Saturday 25 June 2022

[blog] Let The Dust Settle

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25 June 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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COSTA RICA BLOG – President Luis Guillermo Solís’ (LGS) infamous 100 Day discourse which some time ago was billed as a State of the Nation speech has won many kudos while at the same time raising more questions than answers.

At first blush the PAC supporters or anti-Liberationists are, with good reason, his leading cheerleaders. On the other side of the coin, those who oppose PAC, are critical and dismayed by the speech.

Interestingly, LGS has been attacked by his opponents in several publications well before the speech. It started on August 26Th yet his discourse was not until August 28Th of this year. There were no advance copies, no leakage and in fact the criticisms of Solís were entirely premised on his ability, or lack of it, to manage, administer and to effect change. The most commonly used words were “naïve” and “double talk.” This was an orchestrated challenge to his presidential ability.

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Little did the political pundits know we were to hear a little over an hours worth about a subject matter which has been washed and hung out to dry for the last 30 years; corruption on all levels of government, inefficiency, lack of accountability and an “I don’t give a damn attitude” entrenched in our monolithic bureaucracy.

I see nothing terribly new and certainly no surprises in what LGS had to say except for a few, very few, details which the loss of 100 cars was the high point. As to that very subject, La Nación pointed out that the average lost car was 26 years old, the oldest being lost in 1950 and one was a Vespa.

If anyone has lived in Costa Rica for more than three months and does not know that we live in an inherently corrupt, criminal culture where where efficiency has a price to be paid and bad things happen on a daily basis has his or her head in the Manuel Antonio sand. While LGS called the federal government and ministries to task, he overlooked the police, transit cops, municipal mayors, deputies of the assembly and even the judges who all thrive on bribes, theft and nepotism. The list goes on because corruption and crime have permeated Paradise to its very core. For once the “trickle down” theory works. From the top to the bottom, corruption and crime has become a part of life.

The question which begs answering is what will this administration do about it?

Elected officials and appointed ministers/directors come and go every four or so years. However, the bureaucrat stays put and the cheating as well as inefficiency continues. History shows the bureaucrat even survive war and I suspect that corruption will survive the tenure of LGS.

None of this gives great comfort to much needed national or foreign investors. Right now, for example, the construction industry is living off 2013 projects not ones created in the first nine months of this year and direct foreign investment is down by fifty percent.

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I had hoped on August 28, 2014 that our president would outline the direction his administration will take over the next 3 years and 9 months. But that was not the case.

While so far it has been a “do little” 100 days, let’s wait, but not too long, before we the people can clearly identify and define President Luis Guillermo Solís’ leadership ability.

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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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