Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comment on The Economist survey about Calero Island

Amidst the negative sentiment that this incident has stirred in Costa Rica, it is important to keep the facts at hand. The best commentary with explanations from maps and treaties could be this one:

Costa Rica is a country without an army, as rare as it may sound. It means it poses no military threat to any other country. This is something Nicaragua knows, so the move has been received not only as an offense, but also as an act of bad faith. They would not have done the same to their northern neighbor, Honduras, who would have reacted militarily. Costa Rica does not have that option.

If this slap in the face is the result of a geopolitical chess game involving Venezuela, Iran and Russia or not, is out of the question for Costa Ricans, who have offered refuge, employment, and free health and education to hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who, for decades, have fled their impoverished home country in search of a better future.

This crisis is a stark reminder that the border between both countries is one of the most unequal in the world according to the UN Human Development Index, and that each country's development is intertwined with the other. It is in Costa Rica's interest that Nicaragua develops, for which corruption must be tackled and good governance must be implemented.

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