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cuba history .org - History of Cuban Nation

British Occupation and U.S. Independence

Cuba had long been a target of buccaneers, pirates and French corsairs seeking Spain's new world riches. Repeated raids meant that defences were bolstered throughout the island during the 16th century and Havana was furnished with the Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro (El Morro fortress) to deter potential invaders which included English privateer Francis Drake, who sailed within sight of Havana harbour but did not disembark on the island.

Havana's inability to resist invaders was dramatically exposed in 1628, when a Dutch fleet led by Piet Heyn plundered the Spanish fleet in the city's harbor. In 1662, on the eastern part of the island, English admiral and pirate Christopher Myngs captured and briefly occupied Santiago de Cuba in an effort to open up Cuba's protected trade with neighbouring Jamaica .

British Occupation

The arrival of the British immediately opened up trade with their North American and Caribbean colonies, causing a rapid transformation of Cuban society. Food, horses and other goods flooded into the city, and thousands of slaves from West Africa were transported to the island to work on the under manned sugar plantations ... read more.

US Independence

On December second of that year US president James Monroe specifically addressed Cuba and other European colonies in his proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine. Cuba located in the Western Hemisphere just 94 miles (151 km) from the US city Key West was of interest to the doctrine’s founders as they warned European forces to leave "America for the Americans" ... read more.

Learn more about Cuba History

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