Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Government Retracts Over Presidential Plane Offered by China

The Minister of the Presidency, Melvin Jimenes (left) and President Luis Guillermo Solis
The Minister of the Presidency, Melvin Jimenes (left) and President Luis Guillermo Solis

QCOSTARICA – Through a press release, the Ministry of the Presidency (Ministerio de la Presidencia) today belies the assertion made yesterday by the Minister of the Presidency, Melvin Jiménez, that China offered President Luis Guillermo Solís a presidential plane.

The government now says that the plane would be used by the security forces, in aerial surveillance and not for the President.

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According to the statement issued by Presidency today, the aircraft of which Jiménez spoke about “was a  propeller plane for the purpose for the usual activities of aerial surveillance and of talks with the Chinese government of the possibility of acquiring two aircraft for the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica, but everything is still under analysis. “

Jiménez told’s Carlos Mora on Saturday (Feb. 28) that the Chinese government had offered the donation before President Solís travelled to China in January, to attend the China-CELAC conference and negotiate the Ruta 32 contract.

The news of China’s offer occurs at a time when the opposition severely criticizes the international agenda of the President; cataloguing his travels as “abusive and improvised”; and the recent approval by the Legislative Assembly of the Ruta 32 contract, without legislators knowing the full details of the contract.

Despite his remarks that he doesn’t need a presidential plane, President Solís did say weeks ago that “it doesn’t look good” he has to travel economy and has “to be at the mercy of the goodwill of the airlines to give him an upgrade to business class (…) flying commercial because he doesn’t have a plane of his own …” When flying regionally (in Central America), Solís uses planes of the Fuerza Publica.

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