A Very Brief History of Cuba

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Countries that were once colonies went through various stages of evolution in order to develop economically, politically, and culturally while gaining independence. Cuba, a former colony of Spain, has changed drastically throughout the years. Although in some cases, colonialism has had a positive effect on the country in the area regarding education and health care and on the other hand, has created an economic gap between the citizens. The government, social structure, and economy in the country can be compared and contrasted throughout the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial years.
First Settlers Knowledge of the native peoples in Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, prior to the colonial era derives from the
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Although the colonization of Cuba by the Spaniards contributed to the growth of the country economically, politically, and culturally, the relationship between the two during that period appeared to be appalling. In the late 1400s and 1500s, the indigenous peoples of Cuba were either wiped out through disease and the brutality of the Spanish or absorbed through intermarriage. With that in mind, additional labour had to be obtained due to the decrease in the native labour force, thus beginning the slave trade. In addition, Spain would forbid Cuba to trade with other European countries while keeping their profits for themselves. Several disputes rose as Cuba attempted to gain independence through three wars, creating tension between the two countries.
The governing structure in Cuba during the colonial era was ruled by a Crown appointed governor. Diego Velazquez, the man who established the first Spanish settlement in Cuba, served as the first governor until his death in 1524. Under his leadership, various settlements were created such as Baracoa, a city in the region of Guantanamo. Havana progressed quickly and was officially designated the capital of Cuba in 1607. In order to strengthen the development of the oriental region of the island, the country was divided into two governments – Havana in the occident and Santiago de Cuba in the oriental – by the Spanish
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