Nicaragua’s National Assembly Backs Ortega, Vows to Continue Dredging Río San Juan

November 10, 2010

SAN CARLOS, Nicaragua – Eighty-four lawmakers from Nicaragua’s normally divided and bickering National Assembly held a special session on the banks of the San Juan River on Wednesday afternoon to send a clear message across the border to Costa Rica: We are united as a country, and we’re moving forward on the river-dredging project.

The special congressional session, held inside a gym in the river port town of San Carlos, produced a unanimous six-point resolution to defend Nicaragua’s sovereign right to the Río San Juan and to pledge full support for President Daniel Ortega’s actions to defend and dredge the river.

The declaration also backed the Nicaraguan Army’s efforts to defend the river, and promised more funding  next year to increase river patrols.

Gen. Julio César Aviles, the Army’s top brass, assured lawmakers that reports of Nicaraguan soldiers in Costa Rican territory are “totally false.” He vowed that the military would defend Nicaragua’s river against Costa Rica’s “expansionist pretensions.”

Gen. Aviles accused Costa Rica of “generating conflict and hostilities” at the border and trying to threaten Nicaragua as part of a “systematic campaign.”

“But these threats don’t intimidate us,” the general said.  

Several lawmakers put the river conflict in a historical context, claiming it was part of a sustained campaign by Costa Rica to appropriate Nicaraguan territory, as they said Costa Rica did with the provinces of Guanacaste and Nicoya 186 years ago.

“We lost Guanacaste to the voraciousness of a neighbor that took advantage of Nicaraguan weaknesses,” said National Assembly President Rene Núñez.

That’s why Wednesday’s show of unity in San Carlos is being hailed by many Nicaraguan politicians as a “historic moment.”

Former Sandinista guerrilla leader Edén Pastora, who’s heading the river-dredging mission for Nicaragua, said Wednesday’s congressional session on the river delivers a “serious and profound message that all men and women in Nicaragua are united behind the president in defending our sovereignty and dignity.”

“I think Costa Rica (on Thursday) is going to have to think twice,” Pastora told The Nica Times. “Costa Rica is defeated.”

Read This Friday’s Tico Times for full story from San Carlos. 

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
121 views
Changemakers
121 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
220 views
sports
220 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
274 views
Human rights
274 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…