Prior to Spanish colonization in the late 15th century, Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes. It remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, which led to nominal independence as a de facto U.S. protectorate in 1902. As a fragile republic, Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batista's ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterwards established a government under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965, the country has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.