President Solis has come out of the closet and said he would not ever run for president again.

Based upon continued negative polls, that is the best decision this administration has ever made. After one year and three months, we still have no idea what direction he wishes to take and we are caught in quagmire of internal controversy.

In his defense, he and his staff really had not a clue as to the condition of Costa Rica when elected. Nor, did the naïve president understand rough and tough politics that this country has practiced for years.He was warned, but decided to become president anyway.

The smart guy in all this is Johnny Araya who looked, saw and understood that becoming President of Costa Rica would be a no win situation. And for that he was ousted by his own political party of which he and his family were life-long members.

I used to speak with Johnny once each week. Thank God he never asked for political advice. With no chance of a future as a national politician, he won the mayoral race in the capital city (San Jose), on his own with almost no budget from his former party, Liberation.

Now comes the Tico bad news.

The country of Costa Rica is run by three government institutions: Aresep (fixes prices), Controller (manager of all expenditures) and finally the Constitutional Court (Sala IV of the Supreme Court) who not only is in charge of interpreting constitutional law, but even creating and making new laws on its own.

Less than a month ago RECOPE, our source of gasoline and diesel among other combustibles announced a dramatic reduction for March 2016 in consumer prices since the international petrol community had dropped below $30 a barrel and, more good news, April retail prices would be even better.

Ooooops! No so fast.

During the last few days, RECOPE has asked price fixing ARESEP to increase our cost of combustibles, not decrease them as promised. One of the excuses is that the strength of the USD is creating losses. However, the USD has been straight and stabilized for more than a year now.

The next reason is that the spot market oil closed at $36 plus a barrel last week. True, but professional traders bought crude at least one month ahead when the black gold was selling in the low twenties, and they have been rewarded for their efforts.

This archaic turkey dance of a closed and controlled market place makes no economic sense at all. ARESEP should not be able to set the price of anything. We either have a free market or not. It is a little like virginity. And, an institution such as RECOPE needs to sink or swim on its own because as now structured, they certainly do not represent the consumer’s best interest.