But opponents say this year's deal differs from previous ones in that it allows US warships to enter the country. Previously, opponents say, only US Coast Guard vessels were allowed to enter Costa Rican territory. The new agreement expires on December 31 of this year.
A committee of the People's Movement political party said the deal turns Costa Rica into a "US protectorate" and brings the country into "a new phase of military occupation," according to the Costa Rican newspaper El Pais.
Costa Rica's Nacion newspaper reported last week that the new agreement will see 7,000 US Marines, supported by 200 helicopters and 46 warships, "enter and leave the country at will." The paper also cited a June 2 letter from Costa Rica to the US declaring that US troops will have "the right to carry out the activities it deems necessary in carrying out its mission."
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