Nationalism Sweeps Costa Rica: Christian Preacher Shocks Presidential Election

Cinderella candidate wins first round

Image Credits: EZEQUIEL BECERRA / Getty.

The latest evidence of a worldwide people’s rebellion against the international leftist agenda comes from Costa Rica, as an Evangelical preacher has surged from relative obscurity to win round one of their presidential election.

Fabricio Alvarado, a Christian preacher, musician, and former journalist took 24.8% of the national vote, catapulting him into the second and final round of the election on April 1, where he will face avowed leftist Carlos Alvarado (no relation), who captured 21.7% support at the ballot box.

By most accounts, Fabricio Alvarado’s National Restoration Party was largely irrelevant until very recently, and Alvarado was only polling at 3% in December in the midst of a 13-candidate field.

However, a January 9 decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in favor of same-sex marriage threw the race into chaos, affording Alvarado an opportunity to rally support from the largely conservative, Christian populace as he vowed to remove Costa Rica from the international tribunal and any obligation to abide by the Court’s ruling.

“This is a people that is not happy with the way the Inter-American Court has violated our sovereignty, and because Fabricio Alvarado is the candidate who is most vehement in his position, the people have identified with us,” Alvarado said in reference to himself.

Alvarado rocketed to 17% in mid-January polling, revealing the depth of the rift between those who champion same-sex marriage and those who view it as an assault on the moral fabric of society.

“The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling on Jan. 9 is now confirmed as the decisive element of these elections,” reports the Tico Times. “No one ever imagined that the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage would take place at the height of the campaign.”

“Nothing was as strong as the religious shock. In the last two weeks, election sympathies, which had already been volatile, were completely reordered by the debate between those who feel that Christian values are threatened, and those who believe Costa Rica must advance in ensuring the rights of sexual minorities.” 

It should be noted that while Alvarado is an outspoken Christian and has found strong backing from the ‘religious right,’ Evangelicals and Catholics don’t necessarily align on social or political issues, and according to a 2008 International Religious Freedom Report, over 70% of the country’s population identified as Roman Catholic, while less than 14% identified as Evangelical.

While some critics have dismissed Alvarado as a ‘one trick pony,’ others assert that his unwavering commitment to traditional values serves as the backbone to a campaign that resonates with the ‘forgotten men and women’ of Costa Rica who exist outside the cosmopolitan bubbles of San Jose and smaller urban enclaves, as even principles once championed by the Catholic Church continue to be diluted and diminished by ‘progressives.’

“[Alvarado] represents the evangelical churches that work tirelessly through prayers and social work to promote a ‘pro-life and pro-family’ political agenda, which the Catholic Church has boosted less and less with each election,” writes the Times.

Bermuda recently became the first nation to reverse course on same-sex marriage, signing new legislation to abolish it amid international uproar and mounting pressure.

Dan Lyman: Facebook | Twitter