Andrew Clem home
Andrew Clem banner

Blog post

Monthly archives
(all categories)

December 1, 2005 [LINK]

Nicaragua-Costa Rica dispute

Relations between Nicaragua and Costa Rica have become tense because an old border dispute has come up again. After Costa Rica presented a complaint to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Nicaragua imposed punitive entry fees on Costa Rican travelers, and raised the long-dormant territorial claim on the province of Guanacaste, in northwest Costa Rica. According to the Tico Times, Costa Rica 's ambassador to Nicaragua, Rodrigo Carreras, noted that the stalemate reflects the fact that the [San Juan] river is a much more important issue to Nicaragua than it is to Costa Rica. He is striving to improve mutual understanding between the neighboring countries, which have distinct cultural traditions. This dispute comes in the midst of intense public debate over free trade in the region, and may make Costa Rican ratification of CAFTA less likely.

It so happens that I purchased a detailed topographical map of Costa Rica when I was there in February. It clearly shows that the border with Nicaragua follows the south bank of the Rio San Juan, not down the middle of it. Unless some treaty gave explicit navigational rights to Costa Rica, I would say the case is closed.

Warm feelings from Venezuela

As the temperatures in the eastern United States plummet, and heating bills rise, today's Washington Post included a full-page ad trumpeting the low-cost energy program for poor people in the northeast, sponsored by Venezuela-owned CITGO. It concludes,

This fuel assistance program isn't about politics. It's about offering humanitarian aid to those who need it. What could be more American than that?

Indeed! Well, the marketing campaign is certainly American-style. I can't wait until Chavez pays a visit to the shivering, downtrodden proletarian residents of The Bronx. Hu-go! Hu-go! It's certainly a welcome change of pace from all the denunciations of "North American imperialism" coming from President Chavez lately. Given the polemics related to the withdrawal of opposition parties from the upcoming legislative elections, Venezuela clearly needs to improve its image abroad. For more, see Embassy of Venezuela in the United States.

Many people argue that Americans who buy gasoline from companies that get their crude oil from Saudi Arabia are indirectly funding terrorism. Perhaps those who buy gasoline from CITGO stations should consider whether they want to support the left-wing authoriarian regime of Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement." I don't think a boycott would do any good, and in fact, I think the United States should take a very low-key, tolerant attitude toward Chavez until he gets tired of throwing tantrums, or until there is clear evidence that he is connected to terrorist movements.

UPDATE: Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel accused the U.S. Embassy of instigating the withdrawal from the upcoming elections by the opposition parties. Oh well... See

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 02 Dec 2005, 3: 17 PM

(unformatted URL)

This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.

© Andrew G. Clem. All rights reserved. Your use of this material signifies your acceptance of the Terms of use.

Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:

Category archives:
(all years)

This (or that) year's
blog highlights

Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)