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Cuba is a small Caribbean micro-power with extremely limited options for the future. Making something of it may appeal to some players - but to be honest it will be a long game without many highlights.
The 1936 Cuban Government is run by the Union Liberal Cubana. It enjoys 42% public support and 60% organisation. It can be strengthened only marginally:
- Cortina as new Foreign Minister aids drift to the Allies
- Bru as Security Minister aids Espionage
Cuba starts with Minimal Education Investment which should be changed to Big Education Investment - this increases the Leadership available from 2.13 to 3 allowing for three full research projects.
Cuba starts with Minimal Training which should be changed to Specialist Training - Manpower is too low for a significant military, so every unit needs to be of the highest quality/experience.
The first priority is to invest all the Leadership points in Intelligence to recruit 10 domestic spies and then switch the entire investment into Research.
Cuba cannot afford a foreign Intelligence operation or Diplomacy, and does not need to recruit Officers for some considerable time.
Cuba needs 10 domestic spies immediately to start reducing its neutrality - so that it can quickly access better Laws and eventually declare war.
The next priority is to improve the leadership and economy.
- Education - to gain +5% Leadership
- Coal processing - to gain +5% Energy
- Energy to Oil - to gain +10% extra Oil from conversion
These three technologies, and the other resource technologies, remain the priority and will eventually unlock the gains that can come from researching Industrial Efficiency and Production.
The player can bring these latter technologies onstream as the resource technologies get up to date - Cuba cannot afford to invest in any technologies ahead of time.
Cuba starts with an initial 1 Diplomatic point and cannot afford a diplomatic operation. With careful economic management Cuba can avoid having to invest in Diplomacy for overseas trade.
Cuba starts roughly in the middle of the triangle with a fairly even drift toward each faction - and hence none. The country has strategic importance but it is hugely overstated.
- Axis are generally unable to make use of it prior to invasion of the USA.
- The Comintern may be able to make use of Cuba later but in a hot war with the USA Cuba does not last long and as a multi-province island cannot afford effective defence against her vastly superior neighbour.
- The Allies have no need to recruit and neutralise Cuba unless and until another faction takes Cuba under their wing.
Aligning to any faction is not in Cuba's interests early on and may be counter-productive later. In addition, unless actively recruited by one faction or another, Cuba is more likely to drift securely within the triangle's centreground - bouncing off factions just as soon as they start to get close.
Cuba has no need to invest Leadership in Officer recruitment. Its small military establishment starts with 101% Officers and until close to being involved in conflict has no need to expand its forces. The peacetime -50% Officer recruitment penalty is prohibitive.
Cuba starts with just 4 IC and is lumbered with a -50% peacetime penalty. Lifting this penalty by getting into a convenient foreign war seems like the best option in the meantime IC can be devoted to building a large supplies stockpile.
Extra IC can be built directly - but it would take 4 years (1 January 1940) to unlock the current base IC thanks to the peacetime penalty.
Cuba starts with just 3 convoy transports and 1 Diplomatic point - so cannot afford to rely on overseas trade for resources. Living within its means is just about possible and small trades can be offered to sell excess supplies. This will generate a small balance of payments surplus.
The Cuban economy has a slight surplus of Metal (+2) and Rare (+0.5) and a deficit of Energy (-4.3) and Oil (-2.2). Cuba runs out of Energy in October 1936.
However, these deficits are largely accounted for by conversion of Energy to Oil (-4) and Oil to Fuel (-2), so do not impact on the available IC. Removing the deficits by developing the resource technologies and perhaps overseas trade will prepare the economy for a limited industrial expansion.
Cuba is an island but in 1936 has no naval or air forces.
The Cuban army consists of:
- La Habana - the Theatre HQ (this cannot be disbanded, so a Logistics specialist is needed here to reduce the drain on supplies)
- Corps HQ
- A reserve Cavalry division of two brigades
- A reserve Infantry division of three brigades
Cuba's high neutrality needs to be substantially reduced before these forces can be used. In the meantime the Cavalry division should be disbanded (1) to save on supplies and (2) because Cuba simply cannot afford to research more than one type of unit. Given limited manpower, infantry is the obvious choice.
Options for military expansion when living so close to the USA are very limited. The USA has guaranteed the independence of most of South and Latin America.
The best cover for any expansion would therefore be within the protective umbrella of the Allies - with the USA as members. Having achieved this and lowered Cuba's neutrality, small wars can be attempted against resource rich but militarily smaller neighbours.
The most fruitful starting point would be Venezuela - for the 110 Oil.
Unless by then Cuba and the USA are allies, a second declaration will probably bring war with the USA - and that you can't win.
Any military expedition will require a small expansion of Cuba's forces:
- A transport to project force overseas
- An additional 3-6 Combat infantry brigades
Cuba has more Generals than it can ever effectively use and with limited forces is likely to struggle even against other micro-powers. Its new force structure should therefore reflect this and avoid the waste of manpower or resources.
- Additional infantry brigades should be built as reserves to save resources when not in use.
- Rather than building traditional infantry divisions, two or three combat infantry brigades can be added to an HQ division (using the base HQ brigade saves time and IC on production).
A three brigade Combat HQ division (HQ+INF+INF) may not be as strong as traditional infantry divisions but their weakness is offset by unlocking the significant Skill and Trait benefits of having a chain of command consisting of a Combat Army Group HQ, a Combat Army HQ and Combat Corps HQ all with Generals combining their offensive trait. A four brigade Combat HQ (HQ+INF+INF+INF) is substantially stronger than a traditional infantry division, particularly in defence.
- Venezuela has a slightly larger military comprising Theatre and Corps HQ brigades, a reserve infantry division of three brigades, a reserve militia division of three brigades and a reserve cavalry division of two brigades.
- Venezuela's entire force is usually deployed in the capital Carracas.
- This leaves a weak spot at the port of Maracaibo.
- An unopposed landing in the neighbouring province of San Carlos will secure Maracaibo (San Carlos is a mountain province and a blocking division there will allow Cuban forces to march or land unopposed in Maracaibo).
- Venezuela has a national unity of 60, so Carracas will also need to be taken to defeat her. This can be achieved by surrounding the Venezuelan forces in Carracas and attacking from multiple provinces.
- Alternatively, spies can be deployed in Venezuela to reduce their national unity in advance of the invasion.
Conquering South America
With a big foot hold like Venezuela under your belt, the rest of America will fall like domino's. Notably stronger targets would be Brazil and Mexico, but the USA should help you with Mexico and you should be strong enough by then to take Brazil.
So enjoy your South American empire and bask in its glory, the glory of CUBA!!
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