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Has Costa Rica Rolled Over To The US?
By John Holtz*

With the massive amount of US military on the way to Costa Rica, has our country rolled over and now admitted that it has lost control of the trafficking of drugs, money laundering and crime in general?

Ever since I can remember Costa Rica has said, “If ever invaded, it´s neighbors would come to its rescue.”

In times past that referred to Venezuela, but now we have Chavez and….well that´s another 100 pesos.

The new friendly neighbor must be the United States who is sending 46 war ships, 200 helicopters and 7,000 Marines to rescue us from invading drug cartels, smugglers, gangs and God only knows what all because the “mission” has not really been clearly defined. If there is a mission, it has not been made public, or the deployment strategy.

For all those promises of transparency by our government, once again we are living in an opaque world and can only make wild assumptions that for sure are going to get bigger and more bizarre.

(I wonder what Nobel Peace Laureate, Oscar Arias thinks of all this? We will soon know.)

For the last several days the Minister of Security, Jose Maria Tijerino, the anti-drug commissioner , Mauricio Boraschi and of course Presidenta, Laura Chinchilla have been doing a lot of tap dancing to explain this extraordinary, desperate last resort type measure.

And before the Marines buy out all the condoms of the world after being told prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, I assure you a bunch of legal challenges before this will ever comes to fruition. Although, in 1999 then President, now on trial for corruption, Miguel Angel Rodriguez signed into law a “Joint Patrol” agreement with the United States to crack down on drug trafficking as well as money laundering.

(Why a “Joint Patrol”, Didn´t anyone in 1999 know what a joint is? There must be a better name than “operation Joint” as they probably call it back at Langley.)

What makes this so unique is that the “Joint Patrol” is a US Coast Guard operation and every US vessel would have a Costa Rica “shiprider” who would authorize or not authorize actions to be taken or not taken in Costa Rica territorial waters.

From a practical point of view, I have a hard time visualizing our police force leading 7,000 on the ground US Marines, less the helicopters and warships. Especially if you consider these men and women of Fuerza Pública refuse to go into certain parts of San José for fear of their lives. (Maybe the US can send in drones like in Afghanistan and eliminate those bad guys?)

So, let´s step up and be honest. The Gringos are going to run this show. It is in our blood.

Promises have also been made that the US military people will do humanitarian work as well as get the cartel traffickers. What that means? Again, I have no idea. (Teach us the secret recipe of Sloppy Joe sandwiches because Habitat for Humanity is building homes and the Peace Corps teaching basketball?)

For years, at least since the Sandinistas came into power in Nicaragua, the US has wanted a military base in Costa Rica and……Wow? Merry Christmas!

From the public´s point of view this is all very sudden and smacks of back room politics.

It also smacks of our leaders losing faith in our security people; in our judicial system, the 21 police agencies, the department of immigration and indeed the question is how high and how deep the corruption goes? That´s what needs an overhaul and not bringing in foreign military to save us from us.

When a leader of a country calls in outside forces and no matter how it is verbalized and those forces, big or small, are given the ability to infringe on the rights of sovereignty; it leaves little faith in the leaders and indeed the constitution itself.

Costa Rica was warned, by its own people, for years and years that crime on every level has been growing, growing and growing more. I want to know why only now does the legislature go from self rule to inviting the US military to make wrongs, right? (The US Coast Guard is military, make no mistake about it.)

As one writer said, “Costa Rica has always and smugly advertised no army, a country of peace, the Switzerland of Central America, but obviously it is all too willing to rent an army when in need.”

Keep tuned! We have only read chapter one of this book.

As the drama unfolds we will find out why the Congolese pseudo diplomat from Mexico brought $3 million into Costa, why he came 5 times for less than 24 hours, why we have hidden helicopter pads in the mountains, who is stealing not the drugs but the money, how the dollars are being laundered…..who in this soap opera is guilty of corruption against the Republic and much more.

Will the Marines win the day and bring peace, tranquility and virtue to us? Or will they take us over and build a base that can defend Central America from yet to be identified enemies?

This is not good for tourism! Not at all. And not good for foreign investments.
Just ask Mexico.

While CR is ranked by Gallup as number 5 of the “happiest countries” in the world. Here come the Marines to make us more happy.

John Holtz is the Executive Director of the Center for the Studies of Modern Management
www.modernmanagement.org and can be reached at:  [email protected].


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