The Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s and led to an economic depression known as the Special Period. Cuba has made strides toward recovery in the 21st century, thanks in large part to the growth of the tourism industry. 80 percent of Cuba’s economy is in the service industry, which largely caters to tourists. A good part of the Cuban economy also relies on its offshore oil drilling, and agricultural resources like sugar and tobacco.
Under Raúl Castro’s leadership the private sector has grown significantly, and in the 21st century it became legal for Cubans to buy and sell houses and used cars. But Cuba still has a tiny economy of around $121 billion, and the Cuban government has significant debts to Russia, China, and Venezuela.
The unemployment rate is probably not accurately reported by the Cuban government. Experts estimate it is somewhere between 5 and 8 percent.
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