“I Have Never Advocated for the Province Separating from the Rest of the Country,” Deputy Ronal Vargas

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“Today is a great day for Scottish autonomy. At some point will we be able to vote in Guanacaste to be autonomous again?”

This tweet, made by Guanacaste Legislative Deputy Ronal Vargas on September 18, caused explosive controversy on social networks.

With his message, the legislator referred to the Scottish poll held to decide whether or not Scotland would continue to be a part of the United Kingdom.

Vargas described the referendum as a triumph of democracy and compared it to Guanacaste’s situation, which he believes is a state of abandonment by the government. However, despite the fact that many Guanacastecans acknowledge that abandonment, many were quick to disagree with Vargas’s idea.

That is the case for Norman Valerio, who wrote, “…Don Ronald’s post [is] very foolish; although Guanacaste’s situation is absolutely understandable and the statements he makes about the abandonment the province suffers in several areas, suggesting a separation from Costa Rica does not offer any kind of magic solution to those problems. That proposal contributes nothing positive to the country and I am sure the same is true for Guanacaste. If he thinks that, it is okay, but as a Deputy of the Republic it doesn’t seem at all prudent to me to publicly broadcast separatist wishes.”

Maricela Jimenez, another person opposed to Vargas’s comment, said, “It’s not a solution to isolate this place even more, [we should] promote solidarity among Guanacastecans – improve education, the love of traditions, promote the arts and sports to help youths and children, not isolate them, promote culture, open opportunities, not close doors.”

For his part, Miguel Alberto Morales said that he agrees with Varges. “That’s how it is, don Ronald. Los Cartagos, as we call people from the central valley, have never brought anything but disaster to this beautiful province because their goal is simply to come destroy the origin of the true Costa Rican culture, because almost everything comes from this province – including more than 60% of the grain and food production – and there’s only misery in this area, thanks to slacker governments to whom we’ve never mattered.”

In statements made to The Voice of Guanacaste, Vargas said that he never spoke of political independence for Guanacaste, but that he only wanted to catch government authorities’ attention regarding the abandonment he says Guanacaste faces.

“I have never promoted holding a referendum in Guanacaste, not even for separating the province from the rest of the country. What I wanted was to start a protest by catching the attention of government authorities regarding the mistreatment they’ve given the province,” the legislator indicated.

Vargas believes that Guanacaste is still not ready to be independent. “I’ve spoken with a lot of people and they’ve told me that Guanacaste has the potential to be an independent country. However, I believe that we are still not prepared for that; but with this call to action a lot of people are seriously considering the possibility,” said Vargas.