President defends his frequent trips

President Luis Guillermo Solís denied that exorbitant funds were used to finance any of his recent business trips. Saturday the president returned from a trip to Brazil where he met with foreign leaders.

Local news stations and pundits have questioned why Solís has taken so many different international trips in his first three months as president.

“There has been no excess in the number of travels nor in the costs spent on those trips,” Solís said, adding that his political travels have been obligatory and important for business and foreign affairs.

In June, Solís and some fellow cabinet members visited the United States in an effort to attract U.S.-based companies for investment into Costa Rica. At his weekly press conference Tuesday, the president was adamant that all these trips have not only been necessary, but that government officials should be able to travel whenever it’s necessary for the country’s overall good.

“The trips continue being necessary whenever it’s required for us to ensure our political objectives abroad,” he said.

Besides Brazil and the U.S., Solís has also traveled to Panamá, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic since his May 8th inauguration. The president went to Brazil in order to meet with fellow leaders from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. He also had a meeting with China President Xi Jingping to negotiate current business deals happening within the country.

“A country like Costa Rica, with a small and open economy demands foreign relations on a high level,” he said.

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