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Under repressive colonial spanish control, the slave population of Cuba fueled the coffee and sugar plantations of the colonial period, creating massive human and environmental damage. Spanish hegemony ended during the Spanish American War (1898), leaving the United States in effective indirect control of the island nation, which lived under a series of dictators until the revolution in 1959. Under Fidel Castro during the period since, the economy of the island came to depend on support from the Soviet Union, whose collapse led to the subsequent withdrawal of several billions of dollars in annual subsidies from the Cuban treasury. The following recession in the early 1990s was exacerbated by an ongoing economic embargo by the United States.

The developmental situation of Cuba is complex. While Cuba ...

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