Labor voices optimism over new administration, takes parting shots at Costa Rica’s Chinchilla

May 1, 2014
2 Comments

Unions, socialists and other left-leaning groups called for an end to status quo economic policies during a May Day march in downtown San José.

The annual parade from Central Park to the Legislative Assembly was marked with rhetoric slamming of President Laura Chinchilla and past administrations for allegedly ignoring the working class, while demonstrators expressed hope that the incoming president, Luis Guillermo Solís, will turn to more progressive policies.

The peaceful parade was not wholly polemical, as marching bands, musicians and even the siren of a fire truck added a festive character to the march. Political marchers ran the gamut of the left side of the spectrum, with unions, socialists, communists, anarchists, feminists and gay rights’ groups. Supporters of Solís’ center-left Citizen Action Party (PAC) marched alongside progressive Broad Front (FA) supporters.

Speaking on behalf of the Costa Rican Labor and Social Movement, Martha Rodríguez expressed optimism at the incoming administration of Solís.

“This change is also a product of our fights,” González said in a speech. “Without denying the participation of some leading politicians in some of those fights, we can affirm that the political parties took advantage of our efforts.”

Rodríguez called on the new center-left president to not ignore the forces that helped carry him to victory. She asked for increased salaries for public and private workers, continued public control of transportation such as airports, ports and highways, and strengthening of Costa Rica’s embattled social security system, the Caja.

Solís’ April election victory marked the first time since the 1948 civil war that the two historically dominant parties – the National Liberation Party (PLN) and the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) – had not won the presidency.

Other marchers took the opportunity to share their conclusions on Chinchilla’s legacy, saying that unemployment has soared as well as the cost of electricity, housing and basic goods. An environmental activist from Puntarenas, Sergio Zúñiga, took the opportunity to slam the outgoing administration and its planning minister, Roberto Gallardo, on their controversial public works projects.

“Mr. Minister Roberto Gallardo, the public works concession is a legalized robbery of our homeland: highways, ports, airports, and the rest. It’s mortgaging the future of this country. It’s treason against the country,” Zúñiga said in a speech.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Cabra Negra’s warm rompope foams its way until Christmas
Dining and Nightlife
521 views
Dining and Nightlife
521 views

Cabra Negra’s warm rompope foams its way until Christmas

Natalia Díaz - December 13, 2018

Christmas in a tropical country like Costa Rica is a show. Lights and huge decorations almost make the tax season…

Tico Times Beach of the Week: Quesera Beach
beaches
1322 views
beaches
1322 views

Tico Times Beach of the Week: Quesera Beach

The Tico Times - December 13, 2018

Quesera Beach is a piece of paradise. The hidden gem in the Nicoya Peninsula combines white sand and tranquil, turquoise…

IMF projects economic slowdown in Costa Rica in 2018
Costa Rica
739 views
Costa Rica
739 views

IMF projects economic slowdown in Costa Rica in 2018

AFP and The Tico Times - December 13, 2018

The economy of Costa Rica will slow in 2018 and reach a growth of 2.6% on the year, concluded a…