Costa Rica’s top electoral court confirmed the results of an Oct. 7 referendum on a free trade agreement with the United States, saying a recount showed the ’yes’ votes only slightly lower than preliminary results had indicated.
While free trade proponents cheered, opponents called foul in Costa Rica’s 51.5 percent vote Oct. 7 in favor of ratifying the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).
The vote was barely 24 hours away when President Bush’s aides held an emergency conference call at 10:45 p.m. last Friday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid had sent a letter that could sink a US-led free trade agreement up for referendum in Costa Rica. The Bush team decided to put out its own statement to save it. The trade pact went on to pass narrowly Sunday, but the last-minute drama capped a furious few weeks in which the White House and Congress fought a proxy war in the tiny Central American nation.
Take action from October 15-20 to demand that the Costa Rica referendum results NOT be certified by the OAS
US intervention, corruption, and an internationally financed fear campaign provoke questions about referendum process
Costa Ricans narrowly approved — 52% said yes, 48% said no — a free trade deal with the United States in a referendum on Sunday that has split the Central American nation like no other issue in decades.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of workers’ rights being routinely abused, DR-CAFTA offers no solution.
Nearly 2.7 million people will vote today to decide whether CAFTA is to be ratified or not, an unprecedented happening in the political history of Costa Rica.
Renowned Latin American figures have expressed their solidarity with the Costa Rican people, who are expected to go to the polls Sunday to decide in a referendum whether their country signs a free trade agreement with the US.
Costa Ricans are poised to reject the U.S.-Central American free trade agreement in a referendum Sunday, according to a poll published Thursday.
The remarkable coalition of public employees, farmers, small business owners, intellectuals, and assorted citizens has already changed Costa Rican politics regardless of the outcome of the referendum vote.
Four days before a referendum in Costa Rica on CAFTA, a poll carried out by the company Demoscopia for the newspaper Al Dia shows that 50.8 percent of voters oppose the FTA.
More than 100,000 Costa Ricans — a huge protest in a country of 4 million — protested a US trade pact on Sunday they say will flood their country with cheap farm goods and cause job losses.
Representatives of several Costa Rican sectors will take part in a mass demonstration in this capital on Sunday in rejection to the free trade agreement with the US, which will be put to the vote on October 17.
Even if Costa Ricans vote not to adopt CAFTA on Oct 7, they may still suffer economically from it.
For the first time in the history of world, a voting population will have the opportunity to vote on a free trade agreement in a referendum.
CAFTA is a legal instrument that favors multinational expansion without limits, leaving the most underprivileged sectors of Costa Rica totally unprotected, among them women and the poor. The strong movement against ratification of CAFTA will not end with the approval or rejection of the agreement on 7 October 2007, but could well be the seed of broader social transformation.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Argentine Adolfo Perez Esquivel (1980) called on Costa Ricans to reject the free trade agreement with the United States or submit themselves to the US market.
With just over two weeks to go before Costa Ricans head to the polls to vote on a free-trade agreement with the United States and six other countries, Alfredo Volio should be a happy man. As head of the "yes" campaign championing the pact, known as CAFTA, he has watched public support climb in recent months. But that was before a memo written by CAFTA advocates was leaked to the public this month, fueling outrage here.
Unable to gain public and legislative support for CAFTA amidst broad-based public opposition, the Costa Rican government has set up a referendum vote on CAFTA on October 7. It will be a "yes" or "no" vote. Hear a 28 minute audio piece, a segment of the video documentary, "Costa Rica, Inc." for an indepth analysis of why opposition is so strong in that country.