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Other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which later became the capital.
The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, Within a century the indigenous people were virtually wiped out due to multiple factors, primarily Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no natural resistance (immunity), aggravated by harsh conditions of the repressive colonial subjugation.
The French had recommended this to Spain, advising that declining to give up Florida could result in Spain instead losing Mexico and much of the South American mainland to the British.
Many in Britain were disappointed, believing that Florida was a poor return for Cuba and Britain's other gains in the war.
The country is one of the world's last planned economies and its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco, coffee and skilled labor.
According to the Human Development Index, Cuba has high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America, though 67th in the world.
Though Havana, which had become the third-largest city in the Americas, was to enter an era of sustained development and increasing ties with North America during this period, the British occupation of the city proved short-lived.
Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.Less than a year after Britain seized Havana, it signed the Peace of Paris together with France and Spain, ending the Seven Years' War.The treaty gave Britain Florida in exchange for Cuba.The real engine for the growth of Cuba's commerce in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was the Haitian Revolution.When the enslaved peoples of what had been the Caribbean's richest colony freed themselves through violent revolt, Cuban planters perceived the region's changing circumstances with both a sense of fear and opportunity.