Although small in terms of geography and population, Cuba has played a significant role in international relations since Columbus encountered the island in 1492. From its role as a major sugar producer and its location along the path to sought-after silver beginning in the early 17th century to its relationship as a protectorate of the United States following the Spanish-American War in 1898 to its dependence on the Soviet Union after the 1959 revolution until Soviet Communist collapse in 1991 to warming relations with the United States under the Obama administration, Cuba remains a fascinating case study in global politics and conflict.

Early History

Colonized by Spain in the early 1500s, the native population of Cuba was nearly eliminated within several decades of conquest owing to several ...

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