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Cuba

Capital

Havana

Territory

103,800km²

Population (2020)

11,326,616

GDP Total (2020)

103.1B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

9,100 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

69.3
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

9th of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

54.7

2nd of 11 countries

Corruption Resilience

37.9
Vulnerable

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

28th of 31 countries

Caribbean Ranking

57.9

10th of 11 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 46.3

Caribbean 41.7

Standards of Conduct

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 42.8

Caribbean 24.8

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 33.4

Training of Public Officials

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 36.8

Caribbean 27.4

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 42.3

Caribbean 27.9

Transparency in Government Contracting

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 33.1

Caribbean 22.9

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 47.1

Caribbean 31.6

Oversight Bodies

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 36.0

Caribbean 34.3

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 36.7

Caribbean 20.0

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 43.0

Caribbean 21.3

Study of Other Prevention Measures

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 44.9

Caribbean 42.8

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
63.7

Western Hemisphere 61.1

Caribbean 55.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 30.7

Caribbean 17.8

Scope

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 67.7

Caribbean 53.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 74.6

Caribbean 60.0

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 51.9

Caribbean 27.3

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 58.8

Caribbean 39.5

Passive Public Bribery

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 55.8

Active Public Bribery

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 56.4

Caribbean 55.5

Abuse of Functions

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 47.0

Caribbean 37.6

Money Laundering

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Caribbean 58.5

Participation and Attempt

In progress
54.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

Caribbean 54.2

Active Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

Caribbean 34.7

Illicit Enrichment

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 54.7

Caribbean 38.9

Use of State Property

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 79.5

Caribbean 66.9

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

In progress
71.0

Western Hemisphere 52.1

Caribbean 36.6

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 77.6

Caribbean 64.4

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

Caribbean 23.4

Private Bribery

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 22.7

Caribbean 21.8

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 64.7

Caribbean 59.5

Obstruction of Justice

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 71.4

Caribbean 61.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 61.3

Caribbean 62.2

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 79.6

Caribbean 68.

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 69.5

Caribbean 63.2

Consequences and Compensation

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 70.3

Caribbean 60.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 72.2

Caribbean 66.3

Asset Recovery

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 66.4

Caribbean 59.6

International cooperation

Implemented
78.7

Western Hemisphere 68.9

Caribbean 60.9

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.8

Caribbean 69.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 55.1

Caribbean 54.5

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.5

Caribbean 31.7

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 52.7

Caribbean 49.1

Prosecution Without Extradition

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 57.2

Caribbean 56.6

Custody

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 73.4

Caribbean 72.8

Assistance

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 58.0

Caribbean 50.2

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 84.0

Caribbean 71.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 82.6

Caribbean 71.1

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

Caribbean 75.7

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 75.9

Caribbean 53.9

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.5

Caribbean 67.1

Communication Between Central Authorities

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 67.3

Caribbean 50.8

Special Investigative Techniques

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 56.9

Caribbean 48.5

Technical Cooperation

N/A
Not applicable

Western Hemisphere 62.8

Caribbean 40.7

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

20052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Cuba signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 9, 2005, and ratified it on February 9, 2007. Accordingly, Cuba has undergone one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Cuba’s record in implementing its commitments to UNCAC exhibits a large number of successes and a few failures. With an overall score of 69.3, the measures adopted place the country at the upper middle point of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Guatemala (67.2), Nicaragua (67.9), Antigua and Barbuda (69.5), and Mexico (69.7). Despite achieving higher success in regard to international cooperation rather than criminalization and law enforcement (as is the case throughout the region) the overall difference is not prominent.

Regarding the prevention of corruption, the country’s absence from the Organization of American States (OAS) does not allow for the assessment of most preventive measures, as they are not covered by the UNCAC review mechanism during its first round. The sole exception is the state of oversight bodies, for which Cuba receives a score of 85.9 (“implemented”) reflecting the availability of “sufficient legal tools in place to safeguard the activities of the competent authorities as regards action against corruption. Training is also provided for staff.” However, no other information is available.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Cuba shows promising results, with over half of all measures within this section found to be successfully implemented, including those pertaining to active and passive bribery in the public sector, the abuse of functions, illicit enrichment, and embezzlement in the public and private sectors, among others. On the other hand, a few significant measures remain fully unimplemented—the criminalization of active and passive bribery of foreign officials, and the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection). Concerning the latter, the UNCAC review mechanism reports that “[t]he Cuban authorities have stated that it has not, to date, been necessary to provide protection measures for witnesses or experts or for reporting persons.” Other measures are considered to be deficient at core, particularly the criminalization of money laundering (35.9) and bribery in the private sector (43.0). Two measures still in progress show promising results nonetheless: the liability of legal persons and the criminalization of illicit acquisition of a benefit (i.e., influence trading), both of which receive a score of 71.9.

Finally, Cuba is found only partially compliant with its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions. The UNCAC review mechanism reports that “Cuba has not established special rules on jurisdiction in cases where an offense is committed against one of its nationals… According to the Cuban authorities, such a case may proceed on the basis of article 5, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, of the Criminal Code [but there has been] no specific cases under this heading.” Concerning international cooperation, “Cuba made a declaration concerning article 44, paragraph 6, stating that it would not consider the Convention to be a legal basis for cooperation on extradition.” The country also lacks specific provisions on the use of special investigative techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover operations, and others. Despite these deficiencies, the overall level of implementation of the country’s commitments in this section shows a generally positive result, with an average section score of 78.7 and all but two measures classified as “implemented”.

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Vulnerable
18.3

Western Hemisphere 64.8

Caribbean 69.3

Quality of Government

Vulnerable
38.4

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Caribbean 51.0

Rule of Law

Vulnerable
37.9

Western Hemisphere 51.1

Caribbean 57.1

Business Stability

Vulnerable
39.0

Western Hemisphere 50.5

Caribbean 52.3

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
55.7

Western Hemisphere 55.0

Caribbean 59.9

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Cuba's social context indicator declined by 1.39 points from the previous year—and remains alarming low at 18.35—falling 46.54 points below the Western Hemisphere average in 2020. Over the last decade, Cuba’s social context score failed to exceed the threshold of the lowest percentile, and this is largely caused by the decisions enacted by the country’s authoritarian regime. The country’s social context score was heavily influenced by the ban on independent media and severe restrictions of civil liberties, which have been in place since the 1959 revolution. As a one-party communist state, Cuba has the lowest ranks among measures of political rights within the region. The 2019 constitution has not changed the status of political rights and civil liberties in the country. According to Reporters Without Border, media outlets are controlled by the communist party, and journalists that do not support official directives are subject to threats of imprisonment, harassment, arbitrary arrests, and persecution.

In terms of the country’s quality of governance and institutions, Cuba’s score continues to lag within the lowest percentiles. While the quality of government indicator increased by 0.83 between 2019 and 2020, Cuba’s current score (38.47) remains well below the 2020 average for Western Hemisphere countries (50.63). Over the last decade, Cuba’s score has ranged between a low of 35.44 in 2013 to a high of 39.76 in 2016 but has stayed decisively within the lowest percentile. The country’s 2020 score is attributed to the lack of impartial administration, checks on government power, and fundamental rights. Like the social context indicator, the quality of government is significantly impacted by the influence of the communist party.

With respect to the rule of law indicator, Cuba's score increased by a marginal 0.73 points between 2019 and 2020—resulting in a score of 37.93—which fell below the regional average for 2020 by 13.22 points and ranked within the 25th percentile. As with the previous indicators, Cuba’s score has remained consistently low throughout the decade and has largely been influenced by the lack of an independent judiciary. In many cases, the courts have been used as a political tool to prosecute the regime's political opponents.

In 2020, Cuba’s business stability indicator increased by 0.45 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 39.09. The county's score remained consistently low throughout the decade, and again, can be attributed to the nature of the country's regime. Cuba's score stayed within the lowest percentile for the region in 2020 and throughout the decade. The country's score is attributed to poor transparency, vague policymaking, and inadequate regulations.

Between 2019 and 2020, Cuba’s violence and security indicator score increased by 9.21, resulting in the country’s current score of 55.77 which exceeds the regional average of 55.04. Over the decade, Cuba’s score has varied between a low of 35.85 in 2015 and a high of 67.82 in 2016. Reports have noted that the security environment is stable due to the country’s strong military and police presence.