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Cuba Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Instructor: Michael Gott

Mike is a veteran of the New Hampshire public school system and has worked in grades 1-12. He has a Master's of Education specializing in Social Studies.

South of Florida is Cuba, an island country that has been controlled by various groups throughout its history. From 1959 to 2008, one man named Fidel Castro controlled Cuba before handing control to his brother Ra`ul Castro, who currently runs the country.

Cuba: A Land of Mixed Cultures

Cuba is an interesting country because of all the different groups of people who have lived there over the years. While the citizens of Cuba were originally members of Native American tribes, Cuba's population began to change greatly in 1492, when explorer and conqueror Christopher Columbus claimed the island for Spain. Today, Cuba is a combination of Native American, African and Spanish cultures, and the people of Cuba speak Spanish.

Cuba remained under Spanish control until 1898, when the United States invaded and forced the Spanish out during what was known as the Spanish-American War. A few years later, the people of Cuba tried to take control of the country for themselves. During this process the Cuban military had total control of Cuba for two years.

Fidel Castro

After Cuba became an independent country in 1904, it went through a violent period with many different leaders. This changed in 1959 when Fidel Castro took control of the country. Castro established the Cuban Communist Party, which is the only political party allowed in Cuba. A political party is a group of people who agree how government should work.

Fidel Castro
Castro Cuba Lesson For Kids

The people of Cuba are allowed to vote, but cannot vote to remove Fidel Castro from power. Also, Castro chooses all the people who are allowed to run for office. In Cuba, if you try to run for government office without Fidel Castro's approval, you will be put in jail.

In 2008, Fidel Castro got sick, and declared his brother, Ra`ul Castro Cuba's president.

Natural Resources

Throughout its history, so many countries were interested in taking control of Cuba because of its valuable natural resources. Cuba is currently one of the world's largest producers and suppliers of nickel, which is a precious metal that's used to make many different products.

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