Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

Cuba has a long and rich history, having invented some of the most popular drinks known in the world today.

Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

You might be surprised to find out how many items you recognize on this list. From drinks to medicine, Cuba has a reputation for adapting to challenging scenarios.   

After the 1962 embargo, materials were much more complicated for Cuban citizens to obtain, so they had to become more resourceful.

Due to the limits imposed on them, they focused their improvements on the healthcare system, where they have made leaps in medical development and set up a reputation as a leader in healthcare. 

This article explores some of the innovations and inventions that Cuba has made since gaining independence in the 20th Century.  


The first thing that will make you think of Cuba is their rum. It’s world-renowned for a reason. So, what cocktails can we thank Cuba for?  

Rum And Coke 

Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

Rum and coke, also known as Cuba Libre, was invented after Cuba gained independence after the Spanish-American War.

Since then, rum and coke has been among the world’s most well-known cocktails.

All you need to make it is a light rum, Coca-Cola, and a little bit of lime for garnish.  

It’s known for being inexpensive and simple to make. Now in the 21st century, you’ll find that rum and coke is a staple in bars worldwide. 


Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

The Mojito is another famous cocktail usually drunk in the summer and has become one of the most renowned cocktails in the world.

Mojitos are composed of white rum, sugar, soda water, lime juice, and mint. You then add a little lime as a garnish, along with crushed ice.  

While no one knows the exact period when Mojitos were first made, it was established in Havana and was a well-known favorite of Ernest Hemingway.   

Cuba is known for its alcoholic beverages, with these two leading drinks being undoubtedly the most famous.

There have been some arguments about the invention of another renowned cocktail, the Daiquiri, and whether it’s a Cuban invention.

Although the Daiquiri was invented in Cuba, it has been attributed to an American inventor. Due to this, Daiquiri isn’t an official Cuban innovation.  

Technological Innovations 

Due to limitations imposed in the 60s, Cubans have spent years working on technological innovations and inventions to live more comfortably.

Having been walled off from world trade and modern tech, Cuban citizens had to become DIY engineers to ensure they would have everything they needed.  

Recycling Old Items Into Something New 

Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

You’ve probably seen the variety of items that Cuban citizens have recycled to ensure that all they can meet their needs.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, Cubans had to adapt after Cuba lost oil imports from the USSR.

So, they endured item shortages. If they couldn’t get an item from a relative outside the country, they would have to fix it.

But they would only have access to the objects that they already had.   

In fact, due to free education, a high percentage of Cubans have engineering degrees.

However, they also had to learn the best ways to use materials to turn them into something new.

Knowing how items work, Cuban citizens have been able to recycle and reuse these in a way that would surprise everyone else. 

Internet Revolution 

Back in the day, you could find many houses with illegally installed rooftop radio antennas to help them record American music.

In 2007, the country had a weekly service where couriers would deliver a terabyte of media to half of Cuba’s population.  

However, Cubans didn’t need it anymore. When the Obama administration began lowering sanctions, Cuba could officially join the internet revolution.

Now everyone can access the internet in Cuba and has more opportunities than ever before.

It even works as an excellent way for everyone to stay in contact with family and get new parts for previously broken materials. 

Future Project 

Fidel Castro and the Cuban government launched the Future Project to merge the software industry into Cuba’s economy.

They invest over 1.17% of their GDP in technological research, spending more than the United States.

There are thousands of graduates in the IT and tech fields, but there are fewer jobs available.

So, it’s no surprise that many Cuban citizens can now look for opportunities outside their home country.  

Medical Innovations 

Cuban Inventions And Innovations (Ultimate Guide)

Cuba has well-known medical innovations to help its patients. It’s among the healthiest countries in the world and ranked as the 30th healthiest nation.

The government has made significant steps to improve healthcare. There are no private hospitals in Cuba.

All hospitals are run by the government. But what sort of medicines can we thank Cuba for? 

Created A Lung Cancer Vaccine 

In the mid-90s, Cuban researchers started work on a lung cancer vaccine due to the country’s high lung cancer rate.

The United States has been doing clinical trials with the Cuban CimaVax since 2017 as a preventative measure against lung cancer.

However, it also works as a treatment method for existing patients. CimaVax has revolutionized lung cancer treatment in Cuba and is globally recognized as a way to treat the disease successfully.  

Developed A Drug To Prevent Foot Amputations In Diabetes Patients 

Millions of patients struggle with diabetes. Cuban doctors noted that one of the main issues patients with uncontrolled diabetes have are foot problems.

In some cases, this would lead to amputation, but to prevent this, Cuban researchers invented Heberprot-P.

Heberprot-P was developed to avoid the need for amputations and is also used to accelerate the healing process.

Since then, the number of diabetes-related amputations has decreased in Cuba.  

First Country To Eradicate HIV Transmission From Mother To Child 

Cuba was the first country to get validated by the World Health Organization for eradicating the transmission of HIV passed from mother to child.

Doctors offered tests for any women suspected of having HIV and their partners. They even included free treatment for anyone with a positive result.

By running tests on the babies as well, they were able to ensure that they could offer treatment as soon as possible.   

Cuba, because of its socialist ideology, has established that healthcare is a fundamental human right of Cuban citizens.

Doctors offer preventative methods when it comes to healthcare and offer check-ups and surgery, all free of charge.

Over the years, Cuba has gained quite a reputation worldwide for its medical developments and willingness to help other countries in times of trouble.  

Final Thoughts 

While you might be surprised that Cuba has made so many developments, it’s a testament to Cuban culture that the country has adapted to its circumstances.

While you may think of Cuba as a country that’s filled with sunny beaches and Cuban cigars, it’s so much more than that.

Cuba is a country filled with engineers and doctors who have worked tirelessly to supply new inventions and innovations in their daily and professional lives. 

As you can see, Cubans have had to rely on their ingenuity to handle the impact of trade.

Cuban citizens have learned to adapt and think to be creative. This creativity keeps Cuba functioning.

Jim Stanton
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