May 20 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Cuba from the United States in 1902.
The island of Cuba was inhabited by various Mesoamerican cultures prior to the arrival of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492. After Columbus’ arrival, Cuba became a Spanish colony, ruled by a Spanish governor in Havana.
In 1762, Havana was briefly occupied by Great Britain, before being returned to Spain in exchange for Florida. A series of rebellions during the 19th century failed to end Spanish rule.
However, the Spanish-American War resulted in a Spanish withdrawal from the island in 1898, and following three-and-a-half years of subsequent US military rule, Cuba gained formal independence in 1902.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It is south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti, and north of Jamaica.