Diego de Velázquez

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Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar (Cuéllar, Spain, 1465 – Santiago de Cuba, 1524) was an Spanish conqueror. He conquered Cuba (1511), and governed it for Spain from 1511 to 1524. He founded Santiago de Cuba in 1514, Sancti Spíritus and Havana in 1515.

Becoming interested in reports of mainland to the west, Velázquez sent out fleets in 1517 and 1518, the first commanded by Francisco Hernández de Cordóba and the second by Juan de Grijalva. Córdoba rounded Yucatán, and Grijalva followed the coast to Tamaulipas and heard reports of the Aztec empire. [1]

Velázquez was responsible for the discovery and conquest of the Maya land (Yucatán peninsula); also, indirectly, of Aztec in Mexico as he prepared in 1519 a larger armada under the order of Hernan Cortes.