Cuba: a historical background

September 23, 2019

History of Cuba from colonization to the end of the US embargo.

Cuban flag on a window

The first Europeans to arrive on the island of Cuba were the Spanards, after the discovery of America. They exterminated the indigenous population, thanks to the help of the diseases that they unknowingly imported. In a short period of time the colonizers brought slaves from Africa with the aim to make them work in the fields and they became a large part of the population.

The independence from Spain came in 1902, thanks to an incursion of the US government, which decided to take the control of the island, becoming very influential. In 1952, Batista, who had been ruling Cuba from '34 to '44 legitimized by the Unites States, took power through a coup d'etat. He, once in power, sold off most of the lands and railways to some American companies. Cuba became the capital of gambling and prostitution, fueled by US tourism.

Following the Battle of Santa Clara, January 1, 1959, the fight against dictatorship had started by Fidel Castro, resulting in the escape of Batista and in the triumphant entrance of Fidel in Havana. Fidel Casto was accompanied by an Argentine doctor named Ernesto Guevara and their comrades. From this moment the problems of relationship between Cuba and the United States began.

After the failure of the Landing of Pigs in April 16, 1961, the US organized in April 25 of the same year, a total embargo on Cuba, leaving the island economically dependent on the Soviet Union. We have absolutely to remember the Cuban missile crisis, during the Cold War and ended with a peaceful agreement between US President Kennedy and the Russian, Krusciev. In the Seventies and Eighties the Cuban troops took part in armed conflicts in Africa, alongside national liberation movements. Following the collapse of the Soviet system in the Nineties, Cuba entered a severe economic crisis, called Periodo especial.

In 2006, Fidel Castro as a result of health problems resigned from all his responsabilities and was succeeded by his son Raul. In 2016 the embargo on Cuba finally ended.

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