- +10% Production efficiency
- +1 Possible advisor
- −10% Diplomatic technology cost
- −10% Development cost
- +1 Yearly prestige
- +20% Spy network construction
- +1 Attrition for enemies
- +1 Yearly legitimacy
- −1 National unrest
- +1 Diplomatic relation
Kuba starts out with neighbors that are more or less equal in terms of development and force limit. Of the 4 neighbors, at least 2 will likely rival the player in the beginning. Kongo is too strong to do so at first - but as soon as the player expands enough and becomes a valid rival, they will rival the player. It is advisable to initially rival back the player's enemies, and forge alliance with their enemies, going over the diplo limit if needed. Kongo, if not hostile, should be a valuable defensive ally for the beginning.
The player should also build up to their force limit with infantry and set the second idle merchant to collect in their home node - for lack of anything else to do. As soon as possible, they should strike their rivals, and fully annex them (keeping an eye out for coalitions if annexing a non-cobelligerent). Going over the force limit with mercenaries for a short time should be feasible - there are spoils of war to take, and long periods of peace during which the player's finances and manpower can recover. In order to keep the finances in check, it is recommended to first core the provinces, then add them to a state and then increase autonomy if needed.
Once Kongo rivals the player, rivaling Kongo back is not recommended at first, in order to not have all the player's enemies ally with the strongest nation in the area. However, if Kongo is without allies and the player does not have a truce with them (due to them breaking the alliance), it is worth it going over the force limit to crush them.
The player should be able to eliminate all other fetishist nations in their immediate vicinity by the early 16th century - though it is important to note that they should counter-balance expansion with administrative technology and ideas.
Kuba starts with a tribal government, and without Feudalism, giving it an immediate 50% penalty to all technology. After a few years, this will quickly increase when Renaissance spawns in Italy. Since there is little chance of Feudalism or Renaissance reaching the player any time soon, the player should develop one of their provinces to spawn each of these institutions. This should be done in a conquered province, as the player initially starts with three jungle provinces, which are significantly more expensive to develop. The closer to the coast these provinces are, the better, to allow better institution spread later on. The player should use mostly admin and diplo points on this, as they need to stay up-to-date with the military technology of their neighbors (the first few technologies have significant improvements in morale and tactics).
Economic ideas should likely be taken as either the first or the second idea group (they may not need to be filled out until reaching admin level 5); this will counter-balance the relatively poor provinces, provide decreased development cost (for spawning / accelerating institutions) and inflation reduction for the inevitable gold provinces. Next would likely need to be exploration ideas to colonize South America (and boost trade income) as well as to fill out the many colonizable provinces in southern Africa. A military idea group should follow, and later on, either religious ideas or humanist ideas should be taken to either convert Sunni provinces more quickly, or to accept them altogether.
Once the player can (by colonizing the provinces in between), they can start chipping away at the Sunni nations in West Africa before the Europeans do, and secure a significant share in the Ivory Coast trade node. The trade capital should be moved there, as it allows collecting from African, Asian and South American trade. Later on, the player may move the trade capital even further in, depending on what they can conquer - for example, to Sevilla. Light ships are recommended to secure trade power in the collecting node, as there will likely be significant competition. The player can also colonize one empty province to annex the Central African fetishist nations, and colonize a little more to the east to also secure the African east cost.
The European nations will be a challenge for the player - most likely they will need to face Castile/ Spain and Portugal (possibly also Great Britain or France, who will at some point desire the player's provinces, even if they are initially ready to ally them. Due to the player having to play catch-up on institutions, they will most likely find themselves at a disadvantage initially. It is therefore important to secure one or two strong alliances as quickly as feasible with Spain's and Portugal's strongest enemies (likely to be France, Great Britain or the Ottomans). Having additional alliances with not-so-strong nations (for example, Tunis or Morocco) may also help in distracting and tiring the enemy if they attack. The player may also consider changing to either Catholicism or Islam via the relevant Fetishist decisions, which will make forging alliances with strong nations from either religion easier. It should also be noted that opening up the African East Coast will decrease the distance to the Ottomans.
It is also possible to have a strong colonial play in South America, once the necessary colonization range is reached. This will likely be necessary to get the Kuban Cigars achievement, as many of the needed provinces will be in the Brazilian, Caribbean and East Coast colonial regions. If the player has a significant amount of Tobacco provinces for the achievement already in Brazil and the Caribbean, it is possible to get the achievement by increasing production in these provinces (conquering the East Coast is not necessary), once Havana is conquered. Going east towards the Spice Islands and India or South-East Asia is also a possibility by hopping via the Indian Ocean islands and/or colonizing the Spice Islands.