Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos commemorated the 194th anniversary of Colombian independence Wednesday.
Together with the entire military leadership, Santos remembered the decisive victory of Simon Bolivar at the Battle of Boyaca which was instrumental in securing Colombian independence and ending Spanish colonial rule.
In a statement to the collected armed forces and the Colombian people, Santos said that “today we must dare to build a new vision for our republic. The changes in these three years can give us the belief that we are able to build this country as fair, modern and safe.”
Continuing in his speech, the head of state launched a stern criticism against his opponents, saying that “there are none so deaf as those who will not listen […] there are those who would prefer further years of conflict than peace.”
The president also told the present soldiers that they were the “true” army of the people and “the guardians of national sovereignty.”
Un merecido homenaje a las mujeres y hombres de nuestro glorioso Ejército Nacional en su día. 194 años de honor y gloria @COL_EJERCITO
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) August 7, 2013
While the official Independence Day takes place on July 20 to commemorate the declaration of independence in 1810, this was not completely achieved until after the Battle of Boyaca some nine years later in 1819.
In the battle, republican forces took on Spanish royalists approximately 100 miles from Bogota. The victory ensured that the road to the capital was left undefended, allowing the republicans to capture it.
- Presidente Santos conmemora hoy los 194 años de la Independencia (Radio Caracol)
- Al país hay que liberarlo de nuevo, dijo Santos desde el Puente de Boyacá (Radio Caracol)
- No nos hacen mella las estridencias de la oposición, subrayó el Jefe de Estado (President’s web page)