Cuba has a very rich history; it would take too long to explain with an adequate degree
of detail the complex events that have taken place in more than 5 centuries that,
eventually, have shaped our history and idiosyncrasy. Our only intention is to give
you a line of time that will give you a generalized overview of our history in order
to provide you with the elemental Knowledge on this matter. If you want to increase
your historical information about Cuba, we can suggest you several books which are available
in any specialized bookshop of the island.
A Cuban history chronology
- 1492- Columbus sights Cuba for the first time.
- 1508- Sebastián de Ocampo circumnavigates Cuba and define it as an Island.
- 1514- Diego Velázquez arrives to Cuba
- 1514- Under Velázquez rule, are established the first seven villas, Baracoa, Santiago
de Cuba, Bayamo, Puerto Principe -current Camagüey- Santic Spíritus, Trinidad
and Havana (it was originally located to the south of its current location).
- 1515- Santiago de Cuba becomes capital.
- 1519- Foundation of San Cristobal de la Habana at its present site. Havana is
transformed into a supply base for the expeditions to Mexico and Florida.
- 1522- First African slaves are brought to Cuba to work in the mines and plantations
(by the middle of the 16th century the aborigines were nearly extincted).
- 1555- French pirates sack Havana.
- 1556- Spanish captain-general moves to Havana.
- 1564- First treasury fleet depart from Havana.
- 1589- Havana and Santiago are fortified.
- 1607- Havana declared capital of Cuba.
- 1674- Construction of the Havana walls begins.
- 1700- The tobacco is the main exportation of Cuba.
- 1762- The British capture Havana during the Seven Years' War.
- 1763- The British trade Havana for Florida.
- 1790- Massive importation of African slaves.
- 1800- Sugar becomes the main staple of exportation.
- 1825- Most of Latin America has won the independence of Spain.
- 1837- First railway line is built in Cuba (One of the first countries
in the world, even first than the Spanish metropolis).
- 1848- USA attempts to buy Cuba from Spain.
- 1850- Narciso López raises the Cuban Flag for the first time.
- 1853- Jose Martí was born at Havana.
- 1865- Massive importation of African slaves ends.
- 1868-1878- War of the 10 years. First attempt of independence.
- 1878- Antonio Maceo lead the Protest of Baragua.
- 1879- Slavery is abolished.
- 1895- 1898- Second great war of Independence organized by Martí.
- 1895- Martí is killed at combat at Dos Rios.
- 1898- Americans land at Santiago de Cuba, Spanish rule ends.
- 1898-1902- USA military government rules Cuba.
- 1902- Cuba achieves independence although its sovereignty is very
limited. Is erected the first Constitution of the new Republic
of Cuba. The Platt Amendment to the Constitution is imposed on Cuba.
- 1903- The USA Government takes Guantanamo naval base.
- 1906-1909: Second US military intervention.
- 1917- Third US military intervention.
- 1925-1933: Gerardo Machado rules Cuba.
- 1925- Julio Antonio Mella and Carlos Baliño found the first Communist Party.
- 1929- Mella is assassinated by Machado’s killers in México.
- 1933- Gerardo Machado's dictatorship is overthrown by the masses.
- 1940- Is proclaimed the second Constitution known as the 'Constitution of the 40'.
- 1944-1952: The Auntentico Party rules Cuba. The USA mafia extends its business in Havana.
- 1952- Fulgencio Batista takes control of the government by a coup d'état.
- 1953- Fidel Castro attacks the Moncada Barracks.
- 1956- The Granma Yacht lands in Oriente.
- 1956-1958- War against Batista's regime in the Sierra Maestra.
- 1958- Che Guevara captures Santa Clara.
- 1959- Batista flees; the rebels take control of the government. Castro enters in Havana, First agrarian reform.
- 1960- USA cuts its imports of Cuban sugar, foreign companies in Cuba are nationalized, and the US economic
blockade against Cuba starts.
- 1961- The Bay of Pig invasion is defeated; the first defeat of the USA imperialism in America.
- 1962- Cuban Missile crisis. For a few days the world is at the brink of a nuclear world.
- 1965- The Communist Party is re-founded.
- 1967- Che Guevara is killed in Bolivia.
- 1968- Small businesses are nationalized.
- 1972- Cuba joins Comecon trading block.
- 1975- Cuba sends troops to Angola.
- 1976- Third constitution comes into force.
- 1980- Some 120 000 Cubans depart to USA through Mariel. Arnaldo Tamayo becomes the first and only Cuban and Latin-American cosmonaut.
- 1988- Cuban troops are withdrawn from Angola after the defeat of the South African’s Apartheid regime troops in Cuito Cuanavale.
- 1991- The Soviet Union and the socialist block of East Europe collapse. Begins the so called Período Especial.
- 1994- Thousands of Cubans depart to US. (Crisis de los Balseros).
- 1995- Is approved the Law of Direct Foreign investment.
- 1996- US tightens blockade of Cuba.
- 1998- Pope John Paul II visits Cuba.
- 2000- The boy Elian Gonzales returns to Cuba after several months of litigation between its family in Miami and his father in Cuba.
- 2006- Fidel Castro leaves the power for a serious health crisis.
- 2008- Raúl Castro formally assumes the leadership of the Cuban State. A process of economic reforms starts.
- 2011- During the VI Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is presented the policy that will rule the economic reform
“Lineamientos para la Actualización de la Política Económica del País”.
- 2013- Raúl Castro is elected for a second and last mandate of 5 years.
- January 1st: Anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution.
- May 1st: Labor day.
- 25, 26 and 27 of July: Holiday days celebrating the Day of the Rebelliousness in commemoration of the attack to Cuartel
Moncada in Santiago de Cuba on July 26th, 1953.
- October 10th: Celebrating the start of the Independence wars.
- December 25th: Christmas
- 1ro. de Enero: Día de la Liberación. Aniversario del Triunfo de la Revolución.
- 1ro. de Mayo: Día Internacional de los Trabajadores.
- 26 de Julio: Festejos por el Día de la Rebeldía Nacional.
- 30 de Julio: Día de los Mártires de la Revolución.
- 10 de Octubre: Inicio de las Guerras de Independencia.
- 7 de Diciembre: Día de los caídos por la Defensa.