Cuban History

Overview History
  • Pre-Hispanic Cuba
  • Spanish Conquest
  • Spanish Colonization
  • Towards Independence
  • Spanish American War
  • Independence with U.S. Dominion
  • The Batista Regime
  • The Castro Regime
  • Cuba Today

Spanish Conquest

Christopher Columbus embarked on his famous expedition in 1492, and it was in October of that year that he first sighted Cuba. He called the land “Juana”, in the belief that he had come across Asia’s mainland. On October 29 he landed in Cuba and claimed the land for Spain. He didn’t realize the land was actually an island. It was Sebastián de Ocampo who found this out by circumnavigating in 1508.

Actual Spanish conquest began three years later, in 1511 under leadership of Diego de Velázquez de Cuellar, who founded many towns on the island, such as Baracoa that same year, Santiago de Cuba in 1514, and Havana a year later. These were brutal times for the indigenous peoples who had up to that moment lived peacefully in their tribal communities appeared.