There were many centuries of Spanish rule that the people of Cuba rebelled, and destroyed properties to see if the Spanish would leave. The Spanish didn't leave. They killed thousands of Cubans by starvation and diseases.
Events in Cuba triggered the Spanish-American War. There was a Spanish fleet at the Manila Bay, and Commodore George Dewey destroyed most of the ships there.
Theodore Roosevelt was serving in a post with the navy. He left this job to join the fighting in Cuba. He formed a regiment of volunteers made of mostly cowhands, and college students. This regiment was know as the Rough Riders.
Cuba became a U.S. protectorate. The Platt Amendment allowed the United States to take action if Cuba's independence was threatened.