Cafta Quotes

September 28, 2007

“The U.S. seeks cooperation – or better – on foreign policy and security. Given that the United States has international interests beyond trade, why not try to urge people to support our overall policies? Negotiating a freetrade agreement with the United States is not something one has a right to – it’s a privilege.”

–U.S. Trade Representative

Robert Zoellick,

on how the United States wanted cooperation

from potential FTA signers on

more than just trade

(TT, Oct. 3, 2003).

“The work of a politician is to create opinion, to educate. If most think ICE is good, they need to be educated because they are wrong. But if we want to continue as a poor country, we are good with ICE.”

–Former President Oscar Arias,

before he was re-elected, speaking

out against the ICE monopoly

(TT, Oct. 10, 2003).

“We plan to continue to hold marches well into next year.”

–Anti-CAFTA activist José Merino,

who was still attending marches four

years later as the sole legislator for

the new Broad Front Party

(TT, Nov. 28, 2003).

“When a North American corporation like Wal-Mart comes, they can work three years without any profit. I can’t go without profit for a month. Then, when we disappear, they raise the prices.”

–Businesswoman Flora Fernández,

who helps run a small, family-owned

watch shop in downtown San José

(TT, Nov. 3, 2006).

“We just don’t have the economies of scale to compete with larger countries that have already signed free-trade agreements. If the duties come back, we would lose 50% of our total sales.”

–Randolph Fleming,

chief executive of Del Oro, which makes

juice from orange, pineapple, passion

fruit and melon and ranks among the

country’s top fruit juice exporters,

employing as many as 1,500 people

during the annual harvest

(TT, Sept. 21).

We won’t allow a small group to take the meat, discard the bone and then leave it for the rest.”

–Then-President Abel Pacheco

on why Costa Rica needs tax reform

before CAFTA (TT, July 16, 2004).

“Without CAFTA, we will die of hunger.”

–Pacheco again, almost one year later

(TT, April 28, 2006).

“If we say no to CAFTA… foreign investment will go where the sun is warmer. Little by little, companies will dismantle here… (But) if we say yes to CAFTA, that isn’t the solution either.We won’t have Disneyland here the next day.”

–Trade Minister Manuel González

on CAFTA (TT, Jan. 21, 2005).

“It’s not that I’m for or against CAFTA… I’m in favor of a good free-trade agreement, and against a bad free-trade agreement.”

–Then-President Pacheco, who

then refused to offer any hints as

to which he thinks CAFTA is

(TT, May 20, 2005).

“This movement against CAFTA has raised the level of social consciousness and organization. I think this is the great accomplishment we’ve achieved – Costa Rica will never be the same, not before and not after CAFTA.”

–Costa Rican Technology

Institute rector Eugenio Trejos,

on the CAFTA opposition movement

he heads (TT, July 27).

We won’t allow a small group to take the meat, discard the bone and then leave it for the rest.”

–Then-President Abel Pacheco

on why Costa Rica needs tax reform

before CAFTA (TT, July 16, 2004).

“Without CAFTA, we will dieof hunger.”

–Pacheco again, almost one year later

(TT, April 28, 2006).

“If we say no to CAFTA… foreign investment will go where the sun is warmer. Little by little, companies will dismantle here… (But) if we say yes to CAFTA, that isn’t the solution either.We won’t have Disneyland here the next day.”

–Trade Minister Manuel González

on CAFTA (TT, Jan. 21, 2005).

“It’s not that I’m for or against CAFTA… I’m in favor of a good free-trade agreement, and against a bad free-trade agreement.”

–Then-President Pacheco, who

then refused to offer any hints as

to which he thinks CAFTA is

(TT, May 20, 2005).

“This movement against CAFTA has raised the level of social consciousness and organization. I think this is the great accomplishment we’ve achieved – Costa Rica will never be the same, not before and not after CAFTA.”

–Costa Rican Technology

Institute rector Eugenio Trejos,

on the CAFTA opposition movement

he heads (TT, July 27).

 

 “I think that any free-trade agreement always f***s the little guy, and Costa Rica is definitely the little guy against the United States.”

–U.S. citizen Jason Moyer Lee, a

study-abroad student from Long Island

University who was protesting against

CAFTA in San José (TT, Sept. 23, 2005).

“Youth is a sickness that goes away with time.”

–Cartago Police Commissioner

Jorge Solano, on clashes with anti-

CAFTA student protesters

(TT, Oct. 6, 2006).

 

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