Timeline of Cuban history

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This is a timeline of Cuban history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Cuba and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Cuba. See also the list of colonial governors of Cuba and list of Presidents of Cuba.

Centuries: 15th · 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th · 21st

15th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
149228 OctoberChristopher Columbus lands at Bariay, Holguin Province in east Cuba.
1494Columbus returns to Cuba and sails along the south coast.

16th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
1508Sebastián de Ocampo circumnavigates Cuba, confirming that it is an island.
1510Spanish set out from Hispaniola. The conquest of Cuba begins.
1511The first governor of Cuba, the Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar leads a group of settlers in Baracoa.
1512Indigenous Cuban resistance leader Hatuey is burned at the stake.
1514Havana founded as San Cristóbal de la Habana.
1523Emperor Charles V authorizes 4,000 gold pesos for the construction of cotton mills.
1527First African Slaves arrive in Cuba.
1532First Slave rebellion is crushed.
1537French fleet briefly occupy Havana.
Slave rebellion of African and indigenous slaves is crushed.
French corsairs blockade Santiago de Cuba
1542Spanish crown abandons the encomienda colonial land settlement system.
1553Governor of Cuba relocates to Havana.
1555French campaign against the Sudan usam
1578French corsairs plunder Baracoa
1586English privateer Francis Drake lands at Cape San Antonio but doesn't attack
1597The Castillo del Morro Morro Castle (fortress), is completed above the eastern entrance to the Havana harbor.

17th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
1603Authorities decree that the sale of tobacco to foreigners is punishable by death.
1607Havana is officially named capital of Cuba.
1628Dutch fleet led by Piet Heyn plunders the Spanish fleet in Havana harbor
1649Epidemic kills a third of the island's population.
1662English fleet captained by Christopher Myngs captures Santiago de Cuba to open up trade with neighbouring Jamaica
1670English retreat after Spain recognises England's ownership of Jamaica.
Francisco Rodríguez de Ledesma becomes Governor of Cuba. He serves for ten years.

18th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
1728The University of Havana is founded.
1734Francisco de Güemes y Horcasitas Gordón de Saenz de Villamolinedo begins a 12 year tenure as Governor of Cuba.
1741British Admiral Edward Vernon captures Guantánamo Bay, renaming it Cumberland Bay, during the War of Jenkins' Ear. His troops are decimated by fevers and are resisted by local guerrilla forces and withdraw.
1747Francisco Antonio Cagigal de la Vega begins a 13 year tenure as Governor of Cuba.
1748Construction of Havana cathedral completed.
12 OctoberBattle of Havana. Skirmishes between British and Spanish fleets in Havana harbor.
17625 MarchEnglish expedition secretly leaves Portsmouth to capture Havana.
30 JulyBritish troops occupy Havana during Seven Years' War.
1763British troops suffer atrocious losses to fever, and reach agreement with the Spanish to trade Cuba in return for Florida.
1793Slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue (which was to become the Haitian revolution) brings the first of 30,000 white refugees to Cuba.
1799Salvador de Muro y Salazar becomes Governor of Cuba 1799-1812

19th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
1812Juan Ruíz de Apodaca becomes governor of Cuba 1812-16.
1843Leopoldo O'Donnell, Duke of Tetuan becomes governor of Cuba 1843-48.
1844So-called Year of the Lash when an uprising of black slaves, known as the Conspiración de La Escalera (Conspiracy of the Ladder), was brutally suppressed.
185328 JanuaryJosé Julián Martí Pérez born in Havana.
1868First war of Cuban independence. Also known as the Ten Years' War. (to 1878)
10 OctoberRevolutionaries under the leadership of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes proclaims Cuban independence.
18788 FebruaryPact of Zanjón ends Ten Years' War and ends uprising.
1879AugustA second uprising ("The Little War"), engineered by Antonio Maceo and Calixto García, begins but is quelled by superior Spanish forces in autumn 1880.
1886Slavery abolished
1890FebruaryJosé Sánchez Gómez becomes provisional Governor of Cuba.
189523 FebruaryMounting discontent culminated in a resumption of the Cuban revolution, under the leadership of the writer and patriot José Martí and General Máximo Gómez y Báez.
19 MayJosé Martí killed in battle with Spanish troops at the Battle of Dos Ríos.
SeptemberArsenio Martínez Campos is defeated at Peralejo and leaves Cuba in January next year.
1896Successful invasion campaign along the length of the island by Cuban rebels led by Antonio Maceo, and Maximo Gomez; Winston Churchill fights on Spanish side at battle of Iguara [1]; Maceo is killed on return east [2]
1897Calixto Garcia takes a series of strategic fort complexes in the East and the Spanish are essentially confined to coastal cities there.
189815 FebruaryThe battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks while anchored in Havana Harbor, stirring suspicions of sabotage against the United States by the Spanish; ultimately resulting in fueling the start of The Spanish-American War in late March.
17 MarchU.S. Senator, and former War Secretary Redfield Proctor protests against Spanish controlled concentration camps
6 JuneInvasion of Guantánamo Bay American and Cuban forces invade the strategically and commercially important area of Guantanamo Bay during the Spanish-American war. (to 10 June)
10 DecemberTreaty of Peace in Paris ends the Spanish-American War by which Spain relinquished sovereignty over Cuba.
18991 JanuaryThe Spanish colonial government withdraws and the last captain General Alfonso Jimenez Castellano hands over power to the North American Military Governor, General John Ruller Brooke.
23 DecemberLeonard Wood becomes US Provisional Governor of Cuba

20th century[edit]

YearDateEvent
19012 MarchPlatt Amendment passed in the U.S. stipulating the conditions for the withdrawal of United States troops, assuring U.S. control over Cuban affairs.
190220 MayThe Cuban republic is instituted under the presidency of Tomás Estrada Palma.
190629 SeptemberRevolt against Tomás Estrada Palma successful. Peace negotiated by Frederick N. Funston, U.S. troops reoccupy Cuba under William Howard Taft.
13 OctoberCharles Magoon becomes U.S. governor of Cuba
190928 JanuaryCuba returns to homerule. José Miguel Gómez of the Liberal Party becomes president.
1912Separatist Black revolt is defeated in bloody campaign
191320 MayMario García Menocal presidency begins.
19177 AprilCuba enters World War I on the side of the Allies. In Chambelona War Liberal Revolt is suppressed by Conservadores of Menocal
192120 MayAlfredo Zayas becomes president.
192520 MayGerardo Machado becomes president. At uncertain date Fabio Grobart, a stalinist communist leader enters Cuba
192613 AugustFidel Alejandro Castro Ruz born in the province of Holguín.
192810 JanuaryJulio Antonio Mella a founder of the Stalinist Communist Party in Cuba is murdered in Mexico. Details are murky; Gerardo Machado agents blamed by some, Tina Modotti and Vittorio Vidale communist assassins blamed by others.
14 JuneErnesto Guevara de la Serna (Che Guevara) born in Rosario, Argentina.
193110 AugustOld Mambi warriors Carlos Mendieta and Mario García Menocal land forces at Rio Verde attempting to overthrow the now clearly dictatorial Gerardo Machado. They are defeated in actions that include first military aviation use in Cuba. (to 14 August)
193312 AugustGerardo Machado, despite last minute support from the Communist Party, is forced to leave Cuba, by ABC and Antonio Guiteras Holmes resistance actions, a general strike, pressure from senior officers of Cuban Armed Forces and U.S. Ambassador Sumner Welles. Communist activity high and extends through rest of summer with establishment of ephemeral soviets in eastern provinces.
4 September"Sergeants' Revolt" organized by a group including Fulgencio Batista topples provisional government.
2 OctoberBatista loyal enlisted men and sergeants, plus radical elements, force Army Officers out of Hotel Nacional in heavy fighting. Some are murdered after surrender.
9 NovemberBlas Hernández his followers and some ABC members make a stand in old Atarés Castle they are defeated by Batista loyalists in bloody battle and Blas Hernández is murdered on surrender.
193416 JuneABC demonstration Havana festival and march attacked by radical gunners including those of Antonio Guiteras with bombs and machine guns, numerous dead.
19358 MayLeading radical Antonio Guiteras is betrayed and dies fighting Batista forces.
1938SeptemberCommunist party legalized again.
193923 AugustFabio Grobart publicly justifies Ribbentrop-Molotov pact.
19418 MaySandalio Junco, a Communist labor leader who defected to Trotskyism, is murdered by Stalin Loyalists.
DecemberCuban government declares war on Germany, Japan, and Italy.
1943Soviet embassy opened in Havana.
195115 MayEduardo Chibás, leader of the Ortodoxo party and mentor of Fidel Castro commits suicide on live radio.
1952MarchFormer president Batista, supported by the army, seizes power.
195326 JulySome 160 revolutionaries under the command of Fidel Castro launch an attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Communists at meeting in Santioago arrested, Fabio Grobart said to have attended, but not listed in arrest records,
16 OctoberFidel Castro makes "History Will Absolve Me" speech in his own defense against the charges brought on him after the attack on the Moncada Barracks.
1954SeptemberChe Guevara arrives in Mexico City.
NovemberBatista dissolves parliament and is elected constitutional president without opposition.
1955MayFidel and surviving members of his movement are released from prison under an amnesty from Batista.
JuneBrothers Fidel and Raúl Castro are introduced to Che Guevara in Mexico City.
195629 AprilAutentico Assault on Goicuria Barracks, in Matanzas attackers are ts including Raúl Castro, Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, executes informers and sets sail from Mexico for Cuba on the yacht Granma.
2 DecemberGranma lands in Oriente Province.
195717 JanuaryCastro's guerrillas score their first success by sacking an army outpost on the south coast, and start gaining followers in both Cuba and abroad.
13 MarchUniversity students mount an attack on the Presidential Palace in Havana. Batista forewarned. Attackers mostly killed, others flee and are betrayed.
28 MayCastro's 26 July movement, heavily reinforced by Frank Pais Militia, overwhelm an army post in El Uvero.
19 JulyAutentico landing in the "Corynthia," led by Calixto Sánchez White in north Oriente, at Cabonico Batista is forewarned and then guided by agents, almost all 27 killed.
30 JulyCuban revolutionary Frank País is killed in the streets of Santiago de Cuba by police while campaigning for the overthrow of Batista government.
6 SeptemberNaval revolt at Cienfuegos is crushed by forces loyal to Batista.
1958FebruaryRaúl Castro takes leadership of about 500 pre-existing Escopeteros guerrillas and opens a front in the Sierra de Cristal on Oriente's north coast.
13 MarchU.S. suspends shipments of arms to Batista's forces.
17 MarchCastro calls for a general revolt.
9 AprilA general strike, organized by the 26 July movement, is partially observed.
MayBatista sends an army of 10,000 into the Sierra Maestra to destroy Castro's 300 armed guerrillas (supported by uncounted escopeteros). By August, the rebels had defeated the army's advance and captured a huge amount of arms.
1 NovemberA Cubana aircraft en route from Miami to Havana is hijacked by militants but crashes. The hijackers were trying to land at Sierra Cristal in Eastern Cuba to deliver weapons to Raúl Castro's rebels. It is the first of what was to become many Cuba-U.S. hijackings.[1]
20 November30 Key position at Guisa is taken, and in the following month most cities in Oriente fall to Rebel Hands. (to 30 November)
DecemberGuevara, William Alexander Morgan and non-communist Directorio Forces attack Santa Clara.
28 DecemberRebels seize Santa Clara.
31 DecemberCamilo Cienfuegos leads revolutionary guerrillas to victory in Yaguajay, Huber Matos Enters Santiago.
19591 JanuaryPresident Batista resigns and flees the country. Fidel Castro's column enters Santiago de Cuba. Raul Castro starts mass executions of captured military. Diverse urban rebels, mainly Directorio, seize Havana
2 JanuaryGuevara and Camilo Cienfuegos arrive in Havana.
5 JanuaryManuel Urrutia named President of Cuba
8 JanuaryFidel Castro arrives at Havana, speaks to crowds at Camp Columbia.
16 FebruaryFidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba.
MarchFabio Grobart is present at a series of meetings with Castro brothers, Guevara and Valdes at Cojimar
20 AprilFidel Castro speaks at Princeton University, New Jersey.[2]
17 MayThe Cuban government enacts the Agrarian Reform Law which limits land 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) ranches or less if other agricultural land, no payment is made.
17 JulyOsvaldo Dorticós Torrado becomes President of Cuba, replacing Manuel Urrutia forced to resign by Fidel Castro. Dorticós serves until 2 December 1976
28 OctoberPlane carrying Camilo Cienfuegos disappears during a night flight from Camagüey to Havana. He is presumed dead.
11 DecemberTrial of revolutionary Huber Matos begins. Matos is found guilty of "treason and sedition".
19604 Marchthe freighter La Coubre a 4,310-ton French vessel carrying 76 tons of Belgian munitions explodes while it began unloading in Havana harbor.
17 MarchU.S. President Dwight Eisenhower orders CIA director Allen Dulles to train Cuban exiles for a covert invasion of Cuba.
5 JulyAll U.S. businesses and commercial property in Cuba is nationalized at the direction of the Cuban government.
19 OctoberU.S. imposes embargo prohibiting all exports to Cuba except foodstuffs and medical supplies.
31 Octobernationalization of all U.S. property is completed.
26 DecemberOperation Peter Pan (Operación Pedro Pan) begins, an operation transporting 14,000 children of parents opposed to the new government. The scheme continues until U.S. airports are closed to Cuban flights during 1962.
1961US Trade embargo on Cuba.
1 JanuaryCuban government initiates national literacy scheme.
Marchformer rebel comandante Humberto Sorí Marin and Catholic leaders shot.
15 AprilBay of Pigs invasion.
196231 JanuaryCuba expelled from the Organization of American States.
17 AugustCentral Intelligence Agency Director John McCone suggests that the Soviet Union is constructing offensive missile installations in Cuba.
29 AugustAt a news conference, U.S. President John F. Kennedy tells reporters: "I'm not for invading Cuba at this time... an action like that... could lead to very serious consequences for many people."
31 AugustPresident Kennedy is informed that the 29 August U-2 mission confirms the presence of surface-to-air missile batteries in Cuba.
16 OctoberMcGeorge Bundy informs President Kennedy that evidence shows Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. Kennedy immediately gathers a group that becomes known as "ExComm", the Executive Committee of the National Security Council.
22 OctoberPresident Kennedy addresses the U.S.
23 OctoberU.S. establishes air and sea blockade in response to photographs of Soviet missile bases under construction in Cuba. U.S. threatens to invade Cuba if the bases are not dismantled and warns that a nuclear attack launched from Cuba would be considered a Soviet attack requiring full retaliation.
28 OctoberKhrushchev agrees to remove offensive weapons from Cuba and the U.S. agrees to remove missiles from Turkey and promises not to invade Cuba.
21 NovemberU.S. ends Cuban blockade, satisfied that all bases are removed and Soviet jets will leave the island by 20 December.
1963October2nd Agrarian reform.
NovemberCompulsory military service introduced.
1964OAS enforce embargo against Cuba.
19653 Octoberthe Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI) become the governing Communist Party of Cuba.
19679 OctoberChe Guevara executed in La Higuera, Bolivia.
1968Marchall private bars and restaurants are finally closed down.
1972Cuba becomes a member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON).
1974Maternity leave bill introduced by the Cuban government.
1975The Soviet Union engages in a massive airlift of Cuban forces into Angola.
The Family Code bill establishes the official goal of equal participation in the home.
JulyOAS lifts the trade embargo and other sanctions.
1976MarchSouth African forces backing the UNITA rebel force withdraw from Angola. It is regarded as a victory for Cuban forces.
6 OctoberTwo time bombs destroy Cubana Flight 455 departing from Barbados, via Trinidad, to Cuba. Evidence implicated several CIA-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles and members of the Venezuelan secret police DISIP.
2 DecemberFidel Castro becomes President of Cuba.
19771 JanuaryPolitical and administrative division divides Cuba into fourteen provinces, 168 municipalities and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.
May50 Cuban military personnel sent to Ethiopia.
197921 OctoberHuber Matos is released from prison having served out his full term. He was reunited in Costa Rica with his wife and children, who had left Cuba in 1963, and moved to Miami.
1980AprilMariel Boat Lift. Cuban Government announces that anyone wishing to leave Cuba may depart by boat from Mariel port, prompting an exodus of up to 125,000 people to the U.S.
7 JuneU.S. President Jimmy Carter orders the Justice department to expel any Cubans who have committed "serious crimes" in Cuba.
198325 OctoberUnited States invades the island of Grenada and also clash with Cuban troops.
1984Cuba reduces its troop strength in Ethiopia to approximately 3,000 from 12,000.
1987Law #62 on the Penal Code introduced recognising discrimination based on any reason and the violation of the right of equality as a crime.
198912 JulyProminent general in the Cuban armed forces Arnaldo Ochoa is executed after allegations of involvement in drug smuggling.
17 SeptemberThe last Cuban troops leave Ethiopia.
199023 MarchU.S. launch TV Marti.
1991Dissolution of Soviet Union highly affects Cuban economy
MayCuba remove all troops from Angola.
1992JulyNational Assembly of Cuba passes the Constitutional Reform Law allowing for direct elections to the assembly by the Cuban people every five years.[3]
19936 NovemberCuban government announce it is opening state enterprises to private investment.
1996FebruaryCuban authorities arrest or detain at least 150 dissidents, marking the most widespread crackdown on opposition groups in the country since the early 1960s.
24 FebruaryCuban fighter jets shoot down two US-registered civilian aircraft over international waters, killing four men
12 MarchThe Helms-Burton Act, which extends the U.S. embargo against Cuba to foreign companies is passed.
199821 JanuaryPope John Paul II becomes the first Pope to visit the island.
1999Christian anti-abortion activist Oscar Elías Biscet is detained by Cuban police for organizing meetings in Havana and Matanzas.
5 November6 year old Elián González is found in the Straits of Florida clinging to an inner tube.
200014 DecemberRussian President Vladimir Putin visits Cuba and signs accords aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

21st century[edit]

YearDateEvent
200123 JuneFidel Castro faints during a televised speech
2002JanRussia's last military base in Cuba, at Lourdes, closes down.
6 MayU.S. Under Secretary of State John R. Bolton accuses Cuba of trying to develop biological weapons, adding the country to Washington's list of "axis of evil" countries.
12 MayFormer U.S. President Jimmy Carter becomes the first U.S. President past or present to visit Cuba. He praises the Varela project and criticizes the U.S. embargo.
2003AprCuban government arrest 78 writers and dissidents blaming U.S. provocation and interference from James Cason, the chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana.
20048 NovemberBan on transactions in US dollars, and imposition of 10% tax on dollar-peso conversions introduced.
200520 MayAround 200 dissidents hold a public meeting, said by organisers to be the first such gathering since the 1959 revolution.[4]
7 JulyHurricane Dennis causes widespread destruction and leaves 16 people dead.
200631 JulyRaúl Castro assumes presidential duties as Fidel Castro recovers from an emergency operation.
200819 FebruaryFidel Castro announces he would not reprise his role as President of Cuba and refuses to be reelected again.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Accident details planecrashinfo.com
  2. ^ Dr. Castro's Princeton Visit, 20–21 April 1959 by Thomas E. Bogenschild
  3. ^ Cuba : Elections and Events 1990-2001
  4. ^ "Cuban dissidents rally in Havana". CNN. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2006.