General elections were held in Cuba on 1 June 1948. Carlos Prío Socarrás won the presidential election running under the Auténtico-Republican Alliance banner, whilst the Partido Auténtico emerged as the largest party in the House of Representatives, winning 29 of the 70 seats. Voter turnout was 78.7%
To date, this is the last free election held in Cuba. Elections were scheduled for 1952, but former president Fulgencio Batista seized power in a military coup three months before election day.
The history of Cuba began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the subsequent invasion of the island by the Spaniards. Aboriginal groups—the Guanahatabey, Ciboney, and Taíno—inhabited the island but were soon eliminated or died as a result of diseases or the shock of conquest. Thus, the impact of indigenous groups on subsequent Cuban society was limited, and Spanish culture, institutions, language, and religion prevailed. Colonial society developed slowly after Spain colonized the island in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; pastoral pursuits and agriculture served as the basis of the economy. For the first three centuries after the conquest, the island remained a neglected stopping point for the Spanish fleet, which visited the New World and returned to Spain with the mineral wealth of continental America.