Costa Rica Marks 197th Independence Day
Envoy Rodolfo Solano Quiros Proud of Its Free Health Care, Pristine Environment, Top-Quality Coffee
By Tariq Patras
The 2018 Costa Rican Independence Day was meaningfully observed in Seoul on Oct. 8 (Monday), 2018 as elsewhere in the world as well as in Costa Rica. The celebrants marked their nation's 197th anniversary of independence from Spanish rule.Costa Rica gained independence on Sept. 15, 1821 when Mexican Army won the war with the Spanish colonialists. Costa Rica became independent from Mexico later. The Sept. 15th commemorates the independence of all Central America from Spain, which took place in 1821.Here in Seoul, South Korea's capital, the grand celebration was held on Oct. 8 (Monday), 2018 in observance of the Central American nation's most important national holiday.
|Costa Rican First Lady Claudia Dobles Camargo speaks at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018.|
Costa Rican Ambassador to Seoul Rodolfo Solano Quiros hosted a dinner reception at Atrium on the third floor of the Millennium Hilton Hotel in central Seoul at 6:30 p.m. on the day.The celebration was held just on the occasion of the visit of the Costa Rican First Lady, Mrs. Claudia Dobles Camargo and the vice minister of Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Lorena Aguilar Revelo. First Lady Camargo delivered a speech at the reception, emphasizing the importance of the bilateral ties between Costa Rica and South Korea.The dinner reception was also meant to celebrate the 56 years of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea and to mark the 70th anniversary of the abolishment of the Army in Costa Rica.Hundreds of high-profile guests took part in the dinner reception that lasted well into the evening. Among the local guests were top local politicians and high-level government officials including Minister Kim Boo-Kyum of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. Kim delivered a congratulatory speech.
|Costa Rican Ambassador to Seoul Rodolfo Solano Quiros|
|Costa Rican Ambassador to Seoul Rodolfo Solano Quiros (center) poses with Costa Rica's Honorary Consul Kwon Soon-Han (left), and with Minister Kim Boo-Kyum of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018.|
Scores of other foreign ambassadors and their spouses were also present. They included Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine, UAE Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi, Singapore Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat, Ecuador Ambassador Oscar Herrera Gilbert, Paraguay Ambassador Raul Silvero, Kuwait Ambassador Bader Mohammad AlAwadi, Finland Ambassador Eero Suominen, and Angola Ambassador Albino Malungo.Costa Rica's Honorary Consul Kwon Soon-Han also participated in the event. Mr. Kwon serves as chairman of Soyee Inc.From South Korea's cultural and media circles came Mr. Min Dong-Hyun, senior editor of the Korea Herald; Ms. Sohn Mina, a TV announcer-turned business celebrity, and Mr. Joseph Joh, publisher of The Seoul Times. Other journalists included Mr. Jung Ji-Sup of the Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's largest daily.
Costa Rica established its formal diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1962. Costa Rica sent their sports team to both 1988 Seoul Olympics and 2002 Seoul FIFA World Cup. There is no direct air flight between the two countries.The Central American nation opened the diplomatic ties with North Korea in 1974, but it closed ties in 1983 when North Korea perpetrated the heinous bombing in Myanmar to kill the visiting South Korean President Chun Doo-Hwan and his entourage. In the previous interview with the local South Korean newsmedia the Costa Rican envoy revealed that the small Costa Rica is the only nation that has "completely free medical service system" in the free world. It has only less than 5 million population.
|Costa Rican First Lady Claudia Dobles Camargo (left) poses for the camera with Ms. Sohn Mina, a TV announcer-turned business celebrity at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018. Ms Sohn is the chairman of The School of Life board in Seoul's Noksapyeong area.|
He said that Costa Rica provides universal health care to its citizens and permanent residents completely free of charge, arguing that Cuba also has free medical service but it is Communist nation.
|Mr. Han Sang-Cheol (2nd from right) poses with UAE Ambassador Abdulla Saif Alnuaimi (2nd from right), and with Angola Ambassador Albino Malungo at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018. At left is Mr. Joseph Joh, the publisher of The Seoul Times.|
The Costa Rican ambassador went on to say that his nation became the first Latin American nation in 1948 that abolished the entire army, earning a nickname "Switzerland of Central America." He said that the overall relations between Costa Rica and South Korea has been developing into the strategic partnership with the implementation of the free trade agreement (FTA) singed early this year. Costa Rica forms FTA with 52 nations around the world.
The envoy was also very proud of its strict environmental policy and the special quality coffee Costa Rica produces. He added that Costa Rica designated some 40 percent of its entire territory as the national parks, saying Costa Rica is the only non-European "green country" designated by the World Economic Forum. Nine others are all European countries.For details or inquiries contact the Embassy of Costa Rica in Seoul at 02-707-9249/9254 or leave an Email at email@example.com
|Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine (right) poses with Singapore Ambassador Yip Wei Kiat (2nd from left), and with Minister Kim Boo-Kyum (2nd from right) of the Ministry of the Interior and Safety at the 197th Independence Day reception held at Millennium Seoul Hilton in Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018.|
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Tariq Patras serves as the Special Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He previously worked in the trade business after he graduated from college in Pakistan. He speaks English, Urdu, and Punjabi. A great fan of Korean culture he started learning Korean language. His Email is firstname.lastname@example.org