Cuba

Cuba

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Cuba is a country located in the Caribbean, the largest island of the West Indies. Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico make up the Greater Antilles archipelago. The population is approximately 11 million people.

The Government of Cuba is a totalitarian communist state. The current government came to power in 1959 when the lawyer, Fidel Castro, led a socialist revolution against the oppressive dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista. Batista fled the country on January 1, 1959, and Castro became the leader. In 2008 Castro stepped down, and his brother, Raul Castro, assumed the presidency.

When relations with the United States soured, Cuba began to receive aid from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the economy greatly suffered from the loss of the significant financial support that Cuba had received from the USSR. In recent years, tourism has brought some economic relief.

Tourists to Cuba enjoy beautiful beaches, tour Old Havana, walk along the Malecon, visit museums, such as the Museum of the Revolution, and enjoy the music that is pervasive throughout the country.

Note : The government of the United States does not allow its citizens to travel to Cuba, however, recently the US has liberalized its policies regarding travel to Cuba for certain types of travel. US travellers may wish to consult with the United States Department of State regarding travel policies.

Currency CUP and CUC: National peso and Convertible peso
Language Spanish
Capital Havana
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert October 28, 2017 - Tropical storm en route to Cuba, Bahamas and USA

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Cuba. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Cuba through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occured from time to time in Cuba.

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Ciguatera poisoning is caused by eating large reef fish that have been contaminated by a toxin. This kind of marine seafood toxin poisoning occurs sporadically in Cuba.

Cholera

Small outbreaks of cholera have occurred in eastern provinces.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in Cuba.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Cuba. The risk is higher when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Cuba. However, Cuba requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission, including travellers transiting through Cuba and travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in a country/territory at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Cuba.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

Unvaccinated travellers are at risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, however, the vaccination is recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Cuba. However, Cuba requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission, including travellers transiting through Cuba and travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in a country/territory at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Cuba.

None required.

Safety and Security in Cuba

Emergency Numbers

106
105
07- 24-01-41 Servimed - a Cuban for-profit health system for foreigners; includes medical tourism

Personal Safety

Travellers rarely experience safety and security problems in Cuba, however, always remain alert and aware of your personal surroundings.

Petty crime, such as theft, pick-pocketing, and purse-snatching, is now more common in Cuba than in previous times. Avoid showing any signs of affluence such as expensive clothing. Ensure personal belongings, valuables, and travel documents are kept secure at all times. Reports indicate that theft from luggage at the airport and theft from hotel rooms and casa particulares does occur. Violent crime is rare but can occur.

If you are involved in a driving accident in which someone is killed, notify your embassy immediately. You can be detained until a completed investigation which can take months. If found at fault, the penalty can be two years in jail in Cuba.

Political Unrest

In Cuba there is a strong police presence and level of social control. There are restrictions on public gatherings and demonstrations, as well as freedom of speech. Avoid large public gatherings or protests since these gatherings may not be approved by the government and police may move to break up a crowd.

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