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The Cuba Historic Collections Exhibition
Map of the West Indies, Mexico and “New Spain” with Cuba in the center drawn by Herman Moll in 1736.
The history of Cuba, the largest of Caribbean islands, includes being inhabited by indigenous peoples when Christopher Columbus sighted the island during his first voyage of discovery on 27 October 1492, and claimed it for Spain. Cuba subsequently became a Spanish colony to be ruled by the Spanish governor in Havana, though in 1762 this city was briefly held by Britain before being returned in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end Spanish rule. However, increased tensions between Spain and the United States, resulting in the Spanish-American War, finally led to Spanish withdrawal, and in 1902, Cuba gained formal independence.
In his book A History of Cuba and its relations with The United States, historian Philip S. Foner writes that Cuba’s history:
“has a significance out of proportion to its size. The story of Cuba’s struggle for liberatio from four-hundred years of Spanish domination is one of the great epics in history. The struggle for over half a century to change its status from a theoretically independent state, dominated by American imperialism, into a truly independent country is equally inspiring.”
Further evidence suggests that the Guanajatabeyes were driven to the west of the island by the arrival of two subsequent waves of migrants, the Taíno and Ciboney. These groups are sometimes referred to as neo-Taíno nations. The new had migrated north along the Caribbean island chain used of stone, yet they were familiar with gold (caona) and copper (guanín). The Taíno and Ciboney were a part of a cultural group commonly called the Arawak, which extended far into South America. Initially the new arrivals inhabited the eastern area of Baracoa before expanding across the island. Traveling Dominican clergyman and writer Bartolome de las Casas estimated that the Cuban population of the neo-Taíno people had reached 350,000 by the time of the late 15th century. The Taíno cultivated the yuca root, harvested it and baked it to produce cassava bread. They also grew cotton and tobacco, and ate maize and sweet potatoes. According to Las Casas, they had “everything they needed for living; they had many crops, well arranged”.
1 Early Spanish colonization
2 Arrival of African slaves
3 Sugar plantations
4 Cuba under attack
5 The 19th century: Years of upheaval
5.1 Reform, autonomy and separatist movements
5.2 Antislavery and independence movements
5.3 The possibility of annexation by the USA
5.4 The independence struggle resumed
6 The War of 1895
6.2 The Maine incident
7 The Spanish-American War / the Cuban theatre
8 The first US occupation / Platt amendment
8.1 Political changes
8.2 Economic changes
9 Cuba in the early 20th century
9.1 After World War I
9.2 The 1940 constitution
10 The Cuban revolution
11 Castro’s Cuba
11.2 Break with the United States
11.3 Bay of Pigs invasion
11.4 The Cuban missile crisis
11.5 Military build-Up
11.8 Cuban involvement in third world conflicts
11.9 Cooperation between Cuban and Soviet intelligence services
12 Cuba after the Soviet Union
13 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
Early Spanish colonization
Havana Bay, c. 1639.
The first sighting of a Spanish boat approaching the island was on 28 October 1492, probably at Baracoa on the eastern point of the island. Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the Americas, sailed south from what is now The Bahamas to explore the northeast coast of Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola. Columbus discovered the island believing it to be a peninsula of the Asian mainland.
During a second voyage in 1494, Columbus passed along the south coast of the island, landing at various inlets including what was to become Guantánamo Bay. With the Papal Bull of 1493, Pope Alexander VI commanded Spain to conquer, colonize and convert the Pagans of the New World to Catholicism. On arrival, Columbus observed the Taíno dwellings, describing them as “looking like tents in a camp. All were of palm branches, beautifully constructed”PS.THE COMPLETE SHOW LOOK AT Dr IWAN CYBERMUSEUM,PLEASE CLICK hhtp://www.DrIwancybermuseum.wordpress.com. The end@copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2010.