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Unlike in most of Latin America, but like many nations of the Caribbean and some of Central America, football is not a major game in Cuba, but is gaining popularity. Introduced by American dockworkers in Havana in the 19th century, the game has played a role in Cuban independence from Spain.

Banned in 1895 by the Spanish, secret games funded José Martí's revolt.

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As more Cuban youth put their own energy and style into the music, Cuban hip-hop eventually became more acceptable.

"The Cuban government now sees rap music – long considered the music of American imperialism – as a road map to the hearts and minds of the young generation" and the benefits of sports (he loved and used to play baseball) has resulted in Cuba's relative international success for a population of 11 million in sporting events such as the Olympic Games.

Almost nothing remains of the original Native traditions.

Fernando Ortíz, the first great Cuban folklorist, described Cuba's musical innovations as arising from the interplay ('transculturation') between African slaves settled on large sugarcane plantations and Spanish or Canary Islanders who grew tobacco on small farms.

Other typical Cuban forms are the habanera, the guaracha, the danzón, the rumba, the bolero, the chachachá, the mambo,the cha-cha-cha, the punto, and many variations on these themes.

Cuban music has been immensely popular and influential in other countries.African beliefs and practices are most certainly an influence in Cuba's music.Polyrhythmic percussion is an inherent part of African life & music, as melody is part of European music.It was the original basis of salsa and contributed not only to the development of jazz, but also to Argentinian tango, Ghanaian high-life, West African Afrobeat, and Spanish nuevo flamenco.Within modern Cuba, there are also popular musicians working in the rock and reggaeton idioms.The music of Cuba, including the instruments and the dances, is mostly of European and African origin.