Since its independence in 1898, Cuba has been a country shaped by a variety of factors. Massive agricultural and mining industries dominate the countryside and the economy. The majority of the population still live in rural areas whilst the social elite of Havana live a life of wealth and influence. As the country changed and shaped itself, leaders came and went, with instability and social upheaval being a common presence. And of course, the USA, such a short distance away from the island nation, is ever interested in its internal affairs.