The U.S. State Department issued congratulations Thursday to Peru, which celebrated the 195th anniversary of its independence from the Spanish Empire on July 28, 1821.
In a statement, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that Peru and the United States “have enjoyed a long friendship rooted in our mutual respect for freedom, good governance, and the rule of law.”
Kerry also referred to the 2016 presidential election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former Peruvian economist and public administer. Kerry said Kuczynski’s election “reaffirmed the strength and vibrancy of your democracy, and I look forward to continued close cooperation between our nations under President Kuczynski.”
Peru was liberated by Argentine General Jose de San Martin, who led the southern part of South America’s struggle for independence and is honored as a national hero in Argentina. The campaigns for independence led by San Martin and Venezuelan military leader Simon Bolivar changed the course of South American history to this day.
Kerry noted the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement of which Peru was one of the signees, as one of the major accomplishments of 2016. Kerry also referred to the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Peru, which offers grants to qualified Peruvian graduates to study at the graduate level in the U.S..
“Our economic and people-to-people ties strengthen our historic bonds, and make our countries more open and prosperous,” Kerry said. “I wish all Peruvians peace and happiness in the year ahead.”