Cuba was colonized by the Spanish, who ruled there for more than 400 years. There was a brief 2-year period where Britain held control of Cuba, but that was the only time during the 400 years that Spain did not have control of the island.
The Spanish brought many changes to the island people, including advanced agricultural practices and urban developments. The sea ports in Cuba were essential to the Spanish trade and the ports set up by the colonies quickly became hot spots for settlers, commerce and even pirates who raided the often. Cuba won its independence with the United States help in 1898, and the U.S. continued to play a large role in Cuban politics and other decisions.