State media in Cuba reported that authorities in the country seized 20,240 pounds (9,181 kilograms) of illicit drugs in 2011, the majority of which was marijuana.
In addition, law enforcement detected 399 aerial drops of drugs to boats on its way to smuggle the drugs into the United States, an increase from the 108 aerial drops detected in 2010.
Source: Associated Press, “Cuba says it seized more than 9 tons of drugs in 2011, open to narcotics treaty with US,” Washington Post, January 13, 2012.
Producers of unauthorized cigars in Cuba purchase materials illegally in order to manufacture unlicensed Cuban Cigars.
Black market cigars are purchased for $8 for 25 cigars, with the boxes to hold the cigars sold for $5. Rings to insert onto the cigar are sold for the black market price of $30.
Most of the unlicensed cigars are sold to tourists on the island.
There were 81.5 million legitimate Cuban cigars made in 2010.
Source: Jack Kimball, “Cuba’s cigars: a black market tale of survival,” Reuters, December 15, 2011.
Before the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro in Cuba, there were an estimated 100,000 prostitutes working in the sex trade in the country.
Source: AFP, “Cuba looks to Sweden in fight against prostitution,” Expatica, November 10, 2011.
In the Fiscal Year 2011, authorities in the United States seized around 1,700 people from Cuba who were attempting to enter the U.S., which was a 100 percent increase from the 831 people seized in Fiscal Year 2010.
The U.S. Coast Guard seized around 1,000 people at sea, an increase from 422 the year before. Cubans who landed on U.S. shores increased to almost 700, up from the 409 people in the previous fiscal year.
The average human smuggling price that people paid to smugglers in order to bring people into the United States remained at $10,000.
Source: Alfonso Chardy and Juan O. Tamayo, “Illegal Cuban migration, after years of decline, is up again,” Miami Herald, October 9, 2011.
The U.S Customs and Border Patrol office at Chicago’s O’hare airport seizes between 10 to 12 Cuban cigars a week.
Source: Andrew L. Wang and Serena Maria Daniels,”Holy smokes, what a cache of Cuban cigars at O’Hare,” Chicago Tribune, December 6, 2010.
Over 80 percent of the computers in Cuba are believed to be using pirated copies of Microsoft.
Pirated video games are sold for the equivalent of $2, and movies still showing in US theaters are regularly shown on state-owned television stations.
Source: Esteban Israel, “Despite embargo, Cuba a haven for pirated U.S. goods,” Reuters, September 2, 2010.
Human smuggling from Cuba to the United States through Mexico costs up to $10,000 per person. The route is usually by boat into Mexico and then across the US-Mexico border.
An estimated 10,000 Cubans are smuggled into Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
Source: Arthur Brice, “Cuban migrants held for ransom in Mexico rescued, government says,” CNN, September 1, 2010.
The human smuggling fee on the black market to be smuggled into the United States from Cuba is $100,000.
Source: Greg Allen, “Surge in Cuban Migration Spurs Human Smuggling,” NPR, February 3, 2008.
The Cuban Government reported that 86 packets of narcotics were washed upon the shores of its island in 2009.
The drug washed up to shore and found by authorities were 1,037 kilograms of marijuana, 2 kilograms of cocaine, and 31 kilograms of hashish.
Source: “2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy: Cuba,” United States Department of State, March 1, 2010.
Up to 20 percent of products distributed by government agencies in Cuba are stolen and then traded on the black market.
Source: Jeff Franks, “Cuban black market suffers in corruption crackdown,” Reuters, September 3, 2009.