Invasion hoax recalled as U.S. port calls again sought

Uncritical columnists and reporters as well as creative editors promoted approval for port calls by U.S. ships into a conspiracy, an invasion or occuption. A.M. Costa Rica montage

As hoaxes go, the invasion of Costa Rica by 7,000 marines does not rank very high.

One must look to Orson Wells and the 1938 Halloween invasion from the planet Mars or perhaps the 19th century Cardiff Giant as truly classic hoaxes.

Wells and his Mercury Theater has the advantage of the newfangled radio to spread his remake of the famous science fiction story.

The psychology behind the Wells saga has been discussed and studied at length, starting with his contemporary Hadley Cantril.

Another report is HERE!

Not much has been written in academics about the Costa Rican invasion, although it should have gotten some notice because it is a jewel of propaganda and gullibility being fanned by the Internet.

The situation that generated the fake information is in the news as lawmakers may again be asked to approve the docking of U.S. warships.

Fabio Molina Rojas, the legislative chief of the Partido Liberación Nacional, said Tuesday that the Asamblea Legislativa must allow the entry of U.S. ships into Costa Rican ports for the exchange of drug evidence and because the country is a signatory to an agreement to fight narcotics smuggling.

The lawmakers said he would present a motion to allow the entry of 24 ships at the rate of eight a week. Such approval is required by the Costa Rican Constitution.

The last fuzz over U.S. ships docking in Costa Rican ports was last week when the “USS Carr” could not bring marijuana seized as evidence ashore because lawmakers did not act.

The motion also would allow the boats to enter for resupply, which will be music to bar owners in the various ports.

The great Marine invasion hoax appears to have had its origins in late July 2012 with Prensa Latina, the Cuban news service. The Cubans certainly were fed the information by persons in Costa Rica who wanted to embarrass the United States and/or the government of Laura Chinchilla Miranda. The Cuban news service report of the arrival of dozens of U.S. boats and 7,000 Marines was picked up uncritically here and elsewhere by even respected publications. One liberal U.S. outlet said “Obama invades, sends 46 warships and 7,000 Marines to Costa Rica.

The bar owners still are waiting. In fact, it appears that what the U.S. Embassy staff did was request port privileges of just about any boat that might happen to be passing by Costa Rica over the span of a year. The list was passed on to lawmakers by the Costa Rican security ministry.

The invasion of Costa Rica by thousands of U.S Marines makes good news copy, and columnists and reporters ate up the rumors, repackaged them and presented them as fact. The phrase generally is “Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.”

Nearly none of the writers was in Costa Rica, and most of the information came from distorted news stories and the Cuban propaganda.

The U.S. Embassy, of course, has now replied with a bit of propaganda of its own. The story is that three marijuana smugglers are going free because Costa Rican lawmakers declined to approve the entry of the “USS Carr” to a Caribbean port to unload the evidence.

A.M. Costa Rica has reported that there were other options to bring the drug evidence ashore, but the current situation characterizes several Partido Acción Ciudadana lawmakers who opposed the idea as individuals soft on drugs.

Embassy officials are hopeful that the new measure put forth by Molina will sail through the legislature. So do the bar owners and the hundreds of Marines, members of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy personnel who would like a few cold brews in their hands and dry land under their feet.

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