Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu May 9 07:18:39 MDT 1996
On Thu, 9 May 1996, cwellen wrote:
> Should we not hold up the achievements of Costa Rica alongside those of
> Cuba and Nicaragua, however less dramatic they may seem?
Louis: This raises a very interesting question. Paul Berman, a social
democrat, who used to write for the liberal Village Voice in NY, made a
career out of Sandinista-bashing. They were too radical for Nicaragua,
that was his complaint basically. Their radicalism caused the contra war.
He always held Costa Rica up as an alternate model, one that was more
consistent with his social democratic views.
The fact that Costa Rica has no army is an oddity, a positive one,
however, for Central America. It has had extensive land reform and its
social legislation is quite generous. I have alway mean to study Costa
Rica in greater depth, but never got around to it. Maybe I will now. One
of the things that is different about Costa Rica, right off the bat, is
that it has a much smaller Indian and black population than any other
Central American republic. I have a feeling that this explains the less
severe class differentiation, but I can't be sure.
I'll take a peek into the Columbia libraries and see if I can come up with
something informative (ie., Marxist oriented).
By the way, I want to give a warm welcome Charlotte Wellen. Her presence,
in addition to the presence of comrade Zeynep bodes will for the political
usefulness of this list.
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