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Viewing cable 08SANJOSE226, ARIAS-BUSH THANK YOU LETTER FOR CAFTA EXTENSION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08SANJOSE226 2008-03-19 20:08 2011-03-02 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-02/Investigacion.aspx
VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0226 0792051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 192051Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9543
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000226 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN, S/ES-CR, AND S/ES-O 
PLEASE PASS TO USTR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETRD PREL PGOV OPDC CS
SUBJECT: ARIAS-BUSH THANK YOU LETTER FOR CAFTA EXTENSION 
 
1.  On February 26, 2008, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias 
transmitted letters (in English) to President Bush and USTR Susan 
Schwab thanking them for the decision to grant a CAFTA-DR 
entry-into-force extension for Costa Rica. The texts of the two 
letters are virtually identical.  Post previously emailed scanned 
copies of the originals to the Department (WHA/CEN).  The original 
letters will be pouched to WHA/CEN to forward to the White House. 
 
2. The text of the letter to President Bush follows: 
 
His Excellency George W. Bush 
President of the United States 
 
Please accept my warmest greetings. 
 
I believe that no one understands the labors and worries of one 
President, better than another.  The exercise of power is a solitary 
business; however, that solitude allows for profound empathy among 
those who occupy similar positions, even hundreds or thousands of 
miles apart.  Although I am familiar with that empathy, because I 
too feel it for all of my colleagues, I am nonetheless amazed at the 
generosity of your government in granting Costa Rica an extension 
for the entry into force of the Dominican Republic - Central 
American - United States Free Trade agreement (CAFTA-DR). 
 
Costa Rica has always followed its own path, at its own pace.  It 
did so when our nation abolished the death penalty, and when it 
declared public education to be free and obligatory for both 
genders.  It did so when it abolished its army, and when it dared to 
declare its neutrality in the face of any armed conflict.  It did so 
two decades ago by becoming the voice of peace on this isthmus, and 
today by serving as the voice of Peace with Nature.  The Free Trade 
Agreement has not escaped this singularity.  As you know, the 
Agreement was approved in the first referendum in our history.  That 
process was a milestone in the development of our democracy, and has 
been a source of pride for our citizens. However, the process caused 
considerable delays in the approval of the Implementation Agenda 
that CAFTA-DR requires.  Although significant advances have taken 
place in the heart of our Legislative Assembly, it's clear that we 
will need a few months more.  For that reason, I sincerely thank you 
for your willingness to allow us these months of extension. 
 
The friendship between our nations has always been steady and 
lasting.  I trust that this experience will strengthen it still 
further.  After all, friendship seeks not uniformity, but harmony; 
it seeks not the extinction of diversity, but the tolerance of it. 
Many thanks for understanding the differences that distinguish us, 
and for lending a hand to the millions of producers and consumers 
for whom the borders that divide us are beginning to disappear. 
 
Allow me to reiterate the assurances of my highest consideration. 
 
Oscar Arias Sanchez 
President of the Republic of Costa Rica 
 
 
BRENNAN