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(506) 223-1327        Published Monday, Feb. 27, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 41          E-mail us    
Jo Stuart
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An analysis of the fiscal plan (4)
Citizen lives will be transparent under tax law

By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Transparency and Justice are teaming up and, using the synergy of information technologies and law, will surely prevail in collecting more taxes from everyone.

Transparency sits alongside Accountability, implying an openness and willingness to accept public scrutiny, decreasing the capacity for deception, as in hiding money from the tax people. Typically transparency is used when discussing oversight of public officials. Now it is the individual citizen whose holdings and life is transparent. The concept has been referred to as the Transparency Phantom in a previous article.

In practice, Transparency means a free exchange of information, access to facilities, and cooperative arrangements to provide ready observation and verification of all kinds of information, especially personal financial information.

Reader letters on tax bill

The new fiscal plan of Costa Rica, if passed on second reading, will create a new authority, The National Council of Transparency and Accountability. The new office, an organ of the legislature, will have functional and administrative independence from the rest of government.

The law also creates a national network of information. The red, Spanish for net, will operate under the authority of ministry of planning. 

The network is to gather information for the transparency council. Its objective is to catch tax dodgers and public officials using the government for enrichment. Some politicians opposing the fiscal plan refer to these entities as the gestapo.

The old tax entity, Dirección General de Tributación, the headquarters of taxation, is eliminated, replaced by La Dirección Nacional de Tributos.

No one will be out of the grips of this team.  Countries that do not cooperate with Costa Rica in reporting any and all information it requests in the name of international cooperation (transparency) will be labeled paraísos fiscales or tax haven countries.

Chapter 3, Section 1, Article 41 of the pending law requires indoctrinating the young early in school that paying taxes is a civic duty.  This is very different from the culture of today because many Costa Ricans work hard to find ways around paying taxes.

Very few Costa Ricans, even professionals like economists, accountants and lawyers understand that the new fiscal plan would introduce a 10 percent capital gains tax to the country.

Most foreigners come to Costa Rica to invest in land because there is no capital gains tax and by hiding under an umbrella of a local corporation, they never report earnings to their home country either.

A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Justice and the Transparency Phantom are accompanied by the wolf-like tax police in execution of the new tax plan.

Investors will be caught in a dilemma, a catch 22 under the new fiscal plan. The old ploy of undervaluing the deed registered at the Registro Nacional when selling property can backfire and end in a big fine or worse.  Most banks are now required under the code name KYC (Know Your Customer) to request the source of any funds over $10,000.  They are required in many cases to get a copy of the deed as verification of funds in a property transaction.

In the past, when the deposit did not balance with the amount in the deed, tax authorities could not do much because there was no tax.  Lying is punishable under Costa Rican law but there needs to be a dolo, deceit and daño, damage, for conviction.  Under the old system no tax means no damage, thus no convictable offence.

Under the new fiscal plan there will be a tax, so understating a value on a deed and depositing a different amount in the bank will set off judicial flares of tax fraud.

This is only one real example of the far-reaching claws transparency will have on Costa Rica and the investors who come here.

Now here is the scary part.  In the pending fiscal plan, Section C, Article 7 of Chapter 1, of the Income Tax Law, the government wants foreigners residing in the country on a permanent basis to tell the tax people how much money they have outside of Costa Rica.  Anyone who stays in Costa Rica more than 183 days a year will be considered “habitual or permanent” residents.

Those who fess up will not be taxed on bringing assets or money to Costa Rica. Those who do not will be taxed.

Costa Rica has a history of shooting itself in the foot.  With the aid of Justice and Transparency the country may just do it again.

Garland M. Baker is a 35-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Lic. Allan Garro provides the legal review.  Reach him at crlaw@licgarro.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info.  Copyright 2004-2006, use without permission prohibited.

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Photo used with permission of Julie Wafaei
Colin Angus and  Julie Wafaei arrive in Limon

Canadian couple arrives
after rowing Atlantic

By Jesse Froehling
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So what do you do after you just rowed across the Atlantic?  You get on a bike and pedal 10,000 kilometers north to Canada. 

At least that's the plan that Julie Wafaei and her fiance, Colin Angus, have.  Friday, the couple became the first ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean completely under human power.  If all goes well, the couple will arrive at their starting point, the totem pole in Kitsilano near Vancouver, Canada, and Angus will become the first person ever to circumnavigate the globe entirely under his own power. 

“The hardest part of the journey is over,” Ms. Wafaei said by telephone Sunday night in reference to the Atlantic crossing.  She's not exaggerating.  The couple spent five months rowing from Lisbon, Portugal, to Limón.  The sea threw them two hurricanes, 30-foot breaking waves and nasty currents that slowed them to two-tenths of a  knots per hour although they were rowing at a breakneck pace, Ms. Wafaei said.

The couple timed the trip to avoid storms, but the busiest Atlantic Hurricane season in history ruined those plans.  The most northeasterly hurricane ever formed stirred up stormy seas, and the eye of Hurricane Vince passed within 95 miles of their 24-foot boat. 

“When there's a storm like that, you can't really row, you just have to hunker down and ride it out,” Ms. Wafaei said.    

The final two weeks were the toughest part.  The Caribbean is shallow so the waves are steeper, they said.  They stopped for 12 days in Saint Lucia. Afterwards they encountered strong, adverse currents.  If they stopped rowing for two hours, they lost an entire day's progress.  They no longer had time to cook and lived on cold food out of cans, powdered milk and nutritional supplements provided by a sponsor. 

On the final night, the currents were strongest and the torrential rain accompanied the turbulent seas.  The boat was moving backwards.  Rowing in unison didn't work anymore because of the choppy seas.  Instead, they rowed as hard as they could for half hour periods and continued forward at two-tenths of a knot per hour.  They didn't sleep at all for the last three days and at 4 a.m. Friday when they finally reached water shallow enough, they tossed an anchor over the side and collapsed.  Six hours later, they rowed to one of the concrete pillars in Limón harbor and struggled onto dry land for the first time in five months.     

On top of all this, they had to spend the entire trip alone together in the 24-foot row boat, circumstances alone that would drive most couples to separation. “People said that if we could make it through this, we could make it through anything,” Ms. Wafaei said.  “I guess they were right”  The couple has plans to marry once they reach Vancouver again. 

The couple had planned to spend between 100 to 120 days on the high seas and had packed food accordingly.  The trip took them 156 days.  They managed to catch some dorado during the journey but had to ration their food to make it last.  Although most of the boat is rowing cockpit, they also had a water desalinizer, several GPS units and a radio among other electronic equipment that was all solar powered.  A tiny cabin the size of a small dog house for a Saint Bernard completed the boat, Ms. Wafaei said.    

Ms. Wafaei has accompanied Angus on more than half of the total journey.  Other team members have included Tim Harvey and Yulya Kudryavtseva.  In June 2004, they left their homes in Vancouver and pedaled north to the Yukon River.  The team canoed the river to Fairbanks, Alaska.  There they switched to a different rowboat and crossed the Bering Sea to Siberia.  Once in Siberia, they hiked, skied and biked to Moscow.  A bike trek across Europe brought them through the Ukraine, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, where they started rowing.

The team is using zero-emissions travel to highlight issues with global warming and to inspire others to use non-motorized transportation.

Fishermen rescued in Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Coast guard officers saved two Puntarenas men who were shipwrecked Saturday off the coast of that province. 

Another boat, “El Grillo,” alerted the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas to the plight of the two men, and officers sent a boat to pick them up, the coast guard said.   The two victims, identified by the last names Gómez Baltodano and García Medina, were fishing from a small vessel that overturned, the coast guard said.    

500 kilos of coke uncovered

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Officers with the Fuerza Pública seized 500 kilos of cocaine Friday from a semi-truck at kilometer 37 of the Interamericana Sur, near Río Claro, Golfito, they said.

Officers said the seizure was the result of a routine check, but the cocaine was well hidden.  Drug agents had to pry off the interior lining of the truck to find the drugs that were taped to the vehicle's shell, they said. 
The 30-year-old Paso Canoas driver was identified by the last names Fallas Vindas.   The truck was also carrying squash, officers said.   
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 27, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 41


Way cleared to initiate free trade pact in El Salvador
By the A.M. Costa Rica wires services,
local and special reports

The free trade treaty between the United States and Central American nations is about to enter into force with El Salvador being the first Latin country to have changed its laws to conform to the pact.

Rob Portman, the U.S. trade representative, said Friday he has recommended that the Central American Free Trade Agreement be implemented in El Salvador, based on that country's readiness to meet its obligations and responsibilities under the trade pact.

Implementing the agreement will require a proclamation by President George Bush. The proclamation could come in a day or two. Officials expect that the agreement will go into force Wednesday, March 1.

"We have worked closely with El Salvador over the past several months to ensure its legislative and regulatory regime reflects the obligations and responsibilities set forth in the CAFTA-DR agreement," said Portman. "We have engaged in this effort as true partners, and I appreciate all of the hard work the Government of El Salvador has undertaken to help us reach this historic milestone."

The treaty also includes Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. All but Costa Rica have ratified the agreement.  In the United States, the pact was ratified by the U.S. Senate in June and by the House of Representatives in July. 

The free trade treaty is a cornerstone of the Bush Latin policy.

Costa Rica signed the agreement, but President Abel Pacheco did not send the agreement to the legislature for ratification for months. There are a series of legislative bills, called the complementary agenda, that makes changes and additions to existing Costa Rica law to conform to the treaty. These, too, are
being studied by the legislature. A vote on the pact may come before a new Asamblea Legislativa is sworn in May 1.

Other countries that are participating also must make modifications of their laws to comply, just as El Salvador did.

The treaty is highly controversial in Costa Rica and elsewhere. In Guatemala, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Guatemala City Friday to voice opposition to the agreement. The protesters said the pact will benefit only large companies and harm the poor.  Supporters say the deal will help lift the region out of poverty, and the Guatemala government strongly supports the measure.

In Costa Rica, the Feb. 5 presidential election was a referendum on the free trade treaty. Óscar Arias Sánchez of the Partido Liberación Nacional supports the treaty and has private holdings that would benefit by its passage. Ottón Solís of the Partido Acción Ciudadana says portions should be renegotiated. U.S. officials doubt renegotiation is possible.

Arias, a former president, bested Solís by about 18,000 votes out of 1.6 million cast. Officials with the public employees unions and other representatives of the state monopolies have promised Arias a rough four years.

They equate the situation as to that in March 2000 when then-president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez was forced by three weeks of strikes marches, blockades, with traffic stoppages to withdraw a series of legislative bills that would have opened the 50-year-old electrical and telecommunications monopoly to possible privatization.

The free trade agreement would allow private operation of wireless systems and allow private insurance companies to operate. The Instituto Nacional de Seguros is the national insurance monopoly. Workers at the state monopolies doubt their institutions could compete.

Assessment of who can do no harm can be in error
No mata ni una mosca

“Doesn’t kill so much as a fly.” This dicho describes a person who is so good that he or she never says bad things nor mistreats anyone and is always faithful to friends. In other words someone who wouldn’t even kill a fly. Of course, this is very much the same as the English expression: “He/she wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

One of my mother’s cousins was a favorite of my grandmother. She always referred to him as the one who no mata ni una mosca. When he got married, my grandmother said that she felt sorry for him because “. . .  that woman he married is no good, and he’s so gentle and kind he couldn’t kill a fly.”

When the very predictable divorce eventually came, my grandmother felt totally vindicated and actually rather pleased that the couple was splitting up. She was called to give testimony as a character witness for him at the divorce proceedings, and she was delighted to walk the five blocks from our house to the juzgado to do it. So she would not have to go alone, my parents asked me to accompany my grandmother to the court, and I asked my sister to go along, too.

So the three of us went to the court and found the room where grandmother was supposed to give her testimony. While we were waiting, we sat listening to the testimony of others who were there to witness against our dear cousin. And it wasn’t a very pretty picture they were painting, let me tell you.

At the break I asked my grandmother if she had known that it was the wife who was suing for the divorce based on the cruelty and infidelity of our darling cousin. Well, I thought for a moment she was about to kill me. “What!?” she shouted. “Impossible! He cannot even kill a fly. They are all lying.”

I suggested that maybe the man she thought she knew was not actually in the court room, since the neighbors and even his own children had testified about his violent temper and his unfaithfulness to his wife.

“No!” replied grandmamma firmly. “I know him. He’s a good man who couldn’t even kill a fly.”

When it came grandmother’s turn to testify, she said that he was clearly a very good boy because he always came straight to our house after work to have coffee with her and he always brought fresh bread along.

“And what time does he arrive at your house?” the wife’s female lawyer asked.

“At 3 p.m. on the dot.” was my grandmother’s reply.

“Well, then,” the lawyer continued, “this would seem to indicate that he hasn’t been at work at all, since he is required to stay at his job until 5 p.m."

Tell me,” the lawyer inquired, “do you know the

way we say it

By Daniel Soto

name of the panaderia where he buys this bread he brings you?”

“I certainly do,” said Granny, and she named a well-known San José bread bakery.

“Are you aware, madam, that this man whom you think so highly of is having an affair with a woman who works at that very panaderia!?

So things were not going so well for poor Grandma, and her attempts to prove that our cousin was really a very nice man. When she was asked to leave the stand she stood up very straight and tall and as her parting shot announced: “No mata ni una mosca.”

“Well,” the lawyer said thoughtfully, “maybe he couldn’t kill a fly, but he’s certainly murdered his marriage.”

Later that afternoon, after the divorce proceedings were over and our cousin had lost, he came round to sit at my grandmother’s kitchen table and moan and complain about the fact that his now ex-wife was going to get everything and he was going to have to pay her alimony and child support.
My grandmother said nothing, but went to put the kettle on for coffee. “Tell me,” she asked him at length, “were all those things true they were saying about you in court today?”

He looked at her sheepishly and shook his head yes.

My mother stood up and pried the kettle of scalding water from grandmother’s grasp before she did something she’d surely regret. Then my mother, sister and I prepared to quietly leave the room.

“Get out of my kitchen!” grandmother suddenly bellowed at our cousin, stopping the three of us dead in our tracks. “Get out of this house, you low-life slacker, and get yourself a job. You’re going to need it!”

It was hard for me to suppress a smile as the cousin grabbed his hat and hastily fled the premises.

Grandmamma noticed my smirk and remarked: “Hummm, and you always said he couldn't even kill a fly.”

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 27, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 41

They are called chorreadas from the Spanish verb to pour. And they are a delicious corn product being prepared here by María Chavarrias.  Meanwhile, juggler Esteban Pardo keeps the crowd entertained. Both were at the Transitarte festival in San José over the weekend. The event was sponsored by the Municiaplidad de San José over the weekend.

A.M. Costa Rica photos/Jesse Froehlng

Our readers' opinions
Capital gains bite is the same under certain conditions
Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In your 22 February 2006 edition, Mr. David K. Treadway wrote a letter addressing Costa Rica’s proposed new income tax system. I am compelled to respond as nearly every point of law and fact in Mr. Treadway’s letter is false.

Firstly, the U.S.A. is one of the few countries with a truly global tax regime. U.S.A. citizens and residents remain subject to U.S.A. income taxes until, in the case of citizens, they affirmatively in writing to the U.S.A. Department of Treasury or Homeland Security renounce  their citizenship. Thus, a U.S.A. citizen does not escape the “oppressive taxes” of the U.S.A.  by merely moving to another country or owning property in another country.

In my experience, most U.S.A. investors in Costa Rica hold their property in a Sociedad Anomina or “S.A.” organized under the laws of Costa Rica. Under current U.S.A. law, gain on the sale of Costa Rican land in an S.A. owned by a U.S.A. citizen (regardless of their country of residence) results in U.S.A. income tax at rates up to 35 percent. Of course, under current Costa Rican law, the Costa Rican income tax is zero.

Assuming the U.S.A. investor owns Costa Rican land in a Sociedad de Responsabilidad  Limitada or “S.R.L.” organized under the laws of Costa Rica and has timely made certain elections with the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S.A. income tax on the gain is at a rate not higher than 15% if the land has been owned for more than one year. Again, the Costa Rican income tax under current law is zero.

Under the new Costa Rican income tax regime, land
held in a S.A. will result in a 10 percent Costa Rican income tax on its gain. The effective U.S.A. income tax on the U.S.A. citizen owner will drop to a top rate of approximately 32 percent, not 35 percent.

The astute U.S.A. investor owns their Costa Rican land in an S.R.L. with the appropriate elections timely filed with the Internal Revenue Service. These folks will pay a 10 percent income tax to Costa Rica on the gain under the new Costa Rican income tax regime.  However, their U.S.A. income tax will be only 5 percent, again assuming the land has been owned  for more than one year. Thus, the total global income tax under Costa Rica’s new law is exactly the same top 15 percent as under the old Costa Rican law. The only difference is Costa Rica collects 10% instead of zero and the USA collects 5% instead of 15%.

In the discussion above, I have assumed the land owner is, in fact, an investor and not a dealer in land.

As a result, I would respectfully suggest that the leaders of Costa Rica are not “a bunch of arrogant, uninformed fools.” On the contrary, I would suggest they are intelligent, thoughtful and savvy. Their new policy will not deter thoughtful, well-informed and astute U.S.A. investors.

These matters are complex and the solutions often differ depending on one’s personal circumstance. Thus, individuals should obtain competent professional advice before making significant financial commitments.

Kevin P. Chapple, CPA, JD
Chapple Blondet LLC
Grupo de Inversiones Chapple Blondet SRL

Heritage Foundation
is misinformed, slanted

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Interesting that you referenced the Heritage Foundation on the value added tax.  The only heritage that the Heritage Foundation has is one of misinformation, slanted “information” and being part of the most corrupt, incompetent Congress and Presidency in the history of the United States.  And their view has some validity?

Please spare us from this type of misinformation: the Heritage Foundation is just a shill and front for the continued stupidity of the Bush administration.

Bush (so fondly admired by the Heritage Foundation) started with a budget surplus and now has spent us to the largest debt in our history. And where did the money go and did it benefit the United States and its citizens? Nope. Wasted in a stupid war in Iraq where  billions (that’s BILLIONS) have disappeared without a trace and nary a comment from your Heritage Foundation.

News ?  Nope, just more slanted, right-wing drivel.  Let’s keep it out of Costa Rica. we hear enough of it here, thank you.

Richard Stevens
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Capital gains tax error
is in failure to index 

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Is the tax package a “done deal,” that is, might there still be modifications to it before passage?  I was particularly dismayed by the article about the capital gains tax, as written not being indexed to inflation.  While it does make sense for Costa Rica to institute a capital gains tax, (provided that the funds are used to help the country as a whole) it should be done in a “fair” manner.

It is easy to see how someone could sell property at a loss in real value, and still have to pay a “capital gains tax.” Yes, it is also unfairly applied in the U.S., but the difference in inflation rates makes the proposed non-indexing in Costa Rica particularly egregious.

Should the capital gains tax pass without indexing, many people will use “shady” techniques to avoid paying it, and I think they need not be burdened with a guilty conscience for doing so!

Glen Love
Haverford, Pennsylvania

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Tax plan irks agent
who will spread word

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Thanks for the info on taxes going up in Costa Rica! Now I’m going to invest my money in Panama! and strongly advise my friends to do the same! Costa Rica is beautiful! but your government sucks! So much for socialism! it's bullshit, just like your government! It seems, to me, your government has nothing better to do but to steal people’s business and land.  Example: mar y sombra restaurant on the beach of Manuel Antonio.  By the end of this year I hope to discourage thousands of Americans and Europeans not to buy anything or invest in Costa Rica.

Mike O'Brian
(who identifies himself as a real estate agent)
Washington, D.C.

Transfer of funds can
backfire on country

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read with amusement the well-written report of Jesse Froehling on plans being made by the Banco Central to ‘transfer’ the deficit it is carrying to the Ministerio de Hacienda (U.S. equivalent of the Treasury Department) for them to issue bonds.

My amusement comes from the, let’s kindly say, ‘misinformation’ put forth by David Fuentes Montero, the minister of Hacienda when he said, “Transferring the liabilities of the Banco Central to the Ministerio de Hacienda permits us to reduce the rate of inflation in three years.”

The internal deficit of the Banco Central was created because the profligate government spent more money than it received in revenues.  The only way it could spend more money than it had in its checking account was do what they forbid you and I to do, print more money to pay it’s bills.  When you print more money to pay bills, you increase the money supply and simultaneously create inflation.

Now the ‘misinformation’ the people of Costa Rica are supposed to believe is that by transferring this deficit from the pocket of the Banco Central (where no interest is currently being paid on the deficit) to the pocket of the Ministerio de Hacienda (where bonds are to be sold with an annual interest payment to be made), it will reduce inflation in three years. Hmmm, won’t they have to print even more money to pay the interest payments?

OK, what’s really going on is that a country whose central bank carries a dangerous internal deficit from spending more than it takes in also carries the risk of the public losing confidence in its currency and rushes to dump it and buy another more stable currency causing the country to spiral into a financial self destruction and hyper inflation.

The only question I have is, where is the rabbit and the hat? I am really entertained by the show.

Phil Mattingly

A.M. Costa Rica

Fifth news page

Good grief!

Are you still spending 70 percent 
of your advertising budget on paper?

You need to fill this space ASAP!

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 27, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 41


Oranges were the main attraction at the Feria de Naranja that ended Sunday in Ciudad Colón. The area is well known for the quality of its various varieties of oranges. But no festival would be complete without clowns, too!

A.M. Costa Rica Photos/Saray Ramírez Vindas

Another passenger jet suffers trouble with turbine
By the A.M. Costas Rica staff

Another passenger jet leaving Costa Rica had to turn around and make an emergency landing because of a failure in an engine turbine.

This is the third passenger craft that has had the same problem in nine days.

This time the aircraft was operated by Continental Airlines and carried more than 150 persons. The crew of the Boeing 757 reported a problem Saturday almost immediately after takeoff at 8:20 a.m. The Houston-bound craft was turned around and made an emergency landing without complications. Passengers spent the night in Costa Rica.

The mishap took place at Juan Santamaría airport in
 Alajuela. That's the same airport where an American Airlines passenger jet blew a right engine Feb. 17. The next day, Feb. 18, a similar problem forced a Delta Air Lines jet to return to Daniel Oduber airport near Liberia.

All the aircraft involved are believed to have two engines.

There has been little official comment on the circumstances of the two earlier incidents.   Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, the national refinery monopoly, did not respond to reporters' inquiries last week. However, those in the aviation business say that the quality of fuel is probably not an issue and that many conditions can cause this problem, including foreign objects being sucked into the turbine.

Venezuela will delay plans to suspend flights of some U.S. airlines
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

CARACAS, Venezuela — The aviation ministry has agreed to delay its planned suspension of some U.S. flights to allow talks with the affected airlines. In a statement, the ministry said the restrictions, set to take effect Wednesday, will now be postponed until March 30.

It added that officials met Friday with representatives from several U.S. airlines, and said more talks are expected in coming days.
U.S. officials have said the suspension of flights would violate a 50-year-old aviation deal between the nations. They expressed hope that talks will help resolve the dispute.

Venezuelan officials announced the ban last week in response to U.S. restrictions placed on Venezuelan planes 10 years ago because of security concerns.

They say the United States has failed to acknowledge security improvements taken by Venezuelan companies in recent years.

Proposed Tamarindo arts center will be kicked off with tea party
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some Tamarindo residents are trying to start a center for the arts in the town but the funds are lacking.  To combat this, the Comite de Ornato, as they call themselves, is organizing a series of fundraisers the first of which is scheduled for Tuesday. 

The fund raiser, a Lady's Tea Party, will feature the work of New York City jeweler/artist, Trish Becker, a former fashion editor from G.Q. magazine. 

The attendance fee will be $10 per person.  100 percent of the money raised will begin Tamarindo's "Center for the Arts" fund, the group said.  Ms. Becker has also donated one of her jewelry pieces to be included in a raffle on the day of the event. 
The Center for the Arts building will eventually be located in the park across from Capitan Suizo and will serve as a cultural center for Tamarindo complete with an educational arts program for both children and adults, the organizing committee said.  The center will also house a gallery space for artists to show their paintings, photography, sculpture, film and more.

The goal is to provide a non-competitive, caring environment where Tamarindo's children, as well as adults, can explore the benefits of creating and appreciating both fine art and the performing arts while remaining in Tamarindo's small community so far away from urban artistic centers, the group said.

The fund raiser starts at 4 p.m. at Kahiki Restaurant at Iguana Surf on the road to Langosta. 

Jo Stuart
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