April 9th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) In a television interview with Russian global broadcaster, RT (formerly known as Russia Today), President-elect of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis discussed his goals as the country’s next president, including fighting corruption, inequality and poverty, and economic growth.
Speaking on the latter subject, Solis pointed out that he was a strong opponent of the country’s Free Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), which passed by national referendum seven years ago, saying he believed the agreement damaged the agricultural sector and other sectors of Costa Rica’s economy.
“In fact, CAFTA has not brought us any benefit, among other reasons, because the principal market is not working,” referring to the US economy.
Solis said that in his view, the Costa Rican economy “doesn’t grow because of close ties to the US economy, which has been in recession for several years,” adding that Costa Rica has important trading ties with several other world economies.
Solis said that a “monogamous marriage” with the United States is not beneficial for foreign trade, adding that stronger ties between Russia and Central America could be “very helpful,” in terms of political dialogue and other areas.
Russia made it clear earlier this year that it hopes to expand its sphere of influence in Latin America, including the establishment of a military base in neighboring Nicaragua, as well as Venezuela and Cuba.
President Laura Chinchilla’s government said at the time that it strongly opposed the Russian plan.
Solis’ interview was aired on RT yesterday, the same day Intel and Bank of America announced they were closing their Costa Rican operations.