The Republic of Cuba is one of the world’s last remaining communist states and the largest island country in the Caribbean with a population of approximately 11 million. There is no official state religion, however a majority of the population are Christian (59.2%), with a high proportion of people claiming to be unaffiliated to any faith (23%), and also a smaller but significant percentage of adherents to traditional folk religions (17%).

Systemic Discrimination
No Rating

Constitution and government

The constitution affirms the secular nature of the state and the right freedom of religion, although in practice the government tends to restrict this right.

The 1992 constitution abolished atheism as the state ideology, declaring the country a secular state, with the right to practice religion. Catholics and other religious believers were given the right to join the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

The constitution grants limited rights of assembly and association, but these may not be “exercised against the existence and objectives of the Socialist State.”

Freedom of expression, advocacy of humanist values

The government restricts academic freedom. Teaching materials must contain ideological content that supports the communist regime.

The regime forbids any political organizing outside of the PCC, and effectively prohibits freedom of expression, assembly and association.

The news media are owned and controlled by the state. Independent media is illegal, aside from a few Catholic Church magazines, and the independent journalists and news agencies that do exist are infiltrated and persecuted by the government. Scores of bloggers are arrested and imprisoned every year.

The regime severely restricts access to the internet, and less than 3 percent of Cubans are able to access the Internet.