Georgian Opposition Leader Opens Door To Russia, Closes It To Saakashvili

Reuters

“If the Georgian authorities to stick his nose back, then it will break”

Georgian opposition took a break for the summer, and the government, by contrast, are active foreign policy. In Tbilisi in July visited U.S. Secretary of State, EU High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy, foreign ministers of Poland, France, Luxembourg. A number of visits made Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. He said he was ready for dialogue with Russia, which broke diplomatic relations after the conflict in the Caucasus in August 2008.

Last fall, Noghaideli, Prime Minister of Georgia in 2005 – 2007 years and now leader of the opposition movement “For Fair Georgia, the first of Georgian politicians went to the Russian capital, adding that without such contacts will not be able to solve the problems of his country. Recently the 45-year-old Nogaideli for the eighth time in recent months has visited Moscow and then told the Vremya news, what he seen the prospects of relations between Russia and Georgia and that he was preparing opposition to the Georgian authorities in the autumn.

– Georgia always felt the support of European countries, the United States. But our country is in a serious extent, isolated from the outside world, which is not limited to the West. Relations between Russia and Georgia are very important. And during all the visits we make it clear that no one else will solve our problems for us. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, too, was stressed. Saakashvili could say that someone is coming to support him, but it’s not, it is support throughout Georgia. Finally, there is softly diplomacy behind closed doors. Public comments are not made, but it was so quiet friendship, warned Georgia of the fact that she can go back to a real dictatorship. By the way, the merit of such diplomacy is that personally I am still alive and not arrested.

– When you first of Georgian politicians dared to make contacts with Russia, the Georgian authorities to condemn you. A few days ago he Mikhail Saakashvili said he was ready for dialogue with Russia.

– Waged against us a well-coordinated campaign, we are called “rogue states”, “enemies” and “traitors”, but not knocked out of the rut. Now let him apologize, including Saakashvili, who is willing to talk with Russia without preconditions and ultimatums. He had been sent emissaries to Moscow. Let’s see what comes of his statements. For us it is important to the process of establishing a possible relationship was an open and transparent. We must understand the purpose of Saakashvili. As he pursues this: to retain power after 2013, when its powers expire, or acting for the interests of Georgia? The other side of the coin is, how can a real dialogue with Moscow under Saakashvili, but this I will not speak so as not to hinder the process.

– This month, you again spoke to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and even earlier signed a cooperation agreement with United Russia.

– I cherish the relationship with the “United Russia”, and we will continue to actively develop them. The next contact is possible as early as this month. We agreed a few weeks to postpone discussion of two issues: the resumption of regular air and on the return to the Russian market of Georgian products. Let’s see what will do on these fronts Saakashvili. As our meeting with the prime minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, after it made an important statement. First, the fact that someone happened in South Ossetia and Abkhazia – the “occupation”, but for someone – the “liberation”. This means that if the Georgian authorities dare to some adventure, going out there to stick his nose, then it will break. This can be no doubt. If Saakashvili two years ago in this doubt, now, I think, and he has doubts on this point anymore.

It is very important and the other part of the statement Prime Minister of Russia: the Georgians themselves to establish relations with the Ossetians, the same applies to the Abkhazians. I talked about this before, this is the only formula: bring people back, and we must return to their hearts. We must heal the wounds. Or will not resolve conflicts, not one of Georgia will not. Now everything depends on us. We must engage in dialogue with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, Sergei Bagapsh and Eduard Kokoity (presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. – Ed.), since they now represent the Abkhazians and Ossetians. After all, on this occasion, U.S. Secretary of Tbilisi and the Prime Minister of Russia in Moscow, said virtually the same. But if we want our leader was Saakashvili, then Georgia will never unite. Time inevitably works against us. After a few years we will have no chance of reconciliation. Since August 2008 to conduct a dialogue is not easy, but necessary. The question requires some sacrifice.

– Despite the gap Georgia two years ago, diplomatic relations with Russia, Russian economic interests in Georgia, there are weighty. They say that Russia can buy a natural gas pipeline linking it to Armenia via Georgia. But sell the pipe were thinking five years ago when you were in government?

– We receive over 10% of incoming transit to Armenia of Russian gas. Then the tube was in such condition that we have lost not only those levels – operating costs were higher. This led either to subsidize or to raise tariffs. So we had to find the money to rehabilitate the pipeline or to consider its privatization. We found through the American program “Millennium Challenge Account. After that there was no point in selling the gas pipeline, it was better to keep it in state ownership. With regard to the current situation, one must know the motivation of the possible privatization of the pipeline: What will Georgia, why the issue arose again? We once hid nothing. Going to sell? Yes, going. Change your mind – so change your mind, everything was clear to the public.

– Gazprom claimed?

– Probably, Gazprom would be the only viable buyer. Maybe others would buy – not a bad project.

– Business interests of Russia in Georgia – this is good or bad for the country’s security, do you think?

– I think it is absolutely not dangerous – on the contrary, with Russia to be restored and political relations. Above all, everything to be transparent.

– Recently you met overseas with another prominent opposition member and now a political emigrant – ex-Minister of Interior, Defence and Economic Development , Irakli Okruashvili. You can wait for revitalization of the Georgian opposition?

– The unity of the opposition need to address the problems of Georgia and overcome such obstacles as Saakashvili. I am attaching to this effort. In the summer we have time to talk, better to prepare, then to act.

Michael Vignansky, Tbilis

Choose Peace—End the Siege on Gaza

Choose Peace—End the Siege on Gaza

By Mairead Maguire

They were not Terrorists, but human beings, who cared for others.

On Saturday 5th June, 2010, 35 heavily armed Israeli Navy Seals commandeered our boat, MV Rachel Corrie, one of the Freedom Flotilla, in International waters (30 miles off the coast of Gaza).  As they did so, we 19 humanitarian activists and crew, sat on the deck.

We were quietly anxious, aware of the solitary figure in the wheelhouse with his hands held high against the window, in full view of the three Israeli warships, 4 approaching zodiacs and 2 commando carriers, whose guns were pointing in his direction. I personally wondered if the courageous Derek Graham would live to tell the tale, conscious of what happened on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, earlier in the week.

On Monday 3lst May, 2010, we heard via satellite phone that the Israeli Commandoes had boarded in International waters, from helicopter and zodiacs, the Turkish Ship, MV Mavi Marmara, killing and injuring many people. It was later confirmed that 8 Turkish people, l Turkish/USA, unarmed civilians had been shot (2 in the head and several in the back). All 6 boats on the Freedom Flotilla had been commandeered by Israeli Navy and taken to Israel and during this attack by Israel over 40 people were injured.

These killings of unarmed civilians were devastating news to us all and something we never expected to happen. All those participating in the Freedom Flotilla participated because they were moved by the suffering of the Palestinian people of Gaza.

They were not Terrorists; they were human beings, who cared for other human beings in their suffering. Gaza cut off by land crossing, sea (its port had been closed for over 40 years since Israeli occupation and had the Free Gaza Rachel Corrie Cargo boat been able to enter Gaza, it would have been the first Cargo boat ever to do so). Gaza has rightly been described as the largest open air prison in the world, with Israel holding all the keys for its one and a half million people living under a policy of collective punishment by Israeli.

Under siege for over 3 years now, with a shortage of medicine, basic materials to rebuild their homes, after the 22 day bombardment by Israeli in Dec/Jan.2009 has left Gaza and its people, a place of suffering and isolation.

The flotilla was not only to bring humanitarian aid, books for children, toys, writing material, but to help break the siege of Gaza, which is slowly strangling its people.

The violations of international law committed by Israel are well documented by the UN, and many independent human rights bodies. All of these violations of International laws and norms are committed under the guise of ‘national security’, a policy of isolating Gaza to weaken Hamas.

It is a policy that is clearly not working. As we have learned in N. Ireland, violence never works, so why not try talking to Hamas, as the British Government had to talk to rep. of IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries, in order to move to peace.

The brutal and illegal attack of aid ships in International waters on May 3lst and the subsequent boarding of the MV Rachel Corrie, also in international Waters, is a symptom of the culture of impunity under which Israel operates.

The Israeli Government was quick to blame the activists on board the MV Mavi Marmara, claiming that they attacked first and were members of terrorist groups.

They also claimed that the HLL the Turkish Humanitarian Group who organized the Mavi Marmara had terrorist links. The HLL is not a banned organization in Turkey and has no links to terrorist organizations. It was disappointing to see how many International governments and media outlets immediately accepted Israel’s version of events without further investigation.

Sure, there have been calls for a ‘prompt, Impartial, credible and transparent’ investigation into the events of May 3lst by the United Nations Security Council. Yet the United States and others seem to think that Israel can conduct such an investigation on its own.  In the words of my colleague, Nobel Jody Williams, this is like “the fox accounting for the number of chickens left in the henhouse”; such a response cannot stand, and nothing less than an independent investigation will be acceptable to the international community.

This attack on the Freedom Flotilla is a tipping point. It is time for the International Community to finally stop allowing Israel to act with blatant disregard for Human Life, Human rights and International Law.

The partial lifting of the siege shows what International pressure can achieve, but it is not enough and only a full lifting of the siege can bring re freedom to the people of Gaza.

It is time for Israel to choose peace. It is time for world leaders and the international Community to join together and call on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza completely, End the occupation of Palestine and allow the Palestinian people their right to self-determination.

To help bring closer that day we can all do something. Not everyone can go with the Free Gaza boat people, but supporting the BDS campaign, calling for an end to EU special trading status with Israel insisting that USA end its economic/military assistance to Israel until it upholds it international commitments. Palestine is a key to peace in the Middle East so by us all refusing to be ‘silent’ in the face of Israel’s continued apartheid policies we can all bring closer an end to all violence in the Middle East.

– Mairead Maguire is Nobel Peace Laureate. Visit: www.peacepeople.com. This article was contributed to PalestineChronicle.com.

The Deadly Contradictions Of Neo-Liberal Globalism and the Collapse Of World Order

Nobody wants to change

Neo-liberal order surprisingly repeating the history of Brezhnev’s “stagnation”
Boris Kagarlitsky

omething we did not converge with the crisis. It seems to have conquered and overcome, but not end there. Recently, someone from the official experts clarified, stating that we are “at the beginning of the mid-end of the crisis. Apparently, the speaker inspired the famous words of Winston Churchill, who, after Stalingrad, said: “This is not the beginning of the end, but only the end of the beginning”. Churchill, however, turned out more elegant.

If we are to follow the logic of detailed periodization, then it would be better to say that we are experiencing “the end of the beginning of the middle. Or rather – a pause caused by a combination of the Government’s willingness to spend any money to fight the symptoms of the crisis with the persistent reluctance to recognize the need for structural reforms – and, thus, try to really overcome the crisis.

In everyday terms can only rejoice that the development of the crisis is suspended. Especially nice is aware of the holiday season, when the omission has everything – the weather and mood, and fatigue accumulated during the year. In terms of strategy, respite may be useful when it comes to the accumulation of forces for a new spurt. The trouble is that no question of any new dash of speech does not go. No one is going somewhere to move, to change something. The ideal situation is to stand still. In Russia it is called modernization.

However, in spite of our confidence in their own unique and special, it must be noted that most governments and elites of the world in the face of crisis behaves roughly the same.

In the coincidence of their actions – or rather their inaction – they see the argument, conclusively proving his own right. It is not open to all leading governments of the world simultaneously and equally fallible. Alas, they can. And, if it were otherwise, then the current crisis would not exist. Rather, he would not accept such a far-reaching and less dramatic form.

Positions of authority doctors give the patient increasing doses of painkillers, refusing not only to treat or even diagnose the disease. All large sums of public money pumped into large corporations, the ineffectiveness of which is precisely the main cause of problems. It is natural that all the allocated funds are spent inefficiently, too, and, consequently, to continue the struggle with the crisis required more and more financial resources to that end. Another aspect of the problem lies in the fact that the leading private companies in the world for a long time and several times nationalized, if the value of their shares compared with the scale of public funds invested in them. However, in practice this turns into an ambitious nationalization of privatization, since the State, for the most part, did not dare take a long time redeemed his property, and in the few cases when stocks are still moving into the hands of governments, the latter vowed to get rid of them at the earliest opportunity. Absurd “wild privatization”, which is typical for Russia and other former Soviet countries the 1990’s, has now become, though in slightly different form, the reality of the Western world.

Structural changes are not only not produced, on the contrary, all efforts of the ruling circles are directed to ensure that such changes are not allowed to leave everything as usual. Not surprisingly, the crisis, instead of end, reproduced, deepens and becomes chronic, turning into a long depression from which there is no and will not be out until until realized the need to change the rules of economic life. But the change no one is going.

The conservatism of the ruling circles is easy to explain. Why should I change it to those who so well? But not only the top conservative. Nisa’s not eager to make a revolution. As for the Left, they are divided into two parts. One utterly imbued with the liberal ideology – so that find themselves in an effort to preserve the existing order conservative than the most desperate “bourgeois” conservatives. Others, conversely, continue to chant the old sectarian slogans, expressing their loyalty to the Stalinist or Trotskyist ideals, without showing the slightest desire to change something in real life. After all, any action aimed at the practical changes in the current context, it is “reformism” and, consequently, the greatest sin in terms of the orthodox Trotskyist ideology. Left sectarians feel even more comfortable than the ideologues of the existing order, because they do not need to anyone to justify and explain anything – all the answers and explanations they already have, once and for all.The main problem, however, is not in the ideology of the Right and Left, and in-depth and comprehensive conservative society, including even those of its layers, to which modern life is not so friendly.

The collapse of the communist system and the subsequent experience of the destructive “reforms” have caused the majority of our fellow citizens a negative attitude to any changes. And for common words that will change for the better, people are not convincing.

The crisis we are experiencing today, began as a financial-economic, very quickly turned into an ideological and philosophical. Public consciousness does not want to analyze or understand the ongoing processes, and even less in their forecast. Straight talk about the current state of affairs is impossible, because frighten inevitable conclusions. Exit out of the crisis can only be through a radical change, but they do not want none.

The possibility of the crisis initially did not fit into the brains of people who believe in the infallibility of the market and an ideal “natural laws” of liberal economy. Of course, they talked about the typical ideological illusion, for it is from the XVIII century it is known that recurrent crises and social upheaval are just a natural part of the liberal economic order. But every time the crisis overtake. And each time repeats the same thing. The principal difference between the current crisis from the previous, however, is that he has a systemic character, summing up the end of the whole era of neoliberalism. Accumulated over several decades of conflict require a permit. In this sense, neo-liberal order surprisingly repeats the story about Brezhnev in the Soviet camp. Then, instead of through the transformation to try to correct the economic and social imbalances, simply spend more and more resources for the artificial maintenance of stability. The longer such policies, the more prolonged the uncertainty, the more dramatic things happen when resources are running out. And the fact that the financial resources of most of the world’s governments are about to run, it was evident already during the last meeting of the Group of Twenty. ”

You can, of course, print money, but then they quickly turn into bills without any price. It is already well understood in the euro area, is aware of this and the Ministry of Finance of Russia. The U.S. Federal Reserve has also pretended not to understand this – because in Washington believe: “if anything” other countries will be forced to give up their resources to maintain a falling dollar. The calculation is correct, the “green” as yet irreplaceable and needed by all, but the trouble is that the free financial resources for the main countries in the world are left with – at a crucial moment to save the dollar will be no one and nothing.

In general, the pause is clearly coming to an end. It can extend for some time, driving the disease deeper. But nothing lasts forever. Moreover, if we are dealing with finite resources, which are, alas, are, and money.

Running from the history of nowhere. It will sooner or later overtake us all. It remains a choice – to participate in the history of vigorous action or be a victim of spontaneous developments.

The ideological crisis facing the modern world, turns out the lack of “positive hero”. But the drama will still be played, even if none of the protagonists in no hurry to go on stage. The role of heroes will take the rock – the objective course of socio-economic process, fracturing plans and destiny. Political institutions and economic structures that now seem set in stone and can be swayed to collapse overnight. We have already seen, as happened with the Soviet Union. In the current crisis, we have seen scattered in the dust of immense corporations in America – the leading investment banks, General Motors and many other less famous players.

One can only hope that the process of destruction not too fast. At that time society had time to realize what is happening, to develop answers and propose new leaders. But this happens only on one condition: if the time that win government doctors, burning in the hearth of the crisis the financial resources will be used for a fair society and a radical debate about the causes of events and to find alternatives. In this case, we can say that the prolongation of the crisis has played a positive role in paving the way for the gradual adaptation of mass consciousness to a new reality.

Pause sooner or later will end, just as the holiday season ends.

But while we have this opportunity, we drive away bad thoughts. After all, life is so wonderful, so many interesting topics and subjects in addition to the crisis! But the crisis we shall return in the autumn, when, after returning from vacation and spending money during the summer, we find that the reality of everyday life is much more severe than desired.

The same thing will find and our leaders.

Especially for the Century

Smoke and Mirrors Over Iranian Defector/Kidnap Victim

The “shadow war” between Tehran and Washington

« Ils m'ont emmené jusqu'à un endroit inconnu en Arabie saoudite. Ils m'ont fait une piqûre », a déclaré mercredi Shahram Amiri, dans une interview diffusée à la télévision d'État iranienne.
“They took me to an unknown place in Saudi Arabia. They gave me a shot, “said Shahram Amiri Wednesday, in an interview broadcast on Iranian state television.Photo credits: AFP

The odyssey of the Iranian physicist Shahram Amiri illustrates the battle of intelligence on the nuclear issue.

Ex-hostage or defector repented? Before leaving on Wednesday, the U.S.,Shahram Amiri has promised to shortly “revelations” about the circumstances surrounding his “abduction”. But in the euphoria of departure, the Iranian scientist may have already given the best clue to his mysterious disappearance, which is far from simple as a “kidnapping.” “I found myself in special conditions, not really free, not completely in prison. It’s hard to explain, “he said Wednesday morning in an interview broadcast on Iranian state television, just before his departure for Tehran – via Qatar – where he is expected this morning.

“Who had the best deal?”

While the Islamic Republic is preparing, with drums pounding to the return of that which it presents as a victim of the “Western conspiracy” case Amiri is above all a further example of the shadow war to which engage Tehran and Washington over the Iranian nuclear issue. “We have obtained useful information from him, and the Iranians Amiri: ask yourself who had the better deal, said Wednesday a senior U.S. official, on condition of anonymity.

Since his death in Mecca in early June 2009, Iranian authorities did not démordent. For them, the Iranian scientist, portrayed in the press in Tehran as a “researcher of medical radioisotopes in Malek Ashtar University, was kidnapped by the CIA with the complicity of the Saudi services. A different view reinforced by his videos, released last month by Iranian television and in which Amiri says he was drugged and shipped to his knowledge the United States. Except that so far no independent source could not confirm the remarks. And that, in the plethora of information provided by the official channel of Tehran, some contradict each other …

Thus, in a video dated June 14, the physicist says he has “escaped from the hands of U.S. intelligence agents in Virginia.” But in an interview Tuesday with Iranian state television, Mostafa Rahmani, the head of the Iranian consular section of Washington, said Amiri appeared this Monday in front of their door, “accompanied by American security forces.”

For Western intelligence experts, there is no doubt: Shahram Amiri has the typical rookie approached by the Americans. “The case Amiri strongly resembles a defection operation organized by the CIA,” says Eric Denece, director of the French Centre for Research on Intelligence. And remember that in their determination to learn more about the nuclear issue, the Americans are not at their first operation of its kind. “In 2007, Ali Reza Asghari, the former deputy defense minister and senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has also mysteriously disappeared,” he says.

According to this expert, the “information” available to Amiri, a “mere science” were probably smaller caliber than those coming from a former revolutionary guard. “One can imagine that after being debriefed for several months by American intelligence, they just have been more valuable, and that the CIA has stopped using its services,” says he. Left to itself, in a country where he did not know the culture, Amiri could then start to get homesick. “Unless the claimant began to regret having betrayed his country. Or he has turned his jacket, because of strong pressure on his family in Iran, “says Denece. One form of retaliation that recalls another case, that of the former Iranian consul stationed in Oslo, whose recent resignation came close to costing him his life.In several interviews given to the Norwegian press, it recounts the death threats against his person and anonymous phone calls announcing the imminent abduction of his son. With, the support, the promise of a promotion at work if he agrees to return home and to denounce mounting hatched by the West. But unlike the ex-diplomat, family Amiri is still in Iran …

“A propaganda coup”

In an interview Wednesday, the Iranian scientist said: “Once in Iran, I will clarify the allegations of foreign media and U.S. government, which have damaged my reputation.” The day before, just after he reappeared in the section Iranian interests in Washington, he already stated that “the Americans were the losers in this case.” For Eric Denece, if Iran is doing with “a good internal propaganda coup”, the winner of the story remains Washington. “The very fact of having managed to get him out of the country to make him talk is a victory. It calls into question the infallibility of Iranian intelligence. And even if Amiri was not the best informed source on the Iranian program, they probably gave ideas for possible new recruits, “he said.

Democratic forces unity must for peace in Balochistan: Raisani

Democratic forces unity must for peace in Balochistan: Raisani

ISLAMABAD (SANA): PPP Senator Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani on Thursday urged all the democratic forces to sit together to analyze the target killing of Balochistan National Party leader and agree on a strategy for bringing peace in Balochistan.

He said” all the political parties and leaders will have to sit together to ponder over how people involved in democratic struggle could perpetuate their existence”, a private news channel reported.

Raisani said target killing incidents in Balochistan were being carried out in a systematic way to continue the cycle of violence in the province.

He maintained that target killers have been arrested and are being tried. “Today’s murder is a wake up call and will have grave concern for all the democratic forces”, he added.

Balochistan has become strategically very significant and it is responsibility of every political party to unite and try to foil such conspiracies instead of blaming each other.

“This situation would definitely benefit to the miscreants and foreign agents involved here,” he added.

Much violence is being done and people claim the responsibility of destroying schools, killing children and women, he said.

“If we sit together, we will find who is behind it and what could be done,” he said.

He also assured his readiness to invite all the stakeholders and leaders and willingness to visit anyone for the future of our youth and country. Whosoever is involved in terrorism, is the enemy to the people of Balochistan.

No doubt, it is responsibility of the government to overcome this crisis, but at the same time it is moral responsibility of every leader to lead Pakistan out of crisis, he said.

Costa Ricans protest military pact with U.S

[Costa Rica, Like Kyrgyzstan, is another case of America replacing one puppet president with a new one.]

Costa Ricans protest military pact with U.S

CostaRica

The political opposition in the Central American country of Costa Rica is raising questions about an announced agreement that would allow 7,000 U.S. troops to operate on Costa Rican soil, coordinated with 46 U.S. ships in territorial waters.

Costa Rica is often praised in corporate media for having abolished its armed forces in 1948 and turning the resources thus liberated to better use in maintaining a social safety net superior to that of nearby countries. The truth is a little more complicated.

During World War II, the then-existing international association of communist parties (known as the Comintern) had urged member parties in Latin America and elsewhere to enter into coalitions with all sorts of governments in power, as long as the latter would commit to supporting the worldwide effort against Nazi Germany. This led to a number of “strange bedfellows” situations. So, for example, pre-Castro Cuban communists worked in coalition with the later dictator Fulgencio Batista. The Communist Party in Costa Rica, then called the Popular Vanguard (Vanguardia Popular), cooperated with Costa Rican President Rafael Angel Calderon and his immediate successor, Teodoro Picado, both of the National Republican Party. Out of this alliance came legislation which greatly improved labor rights and social welfare for poor Costa Ricans.

However, the conservative opposition questioned the legitimacy of Picado’s election in 1944, and organized a business shutdown, which in turn led to street disturbances. The 1948 presidential elections, in which ex president Calderon tried to get back into office, were also fraught with problems. When the Congress intervened and declared victory for Calderon, a businessman by the name of Jose “Pepe” Figueres launched an armed uprising and, with U.S. and Guatemalan support, overthrew Picado (who was himself supported by dictator Somoza of Nicaragua).

The abolition of the armed forces by Figueres in 1948 probably had something to do with the fact that there were many communists in the officer corps and the ranks (Figueres also banned the Popular Vanguard Party). Though Figueres, in his three terms as president of Costa Rica, continued progressive social reforms started under Calderon and was publicly critical of U.S. support for the more brutal dictatorships in Latin America, he also did not shrink from working with the CIA and taking the “Agency’s” money when it suited him. So Costa Rica has developed into a relatively prosperous country with a better-than-average social safety net for the region, but with a foreign policy that has tended to be subordinate to U.S. interests.

Figueres’ ideological successors, former President Oscar Arias and current President Laura Chinchilla, are mistrusted by most of the Latin American left. The role played by Arias in the aftermath of the June 28, 2009, coup which overthrew Honduran president Manuel Zelaya greatly heightened existing suspicions. Arias was seen as working in tandem with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to deflate regional and international pressure on the coup regime so that Zelaya would not be returned to power. Chinchilla, from Figueres’ and Arias’ own National Liberation Party, was elected earlier this year, defeating both left and right-wing challengers. Though her party is a member of the Socialist International, her views on some issues, such as reproductive rights, are decidedly conservative.

So when Chinchilla’s supporters in Congress approved the plan for 7,000 U.S. Marines and 46 warships to come into Costa Rican land, airspace and coastal waters on an anti-drug, anti-crime and “humanitarian” mission which, moreover, would be suddenly over on Dec. 31 of this year, alarm bells automatically started ringing, both within Costa Rica and regionally. The U.S. embassy in Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, downplayed the importance of the pact, pointing out that similar ones had been signed in past years, but failed to note that in the past there was no question of so many U.S. troops within a country that does not even have its own army. While it is indeed the case that geography condemns Costa Rica to be a preferred route for drug traffickers moving their wares from South America to the United States, opposition parties and leaders accused the government of compromising Costa Rica’s national sovereignty. Luis Fishman, formerly the presidential candidate of the United Social Christian Party (PSUC) has filed a suit questioning the constitutionality of the presence of the U.S. forces, but it is not known whether or when the Costa Rican Supreme Court will rule on this.

The left-wing, socialist-oriented Frente Amplio (Broad Front) party raised the issue of possible threats to neighboring left and left-center governments such as the ones in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Regionally, the issue of U.S. troops in Costa Rica now joins that of the seven U.S. bases in Colombia as a bone of contention between the United States on the one hand, and left and left-center governments on the other.

Photo: Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla, left, and Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom talk in June at the Central America Integration System, SICA, summit in Panama City. (AP/Arnulfo Franco)

China Government to ask for money for roads and safety

China Government to ask for money for roads and safety

Chinchilla thinks police academy and options to strengthen highway to Limón

Bilateral discussions will visit with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

The Government will put the safety and road infrastructure as priorities in the forthcoming negotiation of cooperation projects with the Government of China.

Projects such as the strengthening of the National Police Academy, enabling better roads between Limon and the Central Valley and a dry channel rail, are some of the ideas being discussed by the authorities.

The President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla, acknowledged yesterday that safety and road infrastructure are the most urgent need of money “easily accessible”, as regards cooperation between States.

The president did not rule out, however, the possibility of using this funding to implement the “network of care”, a major campaign bids.

The projects are not specified in detail, as there is a group of officials in charge of the definition of these, with the task of preparing a proposal for submission to Chinchilla Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

The head of China’s diplomacy has scheduled a visit to Costa Rica for the first days of August, during which he will also review the state of bilateral relations.

With Yang and his colleagues try the Costa Rican authorities set new priorities for bilateral cooperation, three years after Costa Rica established diplomatic relations with Beijing, the government of Oscar Arias.

Concerns. Chinchilla emphasized the need to address safety and road works to the possible additional help from China.

“In this government we must make a good mounted police academy and resources that we need money fast,” Chinchilla said yesterday to this medium.

The police training is one of the biggest problems in combating crime, as noted by the week before Public Security Minister, José María Tijerino.

Hundreds of police shot obtain their graduation having no more than 75 times in his life, illustrated Tijerino in an appearance before Congress. There regretted the impossibility of having more than one police officer for every thousand inhabitants.

Chinchilla also said he was overwhelmed by the road communication between Limon and San Jose. “We are concerned by the route to Limon. The 32 (for hill Zurquí) is a route that is collapsing and there are different financing schemes, but they are complex. ”

“We trust that cooperation will always be the Government of China, we do not know if more or less than in recent years. We hope that space still exists, “added the President.

Although Chinchilla with Chinese help to develop work in this term, has stressed the need for all the support is transparent, to avoid trouble as in the past.