|Government type||HM's Government (will turn into a absolute monarchy in the first 2 months)|
|Ruling party||Realistas (reactionary)|
|Tech school||Traditional Academia|
Cuba has a decent production of tobacco which is their best source of money. Haiti and the Danish West Indies are the best possibilities to expand for an independent Cuba.
Even though Cuba starts off as a HM's Government, it has no voting. This means that the Government will turn into a presidential dictatorship if Realistas remains in power. One can choose another ruling party. (conservative or liberal) In this case, the government form will be Absolute Monarchy. Not good, but one will have a little more room for different policies.
An American decision Ostend Manifesto will give USA (and later possibly CSA) cores on Cuba, and lower the relations between USA and the European Great Powers by 150. The decision will be a major threat for Cuba, but USA will however not take it, unless it has less than 25 prestige.
Cubas only production is tobacco, which does give a lot of cash, but does not help with industry at all. Annexing provinces with timber, coal or iron is more or less a must to start any decent industry.
Cubas literacy rate is atrocious and thus must be promoted. They start with Spains technologies which are not great, but alright compared to e.g. USCA or Brazil. Industrial technology that improves the production of tobacco is of course best to improve the economy of Cuba. Otherwise Social Thought to improve the education is a good choice.
Possibilities for expansion
Haiti is a small island nation just next to Cuba. It has a small population with poor literacy. On the bright side, it wont have any allies for a long time and it would be almost free to take. It produces more tobacco, which Cubas technology should specialize in producing.
The Danish West Indies is like Haiti; a relatively safe bet considering its distance from the Danish homeland. It has a small population but its RGOs will help in your development.
One of the more daring strategies is to take some of the South American mainland. Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia have decent populations, but also larger militaries than Cuba. Brazil has cores on Colombia, so they will attack at some point, often in the early Game. A well timed attack can make some easy provinces.
Now for the more daring ways. Mexico has a good population and some provinces that looks good under the Cuban flag. On top of that they have enough trouble with USA. One can use the Mexican-American War as an opportunity to take some of the southern provinces.