Another cat fight appears to have developed between the Legislative branch and the lame-duck Chinchilla Administration this weekend when congressional president Luis Fernando Mendoza declared from Nicaragua that Nicaragua and Costa Rica could have an ongoing, permanent dialogue.
This comes at a time when relations between the two nations is especially tense. Since this country went to the International Court at The Hague in 2011 claiming invasion of its territory by Nicaraguan troops, the Administration has distanced itself from President Daniel Ortega in Managua.
Nor has President Chinchilla attended official functions in Managua. The friction which started in 2010 has escalated with charges of invasion during the dredging of the San Juan River and both sides have claimed environmental damage.
As might be expected, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo did not receive the news with great favor. Heads of diplomatic agencies are sensitive to others invading what they see as their territory. The fact that the Mendoza statements were reported by the news agency ACAN-EFE did not sooth his mood.
Mendoza was in Managua to attend a conference of the presidents of Central American and Caribbean congresses, even though his own term ends May 8. But Castillo distanced himself from Mendoza’s statements as having no weight with the Administration or the National Liberation party to which both belong.
ACAN-EFE quoted the lawmaker as saying, “The dialogue must be permanent…That the president of the Costa Rican parliament is in Nicaragua is a good sign. We are brothers. We should not fight.”
“The people of Nicaragua are our brothers,” Castillo admitted, “but the conditions for a dialogue with that country are not right yet. We need compromises from Nicaragua.” Castillo accused Mendoza of “jumping over the ministries head” to make his statements.
Communicators Minister Carlos Roverssi, speaking for the President and a longtime diplomat before taking his current post, was milder. The Mendoza statements “don’t affect our position. Costa Rican has always been disposed toward dialogue. We’re waiting for Nicaragua to respect the wishes of the World Court,” he said.
“I have recognised that in the last few months Nicaragua has respected all the measures of the World Court,” Roverssi stipulated, “They have not acted arbitrarily as before.”
La Nacion noted that Mendoza’s conciliatory tone contrasts with his thundering during the “March for the Country” on Aug. 22, 2913, a nationwide demonstration against the aggressiveness of the Nicaraguan President. The demonstration came after Ortega claimed the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste.
The march was headed by Chinchilla and several top officials including Mendoza.
Artilce by iNews.co.cr