Cuba - Armed forces



Total armed strength in 2002 was estimated at 46,000 on active duty and 39,000 reserves. The army had approximately 35,000 personnel. The navy had 3,000 personnel including 550 in the Naval Infantry. The air force had around 8,000 personnel and 130 combat aircraft of questionable capability. Paramilitary forces included 20,000 state security troops, 6,500 border guards, 50,000 civil defense forces, the 70,000-member youth labor army, and the million-member territorial militia. Cuba's key military ally and supporter for decades, Russia cut off nearly all military assistance by 1993. Cuba's 1998 defense budget was estimated at $750 million, or about 5.4% of GDP.

The US maintains a naval base at Guantánamo Bay in southeastern Cuba, under a 1934 leasing treaty. The US government considers the base to be of some strategic and training significance in the Caribbean and has refused to give it up, despite demands by the Castro regime that it do so. About 2,000 military personnel are stationed at Guantánamo.

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