TV News LIES

Saturday, Apr 25th

Last update09:36:09 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...


Nepal quake: Hundreds dead, history crumbles, Everest shaken

7.8 earthquake nepalA powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, killing at least 906 people across a swath of four...

115 children killed since start of Saudi-led Yemen offensive

Yemen bombingsA United Nations report said on Friday that civilian causalities have mounted since the start of...

High levels of radiation detected at Tokyo playground causes shutdown

Tokyo park radiationA Tokyo playground was shut down after high levels of radiation were detected in the area.Japanese...

Hamas wins student council vote at top West Bank university

BirzeitSupporters of the Islamic militant Hamas have won student council elections at the West Bank's flagship...
 
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!