8% (2011 est.)
forest: 40.8% (2011 est.)
other: 7.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
8,700 sq km (2012)
3,070 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
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Environment - current 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
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Environment - international 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
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note
largest country in Caribbean and westernmost island of the Greater Antilles
shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti (eastern two-thirds makes up the Dominican Republic, western one-third is Haiti); the second largest country in the Antilles (after Cuba); geographically diverse with the Caribbean's tallest mountain, Pico Duarte, and lowest elevation and largest lake, Lago Enriquillo
Population distribution
large population clusters found throughout the country, the more significant ones being in the larger towns and cities, particularly the capital of Havana
coastal development is significant, especially in the southern coastal plains and the Cibao Valley, where population density is highest; smaller population clusters exist in the interior mountains (Cordillera Central)


CubaDominican Republic
11,059,062 (July 2020 est.)
10,499,707 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 16.34% (male 929,927/female 877,035)
15-24 years: 11.81% (male 678,253/female 627,384)
25-54 years: 41.95% (male 2,335,680/female 2,303,793)
55-64 years: 14.11% (male 760,165/female 799,734)
65 years and over: 15.8% (male 794,743/female 952,348) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 26.85% (male 1,433,166/female 1,385,987)
15-24 years: 18.15% (male 968,391/female 937,227)
25-54 years: 40.54% (male 2,168,122/female 2,088,926)
55-64 years: 8.17% (male 429,042/female 428,508)
65 years and over: 6.29% (male 310,262/female 350,076) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 42.1 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 43.8 years (2020 est.)
total: 27.9 years
male: 27.8 years
female: 28.1 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
-0.25% (2020 est.)
0.95% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
10.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
18.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
6.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-3.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-2.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
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: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 98.9 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 102.3 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 79.2 years
male: 76.8 years
female: 81.7 years (2020 est.)
total population: 72 years
male: 70.3 years
female: 73.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.71 children born/woman (2020 est.)
2.24 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.3% (2019 est.)
0.9% (2019 est.)
noun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
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

mixed 70.4% (mestizo/indio 58%, mulatto 12.4%), black 15.8%, white 13.5%, other 0.3% (2014 est.)

note: respondents self-identified their race; the term "indio" in the Dominican Republic is not associated with people of indigenous ancestry but people of mixed ancestry or skin color between light and dark

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
32,000 (2019 est.)
72,000 (2019 est.)
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

Roman Catholic 47.8%, Protestant 21.3%, other 2.2%, none 28%, don't know/no response .7% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
<500 (2019 est.)
1,900 (2019 est.)
Spanish (official)
Spanish (official)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.8% (2015)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 93.8%
female: 93.8% (2016)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: intermediate (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2018)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2017)
Education expenditures
12.8% of GDP (2010)
urban population: 77.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 0.14% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 82.5% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.06% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 94.5% of population
total: 97.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 5.5% of population
total: 2.6% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 98.3% of population
rural: 92% of population
total: 96.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population
rural: 8% of population
total: 3.3% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 96.1% of population
rural: 94.8% of population
total: 95.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 3.9% of population
rural: 5.2% of population
total: 4.2% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 96.3% of population
rural: 89.5% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved: urban: 13.8% of population
rural: 3.7% of population
total: 5% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
2.140 million HAVANA (capital) (2020)
3.318 million SANTO DOMINGO (capital) (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
36 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
95 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures
11.7% (2017)
6.1% (2017)
Physicians density
8.3 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
1.56 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
5.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
1.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
24.6% (2016)
27.6% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
73.7% (2014)
69.5% (2014)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 46.7
youth dependency ratio: 23.3
elderly dependency ratio: 23.3
potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 53.8
youth dependency ratio: 42.2
elderly dependency ratio: 11.6
potential support ratio: 8.6 (2020 est.)


CubaDominican Republic
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"
conventional long form: Dominican Republic
conventional short form: The Dominican
local long form: Republica Dominicana
local short form: La Dominicana
etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic)
Government type
communist state
presidential republic
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
name: Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: named after Saint Dominic de Guzman (1170-1221), founder of the Dominican Order
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
10 regions (regiones, singular - region); Cibao Nordeste, Cibao Noroeste, Cibao Norte, Cibao Sur, El Valle, Enriquillo, Higuamo, Ozama, Valdesia, Yuma
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
27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
National holiday
Triumph of the Revolution (Liberation Day), 1 January (1959)
Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
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
history: many previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 13 June 2015
amendments: proposed by a special session of the National Congress called the National Revisory Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority approval by at least one half of those present in both houses of the Assembly; passage of amendments to constitutional articles, such as fundamental rights and guarantees, territorial composition, nationality, or the procedures for constitutional reform, also requires approval in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2017
Legal system
16 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police by law cannot vote
Executive branch
chief of state: President Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (since 10 October 2019); Vice President Salvador Antonio VALDES Mesa (since 10 October 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: Prime Minister Manuel MARRERO Cruz (since 21 December 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Ramiro VALDES Menendez, Roberto MORALES Ojeda, Ines Maria CHAPMAN Waugh, Jorge Luis TAPIA Fonseca, Alejandro GIL Fernandez, Ricardo CABRISAS Ruiz (since 21 December 2019)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the president and appointed by the National Assembly; it is subordinate to the 21-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 president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (may be reelected for another 5-year term); election last held on 10 October 2019 (next to be held in 2024)
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 - 98.1%
note - on 19 April 2018, DIAZ-CANEL succeeded Raul CASTRO as president of the Council of State; on 10 October 2019 he was elected to the newly created position of President of the Republic, which replaced the position of President of the Council of State
chief of state: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a maximum of two consecutive terms); election last held on 15 May 2016 (rescheduled from 17 May to 5 July 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic)
election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez reelected president in first round; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (PLD) 61.7%, Luis Rodolfo ABINADER Corona (PRM) 35%, other 3.3%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (PLD) reelected vice president
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 1 - 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; note 2 - in july 2019, the National Assembly passed a law which reduces the number of members from 605 to 474, effective with the 2023 general 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%
description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of:
Senate or Senado (32 seats; note - electoral system changes by the Central Election Commission are being challenged by the ruling party and opposition)
House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (190 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
Senate - last held on 15 May 2016 (rescheduled from 17 May to 5 July 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic)
House of Representatives - last held on 15 May 2016 (rescheduled from 17 May to 5 July 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 26, PRM 2, BIS 1, PLRD 1, PRD 1, PRSC 1; composition as of 2018 - men 29, women 3, percent of women 9.4%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 106, PRM 42, PRSC 18, PRD 16, PLRD 3, other 5; composition as of 2018 - men 139, women 51, percent of women 26.8%; note - total National Congress percent of women 24.3%
Judicial branch
highest courts: People's Supreme Court (consists of court president, vice president, 41 professional justices, and NA lay 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
highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia (consists of a minimum of 16 magistrates); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 13 judges); note - the Constitutional Court was established in 2010 by constitutional amendment
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and a non-governing party congressional representative; Supreme Court judges appointed for 7-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 9-year terms
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; justices of the peace; special courts for juvenile, labor, and land cases; Contentious Administrative Court for cases filed against the government
Political parties and leaders
Cuban Communist Party or PCC [Raul CASTRO Ruz]
Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]
Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Miguel VARGAS Maldonado]
Institutional Social Democratic Bloc or BIS
Liberal Reformist Party or PRL (formerly the Liberal Party of the Dominican Republic or PLRD)
Modern Revolutionary Party or PRM [Jose Ignacio PALIZA]
National Progressive Front or FNP [Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Federico ANTUN]
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
ACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Jose Ramon CABANAS Rodriguez (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-8518
Ambassador Jose Tomas PEREZ Vazquez (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280, 660-2263
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mara TEKACH (since 20 June 2018)
telephone: [53] (7) 839-4100
embassy: Calzada between L & M Streets, Vedado, Havana
mailing address: use embassy street address
chief of mission: Ambassador Robin BERNSTEIN (since 6 September 2018)
telephone: [1] (809) 567-7775
embassy: Av. Republica de Colombia # 57, Santo Domingo
mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437
Flag description
five equal horizontal bands of blue (top, center, and bottom) alternating with white; a red equilateral triangle based on the hoist side bears a white, five-pointed star in the center; the blue bands refer to the three old divisions of the island: central, occidental, and oriental; the white bands describe the purity of the independence ideal; the triangle symbolizes liberty, equality, and fraternity, while the red color stands for the blood shed in the independence struggle; the white star, called La Estrella Solitaria (the Lone Star) lights the way to freedom and was taken from the flag of Texas

note: design similar to the Puerto Rican flag, with the colors of the bands and triangle reversed

a centered white cross that extends to the edges divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are ultramarine blue (hoist side) and vermilion red, and the bottom ones are vermilion red (hoist side) and ultramarine blue; a small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes
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

name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Emilio PRUD'HOMME/Jose REYES

note: adopted 1934; also known as "Quisqueyanos valientes" (Valient Sons of Quisqueye); the anthem never refers to the people as Dominican but rather calls them "Quisqueyanos," a reference to the indigenous name of the island

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)
royal palm; national colors: red, white, blue
palmchat (bird); national colors: red, white, blue
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Dominican Republic
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years


CubaDominican Republic
Economy - overview

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.

The Dominican Republic was for most of its history primarily an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but over the last three decades the economy has become more diversified as the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in construction, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine, one of the largest gold mines in the world.

For the last 20 years, the Dominican Republic has been one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. The economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-16, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2016, and public debt is declining. Marked income inequality, high unemployment, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP.

The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports and the source of 40% of imports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and manufacturing exports.

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

$173 billion (2017 est.)
$165.4 billion (2016 est.)
$155.2 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
1.6% (2017 est.)
0.5% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
4.6% (2017 est.)
6.6% (2016 est.)
7% (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

$17,000 (2017 est.)
$16,400 (2016 est.)
$15,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 4% (2017 est.)
industry: 22.7% (2017 est.)
services: 73.4% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 5.6% (2017 est.)
industry: 33% (2017 est.)
services: 61.4% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
30.5% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 37.4% (2013 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
5.5% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force
4.691 million (2017 est.)

note: state sector 72.3%, non-state sector 27.7%

4.732 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 18%
industry: 10%
services: 72% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 14.4%
industry: 20.8% (2014)
services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate
2.6% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)

note: data are official rates; unofficial estimates are about double

5.1% (2017 est.)
5.5% (2016 est.)
revenues: 54.52 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 64.64 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 11.33 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 13.62 billion (2017 est.)
petroleum, nickel, cobalt, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, construction, steel, cement, agricultural machinery, sugar
tourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco, electrical components, medical devices
Industrial production growth rate
-1.2% (2017 est.)
3.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
cocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
$2.63 billion (2017 est.)
$2.546 billion (2016 est.)
$10.12 billion (2017 est.)
$9.86 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
petroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partners
Venezuela 17.8%, Spain 12.2%, Russia 7.9%, Lebanon 6.1%, Indonesia 4.5%, Germany 4.3% (2017)
US 50.3%, Haiti 9.1%, Canada 8.2%, India 5.6% (2017)
$11.06 billion (2017 est.)
$10.28 billion (2016 est.)
$17.7 billion (2017 est.)
$17.4 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners
China 22%, Spain 14%, Russia 5%, Brazil 5%, Mexico 4.9%, Italy 4.8%, US 4.5% (2017)
US 41.4%, China 13.9%, Mexico 4.5%, Brazil 4.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$30.06 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$29.89 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$29.16 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$27.7 billion (31 December 2016 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.)
Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar -
47.42 (2017 est.)
46.078 (2016 est.)
46.078 (2015 est.)
45.052 (2014 est.)
43.556 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
47.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
42.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
37.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
34.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$11.35 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.873 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.134 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
$985.4 million (2017 est.)
$2.008 billion (2016 est.)
-$165 million (2017 est.)
-$815 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$93.79 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in Cuban Pesos at 1 CUP = 1 US$; official exchange rate

$76.09 billion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home


$37.15 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$4.138 billion (2006 est.)
$408.6 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$387.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate


13.91% (31 December 2017 est.)
15.08% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit


$35.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$23.26 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$21.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.011 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.491 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$23.26 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$21.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.011 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.491 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
58.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
14.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-10.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 6.1%
male: 6.4%
female: 5.6% (2010 est.)
total: 13.5%
male: 9.9%
female: 19.7% (2017 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.)
household consumption: 69.3% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 12.2% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 21.9% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 24.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -28.1% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
11.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
12.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2015 est.)


CubaDominican Republic
Electricity - production
19.28 billion kWh (2016 est.)
18.03 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
16.16 billion kWh (2016 est.)
15.64 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
50,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
112,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
16,980 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
124 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
70.79 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Natural gas - production
1.189 billion cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
1.189 billion cu m (2017 est.)
1.161 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
1.161 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
6.998 million kW (2016 est.)
3.839 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
91% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
77% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
16% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
7% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
104,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
16,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
175,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
134,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
24,190 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
52,750 bbl/day (2015 est.)
108,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
26.94 million Mt (2017 est.)
23.79 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


CubaDominican Republic
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 1,475,679
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.31 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,172,083
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11.27 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 5,911,586
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 53.32 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 8,665,302
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 83.32 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
Internet users
total: 6,353,020
percent of population: 57.15% (July 2018 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"

total: 7,705,529
percent of population: 74.82% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: lowest mobile phone and Internet penetration rates in the region, fixed-line teledensity is also low; fixed-line and mobile services run by the state-run ETESCA; mobile-cellular telephone service is expensive and must be paid in convertible pesos; the 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 (2020)
domestic: fixed-line density remains low at about 13 per 100 inhabitants; mobile-cellular service is expanding to about 53 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 53; the ALBA-1, GTMO-1, and GTMO-PR fiber-optic submarine cables link Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: there are multiple operators licensed to provide services, most of them are small and localized; the telecom sector across the Caribbean region remains one of the key growth areas; fixed-line teledensity well-below Latin America averages; development of LTE and HSPA (high speed packet access) services, mobile broadband has taken off; income inequalities seen in telephone accesses (2020)
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 11 per 100 persons; multiple providers of mobile-cellular service with a subscribership of 83 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 1-809; 1-829; 1-849; landing point for the ARCOS-1, Antillas 1, AMX-1, SAm-1, East-West, Deep Blue Cable and the Fibralink submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 98,838
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 less than 1 (2018 est.)
total: 794,788
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media

Government owns and controls all broadcast media: five national TV channels (Cubavision, Tele Rebelde, Multivision, Educational Channel 1 and 2,) 2 international channels (Cubavision Internacional and Caribe,) 16 regional TV stations, 6 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

combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media; 1 state-owned TV network and a number of private TV networks; networks operate repeaters to extend signals throughout country; combination of state-owned and privately owned radio stations with more than 300 radio stations operating (2019)


CubaDominican Republic
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

total: 496 km (2014)
standard gauge: 354 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
total: 60,000 km (2015)
paved: 20,000 km (2001)
unpaved: 40,000 km (2001)
total: 19,705 km (2002)
paved: 9,872 km (2002)
unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)
41 km gas, 230 km oil (2013)
27 km gas, 103 km oil (2013)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Antilla, Cienfuegos, Guantanamo, Havana, Matanzas, Mariel, Nuevitas Bay, Santiago de Cuba
major seaport(s): Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo
oil terminal(s): Punta Nizao oil terminal
LNG terminal(s) (import): Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica)
Merchant marine
total: 52
by type: general cargo 12, oil tanker 3, other 37 (2019)
total: 37
by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 2, oil tanker 1, other 33 (2019)
total: 133 (2017)
total: 36 (2013)
Airports - with 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)
total: 16 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 69 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 11 (2013)
under 914 m: 58 (2013)
total: 20 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 18 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 18
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 560,754 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 17.76 million mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
CU (2016)
HI (2016)


CubaDominican Republic
Military branches
Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, FAR): Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario, ER), Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria, MGR, includes Marine Corps), Revolutionary Air and Air Defense Forces (Defensas Anti-Aereas y Fuerza Aerea Revolucionaria, DAAFAR); Paramilitary forces: Youth Labor Army (Ejercito Juvenil del Trabajo, EJT), Territorial Militia Troops (Milicia de Tropas de Territoriales, MTT), Civil Defense Force; Ministry of Interior: Border Guards, State Security (2020)
Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic: Army (Ejercito Nacional, EN), Navy (Marina de Guerra, MdG, includes naval infantry), Dominican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2020)
note: in addition to the military, the Ministry of Armed Forces directs the Airport Security Authority and Civil Aviation, Port Security Authority, and Border Security Corps
Military service age and obligation
17-28 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation for males, optional for females (2017)
17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
2.9% of GDP (2018)
2.9% of GDP (2017)
3.1% of GDP (2016)
3.1% of GDP (2015)
3.5% of GDP (2014)
0.7% of GDP (2019)
0.7% of GDP (2018)
0.7% of GDP (2017)
0.7% of GDP (2016)
0.7% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

CubaDominican Republic
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

Haitian migrants cross the porous border into the Dominican Republic to find work; illegal migrants from the Dominican Republic cross the Mona Passage each year to Puerto Rico to find better work

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
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; has become a transshipment point for ecstasy from the Netherlands and Belgium destined for US and Canada; substantial money laundering activity in particular by Colombian narcotics traffickers; significant amphetamine consumption

Source: CIA Factbook