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Viewing cable 05SANJOSE1819, COMMISSION OF EMINENT PERSONS MEETS WITH PRESIDENT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05SANJOSE1819 2005-08-10 17:05 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 001819 
 
SIPDIS 
 
WHA/CEN 
EB FOR WCRAFT, BMANOGUE 
E FOR DEDWARDS 
WHA FOR WMIELE 
WHA/EPSC FOR KURS, LGUMBINER 
H FOR JHAGAN 
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR RVARGO, CPADILLA, AMALITO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD ECPS ECON PREL PGOV SOCI CS
SUBJECT: COMMISSION OF EMINENT PERSONS MEETS WITH PRESIDENT 
PACHECO 
 
REF:  SAN JOSE 01639 
 
1.  Summary.  On August 8, 2005 the five-member Commission 
of Eminent Persons met with President Pacheco to discuss 
the status of their review of the text of the U.S.-Central 
American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA- 
DR).  Franklin Chang, head of the Commission, stated that 
they have already started interviews with those who are in 
favor of the agreement and those who are not.  The 
Commission also presented its plan to complete their work, 
including the areas in which it will focus.  Chang said 
that there is no need to request an extension of the 60-day 
goal the President set to complete the Commission's work 
and submit its report.  End Summary 
 
2.  According to Chang, it is not a goal of the Commission 
to provide a definitive recommendation regarding whether or 
not to approve CAFTA-DR because that is the job of the 
Legislative Assembly deputies (once the President sends it 
to them).  "We want to hear both sides ... the report will 
not be a yes or no to CAFTA-DR.  We will investigate 
comments about the weaknesses and strengths for which the 
country should prepare itself," commented Chang. 
 
3.  Another Commission member, Gabriel Macaya, added that 
they will not examine the agreement chapter by chapter, but 
will perform a general analysis of CAFTA-DR, concentrating 
on principal topics.  The Commission has identified 
thirteen topics of the agreement in which it will focus: 
(1) to determine if the document (CAFTA-DR) is a treaty or 
agreement based on Costa Rican law, (2) format and criteria 
that will be used to write the report, (3) conflict 
resolution, (4) intellectual property rights, (5) patents, 
(6) generic drugs, (7) protection of the environment, (8) 
telecommunications, (9) insurance, (10) labor, (11) small 
and medium businesses, (12) review of the general impact of 
the trade agreement, and (13) the complementary agenda. 
 
4.  Since starting their work on July 16, 2005 (reftel), 
the Commission has met on eight occasions, some of them via 
digital video conference, which was necessary due to 
Chang's personal and work commitments in the U.S.  The 
Commission has met with at least four persons, some for and 
some against the agreement, to investigate their views. 
However, the Commission members would not reveal with whom 
they met.  They did confirm that they have not met with any 
Costa Rican ex-negotiators of the agreement, all of whom 
have left the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX) since the 
agreement was signed last year.  However, they acknowledged 
using, as a tool in their evaluation, the book written by 
Anabel Gonzalez, the ex-lead negotiator, entitled "Legal 
Studies of CAFTA-DR," among other texts. 
 
5.  The Commission members agreed that there is "still much 
work to do" and expressed the desire to involve interested 
Costa Ricans.  "We want to count on, as much as possible, 
the participation of all Costa Ricans, to guarantee an open 
and transparent process," Chang assured.  To encourage 
input from citizens, the Commission has published an email 
address to which anyone can send their comments about CAFTA- 
DR (spoveda@cariari.ucr.ac.cr). 
 
6.  The Commission plans to continue their work and set a 
goal to produce a first draft by August 31, 2005, and the 
final report submitted to the President by September 16, 
2005.  "The time is coming in which we will deliver our 
report to the President, and he will know what to do with 
it," said Chang. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
INTERVIEW WITH ONE COMMISSION MEMBER - ALVAR ANTILLON 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
7.  The August 9, 2005 "La Nacion" article covering the 
above meeting also included an interview of one of the 
Commission Members, Alvar Antillon, a lawyer and expert in 
international agreements, and currently an adviser to the 
Foreign Affairs Minister.  Antillon started the interview by 
stating that with respect to his work on the Commission of 
Eminent Persons, he refuses to take a partisan attitude. 
However, he admitted to the desire to be a Legislative 
Assembly member candidate for the left-leaning Citizens' 
Action Party (PAC) in the upcoming elections (February 
2006).  The official position of PAC is that the agreement 
should not be passed in its current form but should be 
renegotiated. 
8.  When asked about how he could guarantee his objectivity 
as a member of this Commission given his self-proclaimed 
ties to PAC, Antillon responded, "I have the position of a 
member of the group of eminent persons, that is to say, at 
the heart of my work is the examination of what is best for 
Costa Rica, nothing else."  He interrupts the interviewer's 
next question by stating that if you assume that I "will 
have a partisan interest above the good of Costa Rica, you 
are mistaken."  He further states, "You should ask these 
questions to the other members of the Commission, because 
none of them have denied their relationship with Oscar Arias 
(pro-CAFTA-DR presidential candidate).  This group was 
chosen because of their independence, you have to leave it 
there and not look for other things." 
KAPLAN