Cuba was important during the cold war, but what made the island what it is today? It certainly wasn't just cigars, so let's dig a little deeper into Cuba History.
The first people to live in Cuba were the Taino who were native to the Americas. They were farmers at heart but had started to lean towards the copper mining potential of their country when it was discovered by none other than Sir Christopher Columbus. The Spanish settled on the island of Cuba and Cuba history took a turn for the worse when the Spanish brought their diseases with them. This was not the first time the Spanish managed to bring a few unwanted presents with them and the whole indigenous population was all but wiped out.
Cuba history was tinted with Spanish yellow for the next 400 years and was established as an agricultural economy. There were sugar canes and tobacco plantations as well as many other produce that was sourced from Cuba. History will tell us that this was mainly shipped back to Europe and America.
Cuba Fight For Independence
Cuba took a more fiery turn in 1868 when there was a rebellion. This was sparked by the turbulent times that the Spanish Empire was seeing, although Cuba had remained loyal for much longer than other territories. The new Cuban government was recognized and a level of autonomy was granted to the island as a result.
Restrictions placed upon trade by the Spanish government lead to more calls for independence. Spain would have certainly fooled the Cubans when they failed to keep promises of economic reform and this added to the growing sense of anger towards the Spanish. Cuba was really on edge during this period. This was no good and Cuban history went from on edge to fallen off the edge. They were hugely suppressed by a much stronger Spanish army and it was placed under military rule.
Cuba Turns to Communism
Cuba was signed over to the US government as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1906 and played a part in World War I when it helped ship supplies to the United Kingdom. Cuba was not, however, quite so stable and there was soon to be conflict yet again. The actions of a certain Fidel Castro managed to plunge the Island into a terrible state and tensions with the US were not exactly at their best. Communist rule occupied the next part of Cuba history in the period rolling up towards the Second World War. They were supplied with Soviet weapons and became a Soviet client state.
Cuba still remains strongly linked to that of the former Soviet Union and Cuba has supported many Russian wars in Africa. Cuba has a strong military focus and this is evident when considering how many troops it has pledged to Russian backed conflicts. In some cases 10,000 soldiers were sent to Africa to help a Russian campaign.
Despite the hardships of living under a Communist regime, the Cuban people are very strong, positive, and creative. This has allowed them to make significant contributions in the world of music, athletics, and entertainment.