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February 6, 2006 [LINK]
Costa Rican election: razor thin
To most people's surprise, the election in Costa Rica is too close to call. With 89 percent of the votes counted, former President Oscar Arias, who belongs to the long-dominant National Liberation Party, has a lead of 40.5 percent to 40.3 percent over Ottón Solís, of the Citizen Action Party. Solís has called for a renegotiation of the terms of CAFTA, which could be tricky given the large number of countries that signed it. Voter turnout was unusually low, reflecting popular disillusionment from all the recent corruption scandals in the country. It's an odd situation, because two candidates have exceeded the 40 percent minimum threshold to win the presidency. There will be a manual recount, and the official results will be annouced within two weeks. See Tico Times and La Nación (Spanish).
Coincidentally, Nicaragua today brought to the Interamerican Court of Human Rights (ICHR) a formal grievance over the case of Nicaraguan citizens who were mistreated in Costa Rica. It so happens that the ICHR is headquartered in Costa Rica.
Venezuela deports U.S. diplomat
U.S. naval Capt. John Correa has been declared persona non grata by the government of Venezuela, accusing him of spying and making contacts with Venezuelan military officers who may be against the regime of Hugo Chavez. The State Department denied the espionage charges and responded in kind by expelling a Venezuelan diplomat. CNN.com Given that the United States is preoccupied with the crisis over Iran's nuclear program, and the fact that Hugo Chavez has been consciously inflaming U.S.-Venezuelan tensions to bolster domestic popular support, it seems far more likely that the impetus behind this diplomatic spat originated with Caracas.
Haiti election is on
In spite of continued turmoil, Haitian officials have decided to go ahead with the election on Tuesday. The favorite to win is Rene Preval, who belongs to the party of ousted President Aristide and who also served as president (as a stand-in) from 1996 to 2001. Preval did try to calm the nerves of property-owning Haitians, many of whom are more inclined to rely upon warlords for security than the official police. See CNN.com. Unless Aristide, who is in exile, makes some kind of conciliatory gesture to his opponents, it is doubtful that the elections will serve to overcome the enormous social distrust that plagues Haiti.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 06 Feb 2006, 9: 45 PM
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January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
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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:
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