El Salvador, Costa Rica Restore Ties With Cuba

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 11:19 AM CDT
Mauricio Funes, presidential candidate of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front holds his ballot before voting during presidential elections in San Salvador, March 15, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – El Salvador and Costa Rica have decided to end decades-long diplomatic freezes with Cuba, the BBC reports. They were the last Central American countries still shunning the island. For El Salvador’s newly elected president, Mauricio Funes, normalizing relations is a simple matter of fulfilling a campaign promise. It’s a harder pill to swallow for Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias, who has compared Fidel Castro to Augusto Pinochet.

Havana, for its part, has labeled Arias a “vulgar mercenary,” working for America. But now Arias says Costa Rica must “be capable of adjusting to new realities. It no longer makes sense to continue an official rift when we have established channels of co-operation.”