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Costa Rica: Free-Trade Agreement Passes

On October 7, Costa Rica participated in a democratic exercise through a referendum to decide on the fate of the Free-Trade Agreement and citizens were able to be a legislator for day. It was a day with plenty of tension on both sides. Neither those supporting “Yes”, nor those supporting “No” were assured of a victory, and in the streets, one could hear equal numbers of songs and chants, and most importantly with respect.

At 6 pm, the polls closed and the tension increased in the campaign centers. The leaders gave statements to the press and predicted their own victory. At 8:30 pm, the results were announced by the Supreme Electoral Court. The “Yes” side was victorious with more than 60% of the tables counted. It was almost a definite victory. The “Yes” side had won. After the announcement, there were festivities on side, and frustration on the other. Between the two sides, there were reports of fights, arguments and attempts and public disorder. However, it did not reach problematic levels.

Many bloggers asked what will happen from here on out, and some say that there is not a clear panaroma because many laws still need to approved in parliament, so that the Free-Trade Agreement becomes active.

Fusil de Chispas [ES], who was against the agreement, writes:

La mayoría de los votantes costarricenses salió a votar. La mayoría votó SI. El TLC avanza. “Costa Rica recibirá lo que merece, lo bueno, y también lo malo”

The majority of Costa Rican voters went out to vote. The majority voted Yes. The Free-Trade Agreement passes. “Costa Rica will get what it deserves, the good, as well as the bad.”

Alejandra of the blog Crisálida de la Mariposa [ES]  writes:

Una nación educada no es únicamente aquella con altos índices de alfabetización, sino la que asume la responsabilidad de pensar críticamente. Si algo reflejan gran cantidad de correos electrónicos, blogs, otros sitios web, videos del TLC. Por eso, en lo personal, el referéndum, más allá de un SI o un NO al TLC, me resulta un momento histórico en el que ponemos a prueba nuestra madurez democrática, nuestro nivel educativo y nuestra salud mental como sociedad.

An educated country is not only one that has high literacy rates, but those that takes the responsibility to think critically. That may reflect that large numbers of emails, blogs, other websites, and FTA videos. For that reason, the referendum beyond the YES or NO vote, to me the referendum was historic, which demonstrated our democratic maturity, our level of education, and our mental health as a society.

11 comments

  • […] post ha sido publicado en el prestigioso blog Global Voices Online (FreCosta Rica: Free-Trade Agreement Passes[Ing] […]

  • mel

    No puedo imaginar un tal referédum en mi propio pais. Estoy de acuerda con Alejandra que muestra un alto nivél de madurez democràtica. Al mismo tiempo, muestra que el gobierno no tiene nada que esconder del pueblo.

    I cant’t imagine a Free Trade Agreement being put to vote by means of a popular referendum in my own country. I agree with Alejandra that such an undertaking clearly displays Costa Rica’s high level of Democratic Maturity. What’s more, to me it shows that the government has nothing to hide with respect to the agreement;no hidden agenda.
    North America could learn a thing or two…..

  • FES

    Bush still wants the telecom and power company?

  • Para conocer más de lo que piensa el pueblo costarricense, invito a asomarse a: concostarica.com

  • […] En diversos Blogs internacionales han hecho referencia a esta importante visita. En el blog Nicaragua Hoy informan de la visita y en su sitio principal transcriben palabras del Presidente Arias, “Para las empresas chinas, Costa Rica constituye un mercado sumamente atractivo, no s

  • […] words of Arias makes reference to the recent approval of the Free-Trade Agreement with the United States that was passed by a nationwide […]

  • […] bezieht sich auf die kürzliche Zulassung des Freihandelsabkommens mit den USA, über das in einem Landesweiten Referendum entschieden worden […]

  • […] bezieht sich auf die kürzliche Zulassung des Freihandelsabkommens mit den USA, über das in einem Landesweiten Referendum entschieden worden […]

  • […] アリアスの発言は、最近の全国国民投票で承認された米国との自由貿易協定について言及したものだ。 […]

  • […] United States passed through a long process, which included a nationwide Referendum in which the “Yes” vote emerged victorious. In order to put the agreement into action, the Costa Rican Legislature had to pass a series of 13 […]

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