The defense was cut down significantly at the end of the Cold War in 1991. Angola was taken home. The defense is now based on selective military duty with an initial service of 24 months and comprises about 50,000 men. In addition, each year, an active reserve of 40,000 men serves for approximately 45 days. The defense is modernized and distributed across the country in lightly armed, armored units in 126 locations. It consists of an army of 38,000 men, 77,000 men fully staffed, with 15 active brigades and 14 reserve brigades. The navy comprises 3,000 men with five patrol boats and a naval infantry battalion of 500 men. The Air Force comprises 8,000 men with 25 operationally useful fighter aircraft (out of a total of 127) and 40 armed helicopters. Flight time socket is low. Semi-military security forces amount to 26,500 active men with over 1 million men in reserve.
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The material is semi-modern, often older, of Soviet/ Russian origin with low reliability. Defense costs have decreased from 9.6 to 4% of GDP in 1985-2005. The United States has since 1903 a naval base in the Gulf of Guantánamo on the southeastern part of the island with a strength of 510 men (2005). To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that CUBA stands for Cuba.
1991 Deep crisis
After a seven-month postponement, the PCC held its 4th Congress in October 1991. At the same time as a renewal of the party’s top leadership, Congress decided to amend the constitution to guarantee direct elections to the People’s Assembly, the one-party government was affirmed, but at the same time religious freedom was increased and there was encouraged to form joint venture companies based on Cuban and Latin American capital.
With the dissolution of Eastern Europe and the Soviet, the old allies of Comecon had also disappeared. Therefore, the supply of a number of basic goods dropped to a critical level. In this economic state of emergency, the government decided to strengthen its contacts with China, Vietnam and North Korea as well as exploit its technological advances. Especially in biotechnology and medicine, where had succeeded in developing a vaccine against meningitis.
During the period 1989-91, the Soviet had reduced its shipments of oil to Cuba by 75%, and the government therefore decided to ration gasoline and fuel. It also decided to strategically strengthen the tourism sector in order to provide foreign currency to the country. Joint venture agreements were made with a large number of foreign companies – especially Spanish.
The dissolution of Cuba’s former trading partners in Eastern Europe and the US strengthening of the trade blockade against the country forced the government to implement a special plan for the equitable distribution of scarce resources. Already in 1990, the consumption of bread had been rationed to 100 grams per day. person per day. The publication of three newspapers was discontinued and the only remaining newspaper – the Communist Party’s official body, Granma – reduced its circulation to less than a third. At the same time, the state sought to open new markets for its sugar, coffee and tobacco production and sought agreements with Mexico and Venezuela on the purchase of oil.
The shortage of food forced the government to implement an emergency food supply plan. At the same time, the plan was aimed at rapidly increasing sugar production and yield, as well as increasing the use of the residual products as animal feed. Furthermore, the goal was to create new jobs. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the last 3,000 Russian soldiers stationed in Habana and Cienfuegos were taken home.
In August 1991, Cuba’s representative in the UN made proposals to the General Assembly to debate the US economic blockade. But the Cubans again withdrew the proposal when it became clear that the United States was under intense pressure and made threats to the other delegations at the General Assembly.
In early 1993, direct elections to the National Assembly were made for the first time. Subsequently, Foreign Minister Ricardo Alarcón was elected as chairman of the Assembly and as new Foreign Minister was elected Roberto Robaina, who had been a very popular chairman of the Young Communists, UJC.
At the mass meeting on July 26, 1993, which marked the 40th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada basin, Castro explained in his speech the serious situation of the country and the special steps that had been taken. He also stated that it would be legal to possess foreign currency and to work independently. The goal was partly to collect parts of the extensive dollar flow that went from relatives in the United States towards Cuba, as well as to allow people to survive despite mass firings from state institutions and factories. At the end of the year, the People’s Assembly organized debates about the economic crisis at each workplace. These Worker Parliaments met during 1994 and helped to uncover the situation in each workplace.