U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Costa Rica on Tuesday after a visit to Colombia for an anti-terrorism summit. Pompeo took the opportunity to praise the Central American country, and voice his opinions on the political climate in both Nicaragua and Venezuela. The latter of which Trump imposed new sanctions on Venezuela hours later.
First and foremost, the secretary made clear that the allyship with Costa Rica is alive and well. In fact, the objective of the trip, according to Voz de América Noticias, is to strengthen the bond between the two countries.
The SOS (a completely coincidental acronym) held a press conference in which he praised Costa Rica by addressing the very unfortunate political state of its sisters.
Nicaragua, he said, is “an authoritarian regime.”
“We insist [Daniel] Ortega’s regime in Nicaragua stops repression and restores basic civil liberties as well as a fair and just election,” he said.
When probed, he explained that sanctions are not imposed lightly, but that the United States is working with allies to put pressure on Ortega’s government.
On the other hand, Trump imposed new sanctions on Venezuela today, according to NBC. In an attempt to show their support of opposition leader Juan Guaido and a transition to democracy, the Trump administration blocked usage of 12 aircraft used by the Nicolás Maduro regime.
“This action furthers U.S. efforts to use targeted sanctions and steady diplomacy to end Maduro’s attempts to usurp power,” Pompeo wrote in a statement. Familiar territory, perhaps? Real recognizes real, as they say.
Earlier today, Pompeo expressed a lack of hope for Maduro coming around to those hopes and desires. “Much dialogue has occurred with Mr. Maduro this last month and he has not demonstrated willingness to have a fair and just election,” he said in a press conference in Costa Rica. “He knows he would lose.”
Recibimos al secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos @SecPompeo. Conversaremos sobre temas de alta importancia regional en el marco de la cooperación en seguridad y el desarrollo. @StateDept pic.twitter.com/0XRkabQoy6
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) January 21, 2020
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada weighed in and expressed support of both of the aforementioned countries, recognizing that many Nicaraguan and Venezuelan citizens have found respite there. He described the meeting with Pompeo as a “positive” on and called the U.S. and Costa Rica “two of the most solid democracies in America.”
“We have demonstrated our commitment to finding democratic solutions in those countries,” he said. “They are oppressive regimes that destroy and hurt the citizens of their nation.”