TV News LIES

Saturday, Aug 01st

Last update08:09:55 PM GMT

You are here News International Costa Rica's peace dividend: How abolishing the military paid off

Costa Rica's peace dividend: How abolishing the military paid off

E-mail Print PDF

Costa RicaOn Dec. 1, 1948 _ 65 years ago this month _ Jose Figueres, then president of Costa Rica, made a fiery and eloquent speech, after which he took a sledgehammer and bashed a hole in a huge stone wall at the nation's military headquarters, Cuartel Bellavista. Its imposing towers and massive gates had loomed over the capital city of San Jose since 1917, the country's premier symbol of military power and the home of the "Tico" military establishment.

Figueres was not just being a showman; he was announcing something truly extraordinary: Henceforth, Costa Rica would take the almost unheard-of step of renouncing its military. At the conclusion of the ceremony, he publicly handed the keys to the minister of education, announcing that Bellavista would be transformed into a national art museum and the nation's military budget would be redirected toward health care, education and environmental protection.

The political calculations that led to this dramatic event were doubtless complex, and they've been disputed ever since. It seems likely, for example, that Figueres was painfully aware that Costa Rica's military, like that of other Central American states, had been used to suppress domestic uprisings and undertake coups, especially against governments perceived to be left-leaning like his.

But at the same time he was clearly aware of the "opportunity costs" associated with military spending, the simple fact that resources expended on the military could not be used to support domestic needs. Then as now, his decision to demilitarize created opportunities for Costa Rica to invest in butter instead of guns.

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


Palestinian youth killed by troops after arson attack sparks West Bank violence

Palestinian youth killedA Palestinian youth has been killed by Israeli forces in Ramallah in the wake of violent...

Talks for Pacific Trade Deal Stall at a Critical Step

Trade talksTrade negotiators from the United States and 11 other Pacific nations were headed toward failure Friday,...

Bin Laden's half sister, her husband and mother killed in UK jet crash

Bin Laden sister dead in crashA sister of former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed along with her husband...

Palestinian baby burned to death in settler attack

Palestinian baby burnedAn 18-month-old Palestinian boy has burned to death after settlers set fire to his family house...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!