Foto: AFP

Welcome to Costa Rica, President Barack Obama. There is a pleasant, symbolic and historical coincidence that you are visiting our country 50 years after Kennedy’s arrival. Welcome to the Presidential Summit of SICA. Feel a warm welcome to a country that admires your great political career. Not surprisingly the American people, with wisdom, bestowed you with a second consecutive term.

Welcome, President Obama, to refresh relationships with the region and the hemisphere. These are times of change and expectation. Chavez movement authoritarian, totalitarian, orphan, just lost at the polls, after 14 years of intolerance, his first bout. That same arrogant, delusional, and filled with hate movement, that divided our Venezuelans brothers – “historical wounds”, says Enrique Krauze- and poisoned hemispheric relations, is drifting away today.

President Obama, we hope this summit with our region’s leaders serves as a refreshing breath to redirect U.S. relations with Latin America. We hope it helps U.S foreign policy reinvigorate importance and attention to a region profoundly transformed in recent decades. This Latin America of the mighty Brazil destined to establish itself as a major world player, as well as a regional balance point. From Mexico who resists burying itself in the Cartel’s war with Peña Nieto’s structural changes. To Chile, a unique role model, the first developed country in the region. To Venezuela, that is on the verge of a post Chavez cliff. To Argentina, lost in the maze of its neo-Peronist populism, and Cuba where all the cards are on the table.

How far will the “openness” of the dying Castro’s go? For how long will they portray Miguel Diaz-Canel, the docile, as the “natural” transitional card? You’ve said that these are insufficient gestures to normalize relations with the Castro’s regime.

Welcome, President Obama! With open arms, to a country that loves democracy and peace, admirer of American democracy and faithful to the common relationship.

A country that 65 years ago abolished the army as a strong signal of civic route to its destination and that has been successful navigating turbulent waters, like those of the harmful populism that now wallows democratic institutions in our region. May your visit, dear President Obama, serve to strengthen ties and common interests between our nations.