Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Central America not counting on more aid following Obama visit

April 8, 2013

Central American leaders are happy to host U.S. President Barack Obama in Costa Rica in early May, but they’re not holding their breath for more financial aid from his government, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo told the daily La Nación on Sunday.

“Times have changed. I don’t expect we’ll see a sudden influx of financial aid from the United States in this region,” he said, noting that the U.S. is focused on controlling its own public spending back home.

Obama’s May 3-4 visit, when he will meet with seven Central American and Caribbean heads of state, will focus instead on strengthening political ties in Latin America, Castillo said.

“The first [Obama] administration was marked by a distance and certain indifference towards Latin America with a few countries being an exception,” Castillo told La Nación.

“I think now he is expressing more of an interest in regions with small countries, but where the U.S. has security and immigration interests,” he added.

Obama’s visit could help shore up better cooperation on those issues by initiating channels of better political dialogue.

Most members of the Central American Integration System have confirmed they’ll attend the summit, including Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina, Panama’s Ricardo Martinelli, El Salvador’s Mauricio Funes and Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla, who will host the event.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he would attend, following an embarrassing exchange last week when Ortega claimed Costa Rica didn’t invite him. The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry quickly produced a copy of a formal invite sent to the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José, contradicting Ortega’s claims.

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo is expected to attend but has not yet formally accepted the invitation. Belize’s Dean Barrow also has not said if he’ll attend.

Obama first will travel to Mexico on May 2, where he’ll meet with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto.

You may be interested

We asked the Costa Rican Tourism Minister your most pressing questions
Costa Rica
894 views
Costa Rica
894 views

We asked the Costa Rican Tourism Minister your most pressing questions

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 29, 2020

Starting November 1, Costa Rica will welcome tourists from anywhere in the world. Visitors have to obtain travel medical insurance,…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Thursday, October 29
Costa Rica
5964 views
Costa Rica
5964 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Thursday, October 29

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 29, 2020

Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 1,357, according to official data…

‘Moderate to strong’ La Niña this year, UN says
Climate Change
3042 views
Climate Change
3042 views

‘Moderate to strong’ La Niña this year, UN says

Nina LARSON / AFP and The Tico Times - October 29, 2020

Global temperatures boosted by climate change will still be higher than usual despite the cooling effect of a "moderate to…