November 3, 1820, Independence of Cuenca

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(Note: Source front cover: Cuenca Magazine). The patriots who liberated Cuenca made it independent twice. We only celebrate the first rebellion against the Spanish authorities.



3th and 4th OF NOVEMBER, 1820

Inspired by the proclamation of independence of Guayaquil, infantry lieutenant Tomás Ordóñez took the first initiative to rise against the Spaniards, but it’s quickly shut down in the Central Plaza. This forced the patriots to organize and seek the support of Governor Antonio Díaz Cruzado. Once again, the attempt was compromised when the Governor was detained and taken to Quito on account of his pact with the rebels.

Chief of the Patriots, José María Vázquez de Noboa was left in charge and accepted the support for the former pact. The plan would be carried out on the 3th.

To guarantee the success of the liberation plan, it was completely necessary to stock up on weapons. The patriots and rebels proceeded to disarm the military escort and follow the directions of Tomás Ordóñez. Once grouped in Plaza de San Sebastián, along with citizens and supporters, they declared the independence of Cuenca. The next day the Spanish royalists gave up their weapons and government to the new independent command of the province. All festivities filled the road along the street of La Victoria (now Juan Jaramillo) towards the Central Plaza.





Once victory is secured, the Sanction Council is convened on November 8 of the same year. At this meeting they prepare a Government Plan to declare themselves as the Republic of Cuenca, chaired by José María Vázquez de Noboa.


On December 20 a new confrontation arises between royalists and patriots. Spanish forces easily win in Verdeloma: 600 soldiers led by Colonel Francisco González entered Cuenca to strip away their freedom after leaving more than 200 patriots on the battlefield and ending the Republic of Cuenca. For a year, the patriots, who momentarily achieved independence, were intimidated and repressed. The Spaniards had power again.



Source: wikipedia


The threat of the arrival of General Antonio José de Sucre to Cuenca leads Colonel Gonzalez to forcefully recruit several Cuenca men of all ages on behalf of the Spanish Crown.

On February 21, 1822 Antonio José de Sucre arrives to Cuenca and is received by a city sacked and abandoned by the royalist army. Sucre, along with Abdón Calderón and Tomás Ordóñez, again claim the Independence of Cuenca backed by an army of 22,000 people. Once the situation is handled, they return to the Battle of Pichincha.

La amenaza de la llegada del General Antonio José de Sucre a Cuenca lleva al Coronel González reclutar por la fuerza a varios hombres cuencanos de todas las edades en nombre de la Corona Española.