Colombia: “Are We Truly Independent?”

On July 20, when Colombia commemorated its 202th year of independence, netizens published various opinions with respect to the event. The country began the day with various debates on the situation regarding the indigenous population demanding the disarmament of their territory, the production of narconovelas (television dramas focusing on social injustice) on national channels, and mining. Additionally, there was a parallel between posts that expressed pride for the holiday and those that posed the question, “Is Colombia a truly independent country?”

In the blogosphere, historian Ángel Ortiz [es] says the independence of Colombia was not a messianic act:

El proceso de independencia se dio en realidad porque las grandes familias descendientes de españoles y nacidas en predios americanos, querían disponer de los recursos, administrarlos y repartirse las cuotas de poder.

The process of independence occurred, in reality, because large families that descended from Spaniards and were born on American soil wanted to have resources readily available, administer them, and distribute the shares of power.

Geraldine expressed her concern upon seeing that there aren't that many people who waive the Colombian flag anymore [es]:

Picture of the Colombian flag in Geraldine's post, used with permission.

Hoy me levante temprano por el calor, la luz se había ido y el ventilador, pues no servía. Eran casi las 9:00am, y cuando salí al balcón, ya la bandera estaba ahí, enrollada en su propia asta por el viento. Fui, la organicé y me percaté de cuántas banderas más habían: Era la única del edificio y las de la calle se podían contar con los dedos de una mano. ¿Qué pasó con esos días en que la gente no se había levantado y ya estaba colgando sus banderitas?

Today I woke up early because of the heat, the light had gone away and the fan, well it wasn't working. It was almost 9:00am and when I went out onto the balcony, the flag was already there, rolled up around its own pole because of the wind. I went out, fixed it, and noticed how many more flags there were: mine was the only one in the entire building and you could count the rest of the ones down the block with one hand. What happened to the days when people got up and there little flags hung out?

She also adds:

No somos independientes. Por lo menos no económicamente. Pero eso no quiere decir que no debemos celebrar una fecha importante en la historia de nuestro país. Como digo yo “Feliz día de la Independencia de España, las otras vendrán después”.

We're not independent. At least not economically. But this doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate an important date in our country's history. As I say, “Happy Independence Day from Spain, the rest will follow.”

On Twitter, various hashtags that expressed patriotism, in addition to those that questioned whether Colombia was truly independent, became local Trending Topics. These tags were: #TierraQuerida [#BelovedLand], #SoyColombiano [#IAmColombian], Orgullosamente colombiana [Proudly Colombian], and Feliz día de la independencia [Happy Independence Day].

Juan Gossaín (@DonJuanGosssaín) [es], a journalist that has become renown over the course of the past few years, wrote:

@DonJuanGosssaín: Estoy seguro que llegará el día en que celebremos nuestra segunda libertad: vivir en paz. Feliz 20 de julio #TierraQuerida

@DonJuanGosssaín [es]: I am positive that the day will come when we celebrate our second freedom: to live in peace. Happy July 20th. #TierraQuerida

User @DanielitoBang [es] ironically addressed those Colombians that were ranting about the indigenous populations in Cauca:

@DanielitoBang: Un feliz día a todos esos patriotas que hace un par de días despotricaban de los indígenas colombianos.

@DanielitoBang [es]: Happy independence day to all of the patriots that a few days ago were ranting about the indigenous Colombians.

Sergio Serrano (@sergio_serrano_) [es] responded to the greetings from the United States embassy in Colombia (@USEmbassyBogota) [es]:

@sergio_serrano_: Cómo así? Ya se van?

@sergio_serrano_: [es] What do you mean? You're leaving already?

User @donnyrossoff [es] reflected as follows:

@donnyrossoff: O aprendemos algo, sufrimos suficiente o nos cansamos de lo mismo… ¡Salvemos a esta !

@donnyrossoff [es]: We either learn something, suffer sufficiently or get tired of the same thing… Let's save this #TierraQuerida! [#BelovedLand]

On her part, Silvia Restrepo (@silviarpo) [es] called for remembering those that are kidnapped:

@silviarpo:Feliz Dia de la Independecia! recordemos a todos a quienes les han quitado lo mas preciado… La libertad! Orgullosamente COLOMBIANA

@silviarpo [es]: Happy Independence Day!  Let's remember all of those that had the most precious thing taken from them … freedom! Proudly COLOMBIAN.

Vallenato singer Felipe Peláez (@Felipe_Pelaez) [es] also made a heartfelt comment:

@Felipe_Pelaez: Desde USA, feliz día de la independencia a mi bello país… A mi tierra colombiana!! No hallo mi vida sin ti Colombia!!

@Felipe_Pelaez [es]: From the U.S., happy independence day to my beautiful country… to my Colombian land!! I cannot live without you, Colombia!!

Much like him, Juli (@hopeyoufind) [es], who also expressed her pride of having been born in Colombia, commented:

@hopeyoufind: Soy Orgullosamente Colombiana y me vale lo que digan de mi hermoso país, estoy muy orgullosa de haber nacido acá, TE AMO COLOMBIA.

@hopeyoufind: I am Proud to be Colombian and it doesn't matter what they say about my beautiful country, I am extremely proud to have been born here, I LOVE YOU COLOMBIA.

Netizens shared various images on Facebook, such as that Anonymiss Colombia [es] reposted, in which they criticize the presence of multinational corporations [es].

Map of Colombia with logos of multinational corporations, reposted by Anonymiss Colombia.

Finally, the Facebook group Amo a Colombia [I Love Colombia] shared an image in which homage is made to the Colombian flag, the yellow representing [es] gold, the blue representing the richness of Colombia's seas, and the red representing those who fought for Colombia's freedom:

Happy 202th Birthday Colombia

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