Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Costa Rica: Suspension of Ttle Iii of The

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #2734 3412349
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 072349Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6802
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 002734

SIPDIS

"NOTE BY CIB: DO NOT/NOT PROCESS. GIVE TO EAO FOR GUIDANCE"

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHACCA AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ETC PREL CS
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA: SUSPENSION OF TTLE III OF THE
LIBERTAD ACT

REF: A. STATE 19152
B. SAN JOSE 2223 (EXDIS)
C. SAN JSE 1955

1. Since returning to the presidency i May 2006, Costa
Rican President Oscar Arias has een one of the region's
leading critics of the Cstro government and a strong
advocate for democrtic change and human rights reforms in
Cuba. Costa Rica shows absolutely no signs that it would
consider re-establishing diplomatic relations with the Castro
government, which were severed in 1961. Opposition to
oppressive regimes in general, and to those "in the
neighborhood" in particular, are fully consistent with Costa
Rica's well-developed democratic principles. The USG should
encourage and bolster Costa Rica's continued support for
democracy in Cuba. Therefore, suspending Title III of the
Libertad Act in regard to Costa Rica remains in the USG
national interest.

2. During the latter half of 2006, Costa Rica continued its
long-standing opposition to the Castro regime, sharpened by
Arias's return to power. At Colombian President Uribe's
inaugural in early August, Arias (unsuccessfully) tried to
engage Cuban Council of Ministers VP Lage on the future of
Cuba. In an August 29 Op-ed in the Miami Herald, Arias
criticized Cuba as "the only exception in the great Latin
American transformation toward liberty," described the
government as "plain and simple, a dictatorship," and
stressed that "the Cuban people deserve to choose their own
destiny." Following a meeting in San Jose with USOAS
Ambassador Maisto on September 29, (Ref B), Arias told the
media that he would use international fora to continue to
call for democracy in the entire hemisphere.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

3. At the same time, Costa Rica, in solidarity with other
Latin American nations, has not been afraid to criticize USG
policy on Cuba. Arias's op-ed called for an end to the U.S.
embargo as a "strategic step" towards an orderly transition
of power. The GOCR also continued to support calls in the UN
General Assembly an end to the economic embargo. These
tactics in no way reflect Costa Rican support for the Castro
regime, but are rather a disagreement over tactics, i.e., how
best to create the conditions for a democratic transition
(Ref C).

4. The following responses are keyed to Ref A questions:

A) Post is unaware of any Costa Rican investments in Cuba.
B) Post is unaware of any bilateral trade agreements between
Costa Rica and Cuba.
C) Scholarships to study medicine in Cuba have been offered
to Costa Rican students in the past, but Post is unaware of
any students who have accepted these scholarships, given the
ready availability of public university programs in Costa
Rica. Post is unaware of any Costa Ricans who have traveled
to Cuba for medical treatment, again given the availability
of publicly subsidized health care in Costa Rica. At any
given time, there are between six and ten Cuban doctors
working in Costa Rican hospitals, most of them providing
radiological treatment at Hospital Mexico in San Jose. One
defected in early 2006 and was promptly granted residency in
Costa Rica.
D) Costa Rica has worked to promote democracy and human
rights in Cuba. These efforts include President Arias's
public statements (see above).
E) Costa Rican Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno attended the
14th Non-Aligned Movement's Summit meeting in Havana in
September. There were no/no high-level Cuban diplomatic
visits to Costa Rica.

FRISBIE
FRISBIE

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.