Key West – A Strategically Located Island that Changed Hands a Number of Times
Key West is a small island in Florida Keys, only 90 km away from Cuba. It was discovered in 1521 by Juan Ponce de Leon and it was under the rule of the Spanish until 1763, when it was taken over by the British, who ruled it for 20 years. At the beginning of the 19th century, it became the subject of ownership disputes – the Spanish governor of Cuba gave it to a Spanish officer who sold it twice, once to the former governor of South Carolina and once to a U.S. businessman.
In 1822, Key West became the property of the United States and, due to its strategic location, it was transformed into an important naval base, and then into an important industrial center, status that it maintains even today.