The Republic of Cuba is nation in the Caribbean. It consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles), Isla de la Juventud and several adjacent small islands. Cuba was one of the places Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. It became part of the Spanish Empire shortly after, and remained so until 1898, although there were periods in the 19th century which saw Cuba violently seek to gain its independence. The United States declared war on Spain in 1898, in part because of Cuba's bid for independence. After the U.S. defeated Spain, Cuba gained independence, but the U.S. would meddle in its affairs frequently throughout the first half of the 20th century. In 1959, after decades of corrupt and oppressive governance in Cuba, Communist forces under Fidel Castro gained control of the country.
Ernest Hemingway was residing in Cuba when the United States entered World War II. While Cuba joined the U.S. in declaring war on the Axis, Hemingway was suspicious of the Fascist leanings of the Cuban people. Alarmed by rumors of Cubans supplying GermanU-boats, he volunteered to patrol the Caribbean in 1942 in his fishing boat, the Pilar, until he and his crew actually found and sank a U-boat.
Cuba was unique among the Confederate states in that black people were allowed surnames and permitted a great deal of racial intermixing. Thus, by 1943 the policies of the Freedom Party were met by a Cuban insurrection made up of both whites and blacks, unlike the mainland C.S., where guerrilla fighters were exclusively black. After the war, Cuba was put under U.S. occupation, and would likely be easier to govern and eventually admit to the Union than most other Confederate states.