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Cuba vs. Dominican Republic

Introduction

CubaDominican Republic
BackgroundThe 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 that 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. On 8-9 September 2017, Hurricane Irma passed along the north coast of Cuba causing extensive damage to structures, roads, and power supplies.
The country faced a severe economic downturn in 1990 following the withdrawal of former Soviet subsidies worth $4-6 billion annually. Cuba at times portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source of its difficulties. Over the past decade, there has been growing communication with the Cuban Government to address national interests. 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 on 20 July 2015. However, the embargo remains in place.
Illicit migration of Cuban nationals to the US via maritime and overland routes has been a longstanding challenge. In FY 2016, the US Coast Guard interdicted 5,228 Cuban nationals at sea. Also in FY 2016, 44,553 Cuban migrants presented themselves at various land border ports of entry throughout the US. 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 – facilitating the repatriation of Cuban migrants. Illicit Cuban migration has since dropped significantly.
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.

Geography

CubaDominican Republic
LocationCaribbean, 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 coordinates21 30 N, 80 00 W
19 00 N, 70 40 W
Map referencesCentral America and the Caribbean
Central America and the Caribbean
Areatotal: 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 - comparativeslightly smaller than Pennsylvania
slightly more than twice the size of New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 28.5 km
border countries: 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
Coastline3,735 km
1,288 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climatetropical; moderated by trade winds; dry season (November to April); rainy season (May to October)
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall
Terrainmostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
rugged highlands and mountains interspersed with fertile valleys
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 108 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Turquino 1,974 m
mean elevation: 424 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
highest point: Pico Duarte 3,098 m
Natural resourcescobalt, nickel, iron ore, chromium, copper, salt, timber, silica, petroleum, arable land
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 60.3%
arable land 33.8%; permanent crops 3.6%; permanent pasture 22.9%
forest: 27.3%
other: 12.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 51.5%
arable land 16.6%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 24.8%
forest: 40.8%
other: 7.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land8,700 sq km (2012)
3,070 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsthe 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 issuesair and water pollution; biodiversity loss; deforestation
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation
Environment - international agreementsparty 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 - notelargest 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 distributionlarge 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)

Demographics

CubaDominican Republic
Population11,147,407 (July 2017 est.)
10,734,247 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 16.57% (male 950,870/female 896,476)
15-24 years: 12.22% (male 706,882/female 655,446)
25-54 years: 44.43% (male 2,490,483/female 2,462,250)
55-64 years: 11.84% (male 640,150/female 679,603)
65 years and over: 14.94% (male 763,058/female 902,189) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 26.63% (male 1,454,527/female 1,404,538)
15-24 years: 18.18% (male 993,642/female 957,466)
25-54 years: 39.66% (male 2,178,477/female 2,078,371)
55-64 years: 7.9% (male 426,810/female 421,727)
65 years and over: 7.63% (male 378,226/female 440,463) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 41.5 years
male: 40.1 years
female: 42.6 years (2017 est.)
total: 28.1 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 28.3 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate-0.29% (2017 est.)
1.18% (2017 est.)
Birth rate10.7 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
18.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate-4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat 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: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 17.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 78.8 years
male: 76.5 years
female: 81.3 years (2017 est.)
total population: 78.3 years
male: 76 years
female: 80.6 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.71 children born/woman (2017 est.)
2.29 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.4% (2016 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Cuban(s)
adjective: Cuban
noun: Dominican(s)
adjective: Dominican
Ethnic groupswhite 64.1%, mulatto or mixed 26.6%, black 9.3%
note: data represent racial self-identification from Cuba's 2012 national census (2012 est.)
"mixed 70.4% (mestizo/indio 58%, mulatto 12.4%), black 15.8%, white 13.5%, other 0.3%
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 (2014 est.)
"
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS25,000 (2016 est.)
67,000 (2016 est.)
Religionsnominally Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jewish, Santeria
note: prior to CASTRO assuming power
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
HIV/AIDS - deaths<200 (2016 est.)
2,200 (2016 est.)
LanguagesSpanish (official)
Spanish (official)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.8%
male: 91.2%
female: 92.3% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: dengue fever
note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2015)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2014)
Education expenditures12.8% of GDP (2010)
2.1% of GDP (2007)
Urbanizationurban population: 77.3% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 80.6% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 96.4% of population
rural: 89.8% of population
total: 94.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.6% of population
rural: 10.2% of population
total: 5.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 85.4% of population
rural: 81.9% of population
total: 84.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 14.6% of population
rural: 18.1% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 94.4% of population
rural: 89.1% of population
total: 93.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.6% of population
rural: 10.9% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 86.2% of population
rural: 75.7% of population
total: 84% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.8% of population
rural: 24.3% of population
total: 16% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationHAVANA (capital) 2.137 million (2015)
SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.945 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate39 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
92 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.1% of GDP (2014)
4.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density7.52 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.49 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density5.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.6% (2016)
27.6% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate73.7% (2014)
69.5% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 43.3
youth dependency ratio: 23.3
elderly dependency ratio: 19.9
potential support ratio: 5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 57.8
youth dependency ratio: 47.3
elderly dependency ratio: 10.5
potential support ratio: 9.5 (2015 est.)

Government

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 typecommunist state
presidential republic
Capitalname: 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
name: Santo Domingo
geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions15 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
Independence20 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 holidayTriumph of the Revolution (Liberation Day), 1 January (1959)
Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 February 1976, effective 24 February 1976; amended 1978, 1992, 2002 (2016)
"many previous (38 total); latest proclaimed 26 January 2010; note - the Dominican Republic Government has a practice of promulgating a ""new"" constitution whenever an amendment is ratified (2016)
"
Legal systemcivil law system based on Spanish civil code
civil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system
Suffrage16 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 branchchief of state: President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (president since 24 February 2008); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (since 24 February 2013); 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 Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (president since 24 February 2008); First Vice President of the Council of State and First Vice President of the Council of Ministers Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (since 24 February 2013)
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 24 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Gen. Raul CASTRO Ruz (PCC) reelected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100%; Miguel DIAZ-CANEL Bermudez (PCC) elected vice president; percent of National Assembly vote - 100%
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 consecutive terms); election last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez reelected president; 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 branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly of People's Power or Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (614 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 3 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Cuba's Communist Party is the only legal party, and officially sanctioned candidates run unopposed
description: bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the 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)
elections: Senate - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 15 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2020)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 26, PRM 2, BIS 1, PLRD 1, PRD 1, PRSC 1
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 106, PRM 42, PRSC 18, PRD 16, PLRD 3, other 5
Judicial branchhighest court(s): 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 court(s): 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 leadersCuban 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
Modern Revolutionary Party or PRM [Andres BAUTISTA Garcia]
National Progressive Front or FNP [Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Federico ANTUN]
Political pressure groups and leadersCuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN)
Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco)
Patriotic Union of Cuba or UNPACU
other: political dissidents and bloggers
Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania)
Collective of Popular Organizations or COP
Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS
International organization participationACP, 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 USchief of mission: Ambassador Jose Ramon CABANAS Rodriguez (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-8518
FAX: NA
consulate(s) general: NA
chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Tomas PEREZ Vazquez(since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
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 USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Scott HAMILTON (since 13 July 2017)
embassy: Calzada between L & M Streets, Vedado, Havana
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [53] (7) 839-4100
FAX: NA
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert COPLEY (since 21 July 2017)
mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
telephone: [1] (809) 567-7775
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437
embassy: Av. Republica de Colombia
Flag descriptionfive 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 participationhas 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
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: 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

Economy

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. Approximately 476,000 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 late 2000, Venezuela has provided petroleum products to Cuba on preferential terms, supplying nearly 100,000 barrels per day. Cuba has been paying 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 in recent years 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. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment, a large informal sector, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges.

The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. 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.

The Dominican Republic's 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. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 4% of GDP. Since 2015 the Dominican Republic has posted the fastest economic growth in Latin America.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$132.9 billion (2016 est.)
$134.2 billion (2015 est.)
$128.5 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 US dollars
$172.6 billion (2017 est.)
$164.7 billion (2016 est.)
$154.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-0.9% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
1% (2014 est.)
4.8% (2017 est.)
6.6% (2016 est.)
7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,900 (2016 est.)
$12,200 (2015 est.)
$11,600 (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 sectoragriculture: 3.9%
industry: 21.5%
services: 74.2% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 33.8%
services: 60.8% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
30.5% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 37.4% (2013 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.8% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
3% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force4.691 million
note: state sector 72.3%, non-state sector 27.7% (2017 est.)
4.732 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 18%
industry: 10%
services: 72% (2013 est.)
agriculture: 14.4%
industry: 20.8%
services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate2.2% (2017 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
note: data are official rates; unofficial estimates are about double the official figures
5.5% (2017 est.)
5.5% (2016 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $52.36 billion
expenditures: $60.57 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: $11.18 billion
expenditures: $12.77 billion (2017 est.)
Industriespetroleum, 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 rate0.6% (2017 est.)
6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productssugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans; livestock
cocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
Exports$2.885 billion (2017 est.)
$2.535 billion (2016 est.)
$10.33 billion (2017 est.)
$9.86 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum, nickel, medical products, sugar, tobacco, fish, citrus, coffee
gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
Exports - partnersRussia 22.9%, Venezuela 15.4%, Spain 10.3% (2016)
US 47.3%, Haiti 12%, Canada 7.8%, India 6.2% (2016)
Imports$10.84 billion (2017 est.)
$10.28 billion (2016 est.)
$19 billion (2017 est.)
$17.48 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum, food, machinery and equipment, chemicals
petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
Imports - partnersChina 29.2%, Spain 14%, Italy 5.1%, Brazil 4.7%, Mexico 4.4%, Russia 4.3%, Canada 4.1%, US 4% (2016)
US 40.4%, China 12.5%, Mexico 5.2% (2016)
Debt - external$20.55 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$20.59 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$29.69 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$27.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesCuban 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 yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt35.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
47.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$12.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.233 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.)
-$1.192 billion (2017 est.)
-$1.066 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$81.56 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in Cuban Pesos at 1 CUP = 1 US$; official exchange rate
$74.87 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
$35.93 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.56 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$4.138 billion (2006 est.)
$487.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$387.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rateNA%
14.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
15.08% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$NA
$35.64 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$33.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$23.49 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$21.92 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.921 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.491 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$50.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$48.19 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$21.44 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$19.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues64.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
14.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 6.1%
male: 6.4%
female: 5.6% (2010 est.)
total: 10.8%
male: 7.7%
female: 15.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 58.2%
government consumption: 31.7%
investment in fixed capital: 9.9%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 13.6%
imports of goods and services: -13.5% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 69.8%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 23.3%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 25.8%
imports of goods and services: -30.4% (2017 est.)

Energy

CubaDominican Republic
Electricity - production19.12 billion kWh (2015 est.)
15.53 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption15.98 billion kWh (2015 est.)
13.25 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production49,830 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports101,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
27,440 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves124 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reserves70.79 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production1.25 billion cu m (2015 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption2.063 billion cu m (2015 est.)
1.895 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2016 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2016 est.)
1.108 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity6.711 million kW (2015 est.)
3.732 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels90.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
80.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
16.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources8.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
5.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production102,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)
27,060 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption180,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
114,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports25,540 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports51,970 bbl/day (2014 est.)
84,370 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy26 million Mt (2013 est.)
22 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 200,000
electrification - total population: 99.9%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 95% (2013)
population without electricity: 300,000
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99%
electrification - rural areas: 97% (2013)

Telecommunications

CubaDominican Republic
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 1,322,002
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,345,091
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 3,987,900
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (July 2016 est.)
total: 8,708,131
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral 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
domestic: fixed-line density remains low at about 10 per 100 inhabitants; mobile-cellular service expanding but remains only about 35 per 100 persons
international: country code - 53; the ALBA-1 fiber-optic submarine cable links Cuba, Jamaica, and Venezuela; fiber-optic cable laid to but not linked to US network; 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 (2017)
general assessment: relatively efficient system based on island-wide microwave radio relay network
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 13 per 100 persons; multiple providers of mobile-cellular service with a subscribership of over 80 per 100 persons
international: country code - 1-809; 1-829; 1-849; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 1, AMX-1, 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) (2016)
Internet country code.cu
.do
Internet users"total: 4,334,022
percent of population: 38.8%
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"" (July 2016 est.)
"
total: 6,504,998
percent of population: 61.3% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediagovernment owns and controls all broadcast media with private ownership of electronic media prohibited; however, several online independent news sites exist and those that are not openly critical of the government are often tolerated; government operates 5 national TV networks and many local TV stations; government operates 6 national radio networks, an international station, and many local radio stations; Radio-TV Marti is beamed from the US (2017)
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 (2015)

Transportation

CubaDominican Republic
Railwaystotal: 8,367 km
standard gauge: 8,195 km 1.435-m gauge (105 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 172 km 1.000-m gauge
note: 70 km of standard gauge track is not for public use (2015)
total: 496 km
standard gauge: 354 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 142 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 60,858 km
paved: 29,820 km (includes 639 km of expressways)
unpaved: 31,038 km (2001)
total: 19,705 km
paved: 9,872 km
unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)
Pipelinesgas 41 km; oil 230 km (2013)
gas 27 km; oil 103 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor 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 marinetotal: 43
by type: general cargo 11, oil tanker 3, other 29 (2017)
total: 23
by type: general cargo 2, other 21 (2017)
Airports133 (2017)
36 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 64
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 27 (2017)
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 69
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 58 (2013)
total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 18 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 3
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 18
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,294,458
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 20,919,645 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 1
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 14,463
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixCU (2016)
HI (2016)

Military

CubaDominican Republic
Military branchesRevolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, FAR): Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario, ER, includes Territorial Militia Troops (Milicia de Tropas de Territoriales, MTT)), 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) (2013)
Army (Ejercito Nacional, EN), Navy (Marina de Guerra, MdG, includes naval infantry), Dominican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2017)
Military service age and obligation17-28 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 GDP3.08% of GDP (2015)
3.54% of GDP (2014)
3.51% of GDP (2013)
3.94% of GDP (2012)
3.08% of GDP (2011)
0.64% of GDP (2016)
0.67% of GDP (2015)
0.67% of GDP (2014)
0.62% of GDP (2013)
0.65% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

CubaDominican Republic
Disputes - internationalUS 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 drugsterritorial 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