Cuba gained formal independence from the United States of America in 1902. In the years following its independence, the Cuban republic saw significant economic development, but also political corruption and a succession of despotic leaders, culminating in the overthrow of the dictator Fulgencio Batista. Cuba was thereafter governed as a socialist state by the Communist Party under the leadership of the Castro brothers. In 1945, Cuba was a founding member of the United Nations and in 2204, it came under the full authority of the Unified Earth Government. At some point in the twenty-fourth century, the construction of the Centennial Orbital Elevator in Havana elevated the country to a level of power and prosperity it had never seen before.
On November 3, 2552, in the midst of the Battle for Earth, Havana was invaded by the Covenant and the Centenniel Orbital Elevator was occupied by Jiralhanae. The Covenant intended to use the tether to transport stolen FENRIS nuclear warheads to ships in orbit. In response to the loss of contact with COE control, the United Nations Space Command deployed marines and SPARTAN-II Blue Team to retake the elevator and to repossess the nukes. After landing in the jungle near the elevator's warehouse complex, Blue Team destroyed a Scarab with a truck carrying explosive fuel. The Spartans then proceeded to eliminate the Jiralhanae secured the nukes. The warheads were escorted by Blue Team to elevator's terminus, Station Wayward Rest. Some were safely diffused but six others were allowed to be retaken by the Covenant so that they could be remotely detonated once aboard a CPV-class heavy destroyer. The explosion obliterated the destroyer, but it also destroyed the orbital elevator, which crumpled and fell to Earth in pieces. Cuba managed to survive the fighting to face an uncertain future, having lost its primary source of economic power.
Cuba is a long, thin island nation in the Carribean Sea. To the north and west of it lies the United Republic of North America and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital, Havana, is on its western side and sits near its northernmost point. Havana's relative proximity to Earth's equator made it ideal for the construction of a space elevator there.
Economy and society
The existence of the Centennial Orbital Elevator in Havana made the country powerful and prosperous. Despite the island's small size, it came to boast a brisk tourist trade with all other nations on the planet. Havana became a large center of industry. The elevator that dominated its horizons was termed by residents as "Tallo Negro del Maiz", which means "stalk of black corn". Even near the end of the Human-Covenant War, nuclear weapons were shipped to Cuba in order to convert them to use for peaceful purposes.
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