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Cuba in 20 Dates

Latest update : 2008-01-14

From the arrival of Christopher Columbus to Fidel Castro's 80th birthday celebrations - a trip through the key dates of an island with a colourful history.

1492: Christopher Columbus embarks on the island of Cuba and proclaims it "the most beautiful territory that the human eye has ever caressed." 
1512: 1492: Christopher Columbus embarks on the island of Cuba and proclaims it "the most beautiful territory that the humen eye has ever caressed." Diego Velazquez annexes Cuba in the name of the Spanish Crown.
1898-1902: Cuba is placed under the control of American military forces. The United States takes over the Guantanamo naval base in 1903.
1925: Julio Antonio Mella founds the Cuban Communist Party
1934-1958: Dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista
1952: Supported by the US, Batista leads a coup d’état against Grau San Martin.
1953: A first attempt to overthrow Batista fails.
1956: The ship Gramma, with Fidel Castro on board, lands on the Cuban coast.
1959: Fidel Castro and his revolutionary followers overthrow Batista, who flees the island.
1961: The "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba by the US is a failure. The American government places an embargo on the island.
1962: A crisis ensues when Soviet missiles, aimed at the US, are installed in Cuba. After the situation quietens, President Kennedy imposes economic sanctions on the island.  
1972: Cuba joins the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), an economic organization comprising communist states.
1990: The Soviet regime collapses, and Cuba enters its "Periodo Especial," an era fraught with unprecedented economic distress.
1993: Cuba legalises the American dollar.
1994: The "Balsero" crisis – hoping to make their fortune, more than 35,000 Cubans leave the island in ships bound for Florida, USA.
1995: Cuba authorises direct foreign investments. Tourism becomes the main source of revenue on the island.
2002: Despite UN resolutions, the U.S. embargo on Cuba is maintained.
July 2006: Fidel Castro has serious health problems, and is hospitalised. He temporarily cedes power to his brother Raul Castro.

Date created : 2008-01-14