Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trouble in Paradise: Nicaragua and Costa Rica

article from January 12, 2012
By Jamie Douglas


These are interesting days for Nicaragua. President-re-re-elect Daniel Ortega was re-re sworn in in Managua, in spite of the constitutional prohibition against such an act. But like his colleague in Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, he now has established a legislative super-majority, which, for the good of that impoverished nation, will probably allow him to be president for life.

Silly me, I thought the reason that they got rid of the Somoza family regime was to avoid that from happening again. Next thing you know, the Ortega family will refurbish the former Somoza seaside palace in San Juan del Sur. At least he got rid of the rumpled army fatigues, a trademark he copied from Fidel Castro. Looking at his wife wearing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry for the inauguration, you would never guess that this is a socialist state.

Judging by the attendees present, which included Venezuelan Clown Prince Hugo Chávez and Iran’s flailing leader Mahmoud Ahmedinejad along with most regional heads of state, it was quite a love fest, with the expected anti-American rhetoric. Chávez  called the United States “the lackeys of imperialism.” What an insult! The US is the imperialist, and most other nations are its lackeys!

Costa Rica

Notably absent from the festivities was the president of neighboring Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla. (Her name alone must give the heebie jeebies to members of PETA.) In referring to a useless sandbar in the middle of the San Juan River, Roberto Gallardo, the spokesman for the presidential ministry, clearly stated that “we have said that there cannot be normalization of relations with Nicaragua while the aggression and occupation of our national territory persists. Relations will return to normal, when the violation of Costa Rican sovereignty ceases in the area of Isla Calero.”

If “normal” means that supposedly neutral Costa Rica will repeat history by allowing a buildup of CIA and US military forces on its sacred soil to attack the neighboring country, which was the case with Honduras helping to bring about the deaths of 60,000 Nicaraguans along with another 75,000 in El Salvador, I, for one, am not looking forward to the normalization of relations between the two. Costa Rica has already given permission to the US armed forces to create a naval facility, as well as to use the CIA-built Liberia International Airport and “temporarily” house some of the US troops on their soil. But what the hell, they are the 53rd state already.

While Chinchilla is off attending to other foreign presidential inaugurations, (Guatemala) and vacationing in Mexico with her family, perhaps she should pay a little closer attention to the crime wave that is washing over her nation. Just over the last few days, several US and Canadian retirees and travelers were brutally murdered, while 360 kilos of cocaine were found on a truck heading to Nicaragua (Foreign Aid) and one ton of the Peruvian Marching Powder was dug up on a beach between the two popular tourist resorts of Quepos and Domincal. The stash of drugs on the beaches of Parrita was discovered through a tip; but instead of waiting to see who came to get it, the ministry of security turned it into a major press event.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the town of Quepos was just released on bail following his arrest for being one of the country’s major producers of child pornography. Mayor Lutgardo Bolaños was released a mere 12 hours after his arrest. Of course, no officials were available to comment on this.

Then there was the riot in La Reforma Prison that left two prisoners dead after 800 were given recreational outdoor time with the supervision of a mere seven guards. But it could be that they rioted because two separate woman were arrested trying to smuggle a cell phone with charger and hands-free device inside one, and a half pound of marijuana in another woman’s insides.

Then there was the story of the British man with warrants out from Interpol who was able to enter Costa Rica undetected, where he promptly raped and killed a 22-year-old Czech girl doing volunteer work on a farm.

Unfortunately, this is the current reality in Costa Rica, long a drug warehouse, but lately, things have only been deteriorating in this tropical paradise.

Jamie Douglas
San Rafael, Mendoza

I encourage you to write me at cruzansailor [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or suggestions you may have. Disclaimer: I am not in any travel-related business. My advice is based on my own experiences and is free of charge (Donations welcome). It is always my pleasure to act as a beneficial counselor to those who are seekers of the next adventure.