In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in Cuba. He received funding for his voyage from the King and Queen of Spain, departing August 3, 1492.
After stopping in other islands, Columbus and his crew sailed for Cuba. They arrived on October 28. In Cuba, the natives fled upon encountering Columbus. His guides from a neighboring island told him of a great city, and eventually convinced the Cubans people to meet with Columbus.
Unable to find much gold, Columbus and his men were ready to leave. Columbus decided to continue to sail along the northern and eastern coast of the island.
Finally, the voyagers saw a woman with gold jewelry. This rose their hopes of finding treasure, but before they could further investigate, the Santa Maria sunk. The Pinta had already been lost, so the men were now left with one ship.
Fearing they would be stranded if their last ship was lost too, Columbus decided to return to Europe. He wanted to ensure that all would hear of his conquest.
Columbus convinced 42 of his men to stay with the Indians. Their job was to search further for gold, but none survived.
The Spanish tricked the locals with trinkets and brightly colored objects, taking their food and possesions in return. The natives were so fascinated with the foreigners, they sacrificed all they had. Within a mere half century, disease and mailtreatment almost entirely killed off Cuba's indigenous population.