I. From Conqueror to Castro (1512-1959)
Conquest, Economic Development, and Enlightenment
In 1512, the Spanish knight Diego Velázquez and his followers arrived in Cuba and conquered it from the native Tainos. Spanish settlers established in Cuba cattle ranches, and agricultural enterprises including sugar plantations, and brought African slaves. By 1800 a western style society had developed in Cuba. Composer Esteban Salas was active in Santiago de Cuba between 1775 and 1804.