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Last Updated: 31 October 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

Not a State Party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained on Resolution 65/48 on 8 December 2010

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Cuba did not attend any international meeting during 2010 or the first half of 2011


The Republic of Cuba has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Its policy has not evolved in recent years.

In 2009, Cuba told States Parties that antipersonnel mines continued to be an important part of its defense strategy, and that its mines sown around Guantanamo Bay were only for territorial defense and security.[1] In 2009, Cuba expressed support for the humanitarian aspects of the Mine Ban Treaty, but said it would only be able to consider a change in policy if the United States (US) were to sign a peace agreement or non-aggression agreement with Cuba.[2] In October 2010, Cuba said that it could not renounce the use of mines for the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity, due to “continuous hostility and aggression by the military superpower.”[3]

Cuba did not attend the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, or intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011.

Cuba is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but has not joined Amended Protocol II on landmines. It attended the protocol’s annual conference in November 2011 as an observer. In April 2011, Cuba opposed a proposal by Germany to include “mines other than antipersonnel mines” (antivehicle mines) on the agenda of the CCW’s Fourth Review Conference.[4]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Cuba declined to provide details about mine use, production, transfer, and stockpiling in response to a questionnaire submitted by the Monitor.[5] Although it is not party to CCW Amended Protocol II, Cuba has stated that it complies with its requirements.[6] Cuba has also said it carries out “a strict policy with regard to guaranteeing a responsible use of antipersonnel mines with an exclusively defensive character and for [Cuba’s] national security.”[7]

Cuba’s state-owned Union of Military Industries (Unión de las Industrias Militares) is believed, in the absence of any denial or clarification from the government, to continue to produce antipersonnel mines.[8] Since 1996, Cuba has stated on several occasions that it does not and has never exported antipersonnel mines.[9] There is no official information available on the size and composition of Cuba’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[10]


[1] Statement by Miguel Jiménez Aday, Counselor, Embassy of Cuba in Colombia, Second Review Conference, Mine Ban Treaty, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.  Notes by the Monitor. According to the US, the minefields were laid in 1983, immediately following the US invasion of Grenada. Joint Task Force Guantanamo, “A historical look at Guantanamo Bay and the Northeast Gate,” www.jtfgtmo.southcom.mil.

[2] Notes from ICBL meeting with Amb. Rodolfo Benítez Versón, Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN in New York, 15 October 2009.

[3] “Cuba comparte plenamente las legítimas preocupaciones humanitarias asociadas al uso indiscriminado e irresponsible de las minas antipersonales. … Cuba ha estado sometida durante más de 50 años a une política de continua hostilidad y aggresión por parte de la superpotencia militar. En consecuencia, a nuestro país no le resulta posible renunciar al uso de las minas para la preservación de su soberanía e integridad territorial,” Statement of Cuba, UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee, New York, 27 October 2010.

[4] Statement of Cuba, CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Cluster Munitions, Geneva, 28 March–1 April 2011. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[5] Email from Amb. Rodolfo Benítez Versón, Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, 11 March 2011, noted that the questionnaire had been forwarded to Havana. Cuba has declined to provide updated information to the Monitor every year since 2003.

[6] Explanation of Vote of Cuba on the [UNGA] Draft Resolution L.53 [on the Mine Ban Treaty], UN General Assembly First Committee, New York, 29 October 2009.

[7] Statement by Rebeca Hernández Toledano, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, “Item 29: Assistance in mine action,” UNGA Fourth Committee, New York, 6 November 2007, www.cubaminrex.

[8] Jane’s Information Group lists Cuba as producing three types of antipersonnel mines (a plastic blast mine and two types of stake-mounted fragmentation mines) as well as an antivehicle mine. Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance 2008, CD-edition (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008). According to the US Department of Defense, Cuba has produced three different types of antipersonnel mines: PMFC-1 and PMFH-1 fragmentation mines and the PMM-1 wooden box mine. US Department of Defense, ORDATA Online, ordatamines.maic.jmu.edu.

[9] Letter from Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003. Cuban antipersonnel mines have, however, been cleared by deminers in Angola and Nicaragua.

[10] One source has reported that Cuba stockpiles the Soviet-manufactured OZM-4, POMZ-2, and POMZ-2M mines, in addition to mines manufactured domestically. Online update, Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, 18 November 1999.