Sunday 4 June 2023

Is He In or Out? Enigmatic government reaction to possible resignation of Foreign Minister

The central government does not confirm the possible departure, nor does the Ministry of Communication nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deny it

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In a puzzling and even mysterious way, the government avoided confirming or denying the news of the possible resignation of Foreign Minister Manuel Ventura.

Manuel Ventura (far right) at the time of being named Chancellor by President Carlos Alvarado, on January 8, 2019. The image shows the former Minister of the Presidency, Rodolfo Piza; and the first lady, Claudia Doubles. Photo archive/La Nacion

“What we have to say officially is that there is no announcement and that the Casa Presidencial (Government House) does not confirm the information. When we have an announcement to make, we will let you know,” Communication Minister Nancy Marín told the press.

Monday morning, Noticias Monumental published that Ventura will resign on Friday for health reasons, that the post has worn him out.

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Neither the Ministry of Communication nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the publication.

Casa Amarilla (the Foreign Ministry in San Jose) said that the ministry “will not comment on the unofficial information.”

Monumental cites “two sources”, one from the Casa Presidencial and another from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which affirm, “under the condition of anonymity”, which Ventura leaves office on January 31 “for reasons of health and internal wear ” of the ministry.

The news of Ventura’s (alleged) departure comes six days after the legislative committee on international affairs agreed to call Ventura to answer questions to the report on the organizational climate of the Costa Rican embassy in Geneva, Switzerland, which was under the direction of ambassador Elayne White.

The minister “deplored and expressed concern” that this document “has been leaked and disseminated,” according to a note posted on the official profile of that ministry on Facebook

The news is also on the heels of last week’s visit of Ventura’s counterpart, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to Costa Rica and that on Friday, January 24, the Costa Rica Ambassador to Washington was told it would be very difficult to return Costa Rica’s security risk to level 1, after being downgraded to level 2 earlier this month.

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Ventura, if he will resign, would be the second chancellor to leave the post. During the first year of the Alvarado Quesada administration, Vice President Epsy Campbell held that position but resigned after a number of controversies.

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