Cuba[kyo̵̅o̅′bə; Sp ko̵̅o̅′bä]
- island in the West Indies, south of Fla.
- country comprising this island & several small nearby islands: gained independence from Spain in 1898: 42,803 sq mi (110,860 sq km); pop. 9,724,000; cap. Havana
An island country in the Caribbean Sea south of Florida. Originally settled by Arawak Indians, it was claimed for Spain by Columbus in 1492 and was colonized beginning in 1511. Spain relinquished its control of Cuba in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War, and following a three-year occupation by US forces, the island became self-governing in 1902. Fulgencio Batista dominated the government of Cuba from 1933 until 1959, when a revolution led by Fidel Castro established a Marxist-Leninist state. Havana is the capital and the largest city.
Disputed; likely from Taíno cubao ("abundant fertile land") or coabana ("great place").