WASHINGTON — The Navy was forced last week to cancel a port visit by one of its warships to Costa Rica because the country demanded certification that all the sailors were free of AIDS, Pentagon sources said today.
The sources, who demanded anonymity, said the incident involved the Navy destroyer Luce.
"There is a fear and paranoia growing about this disease that could threaten our relationships with friendly countries around the world," one official said.
"This could be much worse than the anti-nuclear problem. The issue is going to have to be resolved at the highest levels of government and very quickly at that. If we don't nip this in the bud, this could prove a very dangerous precedent," said the official.
Not the First Time
The sources, in revealing the cancellation of the Luce's scheduled port call to Limon last week, also disclosed that Costa Rica was not the first country to challenge the visit of a Navy ship because of a fear of AIDS.