San Andrés – Bid for Independence

Published: February 1, 2008

SAN ANDRÉS, Colombia — Down the road from a neighborhood here called the Hill, where reggae blares out of weathered houses and parishioners sing hymns in English at the First Baptist Church, President Álvaro Uribe recently inaugurated a hospital with a decidedly Colombian name: Amor de Patria.

That translates as “Love of the Fatherland” for the English-speaking descendants of African slaves who inhabit this Caribbean archipelago, as if they needed a sharp reminder that they must be loyal to distant Bogotá.

But many Raizals, as the English speakers here are known, feel loyalty neither to Colombia, a Bush administration ally, nor to Nicaragua, a supporter of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Nicaragua has claimed San Andrés in a bitter territorial dispute, and while the two countries press their cases, a nonviolent separatist movement is growing increasingly vocal here.

Read more here at NYT.

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