May 8, 2006
Oscar Arias was sworn in as president of Costa Rica for a second time today, and first lady Laura Bush attended the ceremonies. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez canceled at the last minute. Arias's first term was twenty years ago, from 1986 to 2000. He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1987 for his efforts in mediating the civil war in Nicaragua, and is held in high esteem in his own country and around the world. Even though many Costa Ricans are opposed to CAFTA, fearing a loss of jobs, Arias is committed to pursuing free trade agreements with neighboring countries, and with the United States. See CNN.com. In a continental landscape full of radical demagogues these days, the accesion to power of a true statesman is a welcome relief. To mark the occasion, I have updated the Costa Rica page with news chronology and information on political parties.