Wednesday 12 May 2021

What Was Obama’s Costa Rica Visit For?

U.S. President Barack Obama spent about 22 hours in Costa Rica this past weekend, leaving many wondering about the purpose of his visit, which concluded without any commitment, agreement or joint-declaration.

incae-obama750It was Obama’s first-ever visit to Costa Rica, and his motorcade was cheered by people  – students mostly – lining the streets as he arrived Friday afternoon.

In 22 hours following, Obama met privately with Costa Ricas Presidenta Laura Chinchilla, followed up by a joint press conference and working dinner with presidents of Central America and the Dominican Republic.

- Advertisement -

“Costa Rica shows the benefits of trade that is free and fair,” Obama said at the press conference. “Over the last few years, under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), our trade with Costa Rica has doubled, creating more jobs for people in both of our countries. Our partnerships are creating more opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs, including young people and women. As I told Presidenta Chinchilla, the United States will continue to be your partner as Costa Rica modernizes its economy so that you’re attracting more investment and creating even more trade and more jobs.”

For some in the Costa Rican government, Obama’s visit was about a special recognition of their country. Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo said the U.S. President’s visit puts Costa Rica in a “better position to become a modernized country on the path to progress,” according to The Christian Science Monitor.

An analyst for Teletica Channel 7 News, Nuria Marín, called Obama’s visit an acknowledgement of his country’s “regional protagonism” and its “return to the geopolitical map” because Obama helped “strengthen Costa Rica’s brand name for attracting more U.S. tourism and investment.”

“The U.S. recognizes our fates are tied up with your success,” Obama told entrepreneurs and other leaders in San José. “If you are doing well, we will do better. And if we’re doing well, we think your situation improves.”

- Advertisement -

However, nothing substantial came out of Obama’s visit, no joint declaration or agreement.

Luis Guillermo Solís, a 2014 presidential hopeful and analyst, found Obama’s visit mysterious. “This has been one of the most mysterious presidential visits I have witnessed in the last two decades,” he was quoted as saying. “Nothing seemed to make sense about the objectives of Obama’s visit.”

Some are saying Obama merely sought to respond to criticism that he neglected the region during his first presidential term. Obama was heavily supported by Hispanic population in the 2012 election.

Obama said Saturday that the United States needed to deepen economic ties with the Americas to create more jobs. “One of the best ways to grow our economy is to sell more goods and services made in America to the rest of the world,” he said in his radio and Internet address. “That includes our neighbors to the south.”

But what led Obama to visit Costa Rica was perhaps that it was a politically safe country to visit as he was returning from Mexico, Nicaraguan political analyst Arturo Cruz said to The Christian Science Monitor. “It’s difficult to go wrong with Costa Rica – It’s a democracy with a vibrant economy and a friendly government that will always be friendly to the US,” Cruz was quoted as saying. “Costa Rica is like vanilla ice cream; it’s a safe bet. How can you go wrong with vanilla ice cream?”

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Carter Maddox
Carter is self-described as thirty-three-and-a-half years old and his thirty-three-and-a-half years birthday is always on March 3. Carter characteristically avoids pronouns, referring to himself in the third person (e.g. "Carter has a question" rather than, "I have a question"). One day [in 1984], Carter, raised himself up and from that day forward we could all read what Carter writes.

Related Articles

[BLOG] Costa Rican Electric Company – General Maintenance Procedures

During my fifteen plus years of living in Costa Rica, I...

Heliport, Money and Weapons in Costa Rica

Following reports by residents of Las Asturias de Pococí about flyovers...


New restrictions outrage hospital staff while business applauds “balance”

QCOSTARICA - The measures announced by the Government to reduce COVID-19 infections and hospital saturation unleashed a wave of reproaches, from one sector, and...

Cuba Ready to Join WHO-Led COVAX Facility, Ambassador to China Says

Q24N   - Cuba is ready to join the COVAX vaccine-sharing mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Latin American country's ambassador to...

The digital currencies that matter

Q REPORTS (The Economist) Technological change is upending finance. Bitcoin has gone from being an obsession of anarchists to a $1trn asset class that...

48 patients with covid-19 from other provinces wait for beds in San Jose hospitals

QCOSTARICA - 48 patients with covid-19, the majority in severe and moderate condition, this Thursday morning were waiting for a bed in a hospital...

Today’s Covid news: We are almost a death every hour

QCOSTARICA - The last seven days (May to May 11) have been bitterly deadly for the country, with 146 people dying from covid-19. According to...

Space tourism is here – 20 years after the first stellar tourist, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin plans to send civilians to space

For most people, getting to the stars is nothing more than a dream. But on May 5, 2021, the 60th anniversary of the first...

The Economist Sees Ortega Clinging to Power

TODAY NICARAGUA (Confidencial) Six months before the general elections in Nicaragua, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) predicts that the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario...

Government does not plan to announce expansion of restrictive measures

QCOSTARICA - The Government of Carlos Alvarado confirmed on Friday that it does not plan to announce the expansion of the restrictive measures that...

66% of ICU patients are under 60 years of age

QCOSTARICA - Sunday night, 432 of the 1,188 covid patients in hospital are in Intensive Care Units (ICU), after suffering complications from covid-19. In the...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.