US Warships Cause Anger In Costa Rica

Costa Rica has allowed 46 US warships and 7,000 Marines to enter the country despite objection by the opposition parties, which describe the move as “illegal.”

Costa Rican opposition parties denounced the decision of the Legislative Assembly, describing it as “illegal” and “in violation of national sovereignty,” Presna Latina reported Saturday. The decision grants US troops permission to stay in Costa Rica from July 1 to December 31 to fight drug trafficking.

The Costa Rican government, however, argues that the combat capability of the US warships, helicopters and marines is disproportionate to the threat caused by drug trafficking. The permission is tantamount “to giving a blank check” to the US forces, Luis Fishman, deputy of the Unidad Social Cristiana said.

“We cannot support an illegal act, we won’t allow the Constitution to be broken,” Fishman added.

Frente Amplio legislator Jose Maria Villalta expressed his opposition to the decision, saying it allows US troops to “enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities needed to fulfill their mission.”

The legislator also said Washington views the region part of its sphere of influence where it seeks to adopt a “strategy of complete dominance.”

Opposition parties have not ruled out the possibility of taking action against the decision as they say it violates an agreement reached a decade ago with Washington that only allows the entry of coast guard vessels — not warships — into the country.



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