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U.S. Congressman Visits San José

February 18, 2005

U.S. Republican congressman DanBurton, recently elected chairman of theWestern Hemisphere Subcommittee of theInternational Relations Committee, visitedSan José this week.The Indiana congressman met withex-President and 2006 presidential candidateOscar Arias (1986-1990), legislatorsand other officials during his stay, whichended Wednesday.At a Monday meeting with finance,trade and foreign relations officials andCosta Rica’s ambassador to the UnitedStates, Tomás Dueñas, participants discussedtheir mutual support for theCentral American Free-Trade Agreementwith the United States (CAFTA).Burton’s visit was his first to CostaRica since his election as committeechairman, according to a statement fromthe Foreign Ministry. He is best knownas a co-author of the Cuban Liberty andDemocratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act,usually referred to as the Helms-Burtonact, which grants U.S. citizens the right tosue authorities or investors who benefitfrom previously U.S.-owned propertyconfiscated by the Cuban governmentafter the 1959 revolution.He told business leaders at a Mondaybreakfast given by the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce(AmCham) that while he had had certainreservations about previous U.S. tradepacts, “I don’t have many concerns aboutCAFTA.” He did not specify a timeframe in which he expects U.S. PresidentGeorge W. Bush to send CAFTA toCongress for ratification, saying only thatthe legislature has a packed agenda.

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