Cuba. From past to present.

From 8000 BC to 1492
The Pre-Columbian Guanahatabey, Ciboney and Taíno people settled in Cuba.

1492 to 1898
Many of these people died of European diseases during the Spanish colonisation. This is why more than a million African slaves were taken to Cuba, to work in the tobacco and sugar industry. This is how a new non-European/African culture was born.

Late 1800s
Cuba fought three wars of independence with Spain: the Ten Year’s War, the Small War and, finally, the Cuban War of Independence, from 1895 to 1898. The final three months of this war escalated to become the Spanish-American War.

1902
After having been occupied by the Americans for three years, Cuba gained independence, as an American proctectorate.

1902 to 1959
America chose several leaders to rule Cuba, to protect their tobacco and sugar industry, but also their gambling operations, run by the Mafia. One of these leaders was the dictator Fulgencio Batista.

1959 to Present
Fidel Castro seized power on 1st January 1959, after a two-year guerrilla war. And in April 1961 Cuba was officially declared a socialist country, after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. In 1965 Castro set up his Communist Party. He then collaborated closely with the Soviet Union, until its collapse in 1991.

From 1961 the US have imposed a commercial, economic and financial embargo, hoping it would stop spreading communism. This embargo still hasn’t been lifted, even though President Barack Obama and Cuba’s new president, Raúl Castro, have tried to relax its sanctions. This eventually did happen in 2014. However, many of these relaxing measures have been reversed by the current President of the United States.