See also: 1900-25 | 1926-50 | 1951-75 | 1976-
The 20th century brought great change to Cuba. During the first part of the century, American influence was extremely high. It ended with the Revolution of 1959.
During the first few years of the 1900s, an American military government ruled Cuba. It was headed by Leonard Wood, and would remain in power until 1902, when a Cuban Government replaced it.
For many years, the Cuban parties often fought and cheated their way into office. Once there, they would commonly enrich themselves, robbing millions of dollars from the treasury.
American companies also prospered during this period. US companies owned 75% of the sugar industry and 60% of Cuba's land. The wealthy Cuban elite became even richer, but the poor continued to live in poverty.
In 1928, President Machado gave himself another term without reelection. Opposition to him was successful by 1933, when a revolution forced him to flee.
Shortly after, the Sergeants' Revolt caused Fulgencio Batista to rise to power. For many years, he would run the country, usually through puppet presidents.
Batista lost the 1944 election and stepped down. He lived in Miami until American business and Mafia interests convinced him to return.
A coup in 1952 brought back Batista. He ruled as dictator until the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. From then on, US power over Cuba was no more.
The new government of Fidel Castro didn't get along well with the US. Eventually, they turned to the Soviet Union for aid and Mr. Castro announced Cuba was a socialist country. It has remained such ever since, making tremendous social gains but being hurt greatly by the destruction of its trading partners.