Rodrigo Chaves, the central protagonist in this drama, has been cast by Costa Rican media as a renegade. One paper spoke of how he “shook the country by eliminating the mandatory use of the mask and incidentally, questioning the demand for vaccination against COVID-19”. Immediately accused of “populism” by the media (because being for the people is supposedly the greatest of sins now), the government went on the defensive, but has also increasingly become more confident and aggressive.
Someone accustomed to seeing the world only through the prism of their home country’s affairs and personalities, might be forgiven for assuming that the President of Costa Rica had just been nominated an honorary trucker, and that the Freedom Convoy had just picked up its newest passenger. Others might remark on the interesting timing, that the Costa Rican President chose to make these bold declarations at the very same time that the world’s foremost cheerleader for “vaccine” mandates—Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—happened to be vacationing in Costa Rica itself.
These references are not what matter, but it might help some for whom “Costa Rica” is a distant, unknown, “Third World country,” to understand the situation in terms of equivalents. It’s as if the members of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) had just been criminally charged, and faced arrest and possible imprisonment for years. It’s as if we learned that the members of NACI occupied those positions illegally. It’s as if Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did more than just give speeches that his media opposition think are shocking, and formally laid charges against a public health board. It’s as if Trump, while president, had announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci occupied his position illegally, and that his statements broke the law. The comparisons are neither perfect nor exact, but they serve to give a sense of the size and impact of what is happening in Costa Rica today.
There is a lot to learn from Costa Rica, and all other nations of the world which have undergone the global shutdown of the past 2.5 years. For everyone interested in mandates, the law, government, the nature of democracy, social relations, and the operations of local technocrats allied to Big Pharma, Costa Rica right now occupies an important focus.
Costa Rica is a primarily Spanish-speaking country in Central America, consisting of about five million people, bordered by Panama to the south, and Nicaragua to the north. Its population is primarily of Spanish descent, along with Indigenous and Black people, the latter arriving as migrant workers from what was then the British West Indies, particularly Jamaica and Barbados. It is also home to people of German, Italian, English, and Chinese ancestry, and is host to a very large community of expatriates from North America who have retired there. It is one of the more prosperous and peaceful countries in the Western Hemisphere. It has a considerable history of social reforms and liberal democracy, and therefore the country does not share Central America’s recent histories of civil war, dictatorship, political violence, severe underdevelopment, and extreme wealth inequalities. It has thus been portrayed, comparatively, as a picture-perfect postcard of peace and stability. “Pura Vida” (pure life) is its national slogan. One does not expect major political cleavages to erupt there as they now have, in large part thanks to policies which mandated experimental gene therapies for the population in the name of fighting Covid-19, with severe personal, financial, psychological, and social consequences.
Costa Rica has not escaped the clutches of pandemicism (the intersection of catastrophism and authoritarianism). The mandatory use of masks in closed places was put into force on September 9, 2020. Injection against Covid-19 was made mandatory from October 15, 2021, for public sector officials, as well as for those private-sector employees whose employers had so decided. On November 5, 2021, the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) extended the mandatory nature of the injections for all minors as well.
Almost 93% of Costa Ricans have had at least one dose of the “vaccine”. However, from there the numbers decline: 87% have taken a second dose; 51% have taken a third; and 10% have taken a fourth, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), the country’s Social Security Board.
The recent turn of events suggests that even in Costa Rica, resistance bubbled underneath the surface, and drove voters to someone who appeared to be challenging this order.
Costa Rica’s New President Strikes Back Against Illegal “Vaccine” Mandates
In a stunning press conference on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, Costa Rica’s newly elected President, Rodrigo Chaves (an economist), accompanied by Minister of Health, Joselyn Chacón, repeatedly denounced mandatory “vaccination” as not only illegal, but against key recommendations made by none other than the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)—more on the significance of this later. Sensitive to how hostile media and political opponents had portrayed their government, the two underscored the fact that they were following WHO/PAHO guidelines, and were not “anti-vaxxers” who are “anti-science”. They showed that the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) had not only broken the law, but that the members of the commission occupied their positions illegally—and that all of their pronouncements were thus also illegal. The President then enjoined: “Costa Rica’s people are not cattle, that you beat with a piece of wood and force to get vaccinated”.
Rordigo Chaves has acquired a reputation as someone who challenges the established political class, demanding transparency of all public institutions, including universities, while vowing to fight corruption. As a social conservative, his government has also declared itself “not in favour” of abortion. His stance against lockdowns, mandates, and other restrictions is broadly one that sides with individual liberty, freedom of choice, and personal autonomy.
From the outset the new government, while defending itself against “anti-vaxxer” charges by reciting the requisite veneration of the awesome prowess of “the vaccines,” nonetheless promoted the principles of personal responsibility and trust in the population—as the new Minister of Health stated (emphases added):
“we trust the population’s self-care criteria, but we will also work on motivation campaigns that encourage people to protect themselves, either with masks, but above all with vaccines, without a criterion of mandatory.
“We are giving that opportunity to decide responsibly. This virus has taught us a lot and after so long we know that taking care of ourselves also implies washing our hands, and maintaining distancing, so we are giving a vote of trust. Pandemic management is not exclusive to the government, it is from everyone”.
In fact, it was just one day after assuming office on May 8, 2022, during the first session of his Cabinet, that President Chaves decreed that the mandatory use of masks for the population, as well as the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19, were terminated:
“What the decree wants is to give Costa Ricans freedom and responsibility for their own health. The only ones who cannot be allowed to exercise the judgment of whether or not they want to wear a mask, because the decree does not prohibit the mask (…), the only ones who are obliged to wear a mask are the people who work in the health system, for example. Someone who has a weakened immune system and for justice and fairness, we cannot expose them to someone who has the virus”.
These are neither “radical” statements, nor unreasonable ones, but apparently in Costa Rica they have caused great discomfort among the dominant sectors that imposed and/or applauded these restrictions. Chaves was thus immediately opposed by the Association of Physicians and Surgeons of Costa Rica, the Association of Pharmacists of Costa Rica, and the National Medical Union of Costa Rica—in other words, the technocratic class with vested interests in sustaining the Covid campaign.
Yes, these same accusations have been given life in Costa Rican politics. At the receiving end has been the newly elected president, and even his Minister of Health, who is a doctor who specializes in hospital administration. The video presented above is an edited selection of the complete press conference. Those who speak Spanish, and who watch the unedited video, will note two moments when these accusations and counter-accusations came to a head.
Joselyn Chacón, the Minister of Health, emphasized that she, and the entire Cabinet, were up-to-date on their vaccinations, but then added more. She noted how the media had attacked the new government’s policy of ending mandatory mask wearing, and then, pointing to one of the journalists present, mocked and upbraided the person for demanding masks while wearing his own on his chin. She took the opportunity to instruct him on how to wear a mask properly. The President asked her to point out the person, and then laughingly dismissed the person. Initially, the newly-elected government announced that it would not end the mask mandate any time soon, and then changed course two weeks later. At the time it was acknowledged that there was public discontent with the imposition.
She proceeded to criticize the media present, reminding them how terms such as “anti-vaccine” were false when directed at her and the government, and spelled out how the “anti-science” label was hurtful and inaccurate.
This suggests that the government presented itself in a defensive manner during the press conference, which should be kept in mind.
The second moment of interest concerned monkeypox. Minister Chacón—who had complained of the National Vaccination Commission’s largess in purchasing a massive amount of unnecessary doses of Covid therapeutics, which would go to waste—now urged the same Commission to acquire doses of smallpox vaccines to treat monkeypox. The Commission allegedly resisted, saying that there was hardly any need as the disease was not present in Costa Rica and was unlikely to be a threat, with only a small community being vulnerable—and that, besides, the WHO indicated that use of smallpox vaccines for monkeypox was still under trial and their effectiveness was not yet known. She pounced on that, accusing the Commission of making convenient and selective use of WHO guidelines—and appeared to turn the “anti-science” accusation back on them. This can be a problematic approach.
Coup and Counter-Coup
To be clear, nobody in the Costa Rican media or government is using the term “coup”—it would be too dramatic for Costa Rican tastes. Nevertheless, we are seeing a very sharp contest of authority. Non-elected technocrats, who do not even occupy their positions legally, act as if they alone have exclusive authority to impose mandates and spend money, thereby usurping both legislative and executive functions. A democratic government cannot survive long with an undemocratic junta nestled within its belly.
Two members of the National Vaccination Commission have now been served with criminal charges. The Penal Code establishes a prison sentence of two to six years in prison, “for the official who dictates resolutions contrary to the law or bases them on false facts”. In addition, the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office of the 1st Judicial Circuit of San José received a criminal complaint against the former Minister of Health, Daniel Salas; the former president of the Costa Rican Social Security Board (CCSS), Román Macaya; and, six members of the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) for alleged prevarication. The six CNVE members are Leandra Abarca Gómez, Hugo Marín Piva, Óscar Porras Madrigal, Juan Manuel Villalobos Vindas, Roberto Arroba Tijerino y Dora Matus Obregón. The case has been assigned file number 22-000401-0619-PE. The Chaves administration is thus trying to put a radical break on the plans and designs of the Vax Junta.
To be clear, the Vax Junta explicitly refused to withdraw the “vaccination” mandate, when the new government demanded it do so. According to the media, The National Vaccination Law, number 8111, of July 18, 2001, created the National Vaccination Commission (CNVE) as a body attached to the Ministry of Health—but “decentralized” it by granting it a distinct legal personality, which means that it supposedly has independence in making decisions. The flaw within the system was made by design, if this account of the law is correct. The Vax Junta has been empowered to rule over and above an elected government and its Ministry of Health. The CDC, FDA, and NIH would love to have such power formalized by law.
At least two members of the CNVE Junta, however, have no legal basis to be presiding: one of those members is Dr. Hugo Piva, a representative of the CCSS, whose appointment had expired in 2020, and the other is the pediatrician, Óscar Porras Madrigal, whose appointment expired at the start of this year. The Chaves administration is using the fact of their illegal hold on office to obliterate mandatory “vaccination” as legally invalid, since the officials imposing the mandate have no legal basis.
What is also going to be investigated is the massive purchase of anti-Covid shots, which occurred when uptake was in steady decline. This seems like a financial “gift” from Costa Rica to the big pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer. The President said in his press conference: “Now we are going to have, I don’t know how much money, thrown away on vaccines that are going to go unused and expire”.
These charges and accusations have set off retaliation from the Vax Junta. The Costa Rican Social Security Board (CCSS), which is represented on the Vaccination Commision, has unilaterally declared the government’s decree on ending mandatory “vaccination” to be null and void. The same CCSS urges firings and suspensions to proceed undisturbed.
The new government is also taking another angle of attack: preventing the constant pumping out of fear-inducing “case counts” and disgorging of daily Covid statistics that have been used to maintain a steady drumbeat of alarm. Not only has the new government diminished if not eliminated publication of such statistics, it has forbidden its own Health officials from divulging such details to the press. One Costa Rican outlet expressed alarm (emphases added):
“Something terribly wrong is going on at the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health), the same government institution that guided us from the first days of the covid-19 pandemic, helped us understand what was going on, and kept us updated with daily figures….Since taking office on May 8, Health Minister Joselyn Chacón Madrigal has pretty much kept us in the dark on the current covid situation”.
What is happening is an alarming turn, by Costa Rican standards. In addition to a Vax Junta, there appears to be a “public health” version of the “Deep State” at work. Its allegiance, if one follows the money, is not to Costa Rican citizens but to Big Pharma. If one follows its pronouncements, its allegiance is also not to the duly elected representatives of the people. Costa Rican media may choose not to describe this as a coup, but that is no reason to stop us from doing so.
Understanding What is Happening Now in Costa Rica
The Government has charged members of the National Vaccination Commission. A representative of the country’s Social Security Board sits on that same commission. The Social Security Board is now saying that the Government cannot lift the “vaccine” mandates, and that they stay in place—and yet, that is something for the Commission to say, not the Social Security Board.
This is a state that is now seriously divided against itself. Non-elected technocrats, who do not even occupy their positions legally, have not only imposed harsh discriminatory measures, but they have spent a fortune on purchasing “vaccines” that are neither wanted nor needed, and will be wasted. The purchase contracts are binding.
Costa Rica stands out in Central America. Without an army, and possessing a strong social security system, it has avoided all of the civil wars, dictatorships, strife, and extreme inequalities of its neighbours. This kind of division, at such a high level, is therefore a major turning point.
The President’s comments also point to existing social fractures created around “vaccination,” a fact which belies the false unanimity implied by the “vaccination rate”. In the full press conference, he and his Health Minister repeatedly referred to how they have been called “anti-vaxxers” who are also “anti-science”. In response—and in retaliation—they force fed the WHO back down the throats of their detractors showing how their opponents conveniently make use of WHO recommendations, but only when it suits them (like most other countries).
Costa Rica now has a president who appears to be willing to stand up to the domestic cabal that operates in tandem with Big Pharma. This drama will be instructive for everyone, regardless of their country of residence.
Is Chaves a Radical?
We know that terms such as “anti-vaxxer” are mere terms of abuse. They have even been used recently in Canada even against a harshly authoritarian vax fanatic like Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Being called an “anti-vaxxer” does not necessarily correspond to an actually existing position critical of the experimental gene therapies and other injectables.
Rodrigo Chaves may be cast as anti-establishment by media such as Reuters, but let us remember that, after all, he is a US-educated economist who for years worked for the World Bank. Of course, one can be in the establishment and then choose to “defect,” but it’s not clear Chaves has done so.
What should be of concern is the new government’s deferral to the World Health Organization, as the final and absolute arbiter of what is good and true.
Yes, it is true, that as an Italian relative used to say, “you can’t paint the devil all black,” meaning that the WHO is not totally and absolutely guilty of all manner of wrong-doing during its so-called “pandemic”. After all, it is the same WHO which publicly condemned the use of “vaccine passports,” particularly for travel, and which criticized making “vaccination” mandatory. These two impositions alone have been at the root of most of the social divisions and political strife that have cleaved societies in North America, Europe, and further afield. Had every state been following the WHO to the letter, these two particular sources of conflict would have been avoided—and it’s precisely for that reason that the WHO is against such mandates. It clearly has some smart people on staff who know better, or who at least know enough that one captures more flies with honey than vinegar. The WHO also mingles with a large array of corporate representatives, who know all about the power of advertising. With over a century of experience in getting the world to buy tons of stuff it neither wants nor needs, and which can even cause harm, the WHO’s corporate friends should know that mandates are blunt—better instead to get people to think that they actually want the useless product. Mandates backfire: they create resentment, suspicion, and can generate resistance all by themselves. Indeed, mandates have backfired, and now the resistance is not only harder than ever, it is growing.
The new Costa Rican government could also be standing on the shoulders of the WHO as a defensive posture, meant to intimidate local critics. There is already considerable evidence of this defensiveness, and of the new administration’s need to counter accusations. But that comes with a high cost.
If the new policy of the government is that Costa Rica must completely submit to every decision and statement emanating from the WHO—as if the WHO were the Vatican of Global Public Health—then its problems will not diminish, they will be magnified. Far from having a local, internal Vax Junta calling the shots, Costa Rica will have to now deal with an increasingly powerful international organization—one with zero accountability to Costa Rican citizens. Getting into a shoving match with presumptuous aspiring potentates in the domestic sphere, while throwing the country’s doors open to a global monopoly, may prove to be the least wise of all courses of action. It would then be better to be a full-fledged “anti-vaxxer,” and make no apologies for it.
One thought on “Costa Rica: Democracy Takes a Stand Against the Vax Junta”
Maximilian C. Forte
I liked the explanation given by Dustin Bryce by Costa Rica-based Interest of Justice: what the government of Rodrigo Chaves is doing is using the “old WHO” (pre-2020), against the “new WHO”. Indeed, there is a great mass of contradictions to be found in the entire array of WHO pronouncements, reports, etc., over just the past decade.
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