Presidenta Laura Chinchilla if off to Honduras today to attend the transfer of power in that country and then heads off to Cuba, to receive the pro tempore presidency of the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (Celac), that has been in the hands of Raul Castro during this past year.
The Cuba visit will be first of a Costa Rican president to the island country since the revolution, when Fidel Castro toppled Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Former president José Figueres Ferrer visited Cuba in 1962, but not as president.
During the Cold War there was a rift between Costa Rica and Cuba which continued until 2009, when President Oscar Arias resumed bilateral ties.
In Honduras, Doña Laura will be present for the swearing in the newly elected president, Juan Orlando Hernández.
On Monday, the Costa Rican delegation that includes Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo , Minister of Environment and Energy, René Castro, Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, Mayi Antillon, and Communications Minister, Carlos Roverssi.
According to Casa Presidencial, in Cuba Presidenta Chinchilla expects to hold talks on development programs for small and medium businesses, environmental issues, security and drug trafficking.
This could Doña Laura’s last trip as president. However, Minister Roverssi did not rule out another possible trip before May 8, but did not give details.
CELAC comprises 33 countries speaking five different languages:
Eighteen Spanish-speaking countries (56% of the area, 63% of the population),
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
One Portuguese-speaking country (42% of the area, 34% of the population),
One French-speaking country (0.1% of the area, 1.6% of the population)
Twelve English-speaking countries (1.3% of the area, 1.1% of the population),
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
One Dutch-speaking country (0.8% of the area, 0.1% of the population)