Foreign relations of Costa Rica

Last updated
Coat of arms of Costa Rica.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Costa Rica
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Costa Ricaportal

Costa Rica is an active member of the international community and, in 1983, claimed it was for neutrality. [1] Due to certain powerful constituencies[ who? ] favoring its methods, it has a weight in world affairs far beyond its size. The country lobbied aggressively for the establishment of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and became the first nation to recognize the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Human Rights Court, based in San José.



Costa Rica gained election as President of the Group of 77 in the United Nations in 1995. That term ended in 1997 with the South-South Conference held in San Jose.

Costa Rica occupied a nonpermanent seat in the Security Council from 1997 to 1999 and exercised a leadership role in confronting crises in the Middle East and Africa, as well as in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is currently a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. On Jan. 1 2008 Costa Rica started its third year term on the Security Council.

Costa Rica strongly backed efforts by the United States to implement UN Security Council Resolution 940, which led to the restoration of the democratically elected Government of Haiti in October 1994. Costa Rica was among the first to call for a postponement of the May 22 elections in Peru when international observer missions found electoral machinery not prepared for the vote count.

Costa Rica is also a member of the International Criminal Court, without a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98)

Costa Rica's Relation to Central America

In 1987, then President Óscar Arias authored a regional plan that served as the basis for the Esquipulas Peace Agreement and Arias was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Arias also promoted change in the USSR-backed Nicaraguan government of the era. Costa Rica also hosted several rounds of negotiations between the Salvadoran Government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), aiding El Salvador's efforts to emerge from civil war and culminating in that country's 1994 free and fair elections. Costa Rica has been a strong proponent of regional arms-limitation agreements. Former President Miguel Ángel Rodríguez recently proposed the abolition of all Central American militaries and the creation of a regional counternarcotics police force in their stead.

With the establishment of democratically-elected governments in all Central American nations by the 1990s, Costa Rica turned its focus from regional conflicts to the pursuit of neoliberal policies on the isthmus. The influence of these policies, along with the US invasion of Panama, was instrumental in drawing Panama into the Central American model of neoliberalism. Costa Rica also participated in the multinational Partnership for Democracy and Development in Central America.

Regional political integration has not proven attractive to Costa Rica. The country debated its role in the Central American integration process under former President Calderon. Costa Rica has sought concrete economic ties with its Central American neighbors rather than the establishment of regional political institutions, and it chose not to join the Central American Parliament.

Costa Rica in the UN

Costa Rica has been an active member of the United Nations since its inception at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. Its first ambassador to the United Nations was Fernando Soto Harrison, the Secretary of Governance under President Picado. [2]

Costa Rican Christiana Figueres was nominated for post of UN Secretary General on July 2016.

Bilateral relations

CountryFormal Relations BeganNotes
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 April 1997.
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize 1981
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in September 1981. [3]
  • Both countries are full members of the Organization of American States.
  • Belize has an honorary consulate in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Belmopan.
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
  • Canada has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Ottawa and a consulate-general in Toronto.
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
  • Chile has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Santiago.
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 2007

Costa Rica maintained official relations with the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") instead of the People's Republic of China (commonly known as "China") until June 1, 2007, when it opened relations with China. Taiwan then broke relations on June 7. [4]

  • China has an embassy in San José.
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Beijing.
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba

Soon after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, Costa Rican President Mario Echandi ended diplomatic relations on 10 September 1961 with the island through Executive Decree Number 2, in compliance with sanctions placed on Cuba by the Organization of American States. In 1995, Costa Rica established a consular office in Havana. Cuba opened a consular office in Costa Rica in 2001. Forty-seven years after the initial freeze, Costa Rican President Óscar Arias Sánchez announced on 18 March 2009 that normal relations were to be re-established, saying, "If we have been able to turn the page with regimes as profoundly different to our reality as occurred with the USSR or, more recently, with the Republic of China, how would we not do it with a country that is geographically and culturally much nearer to Costa Rica?" Arias also announced that both countries would exchange ambassadors. [5] The next day, Cuba's government announced that it agreed to re-establishing relations.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Havana.
  • Cuba has an embassy in San José.
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in San Salvador.
  • El Salvador has an embassy in San José.
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Guatemala City.
  • Guatemala has an embassy in San José.
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana 17 April 1974
Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
  • Honduras has an embassy in San José.
Flag of India.svg  India

India and Costa Rica enjoy friendly and cordial relations even though high level bilateral interactions have been minimal. Costa Rica supported India’s stand on Kashmir at the United Nations in 1993 and 1994 and was one of the very few countries that committed themselves towards voting against Pakistan’s draft resolution on Kashmir at the UNCHR in Geneva in 1994. Costa Rica shares commonality of views on all bilateral and multilateral issues except that of the UNSC expansion. Being a member of the Coffee Club, Costa Rica does not support the G-4 Resolution on the UNSC reforms since it does not allegedly promote the interests of the smaller countries.

  • India has honorary consulate in San José. [7]
  • Costa Rica maintains an embassy in New Delhi. [8]
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel

Costa Rica recognized Israel on June 19, 1948. [9] The Embassy of Costa Rica was located in Tel Aviv until it moved to Jerusalem in 1982. [10] As of 1984, Costa Rica and El Salvador were the only two countries that recognized Israel and also maintained an embassy in Jerusalem. [11] In 2006, the Embassy of Costa Rica relocated to Tel Aviv; [12] Costa Rican President Óscar Arias said the decision was intended to "rectify a historic error". [13]

In December 2011, Rodrigo Carreras became the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel for the second time, after his posting there in the 1980s. Carreras' father, Benjamin Nunez, also served as the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel. [14]

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • Israel has an embassy in San José.
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo 23 September 2013

Costa Rica officially recognised the independence of the Republic of Kosovo on 17 February 2008. [15] Costa Rica and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on 23 September 2013. [16] [17] Both countries enjoy excellent relationships.

Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1838See Costa Rica–Mexico relations

Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Costa Rica began in 1838.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Mexico City. [18]
  • Mexico has an embassy in San José. [19]
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua

There had been a dispute on Google Maps regarding a forested terrain at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border where border troops of Nicaragua had been stationed, but the countries now have launched a military program with Costa Rica, thus re-establishing cordial relations between the neighbors.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Managua and a consulate in Chinandega.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in San José and consulates-general in Ciudad Quesada, El Limón and Sarapiquí.
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Panama City and a consulate in David.
  • Panama has an embassy in San José.
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia See Costa Rica–Russia relations

Holders of a Russian passport need a visa authorized by Costa Rica, or alternatively Costa Rican authorities will accept Russian nationals with a visa stamp for the European Union, Canada, USA, South Korea, or Japan valid for 90 days after arrival; with a tourist visa, Russians can stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days. [20] In order to get a tourist visa, the person needs to apply for it in the closest Costa Rican embassy to where the person is living.[ citation needed ] He/she must have a valid passport and either have an invitation letter or a bank statement with enough money to survive the length of the stay in Costa Rica, plus proof of onward travel (ticket to exit Costa Rica & legal ability to travel to the destination stated on the ticket). Holders of a Costa Rican passport also need a visa from Russian authorities.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in San José.
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 1952 [21]
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations in 1952. [22]
  • A number of bilateral agreements have been concluded and are in force between both countries. [23]
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 15 August 1962 [24]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Costa Rica began on 15 August 1962.

  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Seoul. [25]
  • South Korea has an embassy in San José. [26]
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1850See Costa Rica–Spain relations
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Madrid. [27]
  • Spain has an embassy in San José. [28]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States See Costa Rica–United States relations

The United States is Costa Rica's most important trading partner. The U.S. accounts for almost half of Costa Rica's exports, imports, and tourism, and more than two-thirds of its foreign investment. The two countries share growing concerns for the environment and want to preserve Costa Rica's important tropical resources and prevent environmental degradation. In 2007, the United States reduced Costa Rica's debt in exchange for protection and conservation of Costa Rican forests through a debt for nature swap under the auspices of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. This is the largest such agreement of its kind to date.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the United States Department of State website .

Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay See Costa Rica–Uruguay relations
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Montevideo.
  • Uruguay has an embassy in San José.

See also


  2. Soto Harrison, Fernando (1991). Que Paso en los Anos Quaranta. San Jose: Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
  3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2019-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. Costa Rica switches allegiance to China from Taiwan -
  5. Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine CNN World, 2009-03-18.
  6. Indian Honorary Consulate in Costa Rica
  7. Costa Rica Embassy in India
  8. "Israel International Relations: International Recognition of Israel". Jewish Virtual Library. American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Accessed on 23 December 2015.
  9. "Costa Rican embassy returned to Jerusalem". The Sun. Baltimore, Maryland, United States. 25 May 1982. p. A4.
  10. Walsh, Edward (16 June 1984). "Israel's Diplomacy Makes Central America a Market for Its Arms: Israel Repays Allies With Military Sales". The Washington Post. p. A17.
  11. "Costa Rican embassy moves to Tel Aviv". Jewish News. Whippany, New Jersey, United States. 24 Aug 2006. p. 21.
  12. "A capital sans embassies". Jewish Chronicle. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 31 Aug 2006. p. 6.CS1 maint: location (link)
  13. "Peres: Israel has fantastic respect for Egyptian president Archived 2016-01-02 at the Wayback Machine ". Costa Rica News. 2010.
  14. Costa Rica se pronuncia por la independencia de Kósovo, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, 2008-02-17 (in Spanish)
  17. Embassy of Costa Rica in Mexico City (in Spanish)
  18. Embassy of Mexico in San José (in Spanish)
  19. Travel Information Manual, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
  24. Embassy of Costa Rica in Spain
  25. Embassy of Spain in Costa Rica
  26. Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC (in English and Spanish)
  27. "Embassy of the United States in San José (in English and Spanish)". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. Retrieved 2019-12-18.

Related Research Articles

Foreign relations of Chile

Since its return to democracy in 1990, Chile has been an active participant in the regional and international arena. Chile assumed a two-year non-permanent position on the UN Security Council in January 2003 and was re-elected to the council in October 2013. It is also an active member of the UN family of agencies, serving as a member of the Commission on Human Rights and participating in UN peacekeeping activities. Chile hosted the second Summit of the Americas in 1998, was the chair of the Rio Group in 2001, hosted the Defense Ministerial of the Americas in 2002, and the APEC summit and related meetings in 2004. In 2005 it hosted the Community of Democracies ministerial conference. An associate member of Mercosur and a full member of APEC. The OECD agreed to invite Chile to be among four countries to open discussions in becoming an official member. Chile has been an important actor on international economic issues and hemispheric free trade. The Chilean Government has diplomatic relations with most countries.

Costa Rica Republic in Central America

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. It has a population of around 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers. An estimated 333,980 people live in the capital and largest city, San José, with around 2 million people in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Foreign relations of Grenada

The United States, Venezuela, Cuba, and the People's Republic of China have embassies in Grenada. Grenada has been recognized by most members of the United Nations and maintains diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Canada.

Foreign relations of Jamaica

Jamaica has diplomatic relations with most nations and is a member of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Jamaica chairs the Working Group on smaller Economies.

Panama's foreign relations are conventional in outlook, with Panama being especially aligned with United States since the 1989 US invasion to topple the regime of General Manuel Noriega. The United States cooperates with the Panamanian government in promoting economic, political, security, and social development through U.S. and international agencies.

Foreign relations of Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia maintains friendly relations with the major powers active in the Caribbean, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France. Saint Lucia has no extant international disputes, aside from tension resulting from the island's status as a transit point for South American drugs destined for the United States and Europe.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines maintains close ties to the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and cooperates with regional political and economic organizations such as the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and CARICOM. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States, and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

Foreign relations of Spain foreign interactions by the country of Spain

After the return of democracy following the death of General Franco in 1975, Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations, enter the European Community, and define security relations with NATO, later joining the organization in 1982.

Foreign relations of Trinidad and Tobago

Modern Trinidad and Tobago maintains close relations with its Caribbean neighbours and major North American and European trading partners. As the most industrialized and second-largest country in the English-speaking Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago has taken a leading role in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and strongly supports CARICOM economic integration efforts. It also is active in the Summit of the Americas process and supports the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, lobbying other nations for seating the Secretariat in Port of Spain.

Foreign relations of Uruguay

This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Uruguay. At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, also known as Cancillería, which answers to the President.

Óscar Arias President of Costa Rica

Óscar Arias Sánchez was President of Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2010. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end the Central American crisis.

José María Figueres President of Costa Rica

José María Figueres Olsen is a Costa Rican businessman and politician. After he left the presidency of Costa Rica in 1998, Figueres has also been involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He started his career as an engineer working in agribusiness. After a decade, he entered public service as Minister of Foreign Trade and then Minister of Agriculture. In 1994, he was elected President of Costa Rica, as the nation's youngest elected president of the 20th century. In 2000, he joined the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and later he worked with Concordia 21 in Madrid. Since 2010, he has been Chairman of the Carbon War Room, an independent non-profit organization focused on the global transition to a low-carbon economy. On 27 March 2012, Sir Richard Branson announced that he was appointed as the new President of the Carbon War Room.

Costa Rica–United States relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Costa Rica and the United States of America

Costa Rica – United States relations have been historically close; nevertheless there were instances in history where the US and Costa Rica disagreed. One such example might be the case of Freebooter William Walker. Nevertheless, considering that Costa Rica generally supports the U.S. in international fora, especially in the areas of democracy and human rights, modern day relations are very strong.

Laura Chinchilla 49th President of Costa Rica

Laura Chinchilla Miranda is a Costa Rican politician who was President of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014. She was one of Óscar Arias Sánchez's two Vice-Presidents and his administration's Minister of Justice. She was the governing PLN candidate for president in the 2010 general election, where she won with 46.76% of the vote on 7 February. She was the eighth woman president of a Latin American country and the first woman to become President of Costa Rica. She was sworn in as President of Costa Rica on May 8, 2010.

Foreign relations of the Bahamas

The Bahamas has strong bilateral relationships with the United Kingdom, represented by a High Commissioner in London. The Bahamas also associates closely with other nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Foreign relations of Haiti

Haiti was one of the original members of the League of Nations, and was one of the original members of the United Nations and several of its specialized and related agencies. It is also a founding member of the Organization of American States. It maintains diplomatic relations with 37 countries, mostly in Europe and Latin America. Haiti also has diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, instead of the People's Republic of China. Taiwan is one of Haiti's major trading partners and the two countries maintain very friendly relations. Haiti has also re-established very warm relations with Cuba in which a major act of bilateral cooperation has resulted in Cuba's large contribution of doctors to the country. The Haitian government has publicly shown admiration to Fidel Castro and his administration.

Brazil–Costa Rica relations Diplomatic relations between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Costa Rica

Brazil–Costa Rica relations refers to bilateral relations between Brazil and Costa Rica. Relations commenced in 1907, when the first Brazilian diplomats were officially accredited by the Costa Rican government. Costa Rica has an embassy in Brasilia, and Brazil has an embassy in San José. Also, Costa Rica has consulates in Curitiba, Florianópolis, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Both countries are members of Organization of American States.

Luis Guillermo Solís Costa Rican 47th president

Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera is a Costa Rican educator and politician who was the President of Costa Rica from 2014 to 2018. He is a member of the center-left Citizens' Action Party (PAC). Solís led the field in the 2014 presidential election, and won the presidency in a landslide election, earning more votes than any presidential candidate in the history of the nation. Solís has a long academic and political career, culminating in his election as the first President of Costa Rica to be a member of the PAC.

Costa Rica–Mexico relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Costa Rica and the United Mexican States

Costa Rica–Mexico relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and Mexico. Both nations are members of the Association of Caribbean States, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.

Costa Rica–India relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of India

Costa Rica–India relations refers to the international relations that exist between Costa Rica and India.