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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE63, NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING WORKSHOP FOR COSTA RICA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE63 2006-01-10 15:03 2011-03-08 16:04 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2702320.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2702324.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702325.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702326.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702327.aspx
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN JOSE 000063 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR A/S SHANNON FROM AMBASSADOR LANGDALE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/09/2016 
TAGS: PINS MARR PREL CS
SUBJECT: NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING WORKSHOP FOR COSTA RICA 
 
REF: 05 SAN JOSE 2909 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Mark Langdale for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C) Tom:  I am writing to seek your support for an 
inititiative to engage early on with the new Costa Rican 
leadership team before it enters office and while it is still 
forming its governing agenda.  During my consultations in 
Washington before coming to post, I met with Dr. Richard 
Downie of the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.  He 
described the Center's organization of National Security 
Planning Workshops (NSPW) in Panama, Peru and Paraguay and 
proposed to organize one for Costa Rica.  These workshops 
gather senior members of the incoming administration and 
their appropriate counterparts from the USG over a period of 
some 2-3 days in an off-site format to formulate a draft 
national security strategy.  This strikes me as an ideal 
vehicle for us to advance our interests in Costa Rica with 
the new administration. 
 
2.  (C) The polls in Costa Rica indicate that Oscar Arias, 
who was president in 1986-1990, is certain to win the 
election.  He will take office on May 8.  When I made my 
introductory call on Arias on December 7 (reftel), I 
described for him in general terms the NSPW concept.   Arias 
responded that such a workshop could be "a good idea." 
Polcouns Fred Kaplan later discussed the concept in a bit 
more detail with Kevin Casas, who is Arias's running mate as 
second vice president.  Casas suggested a follow-up 
discussion of the idea immediately following the elections. 
 
3.  (C) I am under no illusions that dealing with a President 
Arias will always be a smooth matter, but we have to 
recognize that he is potentially an important leader in Latin 
America and the world beyond the borders of Costa Rica due to 
his Nobel Prize and past world status.  He envisions himself 
as a player on a larger stage.  Since leaving office 15 years 
ago, for example, he has campaigned in favor of the abolition 
of national armies -- successfully in Panama and Haiti and 
unsuccessfully in sub-Saharan Africa.  He has also tried to 
garner support for an Arms Trade Treaty proposal, which we 
oppose.  But at root Arias is a democrat and a strong 
believer in free trade.  He is also independent and proud of 
his independence.  We believe that the NSPW provides us with 
the chance to influence the security policies of his 
government in the right direction up front and that it is 
well worth a small investment 
 
4.  (C) Though I left the session at CHDS with the strong 
impression that they had adequate budget to cover the full 
costs of such an endeavor (which I understood would be on the 
order of $40-50,000),  subsequent follow-up by my staff with 
CHDS since our approaches to Arias and Casasindicates that 
funding such a Workshop is not so simple.  I would appreciate 
your support calling Dr. Downie to encourage him to follow 
through on his initial offer of support for this initiative. 
LANGDALE