It was 121 years ago today

On this day in 1902, Cuba became an independent country. If you grew up in a Cuban home, or had Cuban friends in high school, or lived in Miami, then you may recall celebrations and good food on this day.   

To make a long history short, Cubans fought for much of the 19th century but just couldn’t push Spain from running the island.  Then the USS Maine made a stop in Havana, blew up or got blown up, and President William McKinley decided to declare war on Spain.  It was not a long war and Spain was finally was out and the U.S. ran things for a few years.

On May 20, 1902, Cuba, the last of the major Spanish colonies in the new world, got its independence. Most of the rest of Latin America won its independence in the first 30 years of the 19th century.   

I recall my grandmother, a 10-year-old girl at the time, tell stories of celebrations, parties, Cuban flags hanging from windows and a general sense of happiness around the island.  

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