Secretary of State John Kerry congratulatde Ecuador Wednesday on the 207th anniversary of its proclamation of Independence. The country gained independence on May 24, 1822, after almost three centuries of Spanish colonization. The independence movement was led by Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan political and military leader who launched a campaign to liberate South America from Spanish rule.
In his statement, Kerry noted the long-standing friendship between the United States and Ecuador, and said he was “shocked and grieved” by the earthquake which struck Ecuador’s northern coastal region on April 16 this year. 661 people were killed in the disaster, with 9 missing, and 27,732 injured.
“The United States admires the determination and unity with which you responded to that tragedy,” Kerry said. “We were pleased to join with others in the international community in providing emergency aid.”
The Secretary of State noted that the U.S. “looks forward to building on our strong economic relationship, our cooperation on security and law enforcement matters, and our robust people-to-people ties.” Kerry noted that more U.S. citizens are visiting Ecuador, with educational exchanges increasing in both directions.
“On this special day, I offer my best wishes to all the people of Ecuador for a safe and prosperous year to come,” Kerry concluded.