Cuba's history was intertwined by the political and economic interests of a number of world powers. The island was colonized by the Spanish Empire, so for the first few centuries Cuba was closely linked to the Spanish Empire. In the later half of the 19th Century the Cubans fought two wars of independence against the Spanish only to fall under the United States shadow.

During the first half of the 20th Century Cuba was ruled by a line of corrupt and brutal leaders who were endorsed by the United States. Fidel Castro's revolution managed to eliminate US influence, only to replace it with that of the Soviet Union. During the 1960's Cuba was at the center of the Cold War, with the failed CIA-sponsored invasion at the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile crisis.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba found itself truly independent for the first time, only to be confronted with economic and social problems.

Cuba during the colonial period

The Spanish Empire was the colonial power that managed to colonize the Island of Cuba. For centuries the Cubans lived under Spanish rule.

Cuba under US influence

Cuba traded one master for another after it won it's independence from the Spanish Empire only to fall under the shadow of the United States.

Cuba and the Cold War

During the Cold War Cuba went through deep economic and social transformations. After Fidel Castro's revolution, Cuba became a communist state and would seek the protection of the Soviet Union against a potential invasion by the United States.

Cuba after the Cold War

After the Cold War, Cuba found itself truly independent for the first time. However, the nation faced economic and social problems, made worse by the US embargo and the human rights violations that the Castro regime still perpetuated.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro is, without a doubt, Cuba's most famous historical figure. An anti-imperialist revolutionary for some, and a brutal dictator for others, Castro shaped Cuba's destiny for 5 decades.