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The history of Cuba began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, and the subsequent invasion of the island by the Spaniards. The Rise of Fidel Castro had a profound effect on Cuban society, leading to doubts about the ability of the Cubans to govern themselves.
After seizing power in the Caribbean Island nation of Cuba in 1959, leftist revolutionary leader Fidel Castro (1926-2016) aligned himself with the Soviet Union. Under Castro, Cuba grew dependent on the Soviets for military and economic aid.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, thirteen day political and military standoff in October 1962, over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba, just ninety miles from U.S. shores.
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