Henry A. Wallace
Henry Agard Wallace was an American politician and farmer who served as the 11th U. S. secretary of agriculture, the 33rd vice president of the United States, the 10th U. S. secretary of commerce. He was the presidential nominee of the left-wing Progressive Party in the 1948 election; the oldest son of Henry Cantwell Wallace, who served as the U. S. secretary of agriculture from 1921 to 1924, Henry A. Wallace was born in Adair County, Iowa in 1888. After graduating from Iowa State University in 1910, Wallace worked as a writer and editor for his family's farm journal, Wallace's Farmer, he founded the Hi-Bred Corn Company, a hybrid corn company that became successful. Wallace displayed an intellectual curiosity about a wide array of subjects, including statistics and economics, he explored various religious and spiritual movements, including Theosophy. After the death of his father in 1924, Wallace drifted away from the Republican Party, he supported Democratic presidential nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election.
Wallace served as secretary of agriculture under President Roosevelt from 1933 to 1940. He supported Roosevelt's New Deal and presided over a major shift in federal agricultural policy, implementing measures designed to curtail agricultural surpluses and ameliorate rural poverty. Overcoming strong opposition from conservative party leaders, Wallace was nominated for vice president at the 1940 Democratic National Convention; the Democratic ticket of Roosevelt and Wallace triumphed in the 1940 presidential election, Wallace continued to play an important role in the Roosevelt administration before and during World War II. At the 1944 Democratic National Convention, conservative party leaders defeated Wallace's bid for re-nomination, replacing him on the Democratic ticket with Harry S. Truman; the ticket of Roosevelt and Truman won the 1944 presidential election, in early 1945 Roosevelt appointed Wallace as secretary of commerce. Roosevelt was succeeded by Truman. Wallace continued to serve as secretary of commerce until September 1946, when Truman fired him for delivering a speech urging conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union.
Wallace and his supporters established the Progressive Party and launched a third party campaign for president. The Progressive party platform called for conciliatory policies towards the Soviet Union, desegregation of public schools, gender equality, free trade, a national health insurance program, other left-wing policies. Accusations of Communist influences and Wallace's association with controversial Theosophist figure Nicholas Roerich undermined his campaign, he received just 2.4 percent of the nationwide popular vote. Wallace broke with the Progressive Party in 1950 over the Korean War, in 1952 he published Where I Was Wrong, in which he declared the Soviet Union to be "utterly evil." Wallace fell into political obscurity after the early 1950s, though he continued to make public appearances until the year before his death in 1965. Wallace was born on October 7, 1888 on a farm near Orient, Iowa, to Henry Cantwell Wallace and his wife, May. Wallace had three younger sisters, his paternal grandfather, "Uncle Henry" Wallace, was an important landowner, newspaper editor, Republican activist, Social Gospel advocate in Adair County, Iowa.
Uncle Henry's father, John Wallace, had migrated from Kilrea, Ireland in 1823. May was born in New York City but was raised by an aunt in Muscatine, Iowa after the death of her parents. Wallace's family moved to Ames, Iowa in 1892 and to Des Moines, Iowa in 1896. In 1894, the Wallaces established an agricultural newspaper known as Wallace's Farmer; the newspaper became successful and made the Wallace family wealthy and politically influential. Wallace took a strong interest in agriculture and plants from a young age, he befriended African-American botanist George Washington Carver, with whom he talked about plants and other subjects. Wallace was interested in corn, the key crop in Iowa. In 1904, he devised an experiment that disproved agronomist Perry Greeley Holden's assertion that the most aesthetically pleasing corn would produce the greatest yield. Wallace graduated from West High School in 1906 and enrolled in Iowa State College that year, majoring in animal husbandry, he joined the Hawkeye Club, a fraternal organization, spent much of his free time continuing his study of corn.
He organized a political club in support of Gifford Pinchot, a Progressive Republican who served as the head of the United States Forest Service. Wallace became a full-time writer and editor for the family-owned paper, Wallace's Farmer, after he graduated college in 1910, he was interested in using mathematics and economics in agriculture, he learned calculus as part of an effort to understand hog prices. He wrote an influential article with pioneering statistician George W. Snedecor on computational methods for correlations and regressions After the death of his grandfather in 1916, Wallace became the co-editor of Wallace's Farmer alongside his father. In 1921, Wallace assumed leadership of the family paper after his father accepted appointment as secretary of agriculture under President Warren G. Harding, his uncle lost ownership of the paper in 1932 due to the effects of the Great Depression, Wallace stopped serving as editor of the paper in 1933. In 1914, Wallace and his wife purchased a farm near Iowa.
Influenced by Edward Murray East, Wallace focused on the production of hybrid corn, developing a hybrid corn known
Progressive Party (United States, 1948)
The United States Progressive Party of 1948 was a left-wing political party that served as a vehicle for former Vice President Henry A. Wallace's 1948 presidential campaign; the party sought desegregation, the establishment of a national health insurance system, an expansion of the welfare system, the nationalization of the energy industry. The party sought conciliation with the Soviet Union during the early stages of the Cold War. Wallace had served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt but was dumped from the Democratic ticket in 1944. After the end of World War II, Wallace emerged as a prominent critic of President Harry S. Truman's Cold War policies. Wallace's supporters held the 1948 Progressive National Convention, which nominated a ticket consisting of Wallace and Democratic Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho. Despite challenges from Wallace, Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey, Strom Thurmond of the segregationist Dixiecrats, Truman won re-election in the 1948 election. Wallace won 2.4% of the vote, far less than the share received by Theodore Roosevelt and Robert La Follette, the presidential candidates of the 1912 and 1924 Progressive Party tickets, respectively.
Neither of those parties were directly related to Wallace's party, though these parties did carry over ideological groups and influenced many members of the 1948 Progressive Party. After the election, Wallace recanted his foreign policy views and became estranged from his former supporters; the party nominated attorney Vincent Hallinan in the 1952 presidential election, Hallinan won 0.2% of the national popular vote. The party began to disband in 1955 as opponents of anti-Communism became unpopular, was fully dissolved by the late 1960s with the exception of a few affiliated state Progressive Parties; the Progressive Party of Henry Wallace was, remains, controversial due to the issue of communist influence. The party served as a safe haven for communists, fellow travelers, anti-war liberals during the Second Red Scare. Prominent Progressive Party supporters included U. S. Representative Vito Marcantonio and writer Norman Mailer; the formation of the Progressive Party began in 1946, after Secretary of Commerce and former Vice President Henry A. Wallace quit the Truman administration and began to publicly agitate against Truman's policies.
Calls for a third party had been growing before Wallace, replaced as vice president by Franklin D. Roosevelt with the more conservative Truman at the 1944 Democratic National Convention, left the Truman Administration. One of the ironies of the contest between Wallace and Truman was that, if FDR had not replaced Wallace with Truman at the 1944 Democratic convention—at the behest of Democratic Party bosses who felt that Wallace was too liberal and too erratic—Wallace would have been President of the United States, not Truman. Wallace disliked the hard line that Truman had taken against the Soviet Union, a stance that won him favor among liberals and fellow travelers who were opposed to what became known as the Cold War, he received support from two major organizations, the National Citizens Political Action Committee and the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts and Professions, political action committees, created to support FDR. These two organizations merged in December 1946 as the Progressive Citizens of America, which formed the backbone of the Progressive Party and Henry Wallace's bid for US President on July 23–25, 1948, when the 1948 Progressive National Convention in Philadelphia launched a "New Party" to a crowd of enthusiastic liberal and left-leaning citizens.
In her 1954 book School of Darkness, Bella Dodd, a Communist Party US National Committee member who left and went on to give anti-Communist testimony before Congress, wrote about a June 1947 Communist National Committee meeting she attended at which the founding of the 1948 Progressive Party was planned: The point of it all came near the end, when Gates read that a third party would be effective in 1948, but only if we could get Henry Wallace to be its candidate. There it was, plainly stated; the Communists were proposing a third party, a farmer-labor party, as a political maneuver for the 1948 elections. They were picking the candidate; when Gates had finished, I took the floor. I said that while I would not rule out the possibility of building a farmer-labor party the decision to place a third party in 1948 should be based not on whether Henry Wallace would run, but on whether a third party would help meet the needs of workers and farmers in America, and if a third party were to participate in the 1948 elections, the decision should be made by bona-fide labor and farmer groups, not delayed until some secret and unknown persons made the decision.
My remarks were heard in icy silence. When I had finished, the committee with no answer to my objection went on to other work. However, it was becoming evident, it was clear that Dennis and his clique of smart boys were reserving to themselves the right to make the final decision, that the Party in general was being kept pretty much in the dark. In February 1948, two days before a special election put American Labor Party candidate Leo Isacson into Congress, the New York Times analyzed the shifting background of the Progressive Party: The question involved in the special election is how the Labor party vote will hold up after withdrawal of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and other anti-Communist unions from the Labor party because of its support of Mr. Wallace's candidacy for President, which has left the Communists and other left-wing elements in complete control of that party's
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
John Vernard Dowdy was an American politician. Dowdy was a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from the 7th District of Texas from 1952 to 1967 and served as a congressman from the 2nd District of Texas until 1973, when he decided to retire under indictment for bribery. According to prosecutors, he accepted a $25,000 bribe to intervene in the federal investigation of Monarch Construction Company of Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1971, Dowdy was convicted on eight counts: two of conspiracy, one of transporting a bribe over state lines, five of perjury. In 1973, after Dowdy retired from Congress, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, overturned the bribery and conspiracy convictions. Dowdy still served a sentence in prison for perjury. Dowdy was one of four U. S. Congressmen from Texas to sign the "Southern Manifesto," a resolution in protest of the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Right-wing groups rallied to his defense, including the Washington Observer and the Liberty Lobby, which contended Dowdy was the victim of a "vicious frame-up by the Justice Department in collaboration with a clique of housing racketeers."
The ulterior motive, according to the newspaper, was to stop Dowdy's subcommittee investigation of the fraud at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dowdy was born in Waco and lived in Texas for most of his life, he was a lawyer before entering politics. He died in Texas. 83rd Congress — Post Office and Civil Service. 84th Congress — Post Office and Civil Service, House Administration. 85th through 92nd Congresses — Judiciary, District of Columbia Subcommittee. List of federal political scandals in the United States List of American federal politicians convicted of crimes
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti-gay legal system. Early homophile groups in the U. S. sought to prove that gay people could be assimilated into society, they favored non-confrontational education for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. The last years of the 1960s, were contentious, as many social/political movements were active, including the civil rights movement, the counterculture of the 1960s, the anti–Vietnam War movement; these influences, along with the liberal environment of Greenwich Village, served as catalysts for the Stonewall riots. Few establishments welcomed gay people in the 1950s and 1960s.
Those that did were bars, although bar owners and managers were gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia, it catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, homeless youth. Police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested. After the Stonewall riots and lesbians in New York City faced gender, race and generational obstacles to becoming a cohesive community. Within six months, two gay activist organizations were formed in New York, concentrating on confrontational tactics, three newspapers were established to promote rights for gays and lesbians.
Within a few years, gay rights organizations were founded across the U. S. and the world. On June 28, 1970, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago commemorating the anniversary of the riots. Similar marches were organized in other cities. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually throughout the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots; the Stonewall National Monument was established at the site in 2016. As of 2017, plans were advancing by the State of New York to host the largest international LGBT pride celebration in 2019, known as Stonewall 50 / WorldPride, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In New York City, the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events produced by Heritage of Pride will be enhanced through a partnership made with the I LOVE NY program's LGBT division and will include a welcome center during the weeks surrounding the Stonewall 50 / WorldPride events, open to all. Additional commemorative arts and educational programing to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn will be taking place throughout the city and the world.
In addition to events requiring paid admission, a march open to the public is scheduled for June 30, 2019. Following the social upheaval of World War II, many people in the United States felt a fervent desire to "restore the prewar social order and hold off the forces of change", according to historian Barry Adam. Spurred by the national emphasis on anti-communism, Senator Joseph McCarthy conducted hearings searching for communists in the U. S. government, the U. S. Army, other government-funded agencies and institutions, leading to a national paranoia. Anarchists and other people deemed un-American and subversive were considered security risks. Homosexuals were included in this list by the U. S. State Department on the theory that they were susceptible to blackmail. In 1950, a Senate investigation chaired by Clyde R. Hoey noted in a report, "It is believed that those who engage in overt acts of perversion lack the emotional stability of normal persons", said all of the government's intelligence agencies "are in complete agreement that sex perverts in Government constitute security risks".
Between 1947 and 1950, 1,700 federal job applications were denied, 4,380 people were discharged from the military, 420 were fired from their government jobs for being suspected homosexuals. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and police departments kept lists of known homosexuals, their favored establishments, friends. S. Post Office kept track of addresses. State and local governments followed suit: bars catering to homosexuals were shut down, their customers were arrested and exposed in newspapers. Cities performed "sweeps" to rid neighborhoods, parks and beaches of gay people, they outlawed the wearing of opposite gender clothes, universities expelled instructors suspected of being homosexual. In 1952, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a mental disorder. A large-scale study of homosexuality in 1962 was used to justify inclusion of the disorder as a supposed pathological hidden fear of the opposite sex caused by traumatic parent–child relationships.
This view was wide
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
Cuba the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet, it is east of the Yucatán Peninsula, south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is capital; the area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres. The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres, the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants; the territory, now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until Spanish colonisation in the 15th century. From the 15th century, it was a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, when Cuba was occupied by the United States and gained nominal independence as a de facto United States protectorate in 1902.
As a fragile republic, in 1940 Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in a coup and subsequent dictatorship under Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Open corruption and oppression under Batista's rule led to his ousting in January 1959 by the 26th of July Movement, which afterwards established communist rule under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba; the country was a point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war nearly broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Cuba is one of few Marxist–Leninist socialist states, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of numerous human rights abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, it is a multiethnic country whose people and customs derive from diverse origins, including the aboriginal Taíno and Ciboney peoples, the long period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves and a close relationship with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
Cuba is a sovereign state and a founding member of the United Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African and Pacific Group of States, ALBA and Organization of American States. The country is a middle power in world affairs, it has one of the world's only planned economies, its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, tobacco 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, it ranks in some metrics of national performance, including health care and education. It is the only country in the world to meet the conditions of sustainable development put forth by the WWF. Historians believe the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language, however "its exact derivation unknown"; the exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as'where fertile land is abundant', or'great place'. Fringe theory writers who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Taíno, the Guanahatabey and the Ciboney people; the ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, with the earliest sites dated to 5,000 BP. The Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D; when Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having an estimated population of 150,000. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as hunter-gatherers. After first landing on an island called Guanahani, Bahamas, on 12 October 1492, Christopher Columbus commanded his three ships: La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa María, to land on Cuba's northeastern coast on 28 October 1492. Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa. Other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital.
The native Taíno were forced to work under the encomienda system, which resembled a feudal system in Medieval Europe. Within a century the indigenous people were wiped out due to multiple factors Eurasian infectious diseases, to which they had no natural resistance, aggravated by harsh conditions of the repressive colonial subjugation. In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of those few natives who had survived smallpox. On 18 May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto departed from Havana at the head of some 600 followers into a vast expedition through the Southeastern United States, starting at La Florida, in search of gold, treasure and power. On 1 September 1548, Dr. Gonzalo Perez de Angulo was appointed governor of Cuba, he arrived in Santiago, Cuba on 4 November 1549 and declared the liberty of all natives. He became Cuba's first permanent governor to reside in Havana instead of Santiago, he built Havana's first church made of maso