San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Independence Day

Obama lauds 'shared democratic values' in statement marking Costa Rica's independence

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement Sunday to mark Costa Rica’s 193rd anniversary of its independence, along with the rest of Central America. In his message, Obama highlighted Costa Rica’s “strong partnership” with the United States, a relationship he said is based on the shared goals of “protecting human rights, freedom of expression, and our environment, especially our oceans.”

Obama called Costa Rica “one of Central America’s most stable and prosperous nations,” adding that the Central American country’s “longtime commitment to investing in health, education, environmental protection, and sustainable development should be admired and emulated.”

While Obama’s message was diplomatically cordial, a similar statement last Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made him sound almost Tico.

“Just as schoolchildren will parade down the streets, shining their faroles in the night, so Costa Rica has been a beacon of light in the world for peace and democracy,” Kerry wrote. He even mentioned – in Spanish – Costa Rica’s National Anthem: “Vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz!”

Following are the two letters. First, Obama’s:

Dear Mr. President:

The American people join me in extending our best wishes to you and the people of Costa Rica as you celebrate the 193rd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Costa Rica on September 15.

The United States and Costa Rica have built a strong partnership based on shared democratic values, including protecting human rights, freedom of expression, and our
environment, especially our oceans.  I look forward to working with you to continue to advocate for democratic freedoms throughout the Americas and around the world.

Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most stable and prosperous nations, and your longtime commitment to investing in health, education, environmental protection, and sustainable development should be admired and emulated.  The United States stands with you in your efforts to expand trade and grow your high technology economy, so that your people can continue to prosper and thrive.  Your efforts to increase cooperation and integration among Central American nations is an example of the kind of leadership for which Costa Rica is admired.

I offer my congratulations to you, your government, and all Costa Ricans as you celebrate your country’s independence.

Sincerely,
Barack Obama

And Kerry’s:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the people of Costa Rica as you celebrate 193 years of independence on September 15.

The United States and Costa Rica are natural partners rooted in our long history of democracy. We congratulate you on the recent presidential elections, another in a string of peaceful transfers of power. We look forward to continuing our work with President Solis and his administration.

Just as schoolchildren will parade down the streets, shining their faroles in the night, so Costa Rica has been a beacon of light in the world for peace and democracy.

As the concluding line of your anthem says, “Vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz!”

Happy Independence Day, Costa Rica!

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