I haven’t posted in awhile…Life does get in the way sometimes. And, quite frankly, I’m pretty turned off by what’s going on in this country. Hope and Change got us Republican Lite; now, we’re probably going to Change and Despair as the Republicans run on some sort of platform to “fix” what they had a large part of creating in terms of the bleak economic outlook for this country.
So, what’s person to do? During the Bush years I longed to get the hell out of here. During the Obama years, with debt crises all over the globe, there are few places that are worth looking at that would truly be considered “an escape.” In the latest surge of desire to get out of this political hellhole of a country corporate state (with way too many religious nutcases running around in D.C. and the military), I took the next step–I subscribed to International Living magazine after getting their dreamy free e-mail newsletter for years.
The folks over at IL actually discover places that are ripe for development that can lure Americans to the good life overseas. One of the hottest places has been Costa Rica, which is now going to be developed in the northern part of the country, complete with highway and airport, to facilitate the influx of ex-pats.
Costa Rica’s selling points are many: lots of ecological areas preserved for eco-tourism; varied terrain, from beaches to mountains, temperate climate to tropical jungles; excellent healthcare (one facility has a direct link to Johns Hopkins back in the States), a commitment to renewable energy and a pacifist society which hasn’t used its resources to maintain a standing army.
Perfect!!! HOWEVER, it seems the Mexican drug cartels are on the march in Costa Rica and….guess who may be offering “help”??
I haven’t gotten a mailing for ages from Truthout.org, but one popped in my box today with the story:
What the Heck Are US Marines Doing in Costa Rica? Obama’s Tilt to the Right on Latin America
Friday 06 August 2010
Perhaps, Costa Rica’s drug problem could be addressed through a combination of poverty alleviation and coastal interdiction. Indeed, for some time, Costa Rica has collaborated with the US Coast Guard. However, under the new arrangement, other branches of the American armed services are to be deployed. The US force which is called for is massive: a virtual flotilla of 46 warships accompanied by 7,000 Marines and five planes. Take a look at this footage of the USS Makin, and consider whether this huge aircraft carrier is best suited to combat drug trafficking or perhaps some other end.
According to the Navy’s own web site, the fearsome vessel “will also have secondary missions of sea control and power projection by helicopter and fixed-wing vertical short take-off and landing aircraft.” The euphemism “power projection” caught my attention in this instance. To be sure, the cartels are a menace, but there is also an increasingly inflammatory geopolitical context to consider. In light of military developments in Costa Rica, it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder whether the US might have some kind of ulterior agenda.
The author has suspicions about the Obama Adminstration’s policies in Central America that echo what has happened in Latin America:
Moves to bring the US Navy to Costa Rica have sparked widespread suspicions that Washington is looking for a justification to remilitarize the Central American region.
“Power projection.” Doesn’t sound good to me…
Things are shifting down south…
For a brief moment, it might have looked like South America’s Pink Tide would sweep through Central America, propelling significant social and political change in the process. But with the South American left now facing its own significant challenges and internal problems, it’s unclear whether Central America’s social movements will get much of a long-term boost. Meanwhile, whatever Oliver Stone might claim about Obama’s true intentions, the US continues to play its same age-old game in Central America.
Sensing weakness, the pro-business right wing has made significant electoral inroads in Panama, Honduras and, now, Costa Rica. Allied to the military old guard and the US, this resurgent right poses a thorny problem for the left. You don’t need to tell that to Central American social movements, who recently met in the Nicaraguan capitol of Managua. There, activists denounced the “silent invasion” of US troops in Costa Rica, declared their opposition to worker repression in Panama and criticized the Lobo government in Honduras for its clampdown on the opposition.
So the question becomes, when does the “silent invasion” become something else? And Panama…well, that’s another haven that I seem to have to cross off my list…
Hey, I’m not a pot smoker, but if California does legalize marijuana use, I may have to move there and become one…it may be the only feasible way to escape!
Hope and Change; Change and Despair….seems to be all over the place these days…
The Real Costa Rica (Blog by an ex-pat)
Costa Rica Photos from TrekEarth (gallery)
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: | Barack Obama, Central America, Costa Rica, George W. Bush, Honduras, International Living, Latin America, Mexican drug cartels, Obama Adminstration, Panama, pro-business right wing, proposed Califronia marijuana legalization, religious nutcases in D.C. and the military, South America's Pink Tide, Truthout.org, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marines, USS Makin