Costa Rica’s Opposition Rejects Entry Of US Naval Forces
As is customary, the US asks for authorization of Costa Rica’s legislature before entry of any US warship and soldiers in Costa Rican waters. And as customary, the Costa Rica legislature grants its permission, as was the case on Friday.
The permission allows the entry of 46 US war ships and 7.000 Marines for the balance of the year (July 1 to December 31, 2010).
The permission granted by the Costa Rica legislature could include docking of the USS Freedom (pictured above) on Costa Rica’s shores. Opposition parties say the decade old agreement was to allow entry of US coast guard vessels and not war ships.
Costa Rica’s opposition, however, see it different, describing the permission as illegal and in violation of national sovereignty.
The main opponents to the granting of the authority is the Partido Acción Cuidadana (PAC), the Frente Amplio (FA) and the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), arguing that the destructive force of the ships and manpower, that includes helicopters, is disproportianate to the threat caused by drug traffickers.
The 46 ships carry some 200 helicopters and war planes and includes the USS Freedom, combat submarines and a hospital ship.
Luis Fishman, head of the PUSC party and presidential candidate in the past elections, said the legislative approval was like handing over a “blank cheque”.
“We cannot support the illegal, we cannot allow our Constitution to be trampled”, said Fishman.
The PAC and the FA recalled that the bilateral agreement signed 10 years ago allowed the entry of coast guard vessels, but not war ships that have the capacity for military confrontations and war.
FA legislator José María Villalta questioned the conditions under which the permission was granted, since US personnel “will enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities needed to fulfill their mission”.
The FA also urged consideration of the geopolitical situation in which naval forces will be allowed to enter a region considered by Washington as part of its sphere of influence.
The legislator recalled that the US applies in the region a “strategy of complete dominance”, which includes offensive actions such as the coup d’etat in Honduras and the installation of military bases in Colombia.
Opposition Deputies said they may take action, that could include an appeal with the Constitutional Court, against the decision of the Legislative Assembly since the permission for the ships, airships, helicopters and marines to enter the country violates the agreement reached a decade ago.