Today, all of Ecuador is celebrating and rejoicing its 202-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations. The fight for independence started in 1809 but only lasted for 24 days. Some 13 years Antonio Jose de Sucre with Simon Bolivar, who lead Venezuela’s and Colombia’s independence movement, made their way to Ecuador and led a two year battle against the Spanish to cement Ecuador’s independence.
Ecuador, part of the former Inca Empire, is home to more than 14 million people and home to the world ecological treasure of the Galapagos Islands. The country will celebrate with military parades, music concerts and cultural exhibitions.
The President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the following congratulatory remarks:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Ecuador on the 202nd anniversary of your country’s independence this August 10.
Our two countries have stood together on behalf of freedom and democracy around the world. We have a long standing commitment to equality and prosperity. Today, we are partnering on behalf of a number of regional and international issues and I look forward to continued collaboration in pursuit of common goals.
As you celebrate this special day with family, friends and loved ones, and reflect on your rich history, know that the United States wishes the people of Ecuador a safe and prosperous year to come.