New Costa Rican President to Send an Ambassador to Nicaragua

Rodrigo Chaves, Costa Rica’s president-elect, speaking at a press conference in San Jose. Photo: Bienvenido Velasco / EFE

Costa Rica’s president-elect stated he “will speak with the person I name as Foreign Minister,” before making a final decision.

By EFE / Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Rodrigo Chaves, Costa Rica’s newly elected president, announced on Monday that he wants to name an ambassador to Nicaragua, and that he aspires to maintaining respectful relations with that neighboring country as well as with all the world’s nations.

“My inclination is to appoint an ambassador to Nicaragua, [because] we have diplomatic relations and aren’t at war,” Chaves declared in his first press conference after being elected president on April 3rd. He added, however, that before doing so he’ll speak with the person he names as foreign minister.

Chaves, of the center-right Social Democratic Progress Party, offered the war between Russia and Ukraine as an example of two countries that “are still talking”, despite their ongoing conflict.

“We have to maintain diplomatic relations with all our neighbors. Those [political] positions where you aspire to always look good aren’t the way we want to operate. We want to operate according to international law. I don’t like being wishy-washy,” he declared.

Chaves, who will officially assume power on May 8, assured he would uphold the values of democracy and freedom that characterize Costa Rican foreign policy.

No diplomatic “games” of foreign relations but no ambassador

“If diplomatic relations must be severed for good cause, we’ll break off relations; but we won’t play the little game of having diplomatic relations but not an ambassador,” Chaves declared.

The government of outgoing president Carlos Alvarado declined to send an ambassador to Nicaragua as a symbol of his disapproval of the government there. In diverse international forums, Alvarado denounced the human rights violations in Nicaragua and advocated for their return to democracy.

Costa Rica has strongly criticized the Nicaraguan government for imprisoning activists, journalists and aspiring presidential candidates. The country has declared that Nicaragua’s election last November was neither clean nor transparent.

Nicaragua has been experiencing a political and social crisis since April 2018. That crisis only deepened during the period around the controversial presidential election of November 7, 2021, in which Ortega was reelected to a fifth term, four of them consecutive. This is the second term in which his wife, Rosario Murillo, has also been his vice president. The principal figures aspiring to challenge Ortega and Murillo during that past election remain in prison, where they’ve been since the very beginning of that electoral period, now nearly a year ago.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times