Party leader celebrates return to Costa Rica

May 30, 2008

Ottón Solís, a likely presidential candidate, celebrated his return to Costa Rica and to politics yesterday after teaching in Florida for five months.

In a spirited gathering at the Citizen Action Party’s headquarters in San José, Solís railed against the government for failing to address crime, environmental degradation, public health and education.

He also criticized the government for rolling out a “red carpet” for foreign investors, while neglecting Tico farmers.

“They only believe in people with the last name Smith or Johnson – people with a passport that isn’t Costa Rican,” he said.

At the same time, he rejected populism and said leftist leaders like Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez are “not on the right track.”

Solís left the country in January to teach a master’s course on international trade at the University of Florida. He and his party are best known for their vehement opposition to the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).

PAC lawmakers have drawn sharp criticism for filibustering bills required to implement CAFTA, even after voters approved the pact in a national referendum in October.

A recent CID-Gallup poll found just 7 percent of Costa Ricans support the party, down from 16 percent two years ago.

Solís, who ran for president in 2006, has not fared much better. Some 43 percent of Costa Ricans have an “unfavorable” opinion of him, while 37 percent see him favorably.

Solís appears almost certain to run for president.

To sustained applause from onlookers yesterday, PAC adviser Katia Martín introduced Solís, saying, “Our leader and the future president of Costa Rica is back.”

You may be interested

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King
Weekend Arts Spotlight
99 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
99 views

5 questions for US painter Suzahn King

Elizabeth Lang - May 20, 2018

Suzahn King's paintings, known for their intricate details, are currently focused on her surroundings in Costa Rica, a country she…

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind
Artists
271 views
Artists
271 views

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind

Elizabeth Lang - May 18, 2018

This is the story of Nicaraguan-based French artist Jean Marc Calvet: a man whose complex life, obscurities and misfortunes overwhelmed…

Traditional masks
Tico Times Pic of the Day
286 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
286 views

Traditional masks

The Tico Times - May 18, 2018

Creating masks out of balsa wood, carved by their own hands and based on the their community's traditions, the Brunca…