Leading the nation must be frustrating at times

Some lawmakers are unhappy with the price the government paid to build Nueva Cinchona. Photo: Casa Presidencial

Being president cannot be a great gig.

Laura Chinchilla has a new budget that is deeply in the red. The wish list of taxes she presented to the legislature was dead on arrival.

Ms. Chinchilla and her husband do have a great social life. Here she talks to diplomats. Photo: Casa Presidencial

Meanwhile the legislature is running away with issues. Opposition members have asked former president Óscar Arias Sánchez and his brother, Rodrigo, to appear to answer questions about a multimillion dollar slush fund that was used to smooth the way for the free trade treaty with the United States.

Another group of lawmakers was at Casa Presidencial Wednesday night asking the president to intervene personally in the Autopista del Sol a/k/a/ la Ruta de la Muerte. The hillsides are falling down and part of the road will be blocked off for repairs, despite the fact that the roadway was 40 years in the making and is now in the hands of a Spanish concession holder.

Lawmakers also are investigating the new town that the government constructed for victims of the Cinchona earthquake more than two years ago

The Nicaraguans have taken over a toehold of land at the northern border, and chances are that the International Court of Justice will not issue a ruling as decisive as Costa Rica would like.

The presidential security plan was a lead balloon with even the Spanish daily La Nación saying it contained nothing new. Crime continues to be a major concern even though the president ran on a platform promising security.

Instead of chasing criminals, three dozen Fuerza Pública officers face claims of sexual harassment of their female counterparts.

Ms. Chinchilla seeks to reduce the number of weapons in the country and there are even school programs toward that end. Yet the personal purchase of firearms has jumped dramatically.

The drug trade continues unabated using the country as a superhighway. Police and agents make arrests every day, but downtown visitors can see individuals smoking a crack pipe on the public streets.

A foundation in the United States christened the country as one of the two biggest centers for money laundering, based on figures through 2009.

Each night the local television stations chronicle more news about failed institutions, crime, prostitution and miscarriages of justice. And Ms. Chinchilla lacks the money and the legislative clout to do much about it.

Meanwhile Rodrigo Arias and probably others want to be president in three years!

And there is not even a free house.

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