Hello there! Here to learn about the Cuban Revolution, right? This video is for you. But first, some backstory. Cuba was formerly part of Mexico, but near the end of the 19th century, Cubans began a struggle for independence. Their rebellion against Spain triumphed in 1898, mostly because America had intervened on the side of Cuba and started the Spanish-American War, which had resulted in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that among many other concessions to America, granted Cuba independence from Spain. However, Spain relinquishing control over Cuba did not mean Cuba would be completely free. After the Treaty of Paris, the USA swooped into Cuba, militarily occupying the new nation for the first few years of its life. The USA ended up drafting the Platt Amendment, a law allowing them to intervene in Cuba whenever they thought American interests were at risk, and only withdrew from Cuba after the new Cuban government agreed to the amendment. Even after withdrawal, American influence in Cuba was profound, with the majority of Cuban farming land being owned by American fruit corporations. American businesses also owned the majority of essential services in Cuba, meaning the USA basically had complete control over the Cuban economy. At the time of the Cuban Revolution, many people thought Cuba should become less economically dependent on the USA. America’s contributions to Cuba’s tourism industry, along with commerce between the two nations, skyrocketed Cuba’s economy to one of Latin America’s best ones. However, a vastly disproportionate amount of the wealth was owned by American corporations and the Cuban upper and middle classes. The working class, meanwhile, had to deal with poverty, starvation, lack of healthcare and education, unemployment and high housing prices. In the sugar industry, which made up the bulk of the Cuban economy, workers would only be employed for a third of the year; during the other two thirds, they would have to deal with debt and unemployment. The social divide was shocking, and even worse, the government was too corrupt to care. Batista’s rule in 1952, which only happened because he had staged a coup, was one of the worst, with casino deals being handed off to American gangs, political critics being silenced, and the working class continuing to suffer. These conditions were what led one man to kick off the Cuban Revolution in 1953- a lawyer named Fidel Castro.