Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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In the year 1900, Cuba was occupied by the United States. This occupation was the result of the end of the Spanish-American war. The Spanish-American war was in fact the culmination of a long struggle by the Cubans to obtain independence from Spain.

Cuba and the United States had a very prosperous economic relation towards the end of the 19th century. Cuba took advantage of the great North American market and exported products such as sugar, tobacco, and many other fruits. At the same time Cuba had given preference to North American products that were being imported to the island. The United States was very interested in maintaining this relationship seeing that American companies controlled 85% of the Cuban sugar production. It was this economic relation that fueled the United States government's decision to intervene on behalf of Cuba against Spain.

The Spanish-American war involved other countries besides Cuba, namely the Philippines and other Caribbean Islands which included Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico is still American territory as a result of this war.

The explosion of the battleship Maine in the Bay of Havana on February 15, 1898 was the determining factor for the entry of American troops into Cuba against Spain a few months later. Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were one of the most well known American military men in this conflict.

The defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American war by the United States led to the occupation of Cuba in the year 1900. Cuba became independent on May 20, 1902. However, the Platt Amendment, a condition for independence, subjected the Cuban government to American influence for years to come.

The period between 1948 and 1959 saw Cuba again in great political turmoil. Presidents, dictators, communist, and socialists, all fought for control of the government. The main...