Cuba is an island
nation located 90
miles south of
Florida. For this
reason, the US
has always been
interested in what
happens in Cuba.
Changes for Cuba
Spanish-American War of 1898 led to
changes for Spain.
The U.S. declared war on Spain to help
people gain freedom from Spanish rule.
The U.S. wanted to protect American
businesses in the sugarcane plantations.
The U.S. won the war and Spain gave up
Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Puerto Rico is a territory under the U.S.
Changes for Cuba
Cuba became independent from Spain, but
remained under U.S. control until 1902.
The U.S. established a new government
The U.S. set up a military base on
Guantanamo Bay, which is still in operation
For the next 50 years, Cuba had a series of
Some were elected and some took over as
Even though the
country of Cuba was
very wealthy, most of
the people were
continually angry with
In the late 1950’s the
leader was Fulgencio
The USA liked Batista
businesses traded a
lot with Cuba. We
bought most of
Cuba’s sugar cane.
owned a lot of land in
Cubans hated Batista
because he was a
dictator, so he had no
controls on his power.
Education and health
care were very bad,
and a lot of people in
Cuba were poor.
Who was Fulgencio Batista?
Who liked Batista? Why did they like him?
Who disliked Batista? Why didn’t they like him?
In the late 1950s, a young lawyer named
Fidel Castro led a group of rebels against
the corrupt government of dictator
This is known as the Cuban Revolution
The rebels defeated Batista’s army, and
took over the government early in 1959.
Because so many
people hated Batista, it
was easy for Castro to
Fidel Castro came to
power during the Cold
This was a period of
conflict between two
superpowers- The U.S.
and the Soviet Union.
Castro admired Josef
Stalin and started
making a communist
government, where he
and all property was
taken by the
Castro took American
property, as well as
farms, factories, and businesses owned by
Castro had anyone who disagreed with him executed by
firing squad or they were imprisoned.
Newspapers, radio, and TV were shut down.
Churches were closed and their land and property taken
The United States placed an
embargo on Cuban goods,
meaning that Cuban sugar was not sold.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union became
friends with Cuba. They
bought sugar, sold weapons,
helped with education, and
trained the Cuban army.
Good and Bad
Hospitals and schools
Women and blacks
were educated and
got better jobs.
People had a very low
People’s lives were
controlled by the
The USA and Cuba
The relationship between Cuba and the
USA was very tense because Cuba
wanted to spread communism in Latin
In 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis
happened when Cuba let the Soviet Union
bring in nuclear missiles that were close
enough to hit US cities. Eventually, the
Soviet Union agreed to move them out.
In 1991, Castro lost an important ally and
trading partner when the Soviet Union
Why didn’t the United States like Cuba?
Why did the Soviet Union like Cuba?
What did the Soviet Union do for Cuba?
We almost had a nuclear war between
the Soviet Union and the U.S.A!
There is still an embargo on Cuba.
Food shortages occur in Cuba.
Often, people escape from Cuba to Florida
on boats. America allows 20,000 people a
year to escape to the US.
Why was there almost a Nuclear War
between the Soviet Union and the United
How did the United States try to hurt Cuba
after Castro came to power?
1. Who became leader of Cuba in 1959?
2. What did the United States do about what
was happening in Cuba?
3. Why did we almost have a nuclear war in