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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE777, DEPUTIES-ELECT OF RULING NATIONAL LIBERATION PARTY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE777 2006-04-07 22:10 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
VZCZCXYZ0060
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0777/01 0972237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 072237Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4715
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000777 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN JASON MACK 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV CS
SUBJECT: DEPUTIES-ELECT OF RULING NATIONAL LIBERATION PARTY 
(PLN) COMMITTED TO CAFTA-DR 
 
REF: A. SAN JOSE 569 
 
     B. SAN JOSE 707 
     C. SAN JOSE 727 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  For the fourth and final breakfast honoring newly elected 
deputies to Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly, the Ambassador 
hosted the largest faction, the National Liberation Party 
(PLN), on April 6.  While individual conversations tended to 
focus on security issues and the party's anticipated struggle 
to ratify the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free 
Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), faction leaders took the 
opportunity to not-so-subtly ask for financial assistance 
from the USG.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------- 
"CONGRATULATIONS, NOW GET MOVING" 
--------------------------------- 
 
2.  On April 6, Ambassador Langdale hosted a breakfast at his 
residence for the newly elected legislative representatives 
from the PLN.  This was the fourth such event in the 
Embassy's effort to become better acquainted with incoming 
deputies.  The party of President-elect Oscar Arias, the PLN, 
will hold the largest bloc in the 2006-2010 Legislative 
Assembly, with 25 deputies.  Of the 25, all but three 
attended the breakfast.  (Comment: This contrasts with a 
recent cocktail reception for the diplomatic corps hosted by 
the PLN itself, which managed to draw only three of the newly 
elected deputies.  End comment.) 
 
3.  In his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Langdale lauded 
Costa Rica's continued collaboration in promoting democracy 
and economic development in the region, and for combating 
narco-trafficking and child commercial sexual exploitation. 
He expressed USG concern over Costa Rica's delay in ratifying 
CAFTA-DR and highlighted some of the potentially damaging 
economic consequences of the delay, including the exodus of 
Costa Rican apparel companies to countries that have already 
implemented the agreement. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
"WE'RE DOING OUR BEST, BUT NEED MORE RESOURCES 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
4.  Faction chief Mayi Antillon responded to the Ambassador 
with a plea for USG understanding of the difficulties faced 
by the incoming government in its quest to ratify and 
implement CAFTA-DR.  This was a recurring theme at the 
breakfast, as the assembled deputies acknowledged that 
CAFTA-DR ratification will be a long time coming.  Antillon 
further expressed her belief that Costa Rica will rise to the 
occasion with all of Latin America watching, and approve 
CAFTA-DR.  Following her statement that CAFTA-DR will be 
adopted, Antillon spoke positively about the Small Business 
Administration, and how its educational programs would be 
helpful in preparing small firms to take advantage of 
opportunities created by CAFTA-DR. 
 
5.  Francisco Pacheco, the likely future president of the 
Legislative Assembly, stated that Costa Rica and the U.S. are 
allies not for convenience, but by conviction.  Echoing 
Antillon, he expressed similar confidence in CAFTA-DR's 
eventual adoption, and similarly made a plea for assistance. 
Pacheco spoke wistfully of the days when USAID had a country 
program in Costa Rica, stating, to the amusement of the 
assembled deputies-elect, that Costa Ricans remember the 
assistance much better than does the USG. 
 
6.  Most conversations during breakfast concerned efforts to 
ratify and implement CAFTA-DR, and how to address the 
concerns of CAFTA-DR's opponents.  All of the assembled 
deputies-elect acknowledged the need for a "complementary 
agenda," designed to improve the country's infrastructure and 
minimize any short-term negative impact of CAFTA-DR by 
providing retraining and small business startup assistance. 
Security also played prominently in our discussion, 
reflecting the growing public concern with the rise of 
increasingly violent crime.  Several deputies-elect stated 
that in addition to hiring and training more police, Costa 
Rica needs to focus on preventing crime within neighborhoods 
and communities, relying on a grassroots approach to crime 
reduction. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
 
7.  Throughout the morning event, Embassy officers were 
impressed by the level of party discipline exhibited by the 
deputies-elect.  The large attendance at the breakfast was 
attributable not only to the draw of the U.S. Ambassador, but 
also to a craftily scheduled meeting for the faction, held 
immediately after the breakfast at the nearby home of one of 
the deputies-elect.  With the largest bloc in the Legislative 
Assembly, and facing tremendous pressure from both sides in 
the CAFTA-DR debate, party leadership will likely continue to 
exert a concerted effort to maintain party unity. 
LANGDALE