Monday, February 12, 2007

Oscar Arias: Daniel Ortega is confusing our police forces with an army

Costa Rican President reacts to Ortega's statement

Alvaro Murillo
La Nacion

Published by La Nacion on February 4, 2007

Translated by Uri Ridelman

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said that the statement 'that Costa Rica has a powerful army', made by his Nicaraguan coleague Daniel Ortega, is "absolutely false."

"It makes no sense to confuse a civic police force, created for the protection of our citizens, with an army," said Arias a day after Ortega stated that Nicaragua can't disarm as long as its neighbors still own powerful military forces.

"We have armies in all of Central America, including Costa Rica, which has a powerful military force that they call 'Civil Force', and because of that Nicaragua won't disarm," Ortega said.

Ortega's comments were in response to U.S. government requests that Managua destroy its arsenal of Soviet-era SAM-7 ground-to-air missiles.

Arias added that instead of thinking about buying and preserving military equipment Central America should try to become the first army-free region of the world.

Arias and Ortega, two veterans of Central American politics, have not met since November, when the Sandinista Front of National Liberation (FSLN) won the Nicaraguan elections.

Back then, Arias said that he hoped to have a good relationship with Ortega because they already knew each other. However, they only talked for a short while during Ortega's swearing-in ceremony on January 10, the day that Ortega also publicly announced his support for the politics of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Two opposing visions on armed forces:
Nicaragua: the government defends the existence of its army and rejects to disarm it. Several Nicaraguan leaders have publicly stated their concern because they see an Ortega that is trying to hold more control of the army.

Costa Rica: In its 1949 Constitution, which is still in force, abolished its army. According to Article 12 the country can only have civil forces which will be created to protect the country citizens.

Note from Tiquicia's Web master:
Not only is Ortega already lying to Nicaraguans about their neighbors and clashing with the Americans about the destructions of the SAM missiles, but he has already pledged allegiance to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Those who hoped for a renewed, kinder Ortega will clearly be dissapointed.

And for those who are wondering why I refer to Hugo Chavez as a dictator, what else would you call a leader that was given the power by his opposition-free National Assembly to rule his country by decree for the next 18 months? He can now create laws at will, without having to depend on a congress to legislate. Probably after 17 months of rule he will create a decree that will allow him to stay in power and rule by decree for life. What a joke of a country Venezuela has become!

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