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Costa Rican President Talks about Venezuela, Trade with VOA

President Luis Guillermo Solís at VOA on June 12.
President Luis Guillermo Solís at VOA on June 12.
In an interview with Voice of America, Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis had some candid advice for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on how he should deal with protests that have rocked his government: He should be more democratic.

In his first trip to the United States since he took office in May, President Solis, when asked about the months of protests in Venezuela, said, "The problems of democracy can only be solved with more democracy.” Mr. Solis then went on to stress his support for maintaining and deepening human rights regimes throughout Latin America.

Mr. Solis made his remarks in a June 12 interview at Voice of America headquarters in Washington with VOA’s Spanish Service. The Costa Rican president also discussed relations with the United States, emphasizing the free trade agreement between the two nations as a way to strengthen ties between his country and the U.S . "The free trade agreement,” he said, “exists and should become a major opportunity for our exporters, our trade and the public in general.”

The interview with Costa Rica’s new leader aired on several of VOA’s television and radio affiliates in the region, including Channel 9 in Costa Rica, the regional CB24, along with Radio Columbia. The Spanish Service also featured the interview in its flagship TV programs El Mundo al Dia and Foro Interamericano.

“We were honored,” said VOA Director David Ensor, “to have the new leader of one of Latin America’s oldest democracies come to VOA at a time when some governments in the region, rather than respecting civil rights, are cracking down on them.”