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Stamps Honoring Rodríguez Present Sticky Situation

October 29, 2004

JUST before the official appointmentof former President Miguel ÁngelRodríguez as Secretary General of theOrganization of American States (OAS)last month, the Costa Rican PostalService printed some 50,000 postagestamps commemorating his election tothe high office.Now, after allegations of corruption ledto his resignation and subsequent arrest, noone is quite sure what to do with thestamps, Postal Service general managerMoises Lazo told The Tico Times.To date, about 15,000 of the stampshave been sold. Sale of the remaining35,000 stamps has been suspended, and ithas been suggested they not be put intocirculation.That, however, would be a costly venture,Lazo said.“Withdrawing them would mean losingan investment without any remuneration,”he said.The stamps’ fate remains in the handsof the Comptroller General’s Office, whichLazo said is in the process of making afinal decision on what to do with them.Lazo said that if the office decides notto use the stamps, they would have to bedestroyed.President Abel Pacheco said thestamps depicting his predecessor wouldmake a valuable collector’s item.“I’ve been a collector all my life,”Pacheco said last week. “As a collector,they have quite a lot of value.”But for the Postal Service, their valuehasn’t changed at all.“For us, their value is face value –¢120,” Lazo said.Meanwhile, modified images of thestamps have circulated on the Internet,along with other jokes and photos relatedto the corruption scandals.One of the joke stamps says “Wanted,”another shows Rodríguez behind bars andanother depicts Rodríguez as “Star Wars”villain Darth Vader.

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