Thursday, December 10, 2009

Former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo Odio dies at 82

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - Former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo Odio has died of complications from open-heart surgery.

Costa Rica's Social Security Department said in a statement that the 82-year-old former leader died Wednesday following surgery for a coronary obstruction.

The charismatic Carazo Odio governed Costa Rica from 1978 to 1982.

He was viewed as a supporter of the Sandinista revolution that toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza in neighboring Nicaragua in 1979. He opposed a free trade agreement with the United States approved in 2007.

But he also broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1981, ties that were not revived until last March.

Carazo Odio is survived by his wife, Estrella Zeledon Lizano, and four children.

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