POPULATION: 11.4 million (2016)
FORUM DIALOGUE MEMBERSHIP ESTABLISHED: 2012
ADDITIONAL FORUM DIALOGUE MECHANISMS: Cuba-Pacific Islands Ministerial Meeting (est. 2008, none held since)
POLITICAL SYSTEM: Communist State
HEAD OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT: Raúl Castro
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN THE PACIFIC: 2 (Australia, NZ). Established relations with Fiji, FSM, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, PNG, RMI, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
SIGNIFICANT MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS: Member of AOSIS, Caribbean SIDS, GCF Board Member, G77, IRENA, NAM, WT
Common areas of strategic interest
As a small island developing state in the Caribbean, Cuba works closely with Forum Members on high priority SIDS issues, including climate change and the sustainable development agenda, including through the SAMOA Pathway. As a state party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Cuba is an active member in related global discussions on biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions and the International Seabed Authority.
Trade in the region
Trade data unavailable for the Pacific region.
Cuba’s key export products include raw sugar, refined petroleum, nickel mattes, tobacco and hard liquor. Together, these products constitute 75% of Cuba’s total exports.
Cuba’s key export destination for its sugar is China where sugar is applied a tariff of 33.9% on entry into Chinese markets. Similarly, Cuban sugar exported to the EU is applied a tariff of 41.5%.
Comparatively, sugar exports from the Pacific region enter the EU markets duty free under a preferential access arrangement – the Sugar Protocol which expires in 2017.
Cuba’s key trading partners include China, Spain and Brazil.
Cuba is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (2015-16) and the UN Special Committee of Decolonisation (also known as the Committee of 24, C-24).
A supporter of south-south cooperation, Cuba provides medical aid to the Pacific through providing medical doctors to the Pacific and scholarships to Pacific students to study medicine in Cuba.
Since the early 2000s, more than 170 young Pacific Islanders (including 90 Solomon Islanders, 23 i-Kiribati, 17 ni-Vanuatu and 20 Tuvaluans) have studied medicine in Cuba and more than 30 heavily-subsidised Cuban doctors have arrived in the Pacific to support the domestic workforce.