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20 years

Costa Rica Foreign Minister: “Nicaragua is not a good neighbor”

Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo (archive image)

Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo (archive image)

July 19th, 2013 ( Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo, said that relations with Nicaragua “are still very difficult” because the country is “not a good neighbor.”


Castillo made the statements during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.


“Nicaragua has a very deliberate expansionist policy that has led to confrontations with all its neighbors,” Castillo said.


Castillo said that the disputes waged between Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the International Court of Justice at the Hague were “just the tip of the iceberg” because Nicaragua is trying to “extend its maritime territories” and offer “areas of Costa Rican territory to foreign companies to explore for oil.”


The government of Laura Chinchilla has said they are following the Nicaragua Canal project closely, expected to pass through Lake Nicaragua in that country – something that Chinchilla’s government said causes “concern” over the possibility of environmental damage in Costa Rican territory.


“We are concerned, because if the canal utilizes [Lake Nicaragua], this could produce detrimental effects to Costa Rica.  We are following the situation closely,” Castillo said during his visit to Washington.


Although the route of the canal is still not clear, and Nicaraguan authorities have ruled out using the Rio San Juan, the risk of further border disputes between the nations persists, as Costa Rica is concerned the project may adversely affect the flow of the Rio San Juan or the Rio Colorado.


Castillo said that the countries do not have bilateral communication over the canal project, but that Costa Rica will continue to follow the project’s specifics until a route is determined.


Costa Rica and Nicaragua have maintained a dispute in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) since 2010.  Costa Rica claims that an invasion of Nicaraguan soldiers and civilians caused environmental damage to Costa Rican territory while dredging the Rio San Juan.

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  • dark451

    He has to be the worst costa rican foreign minister. Nicaragua is a bad neighbour? Expansionist policy?
    Nicaragua regained, via the World Court, the maritime area that was usurped by Colombia legally – meaning it was not expansionist policy – Nicaragua had legal grounds. Now that the maritime area was awarded to Nicaragua – Costa Rica says that part of it is theirs…but they never said anything against Colombia.
    This guy is a clown.
    Expansionist policy via Rio San Juan??
    Why dosent Costa Rica just certify each border marker (mojones) with Nicaragua to end border issues once and for all? To Costa Rica, the border is not the river, but the flow of the river – meaning that if the river changes course, the border changes as well. Who would accept that??? Nicaragua wants the border to be the way the river is now. What if the river dries up? does that mean that to Costa Rica there would be no border????

    • Marcel M. Pfister

      What a heap of absolute nonsense. Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica’s Isla Calero with their troops. The same day, they removed their own country maps from the Internet since the two borders coincided with one another. The stupid Rio San Juan border is the result of the infamous Cañas-Jerez Treaty of 1858 where the US sided with Nicaragua and the United Kingdom with Costa Rica. To put the border on the edge of a river is sheer insanity and has no precedence anywhere else. Nicaragua lost its case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where they had claimed the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina as being theirs. So far for the facts. The clown in this Mickey Mouse charade is Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. Costa Rica is being too patient with its problem neighbor. We should enter Isla Calero with armed paramilitary troops made up of the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica and the implicit support of Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and the United States. Enough of being the nice neighbor.

      • dark451

        Hi Marcel,
        I also thought Nicaragua was in the wrong and that it actually invaded Costa Rican territory. To make my own opinion (as opposed to that one from LaPrensa of Nicaragua or La Nacion of Costa Rica), I read the treaties and Laudo Alexander. To my surprise, the treaties favour Nicaragua. Interestingly enough, the treaties make no mention of isla Calero; it only refers to Harbour Head. Nicaragua claims a portion of Harbour Head which is located today at the very tip of isla Calero.
        I also believe the nicaraguan government was also surprised of the error. – hence the maps were removed and modified. Even though the maps may be wrong, the maps have no value per se; the treaties make the map; not the other way around.
        Lastly, i believe Nicaragua won its case at the Hague — 90000 sq kms of maritime area vs 45 sq kms of land. Even if the islands had been adjudicated to Nicaragua, I believe the inhabitants would have seceded somehow in the short term. Essentially, Nicaragua gained – it didnt lose anything. Ask Colombia.

        • Marcel M. Pfister

          You’re embellishing the facts. I have also gone through the Laudo Alexander in great detail. There is no need to mention Isla Calero because it has always been Costa Rican. The map issue was based on the erroneours Google Maps boundaries and Nicaragua had become the laughing stock of the world. I watched Eden Pastora’s appearance on Nicaraguan television. He is a lying hound and a schemer. Costa Rica has plat maps for all of Isla Calero with people owning properties. I suggest you take a look at the next bone of contention cropping up, Nicaragua’s sales flyer for exploration and logistics in Caribbean and Pacific waters, both of them using Costa Rica’s national waters.

          • dark451

            I just heard about that! (the oil issue). I wanted to look at the maps, but have been unable to get a copy of it.
            I dont think people take Pastora seriously! lol

      • dark451

        One more thing, I do agree…Ortega is a clown as well :D

  • Fhuh Kew

    UH oHHHHH. Time for the ITC to write some more propaganda checks !

  • Ken Morris

    I’m not sure how good of a neighbor Costa Rica is when it refuses to even speak to the neighbor that it claims is so bad, but instead sends its ministers on whining tours to Europe and North America to complain about the supposedly bad neighbor. Unfortunately, Costa Rica is fixing to pay a heavy price for its xenophobia. You can march in white while kissing Chinese ass from now till doomsday, but it’s not going to compensate for head-in-the-sand policies like the stupid trail along the Rio San Juan. As for Castillo, I don’t know. I liked him better than the yes man Rene Castro, but now he’s doing the same thing. Methinks all these foreign ministers take orders from a xenophobic president who’s afraid even to talk to her Nicaraguan counterpart lest he best her

    • georgechapogas

      how about i come to your house and confiscate some of your stuff. bet you would be shooting me or calling the cops. not talking to me. funny how the left always looks for moral ways to steal other people stuff.

      • Randy Roden

        George, go take your Meds!!

        • Happy to be here

          Amen Randy, I always think he can’t get any stupider.

        • georgechapogas

          yeah sure, that is why nicaragua grabbed costa rican land. because i need meds and am stupid.

  • John Schmidt

    Since I was a kid I remember Nicaragua always creating problems for Costa Rica. I think this mostly as the Nicaraguan envy of the well being of Costa Rican’s superior standard of living and an stable democracy. Perhaps if the Nica’s abolish their armed forces and spend money on their people and education, they might get ahead and behave as a good neighbor. Add the irony of Nicaraguas best export to Costa Rica: Its poverty! Que caldo!

    • dark451

      I think problems between the two countries started before Costa Rica’s superior standard of living and/or stable democracy. In my opinion, it may have started around 1850…when Costa Rica ‘took’ Nicoya and Guanacaste away(according to the nicaraguans) or the two provinces decided by their own will to join Costa Rica (costa rican version). It’s interesting that costa ricans referred, or may still refer, to inhabitants of Guanacaste or Nicoya as ‘nicas regalados’. It seems to infer that the inhabitants were indeed nicaraguan.
      To me, the history of how Guanacaste and Nicoya ended as costa rican territory is not clear. What is clear is that Nicaragua resents this event to this day.
      There is widespread belief that Costa Rica wants the San Juan river and access to Lake Nicaragua. I believe it was part of the negotiation of the San Juan river treaties in the 1800s. Some believe, to this day, that Costa Rica still pursues that expansionist policy. I believe Costa Rica wants the San Juan river based on its submission to the World Court asking the river be declared ‘international river’ and be co-sovereign (having a lot more rights than specified in the treaties).

    • Prada7

      Costs Rica is becoming irrelevant … With Nicaragua quickly becoming superior to CR, it’s a return to post 1980 Nicaragua/Costa Rica. I would be careful if I where Nicaragua for it was the “Peace loving” Costa Ricans that from their borders launched the Sandinistas and Daniel Ortega … Odd hoe history and rhetoric don’t support each other hmmmmmm

  • Prada7

    Costa Rica is the same nation which launched the current Nicaraguan govt… Poor idiots are terrified of the upcoming shift in economic and standard of living explosion to come to Nicaragua. We laugh at CR,. Completely irrelevant people

    • Miguel

      We will be very happy of an increase in standard of living there, then you will be able to start buying more of our products and also we will spend less $ dealing with endless crime/health care costs etc brought to us by your population. its a win-win situation so go for it.

    • Marcel M. Pfister

      Hogwash. More than half a million Nicaraguans live and work in Costa Rica because their own country has nothing to offer. The Sandinista government is of Nicaragua’s own doing and subsequently your responsibility. Daniel Ortega is a corrupt and incompetent president and it’s your fault for electing him in the first place. The expansionist policies of Nicaragua will fail. You will have to travel a long way to come as far as Costa Rica. You don’t even play in the same league. Keep on dreaming.

      • Prada7

        Amazing … CR sees the writing on the wall and fear the return of post 1979 Nicaragua/Costa Rica,.. Amazingly there are millions of 2nd generation Costa Ricans whom migrated to Nicaragua for its superior economy, education and living standards from 1929-1979,.. Only thing is your to ignorant to see that all economic cycles come full circle … Also odd that the Sandinista revolution was harvested for 11 years in Costa Rica and headquartered within Costa Rica’s borders …

        • Marcel M. Pfister

          Costa Ricans would be amazed to read about the “millions of 2nd generation Costa Ricans whom migrated to Nicaragua for its superior economy, education and living standards from 1929-1979″. The only ones who come to mind is the ones who allied themselves with the Somoza Dictatorship, namely Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia and his family and followers, amongst whom the later presidents Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier and the highly incompetent Abel Pacheco de la Espriella – all of them considered traitors by some Costa Ricans. As for the Sandinistas: Daniel Ortega and his cronies are the laughing stock of Central America.

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