September 3rd, 2013 (AFP & InsideCostaRica.com) Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, reiterated yesterday that his country reserves the right to lay claim to the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica, which Managua says was forcibly annexed by Costa Rica in 1824 as the result of an “expansionist policy.”
“Nicaragua is within its full right to appeal, if it decides, to the International Court of Justice for a review under what conditions the territory was passed to Costa Rican hands, if it was a peaceful, brotherly transition, or was – as indeed it was – a military occupation,” Ortega said during a military ceremony in Managua.
According to the president, “Costa Rica did not win that territory in an international court but instead it was by force of arms” when Nicaragua was embroiled in a civil war.
“Nicaragua has been ousted from its territory by the expansionist policies of nations such as Costa Rica,” Ortega said.
Guanacaste encompasses 20% of Costa Rican territory and is one of its largest tourist destinations, known for its beaches and natural resources.
Ortega’s remarks are the second time in a month in which he has raised the possibility of claiming Guanacaste.
However, before the end of his speech, Ortega expressed willingness to discuss the issue of Guanacaste with Costa Rica, as well as other territorial issues facing both countries, in order to avoid “continued claims to the ICJ” where the countries are already involved in three disputes.
Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla, however dismissed the possibility of dialogue with Ortega over his claims to recover Guanacaste.
“As long as the government of Costa Rica is not willing to talk, we will continue in court,” Ortega said.