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Bravo Costa Rica!

Posted By Ray Walser On February 9, 2010 @ 6:00 pm In International | Comments Disabled

Costa Rica President-Elect Laura Chinchilla [1]

The election of Laura Chinchilla of the National Liberation Party on February 7 to the presidency of Costa Rica is an important milestone for Central America. President-elect Chinchilla has become Costa Rica’s first [2] female president and the fifth woman elected president of a Latin America state since 1990. Her election represents a further blunting of the populist Left’s mythical invincibility in the region, and offers a pleasing counterpoise to the likes of anti-American machismo of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. In Panama, Honduras, Chile, and now Costa Rica, leaders of the center or center-right are winning elections, helping curb the march toward the radical Left.

President-elect Chinchilla, a former vice president, considers herself a staunch democrat and will likely continue Costa Rica’s leadership in advancing democracy, respect for human rights, a free press, and economic opportunity in the region.

In this way, she would continue the legacy of two-time Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias, who will now assume a place in history alongside the legendary founder of modern Costa Rican democracy, “Pepe” Figueres. Arias helped to end the Central American wars of the 1980s; he challenged the Latin American tendency to blame the U.S. for the region’s economic and social shortcomings; and he helped negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Honduran presidential and constitutional crisis.

It’s a record that will take courage and conviction to follow, but Chinchilla appears ready. She has promised to pursue free market [3] strategies, to fight crime and drug trafficking in Central America, and to work cooperatively with the United States. And that deserves a welcome response from Washington, indeed.

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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/09/bravo-costa-rica/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/Chinchilla100209.jpg

[2] Costa Rica’s first: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/world/americas/09costarica.html

[3] free market: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/1470006.html

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