Jul 21

Hunting Pirates in Cuba

Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:01 AM

July 21st is the 188th anniversary of a victory over Cuban pirates at Cape Cruz by two schooners in Commo. David Porter’s squadron and a landing force commanding by Lt. David G. Farragut. Although unfamiliarity with the difficult terrain prevented Farragut’s party from capturing the pirates, they did take and destroy the pirate’s stronghold and their cache of loot.

The destruction of the pirate stronghold at Cape Cruz was one in a series of triumphs by Porter’s squadron against the buccaneers. These operations crippled the pirates, who had menaced shipping and trade in the area for years, but in the end it was Porter’s successor, Capt. Lewis Warrington, who ended the threat by securing cooperation from Spanish governing authorities and with their assistance eradicating the pirates. Thus, success at arms was only secured by diplomatic success.

 
 
 
  • Jim Valle

    Commodore Porter was actually court-martialed for his zeal in supressing piracy. Unable to secure cooperation from the Spanish authorities in Puerto Rico he staged an armed invasion of the town of Fajardo in hot pursuit of a pirate gang. His forthright action led to a strong diplomatic protest by the Spanish Government and to placate them Porter was recalled, tried and found guilty of disobedience of orders. Enraged, he resigned his commission and offered his services to the Mexican Navy which made him its commander-in-chief with the rank of fleet admiral. No wonder his successor was a bit more “diplomatic”.