History of Cuba

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Brief History

Before the discovery by Christopher Columbus (1492) the island was inhabited by the Taino, Ciboney and Arawak Indians.

The Spanish conqueror Diego Velázquez founded the city La Habana in 1515. 

The island became a Spanish colony. After several Independence Wars and with interventions of the United States, Cuba became an independant republic. However the United States reserved the right to intervene in the country. 

Several presidents followed: Gomez, Machado, Céspedes and Batista. In 1959 Fidel Castro over threw the Batista regime in the Cuban Revolution. In 2008 after the illness of his brother Fidel Castro, Raul Castro was elected president.

Havana Personalities


José Maria López Lledín, known as "The gentleman from Paris" and was an excentric person wandering in the streets of the Old City. He once said that he was the king of the world because the world was always at his feet. He died in the Mazorra psychiatric clinic in 1985 at age of 86. He has a bronze statue in front of the St.Francis convent in Old Havana 


Graham Greene, British autor, writer of the famous novel "Our man in Havana" (1958)


Ernesto Guevara, known as "El Che" was an Argentine Marxist Revolutionary guerrilla in the battle against the dictator Fulgencio Batista. On the Plaza de la Revolucion a steel replica of the famous photo by Alberto Korda forms the Memorial Ernesto Che Guevara.


Ernest Hemingway, US novelist, lived for years in Havana, he frequented many bars in the Old City among them La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita


Julio Lobo, also named the Sugar King of Havana was once the wealthiest man in the city.

More History

The Cuban Revolution
Cause of the Cuban Revolution. The majority of Cubans, dominated by rich Sugar Barons, were very poor. The suffering of the poor peasants had a big influence on Fidel Castro....

Bay of Pigs Invasion
The CIA financed and backed "Bay of Pigs invasion" on the island was defeated by the Cuban army....

Cuban Economic Embargo
The Cuban Economic Embargo was imposed by President Kennedy after the failed "Bay of Pigs Invasion"....

Raul Castro
The present president of the Republic of Cuba, his life and political visions.....

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway, his youth, biography and his life on the island where he lived for more than twenty years.....

Famous Cuban Americans
Hundreds of thousands Cubans left the island over the years, most of them immigrated to the United States. Several among the Cuban immigrants became Famous Americans....

Cuban Traditions
The country is a melting pot of cultures and races, due to the Spanish occupation and the import of African slaves and cheap Chinese labourers...

Cuban Names
The majority of the Cuban names are of Spanish origin. Spain was a long time colonizer of Cuba.....

Taino Indians
Columbus was welcomed by the Taino Indians on his arrival on the island, but.....

Batista Cuba
Fulgencio Batista, a cruel dictator allowed the mafia to Havana under his dictatorship the common Cubans were very poor....

Spanish American War
The causes of the Spanish American war and the key battles...

Che Guevara Biography
The rise and fall of Che Guevara, the early years and the motorcycle journey, the Cuba years, the Congo years and the Bolivia years....

Cuban Slaves
Slaves imported from Africa, their history and importance for the Cuban economy....

Cuban Celebrations
Public holidays on the island and the important dates in Cuban history...

Sugar in Cuba
The country was once a leader in the sugar production, after the US boycott and the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba was forced to downsize its sugar production...

José Marti
The life of the National Hero, freedom fighter and poet. Well known outside Cuba for the lyrics of the popular song Guantanamera...

Frank Sinatra and Havana
Frank Sinatra and his connections to the Havana Mafia...

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