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MEXICO’S NAVY CELEBRATES ITS BICENTENNIAL The Creation Of A Navy That Was Born To Serve Mexico The beginning of Mexico becoming an independent nation in 1821, brought as a consequence the need of having a Navy that had the mission of safeguarding national sovereignty. Due to this, on October 4, 1821, the Mexican Navy was born, an institution named by the regency integrated by Agustín de Iturbide, Juan O’Donojú, Manuel de la Bárcena, José Isidro Yáñez and Manuel Velázquez León. These men appointed Lieutenant Antonio de Medina Miranda, as Secretary of State responsible for the affairs of War in charge of the Navy, according to what was established in the Imperial Gazette of October 5, 1821. The National Navy in its early beginning, had to face the invaders that occupied the fortress of San Juan de Ulua in Veracruz, an event that motivated the Mexican government to acquire the first naval squadron. This was done to impose the naval blockade to the fortress and defeat the last remaining Spanish redoubt in Mexico. The ships acquired were the schooners Iguala and Anáhuac, along with several gunboats, the Campechana, Chapala, Orizaba, Texcoco, Tuxpan, Zumpango, Papaloapan, Tampico and Tlaxcalteca. On April 17, 1822, with its first squadron, the formation of the Mexican Navy, with a schooner as its main flagship. Derived from these actions, on October 8, 1823, the naval blockade of the fortress of San Juan de Ulua was decreed, due to a bombardment of the port of Veracruz. The Mexican government concluded that the dispute could only be solved at sea and therefore, the Navy should be strengthened. On November 13 of the same year, it was declared that only the Navy should consolidate the national Independence forever. To fulfill this noble mission, in December 1824, the Libertad Frigate and the brigantines Bravo and Victoria, were acquired from England and Sweden. These ships had greater capacities for their task. Finally, in 1825 the ship Asia was added, which was renamed “Congreso Mexicano” in Acapulco, and was the most armed with 74 cannons. With this ship, almost 200 cannons of different calibers were added to the national squadron. Commander Pedro Sáinz de Baranda y Borreyro, who served as General Commander of the Department of the Navy in 1825, determined after an analysis, the need to incorporate support from abroad in maritime matters, receiving help mainly from England to complement the crews of the Mexican squadrons. Derived from the above, on August 16, 1825, Commander Sáinz de Baranda received the command of the Department of the Navy of Veracruz, with the main objective of achieving the definitive capitulation of San Juan de Ulúa, where the last Spanish redoubt of the conquest was located. That is why Spain decided to make a last attempt ,so that the Spaniards who were garrisoned in San Juan de Ulua, would continue fighting. A naval convoy arrived on October 5, 1825. Finally, four years after its creation, the Mexican Navy faced one of the most important battles in its history. The Mexican naval squadron, under the command of Commander Pedro Sáinz de Baranda, managed to effectively impose the blockade on the fortress, which led to its capitulation and eviction on November 23, 1825. The Spaniards left for good and the Mexican forces raised the national flag on the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa. And Independence was consolidated at sea, thanks to our Navy! 199 years after its creation, the Mexican Navy has been consolidated as the operative component of the SEMAR, which employs the Naval Power of the Federation with its sea, air and land forces for the external defense and internal security of the country; to fulfill this task, it plays two fundamental roles: As a Navy, it focuses on the maritime defense of the territory, to guarantee the independence, sovereignty and integrity of the national territory. As Coast Guard, it focuses on maintaining the rule of law in Mexican marine zones and safeguarding human life at sea.

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