Diego Velásquez, the Spanish governor of Cuba, authorized Hernán Cortés to be commander of his 1519 expedition to Mexico. Even though Velásquez retracted his commission, Cortés ignored him and set sail for the Americas.
Velásquez had grown suspicious of Cortés' motives, as Cortés was simply interested in the immense wealth that was rumored to exist in Mexico. On his arrival to the shores of Veracruz, Cortés made local allies and established a settlement.
Even though Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler, first welcomed Cortés to his empire, relations quickly deteriorated between the Spanish and the Aztecs when Cortés arrested their great ruler and demanded his "gold."