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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Wednesday, March 6, 2013,  Vol. 13, No. 46                Email us
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Tax on television providers will help moviemakers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers want to see more Costa Rican movies, so they are planning to assess a 1 percent tax on television providers and to order an increasing amount of  local films to be shown.

The plan, No. 18601,  was before the Comisión Permanente Especial de Ciencia y Tecnología y Educación Tuesday. The proposal, if passed would levy a 1 percent tax on the net income of all television subscription providers, be they local stations, cable companies or even satellite firms. Subscription in the law appears to mean something like a cable television contract.

The money would go to an entity, the Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica, which would then hand the money out to local producers and directors. Those who would pay the tax would not be able to deduct the amount from their net income when they pay the annual income tax.

Fernando Contreras, representing REPRETEL, the television firm, told the committee that the proposal lacked fundamentals. He said his firm operates television stations and radio outlets as well as movie houses. Soon it will introduce satellite television, he said.

Contreras questioned the imposition of charges and taxes without a technical foundation.
The proposal would increase over 10 years the amount of Costa Rican movies that would have to be shown in commercial outlets. The first year, the movie houses would have to show 2 percent Costa Rican films. By year 10 and thereafter, the amount would have to be at least 20 percent.

There would be fines for failing to meet the requirements of the law.

The law also seems to cover Internet firms that deliver movies to customers although it is silent on how to enforce this.

The Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica also would share in the 3 percent tax that is now assessed for public events like shows at the Teatro Nacional.

The existing Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica has been dealing mostly in documentaries in 8 mm and 16 mm formats. Commercial producers use 35 mm.

There already exists an old law specifying the amount of Costa Rican content required on radio and television, but the preface to the bill says that the amount of foreign material is about 99 percent. The preface also cites countries where such guaranteed access for local material already is the law.

The bill has been in the hopper since October.


Local politicians express sentiments on Chávez
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

All was forgiven Tuesday as Costa Rican leaders rushed to express their condolences to the Venezuelan people on the death of president Hugo Chávez.

President Laura Chinchilla, in a statement, expressed the country's solidarity with the family of Chávez and the Venezuelan people.

The foreign ministry did likewise.

More on Chávez HERE!

At the legislature, lawmakers held a minute of silence. Fabio Molina Rojas, who proposed the motion, said that lawmakers were not trying to judge his ideology or his political actions.
 Chávez has had a strong influence on Costa Rican politics. In February 2007 he caused then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez to mute his criticism of the Venezuelan's power grab and threatened to shut down an aluminum fabrication plant in Esparza that employed 400 workers. Venezuela not only supplied the aluminum ingots but also owned the plant.

Venezuelan politicians associated with Chávez also had contact with Costa Rican left wing politicians and provided some funds for projects here. Some went to Venezuela for training.

It also was Chávez and his administration that bankrolled the dredging of the Río San Juan that eventually resulted in an International Court of Justice case between Costa Rica and Nicaragua that still is undecided.

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More than 200 carretas due
at boyero parade Sunday


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism officials estimate that there will be more than 200 teams of oxen in the parade Sunday in Escazú.

But the party really begins Friday when the food tents open at noon in the plaza of San Antonio de Escazú.  On the menu will be a host of traditional dishes, including pozol and tamales.

Saturday is a day for games and folk dances at the same location. The whole weekend will be great material for amateur photographers. The official designation is the national day of the boyero or oxcart driver.

Escazú is the origin of the brightly painted ox carts that are pulled by the bueyes or oxen.

Although ox carts have been painted since colonial times, the delicate artwork that sets the Costa Rican carreta apart from others, originated in Escazú in the first third of the 20th century. An Italian immigrant came up with the idea of adorning the carts with intricate colorings in the style that was typical of the Sicilian carts of his home. Although some geometric designs could be seen on earlier carts, historians generally place the flowering of the more ornate vehicles in the 1930s. Best known are the highly decorated wheels.

The ox cart even has entered the supernatural realm. The carreta sin bueyes is said to be heard rolling down the street at night carrying its damned ox cart driver. The story is that the driver cursed a priest and tried to drive his oxen and cart into a church. The oxen or bueyes would not enter holy ground and, thus, were spared damnation. Not so for the driver who rolls through the night in a vehicle that could only be propelled by the Devil.


Black market peso scheme
alleged in an indictment

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Two men and the import-export company they allegedly used to move millions of dollars linked to illegal activity from the United States to Mexico have been indicted on federal charges of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and structuring cash transactions.

According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury Feb. 13, the three defendants received large sums of cash and worked with peso brokers in Mexico to illegally convert the dollars to pesos.

The three defendants named in the 93-count indictment are:

•  Peace & Rich Import, Inc., a wholesale distributor of silk flowers and other goods, located in South El Monte;

• Chaur Hwan Lin, 66, of San Marino, the president and co-owner of Peace & Rich; and

• Antonio Pareja, 53, of San Gabriel, the manager of Peace & Rich.

Lin and Pareja ran Peace & Rich as an informal money transfer system that, according to the indictment, “was involved in facilitating the transfer of money domestically outside of the conventional financial institutions system.” An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles determined that Lin and Pareja used Peace & Rich to receive large amounts of cash derived from illegal activity.

The cash – tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the indictment – was typically delivered by couriers working in conjunction with a peso broker in Mexico.

In a black market peso exchange scheme, a peso broker works with an individual engaged in illegal activity, such as a drug trafficker, who has United States currency in the United States that he needs to bring to Mexico and convert to pesos, according to the indictment. The peso broker finds business owners in Mexico who buy goods from vendors in the United States, such as Peace & Rich, and need dollars to pay for those goods.

The peso broker arranges for the illegally obtained dollars in the United States to be delivered to the United States-based vendors, such as Peace & Rich, where they are used to pay for the goods purchased by the Mexico-based customers. Once the goods are shipped to Mexico and sold by the Mexico-based business owner for pesos, the pesos are turned over to the peso broker, who then pays the drug trafficker in Mexico.

The indictment alleges that Peace & Rich took in large amounts of cash and conducted transactions without being registered as a money transmitting business and without filing currency transaction reports, which are required when a business accepts cash payments of more than $10,000. Lin and Pareja allegedly disbursed cash as directed by a peso broker in Mexico to couriers for delivery to other United States-based businesses on behalf of their Mexico-based customers.

Additionally, Lin allegedly structured cash deposits – or, made a series of deposits that were less than $10,000 – to avoid the filing of transaction reports by the financial institutions where the deposits were made.


 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary














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It looks like a melon but the instructions call for a hammer to prepare it for the table.

It's the chiverre, a traditional Semana Santa sweet treat.

In the photo are three different ways to serve it: chiverre with pink sugar, with black sugar cane or con tapa de dulce de caña and finally by using a trapiche or small mill to create a conserve.
 

semana santa vegetable
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas

A Semana Santa treat that requires a hammer to prepare
An A.M. Costa Rica encore

Chiverre is squash that looks like a watermelon, but the shell is very hard. Inside, the texture is similar to that of a pumpkin but colored white.

The season for collecting this member of the cucurbit family (Cucurbita ficifolia) coincides with Holy Week and Easter, and hundreds of roadside stands have them available.

It is a Semana Santa staple. Supermarkets have them now.

Costa Ricans use them in many ways, mostly sweet and based on brown sugar, white sugar, in conservas and the famous miel de chiverre or chiverre honey.

You can mix prepared chiverre with coconut and you can put in tamarindo seeds, but the basic preparation is the same.

Miel de chiverre

Ingredients.

A lot of patience
A big chiverre 
Dulce de caña in (2) tapas or 1 kilo of granular brown sugar
cinnamon 
cloves
250 grams brown tamarindo seeds 
if desired, coconut pieces or flakes

(Tapas of dulce de caña are the little circular blocks of brown sugar available at every market.)

Preparation

Make a fire or use a kitchen burner to char as much as possible of the shell of the chiverre.  When done, hit the shell with a hammer to expose the contents that looks like Chinese spaghetti or fine hairs. Chiverre, by the way sometimes is called spaghetti squash.

Now the contents must be dried. You can use the clothes drier to reduce the moisture. A clean pillowcase can be used to protect the chiverre.  When the chiverre contents are drier, cook it in a big pot on low heat. In the pot put your preferred sugar, white or brown.

Cover the entire flesh of the chiverre with sugar, tamarindo seeds, cinnamon, cloves (called clavos de olor in Costa Rica) lemon or orange peel and, if desired, coconut. The chiverre will produce enough liquid for this process.

Cover the pot and let it cook slowly and reduce for 90 minutes. Don't forget to stir often.

This delicacy is available in most of the country's supermarkets if you are not handy with a hammer. Also available is chiverre en conserva (about 800 colons for a 500-gram bottle). That's about $1.70 a pound. 

This product is used like jelly in empanadas and other dishes where a touch of sweetness is desired.

  Written by Saray Ramírez Vindas and originally published April 7, 2004.


Replica firearms sent to the chopping block by police officials
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement officials routinely chop up firearms that have been used in crimes or confiscated from persons without permission to carry them.

But Sunday the Dirección General de Armamento of the security ministry chopped up replicas that had been used in crimes. There so-called toy guns are nearly identical to the originals in some cases.

In fact, security ministry officials said that replica firearms are
used in three of every 10 robberies.

There were 487 replica weapons on the chopping block Sunday. They had been confiscated and held until judicial officials gave the go ahead for destruction.

Government officials also oppose the use by the young of replicas of weapons, although youngsters are attracted to them.

Some of the replicas that were destroyed were models of rifles and even AK-47s, officials said. Armory workers used a chop saw to effect the destruction.


Five held as suspects in scam involving state insurance company
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Five persons, two men and three women, have been detained on allegations that they have been defrauding the Instituto Nacional de Seguros. All are employees of the government insurance company and worked in Heredia.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said the insurance firm was alerted by bank workers because of continuous deposits of significant sums into one account.
Judicial agents said that the individuals are accused of activating old automobile insurance claims and diverting the settlement money to their own use.

The amount involved may be as much as 200 million colons, about $400,000.

Agents searched locations in Heredia Centro and San Francisco and San Pedro de Barva as well as other offices of the insurance firm.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 46
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old croc
Original artwork by Danielle Byerley
© Florida Museum of Natural History
This image is a reconstruction of Culebrasuchus mesoamericanus in its ancient coastal environment in Panamá.

Excavations at Panama Canal
turn up three new creatures


By the University of Florida news service

Paleontologists have discovered remarkably well-preserved fossils of two crocodilians and a mammal previously unknown to science during recent Panama Canal excavations that began in 2009.

The two new ancient extinct alligator-like animals and an extinct hippo-like species inhabited Central America during the Miocene about 20 million years ago. The research expands the range of ancient animals in the subtropics — some of the most diverse areas today about which little is known historically because lush vegetation prevents paleontological excavations — and may be used to better understand how climate change affects species dispersal today. The two studies appear online in the same issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The fossils shed new light on scientists’ understanding of species distribution because they represent a time before the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, when the continents of North and South America were separated by oceanic waters.

“In part we are trying to understand how ecosystems have responded to animals moving long distances and across geographic barriers in the past,” said study co-author Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus. “It’s a testing ground for things like invasive species – if you have things that migrated from one place into another in the past, then potentially you have the ability to look at what impact a new species might have on an ecosystem in the future.”

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation Panama Canal Partnerships in International Research and Education project, which supports paleontological excavation of the canal during construction expected to continue through 2014.

“We’re very fortunate we could get the funding . . .  to take advantage of this opportunity — we’re getting to sample these areas that are completely unsampled,” said Alex Hastings, lead author of the crocodilian study and a visiting instructor at Georgia Southern University who conducted the research for the project as a graduate student in Florida.

Researchers analyzed all known crocodilian fossils from the Panama Canal, including the oldest records of Central American caimans, which are cousins of alligators. The more primitive species, named Culebrasuchus mesoamericanus, may represent an evolutionary transition between caimans and alligators, Hastings said.

“You mix an alligator and one of the more primitive caimans and you end up with this caiman that has a much flatter snout, making it more like an alligator,” Hastings said. “Before this, there were no fossil crocodilian skulls known from Central America.”

Christopher Brochu, an assistant professor of vertebrate paleontology in the department of geoscience at the University of Iowa, said the caiman fossil record is tantalizing, and the new data shows there is still a long way to go before researchers understand the group.

“The fossils that are in this paper are from a later time period, but some of them appear to be earlier-branching groups, which could be very important,” said Brochu, who was not involved with the study. “The problem is, because we know so little about early caiman history, it’s very difficult to tell where these later forms actually go on the family tree.”

The new mammal species researchers described is an anthracothere, Arretotherium meridionale, an even-toed hooved mammal previously thought to be related to living hippos and intensively studied on the basis of its hypothetical relationship with whales. About the size of a cow, the mammal would have lived in a semi-aquatic environment in Central America, said lead author and graduate student Aldo Rincon.

“With the evolution of new terrestrial corridors like this peninsula connecting North America with Central America, this is one of the most amazing examples of the different kind of paths land animals can take,” Rincon said. “Somehow this anthracothere is similar to anthracotheres from other continents like northern Africa and northeastern Asia.”

Researchers also name a second crocodilian species, Centenariosuchus gilmorei, after Charles Gilmore, who first reported evidence of crocodilian fossils collected during construction of the canal 100 years ago. The genus is named in honor of the canal’s centennial in 2014.

Researchers will continue excavating deposits from the Panama Canal during construction to widen and straighten the channel and build new locks.

Study co-authors include Bruce MacFadden of the University of Florida and Carlos Jaramillo of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

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feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
7840-3/11/13

Palmares
                                    rental properties
Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

Visit our Web page for more information.
www.palmarescostarica.us
7819-4/29/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished large 2-bedroom
apartment view
apartment. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Convenient location in downtown, San José. All bills paid except electric. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
7843-3/12/13

prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
7837-3/12/13

Beautiful Golfito house for rent
in Costa Rica: $300/month

Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
7800-2/22/13

Palacio condo
Beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern condo for rent.
(Only 6 years old).
Great Secure Area, Next to 5-Star Hotel Palacio (La Uruca). Gated community, 24-hour security, 5 minutes to San José. Swimming Pool, washer/dryer, covered parking, high-speed Internet, cable TV, home phone! $900 per month, fully furnished, 6-Month minimum! Please Call: 001-954-782-0200 or email jas21358@comcast.net
7780-2/21/13

Volcano View!
Santo Domingo de Heredia, gated community
Fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, cable, internet, hot water tank. 300 meters from Mas x Menos supermarket. 700 meters from farmers' market. Bus stop at gate. $600 all utilities paid. Available Jan. 1. cinclus@ice.co.cr
7680-12/28/12

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING – MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200
Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

7857-5/4/13





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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 46
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bookstore promoe



Chavez
Government of Venezuela photo
Hugo Chávez

Supporters mourn Chávez
as country's great leader


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan officials say President Hugo Chávez has died after a long struggle with cancer. Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the death on national television Tuesday. He urged the Venezuelan people to show strength and courage, and to be united and fulfill the expectations of "this great leader." 

The 58-year-old Chávez had been treated in Cuba for cancer before returning to Caracas last month. Officials say he came down with a severe infection after strong chemotherapy in a Caracas military hospital.

​​Chávez had cancer in his pelvis. He has not been seen in public since December and missed his inauguration for another term in January.

The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, sent his condolences to the Venezuelan people, calling this a time of great sorrow. The OAS will hold a special meeting in memory of President Chávez.

Vice President Maduro Tuesday accused Venezuela's enemies of attacking the president with cancer. He did not say how that could have been done.

Also Tuesday, Venezuela expelled two U.S. diplomats, accusing them of meeting with military officers and plotting to destabilize the government.

The two diplomats are air attaches, U.S. Air Force officers who are stationed in the embassy.

A statement from the U.S. State Department rejected the Venezuelan claim about the diplomats and calls accusations that the United States was involved in causing Chávez's cancer absurd.

Chávez once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but instead he entered the world of politics. During his lifetime, the controversial president courted figures such as Fidel Castro of Cuba, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and then-Libyan leader Moammar Gadhadi.

As an army paratrooper in 1992, Chávez led an unsuccessful coup against then-president Carlos Andrés Pérez, and he spent time in jail for plotting the failed coup. Chávez's political fortunes later changed.  He was elected president of oil-rich Venezuela in 1998, running on a populist platform and pledging to wipe out poverty and corruption.

He considered himself a revolutionary and said he was inspired by his political mentor, Fidel Castro, who held power for close to 50 years in Cuba. Critics often accused Chávez of steering Venezuela toward a Cuban-style one-party dictatorship.

Political analyst Luis Vicente León says Venezuela became undemocratic under the president's growing authoritarian rule.

"We rediscovered the needs of the poor classes, we rediscovered that it was necessary to tend to their problems," he said.  "What are the negatives?  Well, I think the most important of all is that Venezuela's democracy nowadays is quite a poor democracy."

Chávez was a fierce critic of the United States, which he often referred to as "the empire," and he accused the U.S. of supporting coup attempts against him, charges Washington denied. Back in 2006, he famously referred to then-U.S. president George W. Bush as the Devil during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly. 

"Yesterday the devil was here at this very spot. This podium where it is now my turn to speak still smells of sulfur," Chávez said.

​​As president, Chávez nationalized major companies across a range of industries from oil, steel and cement, to electricity and telecommunications. He also directed funds from the country's oil wealth to social programs for the needy.  Additionally, he used electoral victories to extend the presidential term to six years and remove term limits.

Michael Shifter, an analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, says the president's leftist policies hurt long-term economic development and contributed to rising crime.  But he says Chávez will be remembered as a champion of the people who used his country's vast oil wealth to provide the poor with free housing and health care.

"There is nobody around who has the charisma and the ability to connect to Venezuelans the way Chávez did. Chávez as a figure and the memory of Chávez won't disappear.  That will help sustain the movement," Shifter said.

Chávez also earned the ire of critics by cracking down on the opposition media.  The human rights body of the Organization of American States voiced concern about the use of the punitive power of the state to silence opponents in Venezuela.

In 2008, Venezuela and Ecuador broke diplomatic relations with Bogota after Colombian troops raided a Colombian rebel camp in Ecuador, killing a rebel commander and several other people. 

Ties between Venezuela and Colombia soured over accusations that Venezuela harbors rebels.  Venezuela denied financing and supporting the rebels.  Chávez, however, helped win the release of some Colombians held hostage.

In June 2011, Chávez was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently underwent surgeries in Cuba to remove tumors from his pelvic area.  He then underwent chemotherapy both in Cuba and Venezuela for the disease.  The president did not disclose what kind of cancer was being treated, but insisted he would be ready to run for re-election in October 2012.   Chávez won a fourth term, but underwent a fourth cancer operation in Cuba in December.  He was not seen in public after that, although a photograph of him with two daughters was released in the weeks prior to his death.

Chávez was to have been sworn in this past January, but the event did not occur because he was not well enough for the occasion.


Obama statement expresses
hope for better relations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has marked the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, saying the United States looks forward to improved relations with Venezuela.

Obama's statement on the passing of the Venezuelan leader was brief, one paragraph in all.

At this challenging time, Obama said, the U.S. reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with Venezuela's government.

As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, Obama continued, the U.S. remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.
 
President Obama met President Chávez only once.  In 2009, they shook hands in a hotel meeting room on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Chavez's anti-American rhetoric, which reached a peak during the administration of former president George W. Bush, continued during the Obama administration.

After Obama voiced concern that Chavez's government had aided Colombia's leftist guerrillas, Chávez said Obama had the same stench as former president Bush.

In written responses last year to Venezuela's El Universal newspaper, Obama voiced concern about Chávez government actions that he said "restricted universal rights, threatened basic democratic values and failed to contribute to security in the region."

At the same time, Obama said he hoped to eventually have a better relationship with Venezuela. 

The Obama administration continued to criticize Chavez's close ties with Iran and Syria, as did critics of Chávez in the U.S. Congress.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Ed Royce, issued a statement Tuesday calling President Chavez a tyrant and saying "his death dents the alliance of anti-U.S. leftist leaders in South America."


Maduro and Capriles race
is likely to fill presidency
 

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez from an undisclosed form of cancer clears the way for new elections to determine whether his socialist revolution lives on without him. Elections would have to be held within 30 days.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro is Chavez's chosen successor, but he could face a challenge from Miranda state Gov. Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chávez in the October 2012 election.

The 50-year-old Maduro somberly announced on national television Tuesday that Chávez had died. Maduro was one of the Venezuelan officials who had traveled to Cuba to visit Chávez during the president's medical treatment on the island.

Prior to the announcement that Chávez had succumbed to his illness, Maduro held a meeting with the cabinet, military officers and state governors in Caracas. State television said its purpose was "to define strategies regarding various projects for the development of our country."

Also Tuesday, Maduro accused Venezuela's enemies of attacking the president with cancer.

Maduro is a former bus driver and labor union leader who sports a thick moustache. He held the post of foreign minister for six years.


Heavy snow storm moving
across U.S. to eastern states

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A late winter storm dumped heavy snow on the midwestern United States Tuesday contributing to numerous highway crashes and flight cancellations as it moved east toward the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic states.

More than 1,000 flights were cut in and out of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and 107 more were cancelled in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to the FlightAware.com flight tracking service.

In western Wisconsin, a semi-tractor trailer truck flipped off an Interstate 94 bridge and fully submerged in the Red Cedar River in Menomonie early Tuesday, said Christine Ouellete, a Wisconsin Transportation Department spokeswoman.

Slick roads contributed to numerous crashes and a slow commute across the border in Minnesota. Driving conditions remained difficult along highways in parts of North Dakota.

Roads in northwest Illinois had patches of ice and snow on Tuesday and road crews were bracing in northeast Illinois for the storm, which began dropping snow on Chicago near the middle of the morning rush hour.

Chicago was forecast to get 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) of snow, down about two inches from a previous forecast, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snow was expected Tuesday afternoon in the region, up to one inch per hour, and was expected to snarl the evening rush hour.
       
The storm was expected to move eastward over the Ohio Valley and then the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic states on Wednesday, hitting Washington with its biggest snowfall in possibly two years, the National Weather Service said.

Winter storm warnings were in effect for all or parts of 16 states from the Upper Midwest to the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, National Weather Service spokesman Chris Vaccaro said.

The storm was forecast to move across Ohio and the Tennessee Valley and merge with a developing storm off the mid-Atlantic states that could produce heavy, wet snow overnight and through Wednesday into the mid-Atlantic states that could bring down trees and power lines, Vaccaro said.

"It will be a wet, heavy, gloppy snow consistent with wallpaper paste," he said.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate bro
kers and agents
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If your looking for the best, then this is the home for you
Miramar villa
Miramar Mediterranean style villa for sale owner motivated Call Andy Tel: +(506) 8336 3002 mail: info@costaricaeye.com

CostaRicaEye.com is a Costa Rica real estate company specializing in rental and investment properties.. For more information as well as property listings, visit our Web site today!
7796-2/15/13

The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

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Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
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Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email: info@costaricarealestate.com
7721-4/29/13

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
7794-3/4/13



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
White house
Excellent Offer! house price lowered to $220.000. Click HERE!
lot
3,000 square meters of land ready to build at $50,000. click HERE!
 Great deals for you!
SEE OUR OFFERS HERE
Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12

Real estate for sale (paid category)


View from Orosi home

Majestically situated overlooking the Orosi Valley and the tropical rain forest, this 2-bedroom, 2½-bath home with a separate office is offered at $550,000.  From the extensive use of glass windows visitors are easily captivated by the unbelievably 7 acres of pure, natural Costa Rican landscape.   The property is located 15 minutes from the Cartago metropolitan area, an hour from San José, 1¼ hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, 2 hours to the beaches of the Pacific West Coast, or 3 ½  hours to the beaches of the southern Caribbean coast.
http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com
USA 678-799-8803
CR Cell 011-506-8-910-2904
Margo@ackermanrealtyinternational.com


FOR SALE BY OWNER
You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to landofpalms@hotmail.com.
7869-4/6/13

ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7856-5/4/13

Morazan building for sale
Building for sale by owner
near Parque Morazán San José center on the street running down
the west side of the Hotel Holiday Inn. Perfect for club, bar etc,
Larger than it appears from outside. Call. (506) 8847-1822
or email: diamondchels@yahoo.com
7826-3/4/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7830-5/8/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7829-5/8/13

Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details: http://www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
7789-2/14/13

Luxurious new beach home for sale
Top of the line construction!
This titled property is located on a dead end road only 300 meters from the beach at Esterillos Este. It's a ''one of a kind'' construction with natural diamond Brite pool!
Top of Line construction
1st master bedroom with full bath and loft area. 2nd master bedroom with full bath and outdoor shower. Sells completely furnished with front-loading washer-dryer, commercial refri/freezer and deluxe furniture. Storage area and carport. $289,000.00 USD Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037 or email marietta234@yahoo.es
www.beachfrontcentralpacific.com
7788-3/14/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1011.html
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891
7725-xxxx

Retirement/vacation/hobby farm lots for sale
Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa,
Colinas
20 minutes to Liberia airport. Project is Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A. 125-acre project with beautiful mountain and valley views. 70 clear-titled lots remaining for sale with water and electric to each lot. Lots are 5,000 sq. meters and larger. Fenced and gated project. Ready to build. Lots start at $30,000.    Guanacaste tree
See www.colinasdelsolcr.com. Prices listed have been reduced from those shown on the Web site.  For all general inquiries please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com or 001 517 484-3675.
7607-2/27/12

beachfront one
beachfronttwo
beachfront three
Price slashed for quick sale.
Beautiful, completely remodeled beachfront home for sale.

Great location in between Quepos and Parrita. Please visit this Web site for complete details: www.tomstewartinsurance.com/CostaRica. Price recently reduced for quick sale. Email  tomstewart0001@gmail.com or call 713-775-9283.
7600-3/7/13

Costa Azul view
costa azul ocean
Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
Grupo Costa Azul – A property waiting for you!
www.grupocostaazulcr.com
7484-9/11/12

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

Papitos
Would you like to start a chain of pizzerias  in Costa Rica?
If you have the money,   I have the ideas and the basis to start. Buy the place,
and I'll work for you! Only serious inquiries. Money or property in C.R.
Call  Mike  (506) 8375 4287 or after 1 p.m. Call to  (506) 2241 1068.
7868-4/6/13

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
A.M.
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 46
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News from the BBC up to the minute










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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute























Public employee strike
possible for Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government is gearing up for another strike by teachers and other public employees Friday. The complaint is a government plan to adjust salaries.

The Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñanza is leading the job action, which will involve a march to Casa Presidencial.

The Asociación Nacional de Educadores said it has not yet decided if it will join the strike, but it did issue a blistering statement about the proposal from the government. The organization said that public employees might lose half their salary.

The central government is trying to make salaries more uniform throughout the executive branch. A statement Tuesday from the Ministro de Trabajo y Seguridad Social urged negotiations and said that no final decisions have been made on the salary issue.


Report on Sámara earthquake
is available free and online


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Earthquake fans will have a treat poring over a 134-page report on the Sept. 5 earthquake off the coast of Sámara last Sept. 5.

The 7.6 quake was the second strongest ever recorded in the country. The Red Sismológica Nacional at the Universidad de Costa Rica compiled mountains of data, including a summary by location as to how the quake was felt. For example, in Puerto Viejo de Sarapaquí the quake was felt strongly and a metal bridge collapsed.

The report also offers a detailed description of what is taking place below the Pacific coast that causes quakes.

Also included is a list of many of the 3,833 aftershocks that the quake generated.

The .pdf file is free and can be found HERE!


Air pistol robbery suspect
detained at his home


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents said that a bandit used an air pistol to stickup a pedestrian Jan. 31 in San Sebastián in the southern part of the capital.

They arrested a suspect Tuesday and made a search of his dwelling. The 25-year-old victim was on his way home at 4 p.m. when he was confronted by a robber, said agents.

Air pistols can be an effective weapons if they have sufficient power.


Animal adoption fair planned
for Saturday in Escazú


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Asociación Animales de Asís plans an adoption fair for dogs and cats Saturday at the Escazú Walmart store. The hours are from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The organization is accepting a 10,000-colon donation for a castrated or fixed and vaccinated dog and an 8,000-colon donation for a similarly castrated or fixed cat.


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A.M. Costa Rica
Seventh Newspage


San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 46
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Jeb Bush immigration stand is surprise

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Immigrant advocacy groups are lashing out at the brother of former U.S. president George W. Bush for writing in a new book that foreign nationals living illegally in the United States should not be given a path to citizenship.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution," says undocumented immigrants should be allowed to pursue legal residency, but not citizenship. It also proposes that undocumented immigrants could apply for U.S. citizenship, once they go back to their home country.

United We Dream, the largest immigrant-youth led network in the U.S., criticized Bush Tuesday for relegating the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country to what it called a second class.

“Jeb Bush seems to think my parents, and millions of other hardworking immigrants, should be blocked from ever realizing their dream of becoming citizens, relegating them to a life stuck in second-class status,” said Cristina Jimenez, the group’s managing director.

Bush’s book, released this week, surprised members of the immigration reform movement because the politician had long been a rare Republican Party proponent of citizenship. Bush changed that stance as he was writing his book with Clint Bolick last year during the 2012 presidential campaign in which conservative candidates were taking a much tougher line on illegal immigration, with some advocating self-deportation.

Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, suggested Bush may now be alone with his proposal, since a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration reform in Congress have included citizenship in their plans.

“Republicans and Democrats alike are following the lead of the American people, who recognize that hardworking immigrants should have a roadmap to citizenship so they can become fully participating Americans,” Noorani said.

Republicans lost the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election, prompting the party to revise its stance toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants, many of whom are Hispanic.

Bush stood by his own proposed reform Tuesday during an appearance on the U.S. television program "Morning Joe."

“If you don’t have a difference between a path to citizenship, or a path to legalization, you’re going to create a magnet going forward for more illegal immigrants,” Bush said, adding that he would support a path to citizenship only if the law governing it didn’t include an incentive for people to come to the U.S. illegally.

“I don’t see how you do it, but I’m not smart enough to figure out every aspect of a really complex law,” he said.

Members of Congress are hoping to present their reform bill to the public later this month, in a move that could deepen the already tense national debate about how to secure the U.S. borders, stimulate the economy, and address the millions of undocumented immigrants who live and work here.

Bush, whose brother and father were both presidents, is rumored to have presidential ambitions of his own. The politician has not said whether he will run in 2016, but is carrying his message across the country through media appearances and book signings.


Potsdam
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
At the Potsdam conference: Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman, and Josef  Stalin  in the front row. Viacheslav Mólotov, James F. Byrnes, Ernest Bevin and William D. Leahy are standing.

Russians mark the birthday of  Stalin

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russians have marked the 60th anniversary of the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who holds enduring popularity despite his tyrannical leadership, which killed millions.
 
Hundreds of people gathered in Moscow's Red Square to lay flowers at Stalin's tomb Tuesday near the Kremlin Wall.
 
His body was buried there in 1961 as part of a de-Stalinization process, after being preserved in the Mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The head of Russia's Communist Party, Gunnady Zyuganov, attended the commemoration. He praised Stalin as a "distinguished state and political figure," and as a symbol of the nation's great victories.
 
An opinion survey on Stalin in Russia and the ex-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia found the former Soviet dictator remains widely admired. The U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace commissioned the report.
 
Carnegie report editor Thomas de Waal said Stalin’s popularity remains high because no proper de-Stalinization program has been carried out in the media or schools.
 
"It seems that Stalin is still there in peoples' minds, not only in Russia but in places like Georgia and Armenia as well, 60 years after his death, even though there are very few visual representations of him, very few statues or portraits," he said. "His shadow is still there."
 
De Waal said the poll also found that people do not fully understand the history of Stalin and his ruthlessness.
 
"I think one of the other things that this poll shows is a much higher level of indifference — not so much opposition, but indifference amongst younger people particularly in Azerbaijan, where 39 percent of younger people said they did not even know who Stalin is," he said. "So maybe Stalin is becoming a bit of a distant figure like Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible — which is not so great. It would be important for people to have a proper discussion about the recent Soviet past. This poll shows that people are confused, that they do not really come to grips with the history of Stalin, but that they do not really want him back.”
 
Stalin ruled the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953 at age 74. Communists and other hardliners credit him with the defeat of Adolf Hitler in World War II and turning the Soviet Union into a nuclear superpower.
 
Critics condemn his tyranny. Historians estimate nearly one-million people were executed during his purges in the 1930s. Millions more died in his notorious Gulag prison camps and in his mass starvation system in Ukraine.

Stalin also misjudged the intentions of Adolf  Hitler. A 1939 pact negotiated by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Viacheslav Mólotov led to the invasion and division of Poland. Stalin was shocked when German troops invaded Russia in 1941.

Stalin's purges also greatly reduced the effectiveness of the Russian military because many seasoned senior officers were killed.

The purges were highly effected because they were random, and secret police grabbed whomever they could to fill their quotas.
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