QCOSTARICA BLOG – During this past week, we’ve listened to our esteemed President, Don Luis Guillermo Solis, angrily denounce the press in Costa Rica, for only reporting on the failings of his Government and not on the achievements.

For the ten month period that he has occupied the position of President, the achievements of his Government would comprise a very short list in-deed, hardly enough to occupy half a page of print in the National newspaper, La Nacion.

Except for the signing of the Concession Agreement for the construction of the Moin Megaport, an endeavor which really needs to be credited to the previous Administration of Laura Chinchilla, I’m having trouble identifying any achievements that have occurred in his term as President.

The Economy of the Country is on the brink of collapse, unemployment is at an all-time high, and foreign investment is fleeing Costa Rica like the proverbial “rats from a sinking ship”.

The Costa Rica Government has received the rating of being the second to last place rated Government in all of Latin America, just ahead of that in Venezuela.

Public Sector wages, pensions, and benefits paid to Costa Rica Public Sector employees exceed those of their counterparts in First World Counties such as Canada and the U.S., producing a drain on tax revenues which is unsustainable in a Developing Country such as Costa Rica.

These are the issues that need immediate attention by this Government and the Press is rightfully exposing such, as it is their obligation and duty to do. Indeed, in writing this blog as a member of the Fifth Estate, I am doing likewise.

In any event, it appears that Don Luis Guillermo, who, as an academic and a University Professor by profession (a laudable profession in its own right), having lived a somewhat isolated existence in the “hallowed halls” of UCR and not in the real world of business and general commercial activity, which latter experience, in my opinion, would better prepare a Candidate to be the President of a country, has failed to understand that one of the main functions of the Press in the exercise of Democracy, is to be the voice and the check on the Government’s failings and improprieties.

To expose the failings and improprieties of a Government to the Electorate in a Democratic Society (a term that I use loosely when referring to the Society in Costa Rica), is indeed the single most important function of the Press. As an academic and a professor, Don Luis Guillermo is accustomed to finding the answers of life from the pages of a book, rather than the less specific, but more realistic teachings, that one would encounter in the world of commercial and business activity.

Apparently, the President skipped the page in “the book” that deals with the role of the Press in a Democratic Society.

In the past week, La Nacion in particular, has taken issue with the President’s criticisms and, in my opinion, rightfully so.

The President’s attempts to denounce and to stifle the role of the Press is very undemocratic to say the least. The Electorate, through the Press, must be informed of both the achievements and the failings of any Government, in order to make the correct, or at least a better decision, in any future Election.

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Richard Philps
Attorney Richard (Rick) Philps is a Canadian citizen, naturalized as a citizen of Costa Rica. Rick practiced law in Victoria, B.C., Canada as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, for fourteen years, prior to moving to Costa Rica in 1998. Rick then earned his Bachelor of Laws and Licensing Degrees (Civil Law), with Honours, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, from the Metropolitana Castro Carazo and Escuela Libre de Derecho Universities, in San Jose. Rick is a member of the Costa Rica College of Lawyers, and practices law in Costa Rica in the areas of real estate and development, corporate, commercial, contract, immigration, and banking with the Law Firm of Petersen & Philps, located in Escazu, a western suburb of San Jose. To contact Attorney Rick Philps about hiring him as your Costa Rican Attorney, please use the following information: Lic. Rick Philps - Attorney at Law, Petersen & Philps, San Jose, Costa Rica Tel: 506-2288-4381, Ext. 102; Email: rick@costaricacanadalaw.com Website: www.costaricacanadalaw.com