The indigenous population of Cuba died out with the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century. The island became a Spanish colony. Slaves were imported from Africa, to work on the sugar and coffee plantations. Cuba obtained its independence from Spain in 1902. Since the revolution led by Fidel Castro triumphed in 1959, the country is ruled by the Communist Party. The state has achieved much progress, especially in the areas of education, health, social services and agricultural and industrial production. During the cold war period Cuba was supported by the Soviet Union, while the USA imposed an economic blockade which is still in effect. Since the geo-political changes in the early 1990s, Cuba has suffered severely from the US policy. In spite of many protests, also from churches and groups in the USA, the US government has consistently maintained the restrictions. Christianity in Cuba has been subject to tight control and anti-religious measures by the regime, and the churches lost many members after the rev- olution. Some of the Protestant churches and ecumenical groups developed a theology of commitment to the objectives of the revolution and to the Cuban people. In the 1990s the government began to allow more freedom for the churches. Since then, there has been a remarkable revival, both in the life of the Christian communities, and in numbers. The Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has made strong inroads. About 50 percent of the non-Catholic Christians are Pentecostal. The Catholic Church is also experiencing renewal.