Ortega congratulates Solis on win

Costa Rica's president-elect calls Nicaragua an 'uncomfortable neighbor'

Costa Rica's president-elect Luis Guillermo Solis


Costa Rican president-elect Luis Guillermo Solis

(posted April 9, 12:30 pm) — Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega on Monday sent a congratulatory letter to Costa Rican president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís, who earlier this week called Nicaragua an “uncomfortable neighbor.”

Ortega acknowledged Solís’ concerns about the strained relations between the two countries, but congratulated him anyway.

“We are happy that they held elections in Costa Rica in peace and tranquility,” Ortega said Monday night. “Costa Rica now has a president-elect, and we are happy and congratulate the people of Costa Rica and congratulate the president-elect. And we understand that the president-elect thinks there aren’t conditions to normalize political and diplomatic relations between our countries.”

Ortega said the border problems between the two countries will be resolved in the International Court of Justice, but the ongoing litigation “shouldn’t stop the established political and diplomatic dialogue between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.”

“We are brother countries. Thousands of Nicaraguans work in Costa Rica; it’s an indispensable work force for the Costa Rican economy,” Ortega said.

Solís, who will not visit Nicaragua on his victory tour of Central America but said he will invite Ortega to his inauguration, said he doesn’t expect to have a chummy relationship with the Sandinista president. Still, Solís says he hopes the political tensions between Managua and San José don’t affect Nicaraguan and Costa Rican citizens.

“Nicaragua and Costa Rica, as neighboring countries, need to have a relationship that doesn’t include any grounds for divorce,” Solís said in a recent interview with Radio Caracol.

“As president, I won’t get closer to the government of President Daniel Ortega, but relations are not ruptured, nor should they be,” Solís added. “We should keep in mind the ties that exist between our countries, but Nicaragua was an aggressor in Costa Rican territory; they invaded and we are asking that they are punished on an international level.”


  • http://Playaroca.com Davecardin

    Those are two positive statements from the two presidents, seldom heard without barking and putting wedges between the two countries. It would be nice to have Ortega talking to a non Alba member with polite dialogue.

  • Ken Morris

    Yeah, I haven’t liked some of the things Solís has said about Nicaragua, but he seems a decent fellow and I hope he continues to rise to the challenge of forging better relations. Ortega apparently hopes he will too, hence the olive branch.

    While many would fault Ortega for the strained relations, and not without some justification, my opinion is that outgoing Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla has been the problem. She reacted very poorly to the Rio San Juan controversy, going on global speaking tours to badmouth Nicaragua and even publishing a nasty anti-Nicaragua piece in the Miami Herald, but refusing to so much as talk with Ortega. At home she marched in anti-Nicaragua parades and wasted a lot of money immediately trying to build a defensive road along the river. To her credit, she never publicly expressed anti-Nica personal prejudice, but she might as well have, since her provincial nationalism fueled it. Nothing she did rose to the level of statesmanship, and most of her antics amounted to playing the whining victim against the big bad Nicaraguan wolf–who she was afraid even to talk to, even though I’m pretty sure that grownups could have sat down together and negotiated a win-win solution the first month.

    I’m sure that Ortega has dealt with clueless presidents before, but I suspect that Chinchilla baffled even him. How do you resolve an issue with someone who refuses to talk but spends all her time and money badmouthing you behind your back?

    Let’s hope Solís rises to the occassion. He needs to be tough if he’s going to negotiate with Ortega, and mostly tough enough to trust himself to handle the negotiations. Chinchilla was too weak to dare even talk.