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HomeCosta RicaFormer Costa Rican Presidents Unite Against Democracy Criticism

Former Costa Rican Presidents Unite Against Democracy Criticism

Former Presidents of Costa Rica published a letter opposing statements made by President Rodrigo Chaves, in which he claimed that the country was a “perfect dictatorship.”

The document was signed by Oscar Arias, Rafael Ángel Calderón, José María Figueres, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Abel Pacheco, Laura Chinchilla, Luis Guillermo Solís, and Carlos Alvarado.

“Costa Rica is a true democracy. It is the oldest uninterrupted democracy in Latin America, with a tradition of institutional development that began more than 200 years ago,” they emphasized.

The former Heads of State acknowledged the country’s democratic trajectory, the strength of its rule of law, and its respect for civil liberties and human rights, mentioning that these are “internationally recognized,” which is “an achievement that Costa Ricans have been proud of for several decades.”

During an event in La Fortuna de San Carlos, President Chaves said Costa Rica has been a “perfect dictatorship for 75 years”, a statement the former presidents found unacceptable. They refused to equate the country with nations such as Cuba or Venezuela, where freedom and other fundamental rights are not respected.

Additionally, they recognized that Costa Rican democracy today has debts to its citizens but reiterated that “the task of improving it is continuous.”

“We are aware that there is still much to be done to improve the quality of life for our citizens and to continue strengthening our governance. But the only way to continue building a more prosperous and inclusive country is by adhering to our democratic values,” they asserted.

President Chaves responded to the letter published by the ex-presidents, whom he considers “accomplices and perpetrators of the tyranny that they defend as institutionalism.”

“In the alliance that they have had for years, they elected all the magistrates, they elected the comptroller, they passed the laws that constrain us today, they began to soften the laws against criminals, they began to give absolute powers to the officials they appointed,” he said.

He accused the PLN, PUSC, and PAC parties of creating the problems the country suffers from and refusing to acknowledge that they created institutions and laws to work in their favor.

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