Havana, 23°8′N 82°23′W
Ethnic groups (2012)
26.6% Mulatto or Mestizo
All branches under executive
1st War of Independence, October 10, 1868
2nd War of Independence, February 24, 1895
Republic declared, May 20, 1902
• Total 109,884 km2 (104th)
42,426 sq mi
• 2015 census 11,239,004 (78th)
• Density 102/km / 2264.9/sq mi (106th)
• Total US$ 82.775 billion(63th)
• Per capita US$ 7,274(86th)
Convertible peso (CUC)
• Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−4)
1492 - The navigator Christopher Columbus claims Cuba for Spain.
1511 - Spanish conquest begins under the leadership of Diego de Velazquez, who establishes Baracoa and other settlements.
1526 - Importing of slaves from Africa begins.
1762 - Havana captured by British forces.
1763 - Havana returned to Spain by the Treaty of Paris.
Wars of independence
1868-78 - Ten Years War of independence ends in a truce with Spain promising reforms and greater autonomy - promises that were mostly never met.
1895-98 - Jose Marti leads a second war of independence with General Antonio Maceo leading the Republic's rebel army; Marti and Maceo both die in the war, but the Republic's army gains control of virtually all of the countryside. Spain holds on to the major cities. The war takes a toll on both sides, with Spain sending more troops to Cuba than it had previously sent to fight all other independence efforts combined.
1898 - US enters the war and defeats Spain, which gives up all claims to Cuba and hands Puerto Rico and the Phillipines to the US.
1898-1902 - Cuba is governed by a transitional US government until 1902, when Cuba becomes independent with Tomas Estrada Palma as its president;
1924 - President Gerado Machado institutes vigorous measures, forwarding mining, agriculture and public works.
1933 - After enjoying considerable popularity, President Machado becomes increasingly authoritarian, and is overthrown by a coalition of opposition groups which include future Presidents, Grau, Prio, and Batista.
1934 - Recognizing the new government, the US adopts new policy towards Cuba and provides Cuba with preferential trade agreements.
1940- Cuba adopts its new constitution, the first, without any US oversight. Batista is elected in democratic elections.
1944 - Ramon Grau is elected President.
1948 - Carlos Prio is elected President.
1952 - On the eve of election, Batista seizes power again and is immediately repudiated for breaking the democratic process.
1953 - Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful revolt against the Batista regime.
1954 - Jose Antonio Echevarria founds the Directorio Revolucionario, the largest and most successful organized resistance to Batista.
1955 - Jose Antonio Echevarria meets with Castro, agree to fight Batista, but Echevarria refuses Castro's offer to become part of Castro's group
1956 - Castro lands in eastern Cuba from Mexico and takes to the Sierra Maestra mountains with a small contingent of men. Battle between Batista and Echevarria's the Directorio Revolucionario intensifies in Havana.
1957 - Echevarria leads combined attacks on the Presidential Palace and takes control of a radio station, The attack fails and Echevarria is killed.
1958 - The US withdraws military aid to Batista.
1959 - Batista flees Cuba. Castro forms and leads a provision government with the Directorio Revolucionario and other organizations. In a short time, all other organizations, are merged into Castro's group. Communist leader Ernesto Che Guevara, gains prominence in the Castro government, leads firing squads of thousands of pro-Batista supporters, as well as anti-Batista fighters who opposed the mass executions.
1960 - All leaders of the revolutions who expressed concerns for Castro's methods are now imprisoned, executed, or have disappeared. Castro receives an official visit from a Soviet delegation. US businesses become nationalized without compensation.
1961 - Washington breaks off all diplomatic relations with Havana. Castro proclaims Cuba a communist state. Cuban exiles, trained by the US, invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, but once at the invasion site, President Kennedy orders the planned air support to stand down, leaving the exiles with no air cover from Castro's air force. Over 1,000 exiles are captured by Castro, tortured and imprisoned.
1962 - Cuban missile crisis ignites when Castro agrees to allow the USSR to deploy nuclear missiles on the island. The crisis was subsequently resolved when the USSR agreed to remove the missiles in return for the withdrawal of US nuclear missiles from Turkey and a US pledge not to invade Cuba, OR ALLOW ANYONE ELSE TO DO SO, thereby making the US, Castro's chief protector, as most Cuban democracy groups resided within the US.
Organisation of American States (OAS) suspends Cuba over its "incompatible" adherence to Marxism-Leninism.
1960-1966 - Cuban peasants from the Escambray mountains, and former leaders of the revolution lead an armed struggle against Castro. Refusing CIA aid, and having little resources, the rebels eventually flee to exile. Many form part of Alpha 66 and other military groups, based in exile.
1972 - Cuba becomes a full member of the Soviet-based Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Receives over 40 Billion USD in aid from Soviet Union. In exchange, Cuba sends lends its military in Interventions in Africa
1976 - Cuban Communist Party approves a new communist constitution; Castro elected president with all of the powers of a dictator.
1976-81 - Cuba sends troops first to help Angola's communist government, led by the MPLA against Unita rebels and, later, to help the Ethiopian regime defeat the Eritreans and Somalis. Over 50,000 Cubans die in the fighting.
1980 - After a group of Cubans storm the Peruvian embassy asking for asylum, Castro announces, the Port of Mariel is open for anyone to come and pick up their families. Cuba exiles flock to Mariel, but Castro forces them to take with them, as many convicts and mental instution patients. Around 125,000 Cubans, flee to the US.
1982 to 1983 - Jorge Mas Canosa, creates the Cuban American National Foundation. The first Cuban American lobby group, marking a transition for the Cuban opposition, from armed struggle, to lobbying. Ronald Regan meets with Jorge Mas Canosa and provides support for the new leader; Mas Canosa leads the formation of the US funded Radio and TV Marti, which transmit to Cuba.
1989 - After the US obtains overwhelming evidence of drug trafficking by the Castro regime, Castro arrests his growing political rival, General Arnaldo Ochoa, and executes Ochoa with others. Most insiders and experts agree that the modest-living Ochoa had no ties to the government's drug trafficking operation, but was instead sacrificed because of the growing tension between he and the Castro brothers.
1991 - Cuba becomes one of few countries to back the provisional soviet coup against Gorbachev. Soviet military advisers leave Cuba following the collapse of the USSR.
1993 - Under Mas Canosa's insistence, the US codifies its embargo on Cuba, to make it harder for a new President to overturn US policy without congressional approval. Cuba introduces some market reforms in order to stem the deterioration of its economy. These include the legalisation of the US dollar, the transformation of many state farms into semi-autonomous cooperatives, and the legalisation of limited individual private enterprise.
1994 - Cuban authorities massacre 41 people, including 10 children, on board a vessel trying to escape to the US. Castro praised the perpetrators as patriotic. Over 10,000 Cubans revolt in Havana's seaside promenade, demanding freedom. Cuba responds with violence and an announcement that all who wish to leave can do so, creating a migration crisis. President Clinton agrees to admit 20,000 Cubans a year in return for Cuba halting the exodus of refugees.
1996 - Raul Castro orders the shooting down of two US civilian aircraft over international waters, killing a US Citizen and three Miami-based Cuban exiles. The aircraft was part of Brothers to the Rescue, an organization dedicated to rescuing rafters fleeing Cuba. US responds by tightening economic sanctions.
1997 - Jorge Mas Canosa dies, over 100,000 Cubans march in Miami to mourn his death.
1998 - Pope John Paul II visits Cuba. Finds his official state residence to be replete with listening devices. Castro government explains they were listening devices planted during the Batista government in 1959. Pope asks Cubans, to "not be afraid".
1998 - President Clinton eases restrictions on the sending of money to relatives by Cuban Americans, despite the disproportionate tax charged by the Cuban government on such remittances.
1999 to 2000 - Cuban child Elian Gonzalez is picked up off the Florida coast after the boat in which his mother, stepfather and others had tried to escape to the US capsized. A huge campaign by Castro begins to require the return of Elian to Cuba. Clinton administration raids the Gonzalez family home in Miami and forcibly takes Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives and returns him to Cuba.
2000 - Under the lobbying pressure of corporate giant, ADM, the US House of Representatives approves the sale of food and medicines to Cuba. Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Cuba and signs accords aimed at boosting bilateral ties.
2001 - Jorge Mas Canosa's Cuban American National Foundation is divided with many of its founders, forming the Cuban Liberty Council. Cuban American influence grows, but it is more fractured. Castro visits Iran, states that "Iran and Cuba, together will bring the US to its knees."
2001 - US arrests Ana Belen Montes, a senior Pentagon officer for spying for the Castro government. Montes' work is said to have caused grave harm to US national security and causing the death of an American Green Beret.
2002 US Under Secretary of State John Bolton accuses Cuba of trying to develop biological weapons, adding the country to Washington's list of "axis of evil" countries.
2002 Oswaldo Paya leads the Varela Project, under which over 10,000 citizen petitions were made to amend the communist constitution, as per its own terms. In response, Castro amends the constitution to make it un-amendable and permanently communist.
2003 March-April - ''Black Spring'' crackdown on dissidents draws international condemnation. 75 people are jailed for terms of up to 28 years; three young men who attempted to hijack a ferry to try reach the US are executed within days of their arrest.
2004 - US restores some restrictions US-Cuba family visits and cash remittances from exiles. Castro announces ban on transactions in US dollars, and imposes 10% tax on dollar-peso conversions.
2005 Hundreds of dissidents hold a public meeting, the largest such gathering since the 1959 revolution.
2006 Castro blocks the view of illuminated messages about human rights - displayed on the US diplomatic mission building.
2006 President Fidel Castro undergoes gastric surgery and temporarily hands over control of the government to his brother, Raul.
2007 Regime launches new crackdown on opposition activity.
2008 Raul Castro takes over as president, days after Fidel announces his retirement.
2008 Bans on private ownership of mobile phones and computers lifted, but internet usage remains highly regulated, supervised, and unavailable. Also relaxes restrictions on the amount of land available to private farmers.
2008 November - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits. Two countries concude new trade and economic accords in sign of strengthening relations. Raul Castro pays reciprocal visit to Russia in January 2009. Chinese President Hu Jintao visits to sign trade and investment accords, including agreements to continue buying Cuban nickel and sugar.
2008 December - Russian warships visit Havana for first time since end of Cold War.
2009 March - Cabinet Secretary Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, resign after admitting "errors". Both men were seen as likely successors t Fidel Castro and potential competitors of Raul Castro.
2009 July - Cuba signs agreement with Russia allowing oil exploration in Cuban waters of Gulf of Mexico.
2010 February - Political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo dies after 85 days on hunger strike.
2010 May - Wives and mothers of political prisoners who attend mass on Sundays as a group, were routinely beaten by the Police. Now are allowed to hold their peaceful walk after mass, because of archbishop of Havana, Jaime Ortega, who asks Fidel to go easy on them.
2010 July - President Castro agrees to free 52 dissidents under a deal brokered by the Church and Spain. Several go into exile.
2011 January - US President Barack Obama relaxes restrictions on travel to Cuba. Havana says the measures don't go far enough.
2011 March - Last two political prisoners detained during 2003 crackdown are released.
2011 December - The authorities release 2,500 prisoners, as part of an amnesty ahead of a papal visit.
2012 March - Pope Benedict visits, criticising the US trade embargo on Cuba and calling for greater rights on the island.
2012 June - Cuba re-imposes customs duty on all food imports in effort to curb selling of food aid sent by Cubans abroad on the commercial market. Import duties had been liberalised in 2008 after series of hurricanes caused severe shortages.
2012 October - Spanish politican Angel Carromero is jailed for manslaughter over the death of high-profile Catholic dissident Oswaldo Paya. Mr Carromero was driving the car when, according to the authorities, it crashed into a tree. Mr Paya's family say the car was rammed off the road after he had received death threats.
The government abolishes the requirement for citizens to buy expensive exit permits when seeking to travel abroad. Highly-qualified professionals such as doctors. engineers and scientists will still require permission to travel, in order to prevent a brain drain.
2013 July - Five prominent veteran politicians, including Fidel Castro ally and former parliament leader Ricardo Alarcon, are removed from the Communist Party's Central Committee in what President Raul Castro calls a routine change of personnel.
2014 July - Russian President Vladimir Putin visits, says Moscow will cancel billions of dollars of Cuban debt from Soviet times. Chinese President Xi Jinping visits, signs bilateral accords.
2014 December - In a surprise development, US President Barack Obama announces the unilateral move to normalize diplomatic relations with the Castro government.
2015 President Obama visits Raul Castro in Cuba, as hundreds of dissidents are arrested in the hours prior to his arrival. President Obama removes Cuba from list of states that sponsor terrorism. Cuba and US reopen embassies and exchange charges d'affaires.