The Libertarian Trend in Costa Rica

GuevaraMovimiento LibertarioCentral American countries have been badly misruled by oligarchs for most of their post-independence histories. The result is that Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras are the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The one exception in the region has been Costa Rica where democracy and the rule of law have generally prevailed. The country famously abolished its military back in the 1940s.

Unfortunately, in recent years, corrupt politicians have undermined the trust of Ticos* in their government. This has provided an opportunity for a rising libertarian political movement and, less fortunately, an opportunity for politicians advocating socialism.

The Tico Times is reporting that a group of prominent economists have broken from the country's conservative party to endorse the Libertarian Movement's presidential candidate Otto Guevara in the current election:

A former president of Costa Rica’s Central Bank and previous PUSC supporter, Jorge Guardia, attacked one of the rising opposition candidates.

“The country faces an urgent political dilemma,” Guardia said at a Tuesday press conference. “There exists the risk that José María Villalta, of the socialist Broad Front Party, could win the February presidential elections.”

Guardia praised the Libertarian Movement presidential nominee as having the only economic plan to solve Costa Rica’s woes, such as its 8.9 percent unemployment rate.

The Tico Times further reported:

Guevara thanked his new-found supporters and used the opportunity to slam his top opponents.

“The choice is between three,” Guevara said. “Socialism on one side, a continuation of impoverishment, or a change to strengthen the economy.”

In 2010, Guevara received 21 percent of the vote and his party gained 10 of the 57 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Here's hoping that Ticos make the right choice on February 2.

*Costa Ricans are called Ticos because they tend to pronounce dimunitives like momentito as momentico. I had the pleasure of working as reporter for the Tico Times back in the 1990s.

H/T Kevin Fleming.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Sudden||

    Guardia praised the Libertarian Movement presidential nominee as having the only economic plan to solve Costa Rica’s woes, such as its 8.9 percent unemployment rate.

    California looks on with envy in its eyes. But hey, at least we're not France!

  • ||

    It would be pretty stellar having an actually libertarian leaning country to move to, but something tells me that Costa Rica may be lacking on certain things like lenient gun laws. Still, economic freedom is a good start. I can always bribe someone who finds me with illegal guns.

  • Floridian||

    "something tells me that Costa Rica may be lacking on certain things like lenient gun laws."

    Well, yeah. Hunting is illegal there and the second amendment is all about hunting so no need for guns. duh.
    /progtard

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Anyone object to moving the capital of Libertariantopiamagicland from Somalia to Costa Rica?

  • RBS||

    Depends. How are the roads?

  • Brett L||

    Not quite up to Somalian par, but when I was there 10 years ago, they repaved one stretch by the big mall in San Jose about five times while ignoring gaping pot holes and washouts. Add in the one lane bridges and treacherous mountain 1.5 lane roads off the main "highways" and you were well on your way to libertopia.

  • JD the elder||

    That reminds me of my experience with the roads in Grenada. On the way from the airport to the hotel, the roads were terrible - like "potholes taking out an entire lane" terrible. And we were supposed to be staying in a good neighborhood, too, and I thought, Jesus, this is what the roads are like in a good part of the island?

    But the next day, travelling around more of the island, I was surprised to see that the rest of the roads were mostly fine. I asked about it, and was told that the good neighborhood didn't support the ruling party...so the government retaliated by letting their roads go all to hell.

  • Free Society||

    You can have capitalism without freedom, but you can't freedom with capitalism. OR so I've read...

  • Brett L||

    Please, please, please give me an excuse to go back to Costa Rica long term. On the gun laws, if they can have an old guy with a shotgun in every parking lot, surely it would be okay for me to keep a couple of semi-automatic weapons of various barrel length and caliber.

  • Paul.||

    “There exists the risk that José María Villalta, of the socialist Broad Front Party, could win the February presidential elections.”

    Like that'll ever happen. Next thing you're gonna tell me is that Seattle will elect an avowed socialist to the city council.

    Oh wait.

  • ||

    Have you watched The Killing, Paul? Maybe it'll turn out that the councilwoman was involved in the disappearance and murder of a young girl.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Already true due to socialist laws and regulation that fuel poverty combined with prohibition of consensual transactions that increase the amount of violence inherent in them...oh you meant directly with her bare hands. Yeah...yeah....that MIGHT be enough to get a socialist re-called by lefty 'Hawk fans.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Cool, but I still think the best bet is Honduras's ZEDEs. They are on and proceeding. They can't come fast enough.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The one exception in the region has been Costa Rica

    That's not really true anymore. Panama has been giving Costa Rica a run for its money as most livable polity in Central America, and Panama City has gotten to be quite impressive.

  • The Last American Hero||

    If he wins, do we get to wear cool "Otto" T-Shirts?

  • frankania||

    I have lived in Mexico for the last 25 years, and it is a bit libertarian because of the almost comical incompetence of the govt.

    Just do whatever you want, and if some bureaucrat comes around, you act friendly and stupid, and he goes away.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement