Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 15 November 2021


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

Cuba has stated that it fully shares the humanitarian concerns created by antipersonnel landmines, but has not taken any steps towards accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] Cuba, however, acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in April 2016.[2]

Cuban officials have said that the country cannot consider joining the Mine Ban Treaty until a peace agreement is signed with the United States (US).[3] Cuba has said that it cannot renounce the use of mines due to “continuous hostility and aggression by the military superpower.”[4] In 2009, Cuba told States Parties that antipersonnel mines formed an important part of its defense strategy, and said that it had emplaced mines around Guantanamo Bay for its territorial defense and security.[5]

Cuba participated as an observer in most meetings of the 1996–1997 Ottawa Process that created the Mine Ban Treaty, but warned that its presence “should not be interpreted as acceptance of the objectives of the process.”[6] Cuba has participated as an observer in meetings of the treaty since then, but not for more than a decade.[7] It was invited, but did not attend, the Mine Ban Treaty’s Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties in November 2020.

On 7 December 2020, Cuba abstained from voting on United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 75/52 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has done in previous years.[8]

Cuba is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), including Protocol II on landmines, but has not ratified the Amended Protocol II on landmines.[9]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Cuba has not shared information on its landmine use, production, transfer, and stockpiling.[10] In 2007, Cuba said has “a strict policy with regard to guaranteeing a responsible use of antipersonnel mines with an exclusively defensive character and for [Cuba’s] national security.”[11]

In the absence of any denial or clarification from the government, Cuba’s state-owned Union of Military Industries (Unión de las Industrias Militares, UIM) is believed to continue to produce antipersonnel mines.[12] Since 1996, Cuba has stated on several occasions that it does not and has never exported antipersonnel mines.[13] There is no official information available on the size or composition of Cuba’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines.[14]

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

[2] Before joining the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Cuba objected to the way it was negotiated outside of United Nations (UN) auspices, like the Mine Ban Treaty, and also expressed concern over 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. See, ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Cuba: Cluster Munition Ban Policy,” 3 August 2017.

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

[4] “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.

[5] Statement by Miguel Jiménez Aday, Counselor, Embassy of Cuba in Colombia, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, 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,” undated.

[6] “Cuba's Policy Concerning the Issue of Antipersonnel Landmines,” Statement to the Brussels Conference, reprinted in Handicap International (HI) and ICBL, “Conference Report: Brussels International Conference for the Total Ban on Antipersonnel Landmines,” 24–27 June 1997, p. 27.

[7] Cuba attended the Mine Ban Treaty Review Conferences in 2004 and 2009, but not 2014 or 2019. It attended the first four annual Meetings of States Parties of the treaty, but none since then, and attended intersessional meetings until 2003.

[9] 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.

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

[11] 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.

[12] 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: Jane’s Information Group, 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. See, US Department of Defense, “ORDATA Online,” undated.

[13] 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.

[14] One source has reported that Cuba stockpiles the Soviet-manufactured OZM-4, POMZ-2, and POMZ-2M mines, in addition to mines manufactured domestically. See, Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 18 November 1999).