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Friday, October 12, 2007

TLC - Si

For months there have been signs, banners, placards, handouts about the Costa Rican National Referendum on TLC (this is known as CAFTA in the US) which is a trade agreement between Central American countries and the US. Not surprisingly, there are some good things and some bad things for Costa Rica. However, many neighboring countries had already signed, so there was some pressure to approve it.

The signs were nice. Colorful (red, white and blue) and many to do with the heart. "My heart says yes" "My heart says no" "TLC Si" and "TLC No" and "We are with TLC"

There was also a small amount of graffiti. It was obvious that the money (businesses, etc.) were behind the yes contingency. Walls that were spray-painted with "Si" were done in an organized, artistic fashion - perhaps using a stencil and in red. I have also seen bus stops with "TLC NO" done in basic black spray paint in a hurried hand. This pretty much shows the difference in the financial backing of the supporters.

The YES side seems to be made up of the businesses and higher class. The NO supporters are academics, government workers (one part of yes is that the government-run monopolies on telecommunication must go), and workers.

The vote was this past Sunday (Sunday?) and the results were in and announced by Monday (that is EFFICIENT). It seems that the country was evenly divided.
A little more than half of the people entitled to vote actually voted.
Of those that voted ~52% for Si, ~48% for No.

So it has passed. After alot of publicity, it seems that the results have been swallowed. There has been no calls for recounts or protest marches that I can tell. What I can say is that it was really hard to find any of the banners, stickers, etc. now that it is over.

That being said, I am sure that this is an oversimplification of the issue, and really only time will tell what all this really means.

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