fidel castro: Persona non grata in Costa Rica

It seems certain government officials in Costa Rica took offense to castro’s government refering to their democratically elected president as a US Lackey:

Court Appeal Proposes To Declare Fidel Castro Unwelcome in Costa Rica

José Eduardo Vargas Rivera has made a recurso de amparo (an appeal) before the Sala Constitucional (Constitutional Court) or Sala IV as it is also referred to, against the Cuban embassy in Costa Rica, asking the Court to declare Cuba’s Fidel Castro “persona non grata”, for the comments made by the Cuban Foreign ministry, calling Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias Sánchez, a “vulgar mercenary of the United States”.

You can follow through to the story here.

11 thoughts on “fidel castro: Persona non grata in Costa Rica”

  1. I know there’s a movie list. I have a suggestion for a different kind of list…

    How about keeping track of the people who are friendly to the cause of a free Cuba, whether it is through explicitly denouncing the regime’s policies (like so many Czechs), or just denouncing Castro for being annoying and saying stupid things (like Vargas Rivera) through some sort of list…

    Just a thought. When they’re all on one document, it might turn on that little bombillo in our heads. There’s power in numbers and I’m thinking maybe some of us underestimate just how many friends we have in this fight (albeit still a minority).

  2. What exactly did Oscar Arias Sanchez do during his time (1986-1990)as president of Costa Rica for democracy in Cuba? What has Arias done to promote changes in Cuba since he left the presidency?

    NOTHING! Not a damn thing! And now he is full of SUGGESTIONS…?

    Oscar Arias Sanchez has been involved in politics since 1972… Not once have I heard him reproach, demand, suggest or even plead with other Latin American/European leaders for democracy for Cuba. Now that fidel is ill/dead and raul’s future is uncertain, he decides to jump in the bandwagon? Thank you Mr. Arias, but no thanks. God only knows what his plans are for Cuba or what suggestions he might come up with for U.S. and European Union in regards to Cuba. Mr. Arias far as I’m concerned you can talk all you want… but don’t make any decisions for US!

  3. As a gringo from the USA living in Costa Rica since 1994 I can say I’m proud of what our current President Arias has said about totalitarian dictatorships such as castratos in Cuba. I just wish more Latin American presidents and leaders had the guts to say the same. While less than perfect as most politicians, President Arias knows communism and lack of human rights and speaks out against it. As for Firefly I have no idea where you get your info but I just did a quick google search “oscar arias sanchez comments on Cuba” and here is the first listing:
    This is from last August and you can keep looking and see that President Arias has had many comments about lack of democracy in Cuba. So do a bit of homework before badmouthing someone who is on our side. We all know there is lack of support and lets encourage rather than discourage world leaders speaking out. And I don’t think mr. Arias lacks credentials having won the 1986 Nobel peace prize for helping end the Sandanista/contra war which has led to democracy in Nicaruagua.
    Go Oscar Arias keep talking along with the rest of us. Maybe some of you would join me in sending a mail to President Arias thanking him for speaking out. Here is the email address:

  4. Hmm. Spring Break is coming up and the kids want to go to a warm place….Can you say Costa Rica?

    With such good political taste, I wonder what else it has going for itself?

    Gotta Google ..see ya.

  5. I agree that Arias has been very outspoken in his condemnation of totalitarian regimes. My only criticism of this president is that he hasn’t really done a lot for the Ticos in his term as president. Other than putting his support behind CAFTA-DR he’s spent most of this presidency out of the country, letting his brother be the mouthpiece for the presidency while he plays at diplomacy in what many think is an attempt to earn another Nobel. I have lived in the countryside in Costa Rica, since 1998, and my relationships are with Ticos, rather than extranjeros. My criticism comes from what my Tico friends are saying more than what I’m reading in the news.

    The hero of this story isn’t Arias, but José Eduardo Vargas Rivera, who made the Recurso de Amparo before Sala IV. He’s the one who understands the situation in Cuba and is willing to speak out against it with his appeal. Why isn’t anyone commenting on his condemnation of the Cuban Dictatorship?

    We need to look for follow up stories on this item to see how the Sala IV handles it. My bet is that they dismiss it.

  6. Costa Rica’s involvement in a democratic Cuba go back a ways. Unfortunately, their assistance to Cuba inadvertingly helped this current regime gain power. Look up Huber Matos and Jose Figueres.
    Regardless of what Arias’ intentions are, I believe he is on our side. And better for Cuba and Costa Rica than Otton Solis would have been.

  7. Gringotico,

    You just made my point! President Arias, as you said, spoke WHEN? In August of 2006? Right after fidel had turned over power to raul? Isn’t that what I said? So please, please, please give me a URL on which Arias publicly denounces castro’s totalitarian government, or denounces human rights abuses in Cuba, or speaks in favor of Cuban political prisoners, or accuses the Cuban government of exporting terrorism (from 1960s to 2005 if you will). The only Latin American (or European) President with the CO*#@ES to stand up to castro was President Francisco Flores from Salvador during the 10th Ibero-American Summit held in Panama in November 2000. PERIOD!

    President Arias IS a moderate SOCIALIST who began his political career working for the National Liberation Party during the 1960s. His “Peace Proposal” called for DIALOGUE between governments and opposition groups, amnesty for political prisoners, cease-fires in ongoing insurgent conflicts, democratization, and free elections in all five regional states. The plan also called for renewed negotiations on arms reductions and an END of outside aid to insurgent forces though it did allow the CONTINUATION of such aid to GOVERNMENT forces. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk… President Arias opposed the idea of a military solution in Nicaragua, so much so, that he disclosed the existence of the Santa Elena airstrip (in Costa Rica) that served the Contra re-supply operation, and in doing so, he not only violated an agreement he had with the U.S. government, but he also placed the lives of U.S. citizens (many of them Cuban exiles helping the Contras) at risk. But more to the point, President Arias’ “peace proposal” or Esquipulas II Accord” called for a national RECONCILIATION. There was no JUSTICE met! Those that had committed CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY got away with it… case in point: the Ortega brothers. And where is Daniel “bloodstained hands” Ortega now? Well, last I heard he’s the president of Nicaragua. You can thank President Arias for that. The Ortega brothers should’ve been tried and sentenced in a court of law for crimes against humanity. Daniel Ortega should be behind bars!

    The Esquipulas II accord may have brought peace to Central America these past 10 years, but that is soon to change. I believe that only where there’s justice can there be lasting peace. President Arias is about to make the same mistake with Cuba, and as far as I’m concerned he can mind his own business and stop sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. I definitely don’t want President Arias coming up with a “democracy proposal” for Cuba and keep Cuban nationals and Cuban exiles OUT OF THE LOOP the way he did it in Nicaragua.

    Cubans don’t want RECONCILIATION with raul… Cubans don’t want a DIALOGUE with the current government… Cubans want JUSTICE for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY… Cubans don’t want EUROPE, RUSSIA, CHINA or LATIN AMERICA dictating their FATE!

    I stand by what I said: “thank you Mr. Arias, but not thanks.” By the way, since you’re a “gringo from the U.S.A.” (your own words… I particularly don’t care much for the word gringo) you must be very familiar with THE BILL OF RIGHTS, more specifically Amendment I. So here it goes… I have the RIGHT to EXPRESS my OPINION whether you AGREE with it or NOT! Furthermore, for your information, I don’t badmouth anyone. I state FACTS!

  8. Hey Firefly, First of all let me say that I agree with you 100%. You have the total right to your opinion and that is what freedom is all about. I think that means I have a right to an opinion and that is exactly what I am trying to express. I think we need all the friends we can get and particularly world leaders whether we agree with those leaders on other issues or not. You asked for some examples of Arias speaking out prior to August. here are a couple:
    Quote from 1990:
    I plead for, and have always done so, I haven’t changed my mind, for a regime change and not for a monarchical succession� in Cuba, said Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Prize for his efforts to end civil wars in Central America. “Costa Rica takes the opportunity to reiterate its permanent commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights, and to renew its solidarity with the Cuban people,�
    heres another from 2003:

    As you can read here Arias’s quote:

    “Castro is cut from the same cloth as Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, two of his less-notable contemporaries, or Paraguay’s Alfredo Stroessner and the Somoza clan, all of them fully deserving members of the Hall of Shame.”

    So anyway there are more but I guess this should be good enough to satisfy your request “(So please, please, please give me a URL on which Arias publicly denounces castro’s totalitarian government, or denounces human rights abuses in Cuba, or speaks in favor of Cuban political prisoners, or accuses the Cuban government of exporting terrorism (from 1960s to 2005 if you will” As far as I’m concerned as my initial post mentioned that I don’t think Arias or any politician is perfect but sounds to me that anyone who can say things that get them the front page of Granma calling them mercenaries and puppets of yanqui imperialism etc. evidently is getting someone pretty pissed off in Cuba and that makes me pretty happy.
    So as you say I won’t bad mouth anyone I’ll just post facts as reported. You want to talk about Arias and things that happened in Nicaruagua 20 years ago great. You are the expert. Me I want to see the asshole Fidel dead and let the Cubans have democracy. just like what Arias is saying. As for calling myself a gringo I think that is covered in the bill of rights and the laws here in Costa Rica. Gringo aint bad in Costa Rica and if that is what I want to call myself it is the same as you calling yourself Firefly. Use whatever moniker you want. How about Yuma in Havana? Never had a problem with that.

  9. Gringotico,

    The URL your posted is from August 2006:

    “Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Price Laureate Oscar Arias dismissed here Tuesday an insult proffered by Cuba’s Vice President and reiterated his desire to see democratic change on the communist island I plead for, and have always done so, I haven’t changed my mind, for a regime change and not a monarchical succession in Cuba, said Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Prize for his efforts to end civil war in Central America. Costa Rica takes the opportunity to reiterate its permanent commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights, and to renew its solidarity with the Cuban people.”

    The above paragraph refers to Carlos Lage and the incident described below:

    “Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage and Arias quarreled publicly in August after they suspended a meeting on reestablishing diplomatic relations between the two nations. Arias had also wanted to use the meeting to discuss civil rights on the island, but Lage rejected that idea.” From the Miami Herald, Dec. 28, 2006 by Anita Snow, Associated Press

    From 2001

    Also check this one out… It’s about Cuban-American Otto Reich’s Nomination to assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs. Excerpt below:

    “Reich’s nomination set off alarm bells in Havana the moment it was announced. Castro himself set the pattern, calling Reich ”a nasty person with a fascist mentality.” The Cuban dictator’s hand-picked National Assembly president, Ricardo Alarcon, played with words to accuse Bush of trying ”to impose a kind of Third Reich in Latin America.” Reich is ”a member of Miami’s anti-Castro Mafia,” Alarcon added, and ”a notorious character throughout the Iran-contra operation.”

    “The Cubans are not the only foreigners to interfere with Senate confirmation. Oscar Arias, former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace laureate, delivered an assault on Reich in a Los Angeles Times article (”A Nominee Who Stands for War”). This appointment, Arias contended, exalts ”hard-line ideology over flexibility and bipartisanship.” He brazenly demanded that Bush ”find another candidate for the job.”

    “It is Reich’s ardent anti-Communist credentials in the Reagan administration that have provoked leftists here and abroad, including former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.”

    From 1999
    “Arias said there were several similarities between Cuban situation and the Central American peace plan of 1987…” “The most important feature of the Central American peace plan was that nobody was seated in the defendant’s chair, which was where Washington wanted to put Nicaragua, Arias said…” He further added that “If Ibero-American countries make some progress, they could eventually ask the United States to give positive signals, such as the lifting of the U.S. embargo and the return of the Guantanamo base to Cuba,”

    From 1996
    “Hoy se cumple un mes del arresto de Rafael Solano. Solano esta, como se sabe, injustificada e injustamente en Villa Maristas, sede de la Seguridad del Estado. Su mama, Petronila Morales, se ha dirigido a relevantes personalidades como Oscar Arias, Jose Maria Aznar, el Rey Juan Carlos de Borbon, quien le entrego a Solano en 1988 el premio Rey de Espana de periodistas. A todos les ha pedido que intercedan ante el gobierno cubano para que saquen a su hijo del pais. Ni estas ni otras personalidades ni ninguna organizacion no gubernamental ha expresado publicamente, que me conste, su interes, disposicion y posibilidad de sacar a Rafael Solano de Cuba, y mi colega y amigo lleva un mes en una celda. Personalmente hago este reclamo, hoy como escritor. La situacion en que seguramente esta mi amigo me recuerda aquellas absurdas situaciones kafkianas en las cuales se ve, de pronto, un hombre singular y brillante desgastando su fino intelecto en conversaciones inutiles, sin poder salir de ellas.”

    Oscar Arias is the Latin-American “Jimmy Carter.” A real friend of the Cuban people? THINK NOT! I want democracy and JUSTICE for Cuba.

    As to you calling yourself Gringo! Frankly my dear…. My ONLY concern was not to offend those that read my post.

    I believe I’ve made my point.

  10. Thanks Firefly, I’m now much more enlightened about Oscar Arias And YES you have more than made your point. I had no idea that in fact he is really an asshole and I agree he should keep his big mouth shut and concentrate on governing Costa Rica rather than meddling in the politics of other countries. We need new roads here and I would much prefer new roads to having our president meddling where he doesn’t belong like he did in Nicaragua. Thanks for the well researched and written response. I totally concede your points and will now end the conversation on my part (I relinquish the last word to you and I will respectfully read it). I will based on your indisputable evidence never trust a thing that Oscar Arias says again in the future about Cuba or anything else. The truth is after reading your history (which I was not at all aware of) there now in my mind is a nagging doubt that there is a chance that Arias is in fact a double agent and working FOR the dictatorial regime in Cuba and not against it as I originally thought based on Arias’s recent and older comments. There is obviously more to the story as you have pointed out.
    As the stipulated expert on the subject I would encourage you to (should you desire more exposure for your thesis) compile all this research and send in a nice letter to the editor over at Granma. As we know they have a lack of experienced writers and I’m sure they would welcome you to the fold so that they can continue their Arias bashing with some real facts. FIN PARA el gringo.

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