(posted July 17, 4:20 p.m.)- Amid ongoing maritime tensions between Nicaragua and Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos announced today that the Colombian military will hold a parade on San Andres this Friday as part of the South American country’s Independence Day celebrations.
The military parade was originally scheduled to be held in the historic capital city of Popayan, but was changed to the island of San Andres as the last moment, according to Colombiareports.com.
“These islands are, have been and will remain Colombian,” the webpage quotes Santos as saying Monday morning, during a visit to a naval base on Bolivar Island, 24 kilometers from the disputed archipelago.
President Santos said the military parade on San Andres will be a “tribute” to the island’s 100 years as a Colombian naval base. The Nicaraguan press, however, is interpreting the move as an “escalation of tensions with Nicaragua,” according to an afternoon headline in the opposition Trinchera de la Noticia.
The dispute over the maritime claims involving the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina is currently before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. A final ruling is expected in the coming months.