Cuba is an island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, 150 km south of Key West, Florida. The climate is tropical moderated by trade winds. The official language is Spanish. Cuban Spanish is often difficult to understand, even for Spanish speakers from other countries. For important business dealings, visitors will need to be either fluent in Spanish or have an interpreter. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Cuba is a largely state-controlled, centrally planned economy overseen by the Cuban government, though there remains significant foreign investment and enterprise in Cuba. Most of the means of production are owned and run by the government and most of the labour force is employed by the state. In Cuba decision-making authority is narrowly concentrated, with decisions almost always made at a high level within government agencies. It is generally advisable to address people using their professional title, or by either Senor (Mr), Senora (Mrs), or Senorita (Ms) and their surname. Because of the heat in Cuba, business dress tends to be very light-weight suits or sports coats with trousers. Women are prominent at all levels of business and public life. The security risk for expatriates in Cuba is low. Risks include petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching and theft, particularly in Havana, as well as confidence tricksters who may target expats, while violent crime is relatively rare and unlikely to involve expatriates. Other risks include criticising the authorities which may lead to arrest and harsh punishment, as well as the risks related to hurricanes and earthquakes. Cuba operates a dual currency system. Visitors usually use the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), whereas locals use the Cuban Peso (CUP). The CUP is worth much less than the CUC. Not all international cards will work in Cuba. Medical facilities in Havana are better than the rest of Cuba, however serious specialist medical emergencies may require medical evacuation which can be very expensive. Many medicines are unavailable in Cuba. Expatriates should bring prescription drugs taken regularly with a copy of the prescription and a letter from the doctor explaining the condition for customs. Cases of Chikungunya virus and cholera have been confirmed. The population of Cuba is 11.2 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 4.5% (Dec 2016).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Cuba, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Cuba as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Very Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Very Low Cuba is for example -24.6% cheaper than USA for groceries, -44.6% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 25.9% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Cuba for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Cuba) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Cuba is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Cuba? Register subscribe to your home location and Cuba and run your personalised reports.