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Cuban capital city, founded 1514 by Diego Velázquez as San Cristóbal de la Habana "St. Christopher of the Habana," apparently the name of a local native people. The Spanish adjective form is Habanero. Meaning "cigar made in Havana" is by 1802.
said to be from Taino (Arawakan) Cubanacan, the name of the people who occupied the island. Related: Cuban (1829), Cuban heel (1908); Cuban Missile Crisis (October 16-28, 1962).
Note: The sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 led to the Spanish-American War.
Note: The sinking of the United States battleship Maine in Havana harbor led to the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Note: Fidel Castro took control of the Cuban government in 1959. The United States broke off relations with Cuba in 1961, after Castro exhibited strong left-wing leanings, established a system of military justice, and confiscated American investments in banks, industries, and land. Cuba then formed a close attachment to the Soviet Union.
Note: In 1961, under the administration of John F. Kennedy, American-trained Cuban exiles attempted to invade Cuba, landing at the Bay of Pigs, only to be easily defeated by Castro's forces. The Kennedy administration was sharply criticized for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Note: The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 occurred as a result of a Soviet buildup of medium-range missiles (capable of striking targets in the United States) in Cuba.
Note: In 1980, Cuban refugees began pouring into the United States when Castro allowed free emigration.
Note: The collapse of communism in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has left Cuba as one of the last communist states.