BEIJING – The Embassy of Colombia in China, along with the Colombian diaspora, paid homage on Friday to the celebrated General Jose Maria Cordova in a ceremony that also celebrated the return of peace in Colombia after 50 years of conflict.
Ambassador Oscar Rueda, military attaché Pedro Rojas and deputy chief of the General Staff of Chinese Army Han Qiang presided over the ceremony where a statue of General Cordova (1799-1829) was unveiled.
“He was a rebel, a trait which seems strange in a soldier, but the rebelliousness was a noble one for the cause,” the Colombian ambassador said in his speech remembering the general, also known as the Hero of Ayacucho.
The ceremony also marked Colombia’s Army Day, held on Aug. 7 every year to commemorate the battle of Boyaca in 1819 and resulted in Colombia’s independence from Spain.
“Our Country’s heroes and our brave soldiers ensured absolute independence of the nation,” Colonel Rojas said, recalling other key figures in Colombian history such as Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander.
The program also included a video message from Colombia by General Alberto Jose Mejia, Commander of the Colombian National Army, in which he underlined the return of peace in the country after more than half a century of conflict with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas.
During the ceremony, the Colombian army honored the ambassador and Yuan Xikun – the creator of the sculpture of General Cordova – whose artworks paying homage to Spanish and Latin American historic figures feature at the Jintai park, where the event was held.
Yuan has immortalized in stone not only historic figures such as Bolivar, Tupac Amaru, Jose de San Martin and Eloy Alfaro but also authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda and Miguel de Cervantes.