Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 October 2017


The Republic of Cuba has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

In November 2014, Cuba stated that it fully shares the genuine humanitarian concerns relating to the indiscriminate use of antipersonnel landmines.[1] However, its policy on accession to the Mine Ban Treaty has not evolved in recent years.

By comparison, Cuba acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 6 April 2016.[2] It previously objected to the way in which the Convention on Cluster Munitions, like the Mine Ban Treaty, was concluded outside of UN auspices. Cuba also expressed concern with certain provisions, such as the definition of cluster munitions and “interoperability” provisions contained in Article 21 on relations with states not party to the convention.  

In 2009, Cuba told States Parties that antipersonnel mines were an important part of its defense strategy and that its mines emplaced around Guantanamo Bay were only for territorial defense and security.[3] 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.[4] In 2010, Cuba stated 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.”[5]

Cuba participated as an observer in the treaty’s First Review Conference in 2004 and Second Review Conference in 2009, but was absent from the Third Review Conference held in Maputo, Mozambique, in June 2014. It attended the first four annual Meetings of States Parties of the treaty, but has not participated in any since the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in 2006. It was invited to, but did not participate in the Mine Ban Treaty’s Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties in Santiago, Chile, in November 2016.

Cuba participated in every meeting of the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committee until 2003, but has attended few intersessional meetings since then.

On 5 December 2016, Cuba abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/34 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has done in previous years.

Cuba is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) including its Protocol II on landmines. Cuba has not ratified the CCW’s Amended Protocol II on landmines but states that it complies with its requirements.[6]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Cuba has declined to provide information about its mine use, production, transfer, and stockpiling.[7] 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.”[8]

In the absence of any denial or clarification from the government, Cuba’s state-owned Union of Military Industries (Unión de las Industrias Militares) is believed to continue to produce antipersonnel mines.[9] Since 1996, Cuba has stated on several occasions that it does not and has never exported antipersonnel mines.[10] There is no official information available on the size and composition of Cuba’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines. [11]

[1] Statement of Cuba, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Annual Meeting, 12 November 2014. Notes by the ICBL.

[2] See, ICBL, “Country Profile: Cuba: Cluster Munition Ban Policy,” 3 August 2017.

[3] 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 United States (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,” undated.

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

[5] “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.

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

[7] Email from Amb. Versón, Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, 11 March 2011, noted that the questionnaire had been forwarded to Havana.

[8] 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.

[9] 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. See, 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,” undated.

[10] 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.

[11] 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.