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A Tale of Two Islands

What Costa Rica and South Korea have in common.

9:30 AM, Mar 1, 2011 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
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For that matter, the conflict between Nicaragua and Costa Rica is not really a “minor” squabble. One country has invaded the other and is refusing to withdraw its armed forces. It’s just that simple. A military occupation is a military occupation. The size of Nicaragua and Costa Rica matters less than the basic principle that cross-border aggression should not be tolerated. Every day that Nicaraguan troops remain on Calero Island, OAS resolutions are being flouted. The hemispheric institution has already lost a great deal of its credibility. It will drift even closer to irrelevance if it cannot summon the will to end Nicaragua’s illegal occupation.

Last November, U.S. officials immediately recognized that the North Korean shelling of Yeonpyeong demanded a muscular multilateral response. Nicaragua’s belligerence was of a different magnitude and nature, but it must not be excused or downplayed. There’s far more at stake than just the future of Calero Island. Does the Obama administration appreciate that?

Jaime Daremblum, who served as Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States from 1998 to 2004, is director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the Hudson Institute.

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