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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 07:05 PM
Original message
Costa Rican leader to give salary to poor
Costa Rican leader to give salary to poor
POSTED: 1701 GMT (0101 HKT), December 20, 2006

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) -- Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will donate his $102,000 yearly salary to the nation's most needy, his government said Wednesday.

Starting in January, Arias will donate his salary, which is 4.4 million colones a month, or $8,500.

"The truth is I will not live better or worse with my salary," Arias said in a news release.

The 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner said he would donate the money discreetly to organizations that help the elderly, children, disabled people and others in need.
(snip/)

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/12/20/costa....
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. As opposed to Bush
who would give YOUR salary to the rich.
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katsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's good to know that there are heroes somewhere in this world.
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 07:24 PM by katsy
I'd have a stroke if any of our lawmakers did this.
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. He's so filthy rich he has no need for it...
Edited on Wed Dec-20-06 09:10 PM by arcos
It can buy you lots of good publicity though, especially if you're someone who's pushing for the dismantling of the social safety net by using CAFTA and privatizations. Once again, Arias is using poor people's needs to make himself look good. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if he were making a "little" money "on the side", considering all the free market and liberalization of the economy policies he's been pushing.

Big business loves him, that's why he was the Bush's administration candidate.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. doesn't matter
At least he SEES the need to do this and that's someplace to start.
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. While benefiting big corporations and harming small farmers?
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 03:07 PM by arcos
That's what CAFTA does.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. what is YOUR solution, then?
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you, President Arias, for being a true and heroic advocate
for good in the world.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. arcos, do you have proof of these allegations? The Nobel Peace
Prize usually goes to someone of impeccable stature. This is a noble gesture. Noblesse oblige! If he is rich, then he is at least using his means for the good of the poor in his country, not stealing from them to aggrandize the already rich like our twso-term idiot cheerleader. Being wealthy is not in itself a crime. Many great men have been wealthy.
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-20-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. It has also gone to people like Henry Kissinger...
What allegations do you want me to prove?

His second presidential campaign was based on approving CAFTA, privatization of public services and being "business friendly", hardly policies that would benefit the poorest people. One of his big family business is sugar cane, while coincidentally sugar is one one of the products that benefits the most from CAFTA.
He outspent the runner up 5-1, even though he won by just 1%. Guess where the money came from? Big business of course, in contrast to his opponent who used very little private financing and used mostly public money. Arias was the White House's candidate, and after the month long recount of the ballots, the American Embassy in San Jos sighed a breath of relief.

In just the 7 months that he has been back in power, he has implemented Bush-style "free speech zones" whenever he gives a public speech, is escalating the "war on some drugs", and is planning to allow oil drilling again, something that has widespread opposition and that was banned by the previous government. Oh, and in his first term as President gays were persecuted, closing down bars and meeting places until the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional.
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. VIDEOS: This happened during the Independence Day festivities...
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 03:12 AM by arcos
Oscar Arias was going to speak, and hundreds of people were protesting against CAFTA. You can see the videos for yourself, you can see the security apparatus that the Arias government ordered, and you can see and hear protesters who were hit and not allowed to see the President speak.

Bush, anyone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOrmrDDmE4A&mode=related...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HlJ8F4mWd0&mode=related...

People shout: "No to repression, yes to independence!", "Media soldout!", "We're students, not criminals"


In the second video police say: "To mothers and dads with children present, please go away because we don't know what may happen"




Sure, very progressive.... :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:
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arcos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. kick nt
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
12. costa rica is nice
ticos are nice, the beer is good, & the country is beautiful - especially the SW - bahia drake, corcovado NP.

but its being colonized by gringos in a giant real estate binge - just like everywhere else that is nice & exploitable.

i don't trust arias simply because he is a wealthy central american politician - & he, like any wealthy american politician, say george w. bush, will always govern in the interests of his class. and that's a pretty good reason.

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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Interesting background on Arias and Costa Rica...
<clips>

..In 1986, a young lawyer called Oscar Arias Sanchez was elected president on the platform of peace (Brief History of Costa Rica). The product of a country that abolished its army in 1948, President Arias has consistently work for peace in the region, convinced that negotiation, not war, is the best means for assuring peace. The "Arias Plan" calls on the five Central American states to work towards democracy; to assure freedom of the press and of political organization with free and open elections. It also requires them to pledge to limit the size of their armies. For his efforts he was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to establish a peace treaty with his civil war torn neighbors. (Press Release).

In the Spring of 1997, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about demilitarization in Central America. His speech focused on the repercussion of war and the necessity of demilitarization. He told them how "younger individual in poor societies, very much equal in terms of intelligence, ability and motivation, do not have access to academic institutions such as those in the developing world." Arias continues to advocate education and vehemently believes too many countries sacrifice education to fund armies. At the first speech in a three part series at MIT, he cited the United States as one of the biggest offenders. "The U.S. contributes one third of all global military expenditures," Arias said. "There is no doubt that the people of the United States would greatly benefit if these funds are dedicated toward improving their educational systems and promoting scientific research instead of building an arsenal." Arias blamed poorly funded education systems for slowing developing nations' economies. He also said that if schools do not train students to compete in the global economy, the country's technological and economic growth will suffer (McLaughlin). Currently, Arias has taken to the streets with his backers, who have financed a private, nationwide referendum to support ending the ban on second terms for presidents of Costa Rica, in hopes of getting another shot at the presidency. He is currently prevented by the constitution from becoming president again. According to the referendum's organizers, 130,00 Costa Ricans voted in the non binding poll, with 88 percent favoring Arias, who retains wide popularity in Costa Rica (Nuez).

As one of the effects of the Revolution of 1948, the demilitarization of Costa Rica stands as one of the most striking in a region where conflict has deep roots. Costa Rica's capacity to do violence to its citizens and to other states must be among the lowest in the world. Its abolition of the death penalty in 1878 and prohibition of a standing armed force in 1949 were benchmarks in the effort to limit state violence and increase expenditures on social programs. In a public ceremony rich with symbolism, the army commander-in-chief handed the keys to his headquarters to the minister of education who promptly converted it to a school. Costa Rica's non-military tradition, however, does have its opponents within the nation. There is a substantial pro-military sentiment that was used extensively by the Reagan government in its efforts to militarize Costa Rica. Resistance to those efforts marked a low point in US-Costa Rican relations. A disquieting recent trend is a follow up effort by the U.S. to paramilitarize Costa Rica by enlisting it in the so-called "War on Drugs" (Common Security). However, as of April 13, 2000, the United States has notified the Costa Rican government that it will quit its intentions of using Costa Rican city of Liberia's airport as an anti-drug base, a source from the Public Security Ministry disclosed. American Authorities decided to operate from a Salvadorian airport. It was preferred to make use of EL Salvador's Comalapa airport where the U.S. reached an agreement for the next 10 years (Xinhua News Agency).

http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=viewar...
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Say_What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Could it be a buy off for CAFTA??
<clips>

Costa Rica President Pledges Free Trade Progress To Bush

The president of Costa Rica, one of the last hold-outs on a free trade agreement important to the US, Wednesday pledged he would push for passage in a visit to the Oval Office with US President George W Bush.

President Oscar Arias Sanchez told Bush his government was "determined" to get the Costa Rican congress to ratify the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) "as soon as possible."

In the next breath, he announced that Costa Rica was also "initiating negotiations" with the European Union about a free-trade agreement.

"We produce what we do not consume, and we consume what we do not produce," Arias said. "This is why trade is important to us."

CAFTA is to include Costa Rica, the US, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and, added more recently, the Dominican Republic. Costa Rica is the only country that has not yet ratified the deal.

Washington has pursued regional agreements like CAFTA and a separate free-trade agreement with Chile as an alternative to its frustrated goal of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), blocked by Latin American economic giants like Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

http://www.playfuls.com/news_10_4751-Costa-Rica-Preside...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

<clips>

Much Costa Rican Opposition to CAFTA

San Jose, Dec 13 (Prensa Latina) Costa Ricans opposed to CAFTA, the free trade agreement with the United States, staged a rally outside Congress Wednesday, where legislators, who have been discussing the proposal since 2005, are being pressured to approve it early next year.

Costa Rica is the only Central American country that has not ratified the accord with the United States, due to extensive protests and increasing rejection within the Legislature, although the Executive favors the agreement.

Elizabeth Fonseca, PAC congresswoman(Accion Ciudadana) and coordinator of the opposition, ensured that "it will be difficult for Oscar Arias government to rid themselves of thousands of Costa Ricans opposed to that ignominious treaty."

She stressed that CAFTA will make national interests conditional upon those abroad and it is a synonym for poverty, marginality and loss of national values.

Student leaders predicted that protests against CAFTA are growing and will be larger than those held in October.

http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BE3CC4CF3-C71...



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