Saturday 25 June 2022

[BLOG] “Mr. President, please stand up and tell us who you are!”

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24 June 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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COSTA RICA BLOG – Most of us voted for a welcomed change in government based on a few promises, hope and a lot of prayer. So far none of the aforementioned has been effective. I can arguably say that our President, Luis Guillermo Solís certainly marches to the beat of his own drum (But so did Laura Chinchilla) however, we have no idea what the beat of that drum is, it seems as if only he can hear it.

Breathlessly we wait for the Presidents’ 100 day honey moon to be over and on August 16, 2014 he will give us a State of the Nation speech and then…work. Are we going to be surprised? We already know about the massive national debt, the foreign debt, the 20% poverty rate, the need to repair roads and bridges, turn around the ever failing social health care system, the need to clean up corruption plus a little transparency in government would go a long way. (I might forgo the transparency thing because what I read and see is so damn depressing.)

(I have a theory! In Costa Rica the thieves steal 1,000,000 and in the United States they steal 100,000,000 or the effort is not worth while. That’s the big difference is in the zeroes. )

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We do see change, but moreover we see contradiction with this new administration. And now we are also seeing a split in his own political party, PAC. For those who did not purchase a program and are only now learning who are the players, it is Deputy Otton Solís who is splitting the ruling PAC party and doing his best to isolate the President who is Luis Guillermo Solís (No relation) or as the text only people say, “LGS”. Otton might well be LGS’s boss in this thing. He has a solid following to the far left seemingly stronger than LGS’.

Our elected president of Costa Rica, don Luis Guillermo said he would not employ members of former governments. But he has, and in a frightening way. The head of the master spy department (DIS) is now Mariano Figueres, former president who closed down the railroads, once was accused of murdering a man and spent five years in self imposed exile in Switzerland until assured he would not be prosecuted if he should return to Costa Rica. (Not my kinda guy!)

LGS also named Celso Gamboa as Minister of Security who served under Laura Chinchilla.

Just to show the Catholics, LGS named a Lutheran Bishop to be the Minister to the Presidency. A very powerful position and an appointment that is being questioned by the Supreme Court. As the rabbit runs, the decision might very well take up the president’s entire term in office.

So far, LGS has literally pruned the bushes in front of Zapote, the presidential offices so the good folks of Costa Rica can now see better the government. He has had coffee with the neighbors of Zapote which showed he is a populist and he managed to raise the rainbow colored LGBTI flag to show his solidarity with the gay community which in itself is not all bad but never at the same height as our national flag.

Finally, LGS has become not only a president but also a legislator. He has annulled a Laura Chinchilla veto which by law requires 2/3rd vote of the congress. Ergo, with the annulment he becomes congress. This is sure to head towards the Supreme Court, for sure.

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The national business community is also asking, “Who is this person?” His first effort was to take up were Chinchilla left off by hitting the road. With some flare, not too much, he announced that Intel would be returning to Costa Rica with a mega lab to test products. But we already knew that before he took off to California. Direct foreign investment is estimated to down by 50% and the backbone of our economy, tourism, is ready to commit suicide because of value added costs such as national park taxes (Rescinded), costly airport fees, costly airline fees, and an infrastructure of roads that are shameful except in Zimbabwe.

I argue, that on August 16th this is what the State of the Nation will reveal what we already know and that it will take at least another six months to be clear on the direction of President, Luis Guillermo Solís who will serve for the next 3 ¾ years.

We want solutions!

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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