Since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, Cuba has seen the indigenous Taíno people brought to the brink of annihilation, Spanish colonisation, forced African slavery, complete revolution, and communist regime.
Although a former Spanish colony, Cuba by no means fits the profile of a traditional Latin American country. With influences from African, American, French, Jamaican, and indigenous Taíno culture, Cuba boasts an extensive historical heritage. This eclectic assortment of influences is easily seen in the country’s music, dance, art and literature, as well as on the city streets. Colonial Spanish architecture, vintage American cars, the beat of the African drum from street musicians, and the mixed ethnicities of the people themselves, all combine to make a cultural spectacle both perplexing and inspiring.