For quite some time now, there has been a heated debate on whether or not to vote yes for the CAFTA/TLC or free trade agreement with the US. Lines were drawn and the country has been divided far too long. Costa Rica was coming to a deadline and had to make a decision one way or the other.
When Oscar Arias was voted in as president, we all thought that he would approve CAFTA and get the ball moving on the changes that were to take place but when he saw how divided the country was and how much opposition he had, I think he chickened out. Instead agreeing to the CAFTA agreement with the U.S., he decided to put it to a vote for the whole country to hopefully come together in agreement, thus taking the monkey off his back.
Yesterday, the first referendum in the history of Costa Rica took place and the country voted on whether or not to accept the CAFTA, known here as the TLC. Voters came out in record numbers. 60% of the electorate turned out Sunday to ratify the free trade agreement with the U.S. by 48,198 votes. It came down to the wire with 51.58% voting si/yes and 48.42% voting no.
At last the controversy is over and it has passed. Everyone has an opinion on this but I think it is a good thing and that many new jobs will come to Costa Rican’s because of it.
It will bring an end to the monopolies that run the country with electricity, insurance and internet just to name a few. Competition is good for the economy and I believe that if we have options to who we choose for internet, just to name one, we will get much better service and pricing. The opposition says that competition is bad and that Costa Rica should stay the same forever. But change is good and I truly believe that Costa Rica will benefit from the decision that they have made.