Since the original Indian population of Cuba was almost entirely wiped out by the Spanish conquistadors little is known about Cuban history prior to Columbus discovery.
It took the Spaniards 16 years to circumnavigate Cuba for them to realize that it was an island and not the Indies as they originally thought. After decades of fighting, the natives were eventually defeated and enslaved
Cuba became the most important link in the Spanish chain of possessions in the Americas, where most of the treasures taken from South America were consolidated in Habana and dispatched to Spain.
As the Indian natives died of disease, black slaves were brought in from Africa. Cuba was a flourishing trading post, and as the Europeans from neighboring island of Haiti were decimated by warring for freedom, the crops of sugar, tobacco and coffee in Cuba became of great importance and value and a large portion of these were shipped to the rapidly growing United States. As a result of the loss of the Spanish-American war Spain pulled out of Cuba.
The US government granted nominal independence to Cuba but reserved the right to intervene at will “to preserve the country independence”.
In order to achieve that, the US took indefinite leases over 12 natural harbors one of them being Guantanamo Bay. They also took control of the Cuban economy by manipulating their sugar industry.
A succession of corrupted governments supported discretely by the US governments took Cuba backinto abysm of poverty that culminated with Presidents Ramon Grau, Carlos Prio and Fulgencio Batista.
These governments while taking back to their US bank accounts whatever money they could were also protecting the interest of the Cuban and American rich including the American mafia.
Fidel Castro started the struggle to overthrow the regime in 1953 and succeeded in January 1959 when he entered Habana in triumph.
The new government inherited an economy in ruins, which was there to serve the interests of foreign investors, tourists and gamblers rather than the indigenous population.
A diplomatic rift started between the US and Cuba soon after, during which the Castro regime expropriated foreign owned asset while the US move to destabilize the new regime through the exiled Cubans and the CIA.
As the US tighten the economic grip on Cuba, Fidel look to Russia for help and got the aid he wanted by allowing the Russian set base within 50 miles of their enemy’s land.
(to be continued in part 2)