A popular nickname for the nation of Cuba is "Pearl of the Antilles." The nickname originated in the late 18th century. It is based on the natural beauty of the Cuban landscape.
Cuba is an island country located in the West Indies. It the largest single island of the archipelago and one of the more influential states of the entire Caribbean region. Explorer Christopher Columbus claimed the island in the name of Spain in 1492. After the island was claimed for the Spanish Empire, it became the European region's largest source of raw sugar. In 1898, the island was transferred from Spanish to American rule as a result of the Spanish-American War.