Cuba was in Spanish possession for almost 400 years (circa 1511-1898).
Its economy was based on plantation agriculture, mining and the export of sugar, coffee and tobacco to Europe and later to North America. The political and military history of Cuba in the 19th and 20th centuries has been tumultuous.

On December 2, 1956 a party of 82 revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro, landed in a yacht named Granma with the intention of establishing an armed resistance movement in the Sierra Maestra. The yacht had come from Mexico, where Castro had been exiled and where his army was strengthened with the help of Ernesto Che Guevara, who became one of the most important people in the Cuban revolution and one of Castro’s closest allies.

Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista launched a campaign of repression against the opposition, which only served to increase support for the insurgency and the army lacked the leadership and will to fight the insurgents. Castro’s rebel forces entered the capital on January 8, 1959 and Castro became prime minister of Cuba in February 1959.

On February 19, 2008 Fidel Castro announced that he was resigning as President of Cuba. On February 24, 2008 Raúl Castro was elected as the new President of Cuba. In his acceptance speech, Raúl Castro promised that some of the restrictions that limit Cubans’ daily lives would be removed; according to an official memo, a ban on the purchase of computers, DVD players and microwaves was lifted. Fidel died November 25, 2016.

The photos in this gallery were taken on an easy stroll around Havana.

Read the stories about Gay Cuba.