All was forgiven Tuesday as Costa Rican leaders rushed to express their condolences to the Venezuelan people on the death of president Hugo Chávez.
President Laura Chinchilla, in a statement, expressed the country’s solidarity with the family of Chávez and the Venezuelan people.
The foreign ministry did likewise.
At the legislature, lawmakers held a minute of silence. Fabio Molina Rojas, who proposed the motion, said that lawmakers were not trying to judge his ideology or his political actions.
Chávez has had a strong influence on Costa Rican politics. In February 2007 he caused then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez to mute his criticism of the Venezuelan’s power grab and threatened to shut down an aluminum fabrication plant in Esparza that employed 400 workers. Venezuela not only supplied the aluminum ingots but also owned the plant.
Venezuelan politicians associated with Chávez also had contact with Costa Rican left wing politicians and provided some funds for projects here. Some went to Venezuela for training.
It also was Chávez and his administration that bankrolled the dredging of the Río San Juan that eventually resulted in an International Court of Justice case between Costa Rica and Nicaragua that still is undecided.