BySpringtime of Nations
The nation of Cuba faces an exciting new development: A movement for liberty. Cuba has a history of being sought after, belonging to the Spanish, invaded by the British, traded to the USA, and independent yet carefully watched over by first the USA and then the USSR. We will focus on the Independence Era to understand the unique situation of this people and their passions which have seemingly reared their head once more.
The island of Cuba had settlers from the 4th Millennium BC in the form of various indigenous groups (the Taino, the Guanajatabey, and the Ciboney). These peoples existed up until the Spanish colonization, which brought with it the goal of conversion and conquest. Through force, the Spanish gained a foothold in Cuba in what is now known as Havana. Havana changed hands during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) when the British were able to capture Western Cuba. Quickly, it changed hands back to the Spaniards after the Treaty of Paris engineered a trade of Cuba for Spanish Florida. The natives fell prey to disease and often ran into the wilderness to avoid forced labor, causing the Spaniards to import black slaves from surrounding islands in their control. The importance of Cuba was recognized after the slave revolution in Haiti, opening the sugar cane market for the eager Spaniards. From here, an economic boom occurred, the Spanish quickly invested in infrastructure in order to better transport the very highly demanded sugar cane they produced for most of the world.