QCOSTARICA – Experts in international relations consider unconventional Costa Rica’s President Rodrigo Chaves congratulating the political party of another nation.
On Monday, Chaves used his Twitter account to greet and congratulate Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, and her political party, Fratelli d’Italia (FdI), for the victory in Sunday’s elections.
“The Government of Costa Rica expresses its sincere congratulations to the Italian people for the electoral process last Sunday, September 25. Congratulations to Mrs. Giorgia Meloni for the success of her FDI political party in the election,” was the message from Chaves.
El Gobierno de Costa Rica expresa su sincera felicitación al pueblo italiano por el proceso electoral del pasado domingo 25 de setiembre. Felicidades a la señora Giorgia Meloni por el éxito de su partido político FDI en la elección. @GiorgiaMeloni
— Rodrigo Chaves (@RodrigoChavesR) September 27, 2022
This type of message is considered a diplomatic error and it is the first time, according to experts, that they see a Costa Rican president publicly congratulating a political party.
“The first thing that must be taken into account, and it is reiterative, is that the Chaves Robles administration has no idea how to manage foreign relations. He has made many diplomatic slips and this is one more,” said Dr. Carlos Murillo, a specialist in International Relations, with a Doctorate in Government and Public Policy. In addition, he is a professor at the School of Public Administration of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).
“It is the first time that I remember that after an election in European countries, the Government of Costa Rica and the president in a personal capacity, congratulate a leader of a political party and more worryingly, a political party of the extreme right,” Murillo added.
Rodrigo Carreras, a diplomat by profession and was Costa Rica’s ambassador to Brazil, Israel, Turkey and Nicaragua, in addition to being deputy foreign minister in the José María Figueres administration (1994-1998), the communication is a matter of style.
“The Foreign Ministry has a director of protocol in Casa Presidencial to guide the presidency in these things, but it is a matter of style,” Carreras told El Observador.
Regarding the message to the Italian party, he considers that “it is rare” and although it sounds nice, “normally they wait for the appointment to be made.”
“That is a question of style and I cannot criticize it, because all presidents have their different protocols,” said Carreras, hoping that as the administration matures, the president will allow be helped and learn the protocols.
According to the former Costa Rican ambassador, the current administration found itself with a dismantled and underfunded Foreign Ministry.
Days earlier, also from the Casa Presidencial (Government House), the wrong message was sent on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, deviating from established diplomatic protocol.
For Dr. Murillo, what the administration and the president are doing through the issuance of these messages is to make it clear that they are being “populist”, showing a “lack of knowledge of how the diplomatic issue is handled and, above all, the message.”
“Diplomacy maintains a series of very high protocols that the president and the foreign minister should respect,” concluded Murillo, in that this type of situation undermines not only the President’s credibility but that of the country.