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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 197                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco

m asks
Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural photo
These are some of the masks that are on display in downtown San José
Traditional art form is subject for a heritage contest
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Masks probably are as old or older than modern humans. In Costa Rica they are considered an art form.

The Día de la Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense Oct. 31 puts a national spin on the U.S. Halloween. The day was established by a presidential decree in 1996. There will be parades and demonstrations of masks all over Costa Rica.

The masks that are seen today came with the Spanish, even though the various native groups have had their own traditions.

The Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural is honoring the Costa Ricatradition of making these mask with a contest and

masks again
Centro de Investigación y Conservación
del Patrimonio Cultural photo
Themes can be from life or afterwards.
an exhibit that ends appropriately Oct. 31.
There are 112 masks on display at the offices of the Centro opposite Librería Lehmann on the downtown San José pedestrian walkway.

They will be there all month, and there are plans to take them around the country afterwards.

The Centro said that there are 58 large masks and 54 smaller ones. Mask creators compete in three categories based on the length of time they have been making them.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud in a release, quoted Isabel Badilla saying that one reason for the contest is to diminish the traditional notion that masks are associated with violence and alcohol.

She said masks are for enjoyment, not for fighting or alcohol.  She is directing the competition.
The contest also is to bring the public closer to the artists, she said.

The masks also have a political dimension. At least recently various public figures have been used as models for masks. However, mainly youngsters dressed in masks and flowing clothing are visible all over the county in festivities with the also traditional street bands.

Some of the creators of the masks have been reported to have used recycled materials.

Presidential candidate does an about face and returns
In an unexpected and surprising decision, Rodolfo Hernández Gómez said Saturday that he would return as the presidential candidate for the  Partido Unidad Social Cristiana. The announcement by the medical doctor came as his party officials attempted to find a replacement.

An earlier story is below:

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When the former director of the children's hospital dropped out of the presidential race Thursday, he issued a scathing condemnation of his political party.

His opinion is valuable because it reflects the views of an outside suddenly exposed to the inner workings of one of the nation's major political parties.

He said he was faced with so much intrigue, so much envy, so much egotism, so much treason and so much disloyalty. In bitterness, the letter of Rodolfo Hernández Gómez ranks right up there with the comments of Richard Nixon in 1962 after he lost the California governor's race telling newsmen that they won't have him to kick around any more.

Hernández said he was upset because some of the party's legislative candidates were only interested in winning their seat and not helping to support him and the party in the presidential race. He also said there were informants leaking information to rival politicians and that those who had promised to make financial contributions backed away.

The letter has to be seen in the light of the current campaign in which Johnny Araya Monge, the Partido Liberación Nacional candidate, holds a commanding lead in polls. Other political parties, too, have seen desertion to the Araya banner.

In his description of his woes as the candidate of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, Hernández used some medical terms, as might be expected from a physician. He said the party was in intensive care. The once dominant party was hammered in the 2010 elections and got less than 4 percent of the presidential vote.

Hernández was in second place in national polling although probably further from Araya than the 5 percent he claimed in the letter.

He said he was sad that many persons declined to support him because he was running a campaign
Partido Unidad Social Cristiana photo
Rodolfo Hernández Gómez

that was clean, transparent, honest and without compromise.

He also took a shot at the press, saying that they sold him short because they said he does not have fangs, a reference to his lack of political experience. He said he decided to step down and return to direct the Hospital Nacional de Niños where he would not be in a contaminated environment surrounded by love, respect honor and fraternity.

He denied that he could be manipulated to be exhibited as a trophy by some unscrupulous person. He was widely seen as the hand-picked candidate of Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier, the former president who was convicted in an influence peddling case involving the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

"I made a strong effort to continue, but I can't stand more knives in the back," he said. "This is not the democracy that I dreamed of. This is not the party that I always defended. This is not what I want for Costa Rica."

The party's general assembly is expected to meet within a week to pick a new candidate. Rodolfo Piza, a vice presidential candidate, is a likely candidate.

Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, the presidential candidate of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, quickly said that he was sad because no one can be happy when someone else speaks of a knife in the back, betrayal or envy. He said his party will continue to put Costa Rica first.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 197

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School teachers seeking ban
on genetically modified foods

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The school teachers union has demanded that the public schools stop serving or selling food that has an origin in genetically modified components.

That would be nearly all the snack foods that have foreign origin or made with foreign products like yellow corn.

The union, the Sindicato de Educadores y Educadoras Costarricenses, just held its annual general meeting where this resolution was passed among others.

The union said that genetically modified foods have grave implications, but the report of the action did not specify what these are. 

The World Health Organization stops short of saying that genetically modified foods are safe. Instead it says that each product should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In the United States, genetically modified foods are assessed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before the products go on the market.

Europe has banned modified crops, and California voters nearly passed a law that would have required labeling of such products.

There has been little discussion in Costa Rica on the safety of modified foods. There has been concern from some environmentalists that growing modified crops here would endanger the genetic makeup of traditional Costa Rican strains. The Monsanto Co. produces modified crops to create strains that resist the week killers the company also makes.

World Health notes that modified foods now come from plants but that modified livestock are likely to appear soon.

Crops can be modified to produce their own pesticides, to prosper in dry climates and other uses that benefit farms.

A number of Costa Rican cantons have declared themselves free of genetically modified crops at least as far as agricultural practices are involved.

Modified crops have been grown in Costa Rica for years.

Forensic experts handling
case of two dead in Tres Ríos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators hope that medical examiners can shed some light on the deaths of two persons, including perhaps at least one U.S. citizen. The pair were found at a rented home in Tres Ríos Thursday. They had not been seen for several days.

The home was rented by a North American man, and agents presume he is one of the bodies located in the dwelling. With him was the body of a woman. Names have not been released.

The man appeared to have suffered from a bullet wound in the head, and initially agents said they suspected suicide. However, the forensic lab will be able to determine if the man fired a gun.

The woman's body did not have any apparent injury, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Water users get new rules
on quality and interruptions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's regulating agency has released a plan to improve water quality and also give consumers additional protection.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the new rules cover all water distributors in the country from the giant Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados to the smallest local community supplier.

One rule is that a bill should be provided at least 10 days before it is due. Water firms are prohibited from cutting service on holidays or weekends. Firms also cannot cut water if the customers owe them for some other service.

Customers who receive water that is below the required quality can get a 50 percent reduction in their bill, according to the rules.

Companies also must give notice of suspension of service for construction or similar. If the cutoff is for more than eight hours, alternative supplies of water must be provided, the rules said.

Orchestra debuts tonight
a Costa Rican composition

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional will debut a work by a Costa Rican composer tonight and Sunday morning at Teatro Nacional.

The work is by Marvin Camacho and is titled Poema sinfónico N° 2 “De las esferas.” Also on the program is "Symphonie fantastique" by Héctor Berlioz and “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. The concerto will be performed by invited soloist  Sharon Isbin of the United States on the piano.

The concert tonight is at 8 p.m. The Sunday concert is at 9:15 a.m.

Immigration official at U.N.
seeking funds for immigrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Costa Rica immigration official was at the United Nations in New York Thursday seeking financial assistance to offset the cost of the estimated 390,000 foreigners who live in Costa Rica.

The session was devoted to immigration issues.

The official Freddy Montero Mora, vice minister of Gobernación y Policía, suggested that an international fund be created to help Costa Rica pay the costs of these immigrants. He cited the cost of education, health and similar.

Another mechanism could be a reduction or subsidy for the interest costs on the country's external debt, according to a summary of his talk by the Ministerio de  Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

He noted that Costa Rica is a middle income country and is not a priority for international donors.

Tax police seize cosmetics
in shipment from United States

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax police had confiscated 51,804 items of cosmetics that came into the country form the United States.

The parent agency, the  Ministerio de Hacienda, said the contents of a container inspected at a hacienda warehouse did not jive with the manifests. In addition, some vitamins were not listed as approved for import by the Ministerio de Salud.

The ministry said the confiscated items included eyeliner, perfumes, body creams, gel, soaps, talc and other similar items.

Twitter outlines its plans
to become public company

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Twitter will seek to raise $1 billion in the largest Silicon Valley IPO since Facebook’s 2012 coming-out party, according to an IPO filing made public Thursday.
The 8-year-old service, the preferred communications tool for celebrities and politicians alike, gave potential investors their first glance at its financials.
Revenue almost tripled to $316.9 million in 2012, from $106.3 million in 2011. The filing also said about 65 percent of its revenue is from mobile users. However, the company has not made a penny in profits since 2010.
The service had 218.3 million monthly active users, on average, in the three months ended June 30. Three-quarters of its monthly active users are considered mobile users, it said in the filing.
Twitter intends to list common stock under the symbol “TWTR”.

Exercise as good as pills,
study says of heart disease

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Exercise may be just as good as medication to treat heart disease and should be included as a comparison when new drugs are being developed and tested, scientists said this week.

In a large review published in the British Medical Journal, researchers from Britain's London School of Economics and Harvard and Stanford universities in the United States said they found no statistically detectable differences between exercise and drugs for patients with coronary heart disease or prediabetes, when a person shows symptoms that may develop into full-blown diabetes.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 197
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Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Neighbors and motorists study the gap where a chunk of Ruta 32 was taken out by the Río Parismina.
Most roadways open, but main Caribbean highway still blocked
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country fares well with the heavy rains of Tuesday and Wednesday. There were six reports of major landslides, but each had been opened even while work continues.

The big problem is a bridge on Ruta 32 over the Río Parismina between Guápiles and Siquieres. This is the major road that connects the Central Valley with the Caribbean coast. Road agency workers are suggesting that motorists take Ruta 10 through Cartago and Turrialba now. They estimate that Ruta 32 will not be re-opened until at least Sunday. A lot depends on the weather, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.

There also is a bridge out between Sámara and Nosara on the far Pacific coast. That is on Ruta 150.

There were slides at these locations, according to the Consejo:
* on Ruta 342 at Unión de Tilarán,

* Ruta 926 at Cañas,

* Ruta 1 at Esparza

* Ruta 2 at Cerro de la Muerta, Cartago

• Ruta 14 in Golfito

* Ruta 406 in the Zona de los Santos.

At the Río Parismina heavy equipment has been employed to clear out the riverbed and extract material to rebuild the embankments around the road.

The Consejo said there did not appear to be any structural damage to what remains.

When it comes to ferias, the one in Pavas appears to be better
Before I type another word, I have a cautionary note to my readers, many of whom are on my contact list.  Quora, a social Web site, I guess, has hacked my contact list and is sending invitations from me to join it.  I did not send the invitation.  Please ignore and delete or spam it.  Thanks.

Last Sunday a friend and I took a taxi to the feria in Santa Ana.  I had heard glowing reports of the products available there, including catfish, which I have never seen in the Pavas feria.  It was a bit of a trip for what I intended to buy, but we both were curious.

Parking was a nightmare, and even getting close to the market in a taxi was difficult because the parked cars had turned the street into one lane.

I am trying to be objective, but I found the feria without the charm that the Pavas one has.  Perhaps it is the fact that it is on a level street so you can only see a few feet ahead of you and tends to be claustrophobic if you are inclined.   The Pavas market is on a long street that goes downhill and then up.  I have trouble climbing a hill, but the view of the people across the way makes a wonderful naïf painting in my mind.  There seemed to be far more expats than Ticos at the Santa Ana feria

I recognized some of the sellers from the Saturday feria in Pavas, and I think some of their produce was left over from then.  The yellow peppers were not as shiny and healthy looking as the ones I had seen at the Pavas market.

However, I did have a nice experience — a first of its kind that I recall.  I was standing at the flower stall waiting for the tall shopper next to me get his flowers.  I noticed he was having difficulty holding two plastic handless bags full of fruit.  I searched through my cart and found a supermarket bag with a handle and handed it to him saying it might be easier to hold.  At first he thought I wanted him to hold the bag for me while I put an invisible something into it.  Once he understood, he put his two bags in it and thanked me.
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

A minute later a man in the adjacent kiosk came over and picked up a 2,000-colon note at my feet and handed it to me.  In my bag searching I had dropped the money I intended to use to pay for the flowers.  I thanked him sincerely.  Then I handed the bouquet I had chosen to the florist whom I recognized from the Pavas feria on Saturdays.  He looked at my choice, then picked another bouquet of the same flowers from the bucket and said “This is better.”  I thanked him with a smile.  Then a woman approached me.  She was selling kitchen towels and, of course, had hungry children at home.  I told her to wait a minute and when I got my change, gave it to her.  She smiled and thanked me.  And I was on my way.  I don’t know what she then did; perhaps buy her children something to eat.

I have now visited five different ferias in the Central Valley, including Plaza Viquez, the feria in San Ramón de Alajuela, and the organic feria not far from the Hospital Calderón Guardia.  There are many more, I am sure, and each is unique.

Meanwhile it looks as if Tigo is on a diet.  Some time ago they dropped C-span much to my distress.  Now they no longer carry NBC.  I don’t watch it too often, but an expat, former New Yorker called me unhappy that she will now miss the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Square in December.

Gratitude and giving to or doing for others are universal traits, often forgotten these days when road rage and random acts of violence seem to be contagious.

It is nice to know that a random act of kindness (no matter how small) can also be contagious.

Del Rey HOtel

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 197
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Spanish data base is new tool to assess possible impact of sea level rise
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Latin American and Caribbean countries could improve coastal planning and develop preventive measures to adapt to the effects of climate change using the data base launched this week by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, University of Cantabria and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the commission said.

The database contains information on coastal dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean, climate variability, coastal vulnerability and exposure to climate change, the impact of climate change in the area and an estimation of predictable risks in the future.

The results will make it possible to estimate the potential effects of the rise in sea level on the region's coasts, using historical satellite and buoy information since 1950 and projections for the 21st century.

It combines variables such as annual rise in sea level, changes in wind direction, significant changes in wave height, erosion and changes in sediment dynamics. This makes it possible to georeference the impacts over a detailed area five kilometers wide and 30 kilometers long on the region's coast.

The data base is part of the project Effects of climate change on the coast of Latin America and the Caribbean, which is being implemented by the
 Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, University of Cantabria and the commission, which have an agreement to transfer, apply and update the results of the initiative.

The project consists in a series of documents and a support database including a web viewer. This data base is available for all interested users.

The potential of this tool is relevant for territorial planning, engineering requirements and environmental impact evaluation procedures, the commission said. It is also useful for the infrastructure sector, for the adjustments that need to be made to existing works and for future requirements, it added.

The database was presented at the annual meeting of the Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices in Santiago, Chile.

The event brings together representatives from climate change offices in Iberoamerican countries, as well as from various international and regional agencies developing projects and activities to adapt to climate change.

According to the recently presented fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the impact of this climatic phenomenon is unmistakable throughout the world, with Latin America and the Caribbean being one of the most vulnerable regions, particularly in coastal areas with a large concentration of population and activity.

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Howard Spanish cover


ALL you need to handle most daily situation. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through

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costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
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 or 8308-7732.

house for rent
House for rent on a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden on a bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms plus extra room for office, security, electric gate, Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $475 monthly. Call 2267-6306  Or email:

Cute rental house
Beautiful and cozy mountain cottages
in San Rafael de Heredia.
Surrounded by nature. Bus line service. Security.
One or two bedrooms, one or two baths.
$500 or $425, monthly with furniture.
$325 or $250 without furniture. No bills included.
MORE INFO:  (506) 8739-0638.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542,

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 197
Real Estate
About us

U.S. shutdown concerns rise
as polls blame Republicans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The continued budget impasse between Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress is raising concerns that the rival parties may fail to agree on raising the U.S. debt ceiling by mid-October, which could cause the government to default on its debts.  Both the U.S. Treasury and the International Monetary Fund have called on lawmakers to end the budget crisis as soon possible to avert possible damage to the global economy.
Polls show a growing number of Americans blame the Republican Party for the government shutdown.  In recent days, the spotlight has focused mostly on one lawmaker: House Majority Leader John Boehner, a Republican.  As Speaker of the House, he has blocked a vote on a temporary budget measure that would keep spending at current levels. There is support for such a measure among all Democrats and some Republicans.
U.S. President Barack Obama joined the chorus of Boehner critics Thursday while speaking to a group of construction workers in a Washington suburb.
"There are enough Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives today that if the Speaker of the House John Boehner simply let the bill get on the floor for an up or down vote, every congressman could vote their conscience, the shutdown would end today," said Obama.
Boehner has so far refused to allow a vote on temporary funding that could return 800,000 federal employees from a current furlough. Political pundits cite two reasons this has not yet happened, despite a large majority of Americans disapproving of the shutdown. One is that Boehner would lose the support of his conservative caucus and, perhaps, his position as speaker. The other is that he would lose clout in bargaining with Democrats on a new U.S. budget.
Republicans, meanwhile, have criticized the Democrat-led Senate for rejecting the idea of continuing to fund some agencies and programs, such as cancer treatment for children at the National Institute for Health.
Thursday, a group of Republicans sought to draw attention to the hardship that a lack of funding for that program will cause. Renee Ellmers, a North Carolina Republican and a former nurse, spoke passionately on behalf of children with cancer and their families.
"If you've ever seen the looks on a parent's face when they are told that their child has cancer and then you take their hope away, the moment that they know that they can fight for it, they will," said Ms. Ellmers.
According to one estimate by Massachusetts-based IHS Inc., the shutdown of the federal government will cost at least $300 million a day in lost economic output. Those losses could still increase.
Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warned Thursday that the U.S. budget crisis could also hurt the global economy.
"The ongoing political uncertainty over the budget, over the debt ceiling, does not help. The government shutdown is bad enough. But failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far worse and could very seriously damage not only the US economy, but also the entire global economy," said Lagarde.
The United States must raise its debt ceiling by Oct. 17 to avoid the possibility of defaulting on its debts.

Late night TV comics find
lots of fodder in impasse

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. comedians on late night TV love to make fun of American politicians, whose feuds often paralyze national decision-making. When the disputes led to the federal government's shutdown this week, the jokes went into overdrive.

The government shutdown has given some of America's most popular TV comedians new ammunition against one of their favorite targets: Republicans.

In a YouTube clip posted by Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," the host pounces on Republican lawmaker Todd Rokita for opposing President Barack Obama's health care law.

"I just want to help the American people get by and through what is one of the most insidious laws ever created by man. And that is Obamacare," said Rokita in the clip.

"Not just one of the most insidious laws ever created by America, which has Jim Crow and slavery on its resume of laws, but by man — putting Obamacare up with the Nuremberg laws, the Spanish inquisition and 'prima nocta' — the medieval law where on your wedding night the king gets to sleep with your wife," ridiculed Stewart.

In another video posted to YouTube, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" sees irony in Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's criticism of the president.

"Where is our commander-in-chief, why isn't he on the phone right now, calling the Senate and House leadership, and telling them our nation is at risk because of the government shutdown," Graham told Fox News.

"Yes, why isn't the president telling Congress that shutting down the government is bad? And why won't he tell them the stove is hot? Boehner keeps burning his hand over and over again," mocked Colbert.

Conservatives are not the only ones being mocked. On a YouTube video of NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," host Fallon finds it hard to sympathize with the thousands of furloughed government employees.

"This is nice, actually. I saw several bars in Washington, D.C. are offering discounts on drinks to federal workers affected by the government shutdown. Or, as people who aren't federal workers put it, 'I'm a federal worker.'" said Fallon.

And in a YouTube clip of NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," the veteran comic points out that tourists have plenty of sites to see besides the monuments shut by the government.

"Well, as you know, most of the tourist stuff is closed. Well, here's the story," began Leno.

"With the government shut down, the impact is being felt far beyond the nation's capital, as zoos, libraries and national parks are now closed. However, there are some alternatives to the shutdown. For example, with the closure of the National Zoo, you can still see dangerous animals at a Raiders football game. The Library of Congress also will be closed, but don't worry about it — nobody goes to libraries, anyway. And for those of you hoping to get a glimpse of Joshua Tree National Park, you might want to reroute your trip and head for the 'Kardashian butt-acle' forest," offered Leno's mock news report.

California to give licenses
to illegal immigrant motorists

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California will soon allow immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain a state driver's license -— a move supported not only by immigration rights advocates, but also by police chiefs and insurance authorities.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill authorizing the policy change on Thursday in front of a cheering crowd of immigrants and their supporters. Brown predicted other parts of the country will follow the example set by the nation's most populous state.

The licenses will carry a special designation to make clear that it is not official federal identification and cannot be used to prove eligibility for employment or public benefits.

Advocates for years have argued that undocumented immigrants need to be trained and tested so that they know how to drive and are familiar with the laws of the road.

The California measure will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015 unless the state determines it can begin issuing the licenses sooner.

Woman who ran barrier
killed by police in Washington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police have shot and killed a woman near the U.S. Capitol in Washington after she tried to drive through a barricade near the White House before driving away and leading officers on a dramatic car chase.

Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters the woman died after police fired into her vehicle. Lanier said shots were fired in at least two locations during the confrontation, which took place on Thursday afternoon.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said this appeared to be an isolated incident with no link to terrorism. He also said a police officer rescued a 1-year-old child from the car after the chase.

Authorities said two officers were hurt in the incident, but that both are in good condition and expected to recover.

The U.S. Capitol was put under a brief security lockdown as the situation unfolded, but there never was a threat to lawmakers inside the building.

Police are refusing to comment on the identity or motive of the woman who drove the car. They say the incident remains under investigation.

A witness said he was less than 20 meters away when he saw a car racing toward the Capitol pursued by police cars. He said police stopped the car and approached it with guns drawn and ordered the driver out.

Instead, the witness said, the driver accelerated in reverse, smashing into a police car and spinning around. The driver then began to speed off, and police fired into the car.

Tropical Storm Karen causes
drilling platform evacuations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Forecasters have issued a tropical storm warning for parts of Louisiana as a hurricane watch stretches east to the Florida Gulf coast ahead of Tropical Storm Karen.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Karen could make landfall sometime late today or early Saturday and may strengthen into a hurricane by then.

High winds and heavy rain can be expected.

Residents in the watch and warning areas are urged to stock up on drinkable water, non-perishable foods, and battery-powered radios and flashlights.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has started to recall furloughed employees to deal with the potentially dangerous storm.

The storm may have a big impact on energy production. Some energy companies in the Gulf of Mexico started shuttering their operations Thursday and evacuating some workers as Tropical Storm Karen headed toward the region, which produces nearly a fifth of U.S. oil output.
The National Hurricane Center expected the storm to move through one of the most productive areas of the Gulf to reach the Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle over the weekend. It said the storm could become a hurricane before hitting the coast.
In the Gulf Coast cash gasoline market, differentials surged about 3 cents per gallon on storm concerns, traders said. “All storm hype,” a Gulf refined products trader said on the rise in differentials, which came despite a 1.85-million-barrel increase in inventory last week in the well-supplied region.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp said it halted production at its Neptune platform, which can produce up to 14,000 barrels per day of oil and 23 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell also were evacuating some workers, but said production was not affected.
Chevron did not say which installations were being partially evacuated, but all four of its platforms were in the projected path of the storm. Those include Tahiti, which can produce up to 125,000 barrels a day of oil and 70 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.
Shell also did not identify affected platforms, but five of the company's six producing installations were in the storm's projected path as well as its newest platform, Olympus, which was anchored in the Gulf in August. It is slated to start up next year.
Anadarko was also evacuating workers not essential to production from Neptune and other platforms, including the natural gas-only Independence Hub, which can produce up to 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
The Independence Hub is at the easternmost part of the Gulf where oil and gas producers can operate, about 185 miles (297 km) southeast of New Orleans. It, and many of the platforms operated by Chevron, Shell and BP, are in a Gulf area known as the Mississippi Canyon, which is home to much of the basin's energy infrastructure.
BP said Thursday it was continuing evacuations of some workers, but no production had been halted. ConocoPhillips, which operates a single platform far west of Mississippi Canyon, said on Thursday it did not expect any impact from Karen.
Onshore, a crude distillation unit at Chevron's Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery with a capacity of 210,000 barrels daily was shut early on Thursday, market intelligence service Genscape said, though the company did not confirm the stoppage or say if it was storm-related.
Phillips 66, Shell and Motiva Enterprises also said their refineries in Texas and Louisiana were monitoring the storm.
Destin Pipeline Co LLC Thursday declared force majeure because it was unable to provide natural gas services from its offshore Gulf of Mexico receipt points due to Tropical Storm Karen. The pipeline receives output from some BP platforms, including Thunder Horse.

Crowd burns two foreigners
in organ stealing confrontation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A crowd burnt two Europeans to death on a tourist island in Madagascar and lynched a local man because they suspected them of trafficking human organs after a dead child was found on a beach, police said.
The European men were hunted down and killed by residents on the island of Nosy Be, one of the Indian Ocean island's leading tourism hubs.
“They suspected them of organ trafficking,” Madagascar police chief Desire Johnson Rakotondratsima said. “It appears that one of the foreigners admitted it in front of the local residents after they found the dead body of a child.”
A third suspected organ trafficker, a Malagasy man, was also killed. “He was lynched,” security chief General Andrianazary said. “The security forces arrived too late.”
One of the two dead Europeans was French, according to France's foreign ministry. A French interior ministry official said the body of the child had been found with organs removed.
The French foreign ministry said it had warned its 700 citizens in Madagascar to avoid all travel within the country and asked those planning to travel there to delay their trip.
“We are counting on the Malagasy authorities to bring to light the exact circumstances of this and have asked them to take measures to increase security for our nationals on the ground, given that Nosy Be is a popular tourist destination,” a spokesman said.
Nosy Be is an island off the northwestern tip of mainland Madagascar famous for its turquoise waters and white-sand beaches.
Analysts say crime has increased in Madagascar since President Andry Rajoelina seized power through a coup more than four years ago, plunging the country into political turmoil and leading donors to freeze aid, which has dented public spending.
Almost 80 percent of households now live below the poverty line, one of the highest rates in Africa.

Australia celebrates 100 years
of its own naval power at sea

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
Warships from 17 nations, including the United States and China, have arrived in Sydney Harbor to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Australia's navy.

Thousands of people lined the harbor shores today to watch the warships sail into Australia's largest city.

Seven Australian vessels also entered the harbor in single file to recall Oct. 4, 1913, when the country's first seven warships steamed into the harbor and officially made Australia an independent sea power.

Until then, Australia had been protected by British vessels.


Honduras enlists military
in new, tougher police

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Authorities in Honduras will soon deploy a new weapon to fight a rise in crime and violence in the Central American nation.
Beginning this month, a new military style police force will begin patrols in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula as part of a crackdown on violence fueled by drug related crimes.
Col. José Lope, the commander of the military police unit, said the police would protect law and order and serve the people.
"The characteristics of the military police… will be to serve the people, be about the people and contribute security and peace… that our people may need," explained Lope.
Thursday, a ceremony was held to inaugurate the 1,000 officers who were chosen from the ranks of the military to serve in the unit. Honduran President  Porfirio Lobo stressed the importance of the country's next leader maintaining the new military style police force once Lobo leaves office.
"Our people have suffered a lot and continue to suffer, but this cannot continue.  The next government needs to understand clearly that they need to strengthen security more and that we have the military police to reinforce security," declared Lobo.
Lobo also pointed out that the introduction of the new force did not mean a diminishment of the civilian police, but that the two units would complement one another. President Lobo hopes an increased police presence makes a difference in combating crime in his country.
The United Nations said Honduras had one of the highest murder rates in the world last year per capita.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 803
5,000 square meters of land and 175 square-meters of construction. HERE!
2,000 square meters of land and 200 square-meters of construction.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramøon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

sunset view
FREE FULL-DAY TOUR and property viewing – San Ramón! 
Come visit us in San Ramón and not only will we show you some great properties but we’ll also give you a FREE day-long tour of this terrific town with a relocation expert who has lived here for many years. Since 2006, CRC has been the area’s leading creator of socially-responsible communities for foreign retirees/investors and locals. “Easy access” to San Ramón does not mean living many miles outside of town, but less than 2 miles from everything you’ll need. Live near town but in an area that only feels a world away. None of our competitors have built a school, donated a water well and completed numerous projects for the community. A few stunning, direct ocean-view home sites of 1.25 acres to nearly 4 acres from only $55,000 remain in one of San Ramón’s most desirable residential communities. Please visit us at or email us at to request a property showing AND your free full-day tour. Overnight accommodations can be arranged. Limited availability so please contact us today referencing “Free Tour” in your email:

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD,    Cell 8916-5550.

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Naranjo views


4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone

Guiones retreat
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

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.

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Oct. 4, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 197
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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

Cuba bans sale of imports
by new self-employed class

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Cuban government appeared headed for its first serious clash with the island's newly created private sector of small businesses over a prohibition on the sale of imported clothing and other goods.
The decree issued last week potentially affects some 20,000 small businesses and their employees who sell clothing, hardware and other goods brought in informally by travelers, some of whom visit the Caribbean island regularly carrying merchandise from the United States, Spain and Latin American countries.
Three years ago the government of President Raúl Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel in 2008, opened up retail services to self employment in the form of 200 licensed activities from clowns, seamstresses, food vendors, taxis and the building trades, to small businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, bed and breakfasts and entertainment.
The government said the measure aimed at absorbing excess state labor, improving services, eliminating inefficiencies and bringing black-market activity above ground.
There are now 436,000 self-employed people, of which around 100,000 work as employees of small businesses, according to the government.
Enterprising residents have taken advantage of some of the categories, for example seamstress and household supplies salesman, to offer imported clothing and supplies in greater variety and at lower cost than the state.
Entrepreneurs, their employees and clients waxed furious over the clothing sale prohibition this week in the central Havana district of the capital where a few dozen vendors had set up shop on a vacant lot to sell clothing, shoes and undergarments.
“We call on the authorities to reconsider. We have a lot of product and money invested in this,” Justo Castillo, a representative of the official labor federation which has tried to organize the self employed, said.
“Banning this means unemployment for these people forcing them to do whatever. They will move into the black market, return to illegal activity,” he said, as the crowd that had gathered applauded.
Castro has instituted a series of market-oriented reforms to Cuba's Soviet style economy where the state still employs 79 percent of the 5 million-strong labor force.
Last week's measure appears aimed at protecting the state's monopoly on the wholesale and retail sale of imported goods, which has resulted in widespread black-market activity due to exorbitant prices and shoddy quality.
The regulation includes a new list of authorized types of self employment and their descriptions, with the addition of phrases to stop the resale and importation of goods.
For example, the description of a seamstress now has added, “does not include the sale of manufactured or imported clothing.”
The general public is also up in arms over the measure.
“There goes the chance to buy a pair of shoes or jeans that are worthwhile,” said retiree Ramón, who asked his last name not be used.
The public clamor is so loud that it appears to have reached communist authorities.
Blogger Yohandry Fontana, who is closely identified with the government, released a series of tweets this week criticizing the measure.
“Bad news,” he said in one of the tweets. “Wouldn't it be easier, I ask, to approve the sale of imported clothing by the self employed than push this activity into the black market?”
The new measure has yet to be enforced, at least in Havana even though authorities say it is now the law of the land.

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From Page 7:

U.S. Embassy to promote wine and food

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Embassy is inviting residents to "The U.S. Wine and Food Experience," which features mostly California products. But there also are baby back ribs, snapper and ribeye steaks.

An announcement said that the event is being put on by the agricultural section of the embassy to promote U.S. exports.

Award-winning chef Aaron Butts of Indiana will prepare the food, and his wife,  Carmen McGee, is in charge of the wine, according to an announcement.

The event is Oct. 24 in the Hotel Real Intercontinental, and the cost is $100.

The dinner is at the same time that Expovino, a display of some 130 wine cellars from all over the world, is taking place in the same hotel.