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21 April 1912

21 April 2012

I almost forgot what today is.. and I live in a naval town too.

Lieutenant José Azueta Abad, the 18 year old dorm monitor at the Naval Academy in Veracruz, organized a heroic, and doomed, defense of the city when the United States Marines occupied the Port on 21 April 1912. Wounded, he refused treatment from U.S. medical teams, and died just after his 19th birthday, on 10 May, 1914.

The “Veracruz incident” isn’t much known in the United States (I wrote about it at length in my book, Gods, Gachupines and Gringos, and posted an early version of my chapter on the invasion here), but looms larger than U.S. policy makers realize in Latin American thinking. It’s inevitably brought up any time some “well-meaning” (i.e., uninformed) policy wonk suggests “helping” Mexico with “it’s” problem (whatever the “it” of the day is… usually a problem FOR the U.S.: oil exports then, narcotics exports today) with “boots on the ground”.

Azueta happened to be on the “wrong” side of the Revolution, and his family were supporters of the usurper, Victoriano Huerta. Not that it mattered. The Constitutionalists, the Zapatistas and Huerta’s government all rejected the U.S. “assistance” and recognized Azueta for the national hero, and Latin Americans recognize him for the anti-imperialist hero, he was.

One Comment leave one →
  1. William K. Boone permalink
    22 September 2016 2:05 pm

    You may want to set the dates straight. This invasion of Veracruz occurred in 1914, not in 1912.
    Also, José Azueta was not a dorm monitor and he did not organize any defense.

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