What was the real cost of Costa Rica’s National Stadium that was “a gift” from the Chinese? This question has been running through the mind of the writers at The Costa Rican Times and a lot of our readers for a long time. Let’s ask the questions that are not being said out loud. Ten years ago Costa Rica was quick to align forces with Taiwan in exchange for the Puente La Amistad or Friendship Bridge. This “gift” has since been neglected and is in desperate need of repairs. It will completely collapse in the coming years due to the fact that Costa Rica lacks the engineers to do the repairs internally and Costa Rica has pretty much broken their alliance with Taiwan and headed handcuffed themselves to another Asian power, China.
Looking back was the bridge really a “gift”, or where there strings attached. Looking into the seas around Costa Rica it seems the sea life, specifically sharks were the exchange. This of course cannot be proven as there are no receipts for the shark fins that were used for shark fin soup in Taiwan.
Now let’s fast forward to the present day. The alliance that Costa Rica has entered looks more like them selling their souls to the devil. China has offered around the world “gifts” that are more like Trojan horses.
In the Sudan, China has obtained both mining and oil rights in exchange for “interest free” loans.
Throughout Africa, China has done the same thing offering billions of dollars in loans for access to the mining rights of gold, diamonds, and other precious natural resources.
Chinese investment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is represented, on the one hand, as a “Marshall Plan” for that beleaguered state, and, on the other hand, as a fresh era of neocolonialism. Chinese investment in Angola, for example, involves bribery of tragic—or tragic-comic—proportions.
Lately they have focused on Latin American and over half their investments have been in this area.
China has used financing arrangements and direct investment to gain secure access to oil, metals, and foodstuffs from governments around Latin America. In many cases loans are secured against revenues from future sales to Chinese companies or granted at rates subsidized by the state controlled China Development Bank (CDB).
The reason for this is that individual host countries in the developing world may be exposed to resource curse practices of illicit payments, graft, and corruption, plus poor worker treatment and lax environmental standards. We all can assume that Costa Rica fits very nicely into that definition.
- The Chinese have given multiple loans to the Costa Rican government in order for them to “develop infrastructure”, which if it is used for that we will never know.
- The Chinese have built and handed over a fleet of vehicles to the police force in Costa Rica, which most have since broken down and were neglected like the Friendship Bridge).
- The Chinese have built and handed over the National Stadium, which the Costa Ricans have managed to neglect as well and even caught on fire during the Central American Games opening ceremony.
You do not continue to give money and presents to someone or something unless you are getting something back. Yes, there are good hearted people out there in the world that sacrifice themselves for others but do you honestly believe that the Chinese with their track record is doing the that?
What is Costa Rica exchanging? Shark Fins? Natural Resources?
The future of the country is at stake and these questions need to start being answered.