Ten Curious Notes That You Did Not Know About the Annexation of Nicoya Party to Costa Rica

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    1. In the Act of Annexation of the Nicoya Party of July 25, 1824, the word “annexation” does not appear. Apparently in 1848 the Costa Rican diplomats Felipe Molina and Lorenzo Montúfar used the term annexation for the first time, derived from the English word annexation (annexation) and from there its use was implemented. Let’s remember that three years before Texas had been annexed to the United States, so the term “annexation” was in vogue.

    2. We do not celebrate the “Annexation of Guanacaste” as some say, but the “Annexation of the Nicoya Party”, which in 1824 covered the entire Nicoya Peninsula, the islands and even Liberia, with a total of around 5,846 inhabitants, according to historian Carlos Meléndez.

    Therefore, those cheerful maps of the Annexation in which the entire province of Guanacaste is shown, and on top of that segregating the Nicoya peninsula, do not look good. The map that must be presented is the one that corresponds historically to the Nicoya Party: the entire Nicoya peninsula up to Liberia and the Salto river (Liberia-Bagaces border), including La Cruz up to the La Flor de Rivas river and the shores of Lake Nicaragua.

    3.Bagaces, Cañas, Tilarán and Abangares were not annexed to Costa Rica on July 25, 1824. These cantons in the highlands of Guanacaste, then called Bagaces and Las Cañas, had already been Costa Rican territory since 1821.

    4. Apart from the mayor of Nicoya Manuel Briceño, the councilors ToribioViales, UbaldoMartínez and Manuel García also signed the Annexation Act. It is unknown to this day why the fourth councilor named Leandro Obando did not participate in the session or sign the decrees.

    5. Six military officers, three judges, the priest José de la EncarnaciónFernández (business partner of the Briceños) and several main residents also appear signing the annexation document. Thus it is clear that the Nicoyan elite approved such a decision. In total there were 25 signatures that were stamped that July 25. Of these, 10 signatures correspond to relatives of the powerful BriceñoViales lineage, whose participation in the Nicoyan city council was 60% of the charges.

    Politicians between 1820 and 1824, and 12 more signatures correspond to partners in their family businesses, particularly the exploitation of the Brazilwood and cattle raising.

    6. The mayor of Santa Cruz, Justo Arrieta, opposed signing the Annexation Act, for this reason he was dismissed and in the end the Cabildo opted to sign said document together with Nicoya.

    7. The City Council of Liberia, a town then called El Guanacaste, and mostly of Nicaraguan origin, voted against the Annexation on May 23, 1824, but two years later (September 24, 1826) rectified its position and voted in favor.

    8. Strangely, the first legislators of Costa Rica, when proclaiming the Political Constitution of January 25, 1825 (half a year after the Annexation) made the mistake of ignoring the Annexation and not including Nicoya, Santa Cruz or Guanacaste (Liberia), placing the Salto River as the national border with Nicaragua.

    9. Another very strange matter is that in an open town hall held in Nicoya on July 4, 1824, the residents decided to remain united with Nicaragua, unless the National Constituent Assembly meeting in Guatemala those days decided otherwise. At the same time, the Government of Costa Rica is thanked for the invitation to want to unite the Party in its territory, but they point out that “you cannot be a dissident.”A few days later this act appears crossed out and annulled, so it no longer has legal value.

    10. If the term “annex” means forcing one territory to adhere to another, the Nicoya Party NEVER annexed, since its decision was to ADHERE, proclaiming itself “of the Homeland by our will” without pressure from any invading army. In this sense, annexation and fusion can be taken as synonyms, despite the journalistic ridicule that years ago was made against these words issued by a former MEP minister who was quite knowledgeable on the subject. “The term annexation is offensive because it shows a lack of respect for what the Nicoya Party did, the correct word is incorporation,” said folklorist Nago Torres.
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