In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on and claimed the island now occupied by Cuba, for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a territory of Spain until the Spanish–American War ended in 1898, and gained formal independence from the U.S. in 1902. A fragile democracy, increasingly dominated by radical politics eventually evolved, solidified by the Cuban Constitution of 1940, on the behest of the American exile community. However this was definitely quashed in 1948 by former president Fulgencio Batista, and an authoritarian regime was set up, intensifying and catalyzing already rampant corruption, political repression and crippling economic regulations. Batista was ousted in January 1957 by the (covertly) British-backed Democracy Movement, who correctly feared that the Americans were backing the Communist rebel movement. Over the next ten years the Cuban military, assisted by the British, fought an extensive guerrilla war against the rebels before the last group was cornered near Santiago de Cuba in January 1968.
Cuba is a full member of the Allied Pact since 1970, though by treaty the British are forbidden from stationing strategic weapons on the island, the price paid for Cuban Pact membership. Plans are that during the Transition to War Phase, Allied Forces Caribbean would increase the air defenses, using dispersal airfields and pre-positioned stocks of fuel and ammunition.
One of the greatest issues facing Cuba today is the constant, but slow trickle of American refugees crossing over from Florida in sometimes barely floating craft, having led to the institution of the "Wet Foot - Dry Foot" policy.
Cuba is a member of the League of Nations.
In 2015, Cuba had a population of 13,137,313 people and a nominal gross domestic product of £355.868 billion pounds/$550.585 billion dollars (with a GDP per capita of 27,088.34/$41,910.02)