Cuba was originally inhabited by various indigenous groups, including the Taíno people, until the arrival of Spanish explorers in the late 15th century.
The Spanish colonization of Cuba began in 1511 and lasted until the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Cuba became a major producer of sugar, tobacco, and other crops, relying heavily on African slave labor to work the plantations.
In the late 19th century, Cuban rebels fought for independence from Spain, leading to the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Following the war, Cuba became a US protectorate and remained under US control until 1902, when it became an independent republic.
Over the next several decades, Cuba experienced political instability, with several coups and dictatorships.
In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista and established a socialist government in Cuba.
The new government nationalized many industries and landholdings, leading to tensions with the US and other Western countries.
In 1961, the US sponsored a failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, further straining relations between the two countries.
In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union.
Cuba remained a close ally of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, leading to economic hardship in Cuba.
In the 1990s, Cuba began to open up its economy, allowing for limited private enterprise and foreign investment.
In 2008, Fidel Castro resigned as president due to health reasons, and his brother Raúl Castro took over as leader of the country.
In 2015, the US and Cuba announced that they would re-establish diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of hostilities.
In 2016, former US President Barack Obama visited Cuba, becoming the first sitting US president to do so in almost 90 years.
In 2018, Raúl Castro stepped down as president, and Miguel Díaz-Canel became the new president, marking the first time in almost 60 years that a member of the Castro family was not in charge of the country.
In recent years, Cuba has faced economic challenges, including shortages of basic goods and a decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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