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Viewing cable 05SANJOSE1787, UNIMER POLL SHOWS STEADY SUPPORT FOR CAFTA-DR IN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05SANJOSE1787 2005-08-08 21:09 2011-03-03 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2697430.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2697496.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697489.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697532.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697535.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2701964.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/Relacionados/Investigacion2701965.aspx
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SAN JOSE 001787 
 
SIPDIS 
 
WHA/CEN 
EB FOR WCRAFT 
E FOR TSMITHAM 
WHA FOR WMIELE 
WHA/EPSC FOR KURS 
INR/R/AA FOR SBIRD 
H FOR JHAGAN 
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR JYOUNG, CPADILLA, AMALITO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD ECPS ECON PREL PGOV SOCI CS
SUBJECT: UNIMER POLL SHOWS STEADY SUPPORT FOR CAFTA-DR IN 
COSTA RICA 
 
REF:  (A) SAN JOSE 01601 
 
      (B) SAN JOSE 01073 
 
1.  Summary.  As compared to a June 2005 poll conducted by 
UNIMER (Ref A), a similarly conducted August 2005 poll 
shows knowledge of and support for the U.S.-Central 
American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) 
remains strong and steady.  UNIMER has been conducting 
similar polls since May 2005 for the pro-CAFTA-DR, Costa 
Rican-business-backed organization Por Costa Rica, whose 
representatives have made the information available to 
Post.  Although generally positive toward CAFTA-DR, when 
compared with the July 2005 poll results, there have been 
some slight decreases in positive views towards CAFTA-DR, 
all within the stated statistical margin of error.  The 
Costa Rican media coverage of the poll results has focused 
on the generally increasing trends of positive views 
towards CAFTA-DR and the opening of the telecommunications 
and insurance markets, which would be required under CAFTA- 
DR.  End Summary. 
 
2.  In the latest poll, those stating that they have at 
least some knowledge of CAFTA-DR remained statistically 
steady, as compared to the June 2005 poll (Ref A), at 
almost 75 percent.  Those stating that they knew little or 
nothing about the agreement was steady at approximately 25 
percent.  Those believing that CAFTA-DR should be approved 
by the Legislative Assembly remained steady at 
approximately 60 percent, and those believing that it 
should be rejected was about 26 percent.  Those responding 
that they didn't know what the Assembly should do increased 
from 11.6 percent to 13.6 percent.  Most notable, more than 
three quarters (76.8 percent) of those surveyed believe 
that President Pacheco should send the agreement to the 
Legislative Assembly. 
 
3.  The U.S. House of Representatives passed and President 
Bush signed the CAFTA-DR implementing legislation in late 
July 2005.  Media coverage of the events in the U.S. was 
intense in Costa Rica.  Comparing the July 2005 and August 
2005 poll results taken by UNIMER after the approval of 
CAFTA-DR in the U.S., Post found the following:  Levels of 
knowledge about CAFTA-DR remained statistically steady with 
about three-fourths claiming to know something or a lot. 
Where there is a slightly larger difference when comparing 
the July and August results is in the response as to 
whether the perceived effects of CAFTA-DR are good or very 
good.  This number decreased from 59 percent in July to 
53.8 percent in August.  Those responding that they 
perceive the effects to be bad or very bad increased from 
17.8 percent in July to 19.8 percent in August, and those 
responding that the effects will be neutral increased from 
23.3 percent in July to 26.4 percent in August. 
 
4.  When comparing the results of the polls taken in May 
and August, it is clear that there is a general positive 
trend regarding support for CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica.  Even 
more, there is a majority of respondents who believe: (1) 
CAFTA-DR should be sent to the Legislative Assembly, (2) 
the Assembly should approve it, and (3) the effects of 
implementing CAFTA-DR will be positive. 
 
5.  Like the previously conducted polls, the August poll 
also showed that a majority of Costa Ricans are in favor of 
allowing competition in the mobile telecommunications and 
insurance industries (more than 3 to 1 in favor of such 
actions).  NOTE: The gradual opening of these markets to 
private sector competition is a requirement of CAFTA-DR. 
 
6.  The polls were conducted via telephone interviews of 
500 persons.  The stated margin of error is 6.2 percent 
when comparing the different polling samples with a 95 
percent confidence level.  Participants in the August 2005 
poll were between the ages 18 and 65 with an equal number 
of men and women.  Similar to the other polls performed by 
UNIMER for Por Costa Rica, the largest age group 
represented was the 30 to 39-year-olds (27 percent of the 
respondents) followed by the 18 to 24-year-olds (22 
percent), 40 to 49-year-olds (20 percent), 50 to 65-year- 
olds (18 percent), and the 25 to 29-year-olds (13 percent). 
Respondents live in urban as well as rural areas.  No 
information was given regarding the educational backgrounds 
of respondents as was given for the June 2005 poll. 
 
8.  Comment.  The polling method, i.e., the use of 
telephone interviews, may skew the sampling toward the 
upper income, more affluent citizenry.  A sample size of 
500, while common among Costa Rican polls, is somewhat 
small and results in a relatively large margin of error. 
Taking these issues into account, Post still believes that 
based on this and other polls (Ref B), support for CAFTA-DR 
is steady and is expressed by a majority of the population. 
KAPLAN