Cuba was first discovered by Christopher Columbus on October 27th; 1492.For a man who had seen countless tropical islands, he was extremely impressed with Cuba and said: “this is the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen”. After its discovery, the island was quickly colonized by the Spaniards, at the expense of the local aborigine population, and by the sixteen hundreds, had founded the first seven settlements: Baracoa, Bayamo, Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus, Puerto Principe and San Cristobal de la Habana.
By the nineteenth century, a National feeling started to grow up into the Cuban population´s heart, thus, a movement began for Independence from Europe.
The first war of Independence began on October 1868 and was led by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, known as “the Father of the Nation”. After ten years of fighting, the struggle ended in defeat.
The second attempt started on February 24th, 1895, and was led this time by Jose Marti who is considering the National Hero of the country. He founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party and by 1898 victory was within sight. However, the US Government intervened, declared war on Spain, and after they were defeated, kept Cuban from attaining power.
The Republic was declared on May 20th, 1902, and was followed by a long period of economic and political dominance by the US that lasted till January 1st, 1959, when the Revolution finally triumphed. This was after several years of fighting in Sierra Maestra Mountains near to Santiago, and an underground struggle in the cities that finally toppled the Batista government on New Year?s Eve.