A little information about the country that one intends to visit or that one has visited often allows us to put into context the past or future emotions specific to each trip. A little history or anecdotes are often welcome ... This is what you can find on this page dedicated to Cuba. But nothing like (short) videos to get a more precise idea of the places visited or to visit. Beside is a list of the videos edited from the photographic material I brought back from the trip Cuba (EN).
You just have to click on the image to access the page giving more information on the place treated in the video and of course, to see this video ...
Cuba • a little history
Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean islands by area. The island has a little over 11 million inhabitants. Cuba had been occupied for 4000 BCE before Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba on his first voyage in 1492.
Colonization of Cuba
The colonial past was very painful as it was generally the case. The Spanish crown which appropriated the island during the 16th century was not kind to the indigenous population which was largely decimated in a few years. The gold mines sought by the conquistadors did not exist or offered only a low yield on the island, the Spaniards decided to make it a commercial hub between the American continent and Spain. Cuba thus became a stopover for ships loaded with the riches of the "New World" to the mother country.
Slavery in Cuba
The settlers developed the profitable crops of the time such as tobacco, coffee and sugar cane. These activities being labor intensive, and as always at that time, Africa was going to pay a heavy human price for the development of the colonies. More than a million and a half slaves were imported until the abolition of slavery in 1886.
England and Spain were at war during the 18th century, and Cuba was conquered by the English, but after a few months the island was exchanged for Florida.
the United States and Cuba
Cuba experienced a very deadly war of independence in the middle of the 19th century (the Spanish-American war) and the United States came to fight the Spaniards and occupied the island of Cuba as well as other Hispanic colonies.
In 1902 Cuba became independent, but in reality it had become a protectorate of the United States. The marked interference by the United States would last until 1934. In the meantime, a very authoritarian regime ruled Cuba at this time. At the same time, Cuba became a popular tourist destination for the American elite.
Under the regime of which Batista was one of the presidents (between 1940 and 1959), cosa nostra (Italian maffia) gained enormous importance on the island and built many casinos and money laundering became a very important activity. The corruption of the local authorities made Cuba a good place to live for all the mobsters and the big American companies established on the island knew how to profit from it too.
the cuban revolution
It was then that Fidel Castro, at the head of an army of 82 men overthrew Batista and established a socialist republic in Cuba.
This was not to the taste of the United States, which viewed with a very negative light an ally of the USSR settling at its gates.
Following this seizure of power, a severe embargo was imposed on the island, forcing it to withdraw into itself and making it dependent on Soviet Russia for its primary needs. The fall of the USSR had serious economic consequences for Cuba. It is also to this embargo that Cuba owes one of its main tourist attractions, the American cars that they have not been able to replace since the 1960s.
embargo lifting promises
It was at the end of 2014 that US President Barack Obama gave a glimpse of a lightening of the embargo without however lifting it completely. Discussions around the end of this long embargo are not over to this day (October 2021), but the country is in great need of economic development and to regain its place in world trade.
Until Cubans can travel, local tourism has developed significantly, to the delight of travel enthusiasts.