Peru is celebrating today to commemorate its 191st-year of independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for over 350 years as they decimated the Inca Empire, introduced smallpox and raided the country’s gold reserves. The fight for independence started in 1818 with Jose de San Martin seizing partial control of Lima and declaring partial independent in 1821. Then Simon Bolivar came to Peru to assist San Martin and liberated the entire country from Spanish rule.
Peru is home to 29 million people representing the 42nd largest economy in the world and they have all been celebrating for days with festivals, parties and the Te Deum, a traditional religious ceremony.
Peru and its people received congratulations from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that read as follows:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Peru as you celebrate the 191st anniversary of your independence this July 28.
The friendship between our two countries is based on our mutual commitment to freedom and democracy. These ties between our nations grow stronger every day as we work together promoting freedom, universal rights, and human dignity in our hemisphere and throughout the world. Over the past year we have continued to strengthen these bonds. We are expanding our trade relationship, promoting social inclusion and gender equality, and engaging with regional and global partners to keep our citizens safe.
With its rich history and promising future, Peru has the chance to continue advancing the ideals of freedom and democracy for its people and people throughout the world. Congratulations and best wishes for peace and prosperity in the year to come.