In the ongoing border spat with Costa Rica, Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega in Managua said yesterday that his country would claim the province of Guanacaste, threatening to file a claim with the International Court of Justice in The Hague
The extravagant claim was made during the 33rd anniversary of Nicaragua’s Navy.
In the same breath Ortega said wants to resolve the existing differences with Costa Rica over the disputed wetlands known as Isla Calero (known as Harbor Head in Nicaragua), in the Caribbean coast.
The statement by Ortega follows a recent complaint filed by Costa Rica before the United Nations over Nicaragua’s alleged violation of a ruling by the ICJ in 2012, blocking Nicaragua from the disputed area. The ICJ has still to rule on the accusation by Costa Rica of Nicaragua’s invasion of the territory in October 2010.
Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo, called Ortega’s comments as “bravado and that it does not intimidate us as a country”.
Castillo added that the comments by Ortega are a “lack of respect for Costa Rica and international law”.
This is the not the first time Ortega has made such a claim publicly.
“We are always willing to hold talks to search for an agreement, but as long as Costa Rica does not consider it a possibility, there is no other choice but to resort to the International Court”, said Ortega on Tuesday.
“This will allow Nicaragua to recover an immense territory, if the judgment favors Nicaragua”, said Ortega. He added that there are historical grounds to the claim that the province was ceded to Costa Rica “when the country was facing Yankee expansionism” in the early nineteenth century.
Recently Costa Rica has protested Nicaragua for attempting to offer oil exploration concession in both the Caribbean and Pacific in areas that Costa Rica claims as its territory. Colombia has made similar protestations with respect to their Caribbean border with Nicaragua.