The popular myth suggests that Figueres, a 42 year old coffee farmer, engineer, economist and philosopher, raised a “ragtag army of university students and intellectuals” and stepped forward to topple the government that had refused to step aside for its democratically elected successor. As President from 1940-44, he founded the University of Costa Rica (1940), which is still a landmark in the progress of public, higher education. Figueres became head of the Founding Junta of the Second Republic of Costa Rica (Brief History of Costa Rica). Former president Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia (1940–44) formed an unusual political coalition consisting of members of the communist Popular Vanguard Party and the Catholic Church to bring about significant improvement in workers’ conditions and social security . (Costa Rican CIP: Costa Rica--Historia--Revolucion, 1948) A Brief History of Costa Rica Toward Common Security in Central America In a public ceremony rich with symbolism, the army commander-in-chief handed the keys to his headquarters to the minister of education who promptly converted it to a museum. Officially, Ulate outpaced Calderón by 10,000 votes, but Calderón’s Victory Block Party gained a greater number of seats in the legislature than did the National Union Party. Communist militia supporting the government e… Figueres dominated politics for the next two decades. The junta then stepped down and handed power to Ulate. His hatred for Calderón, combined with his idealism, fueled his desire for war. At the first speech in a three part series at MIT, he cited the United States as one of the biggest offenders. Before, during, and after the Costa Rican Revolution of 1948 and the Costa Rica- Nicaragua Crisis of 1948-1949, the Truman Administration maintained a posture of strict neutrality and helped to isolate, and bring a quick end to, both conflicts. The Costa Rican Revolution of 1948 can only be understood when one looks at US feelings towards Communism, the US’s changing foreign policies in relation to Communism, the ability of Figueres to sell his labels of Calderón and Picado as Communists to the US, and what actually occurred as … The Costa Rican revolution of 1948 capped an extended period of social tension and political unrest. The Costa Rican revolution of 1948 capped an extended period of social tension and political unrest. Ulate didn’t even belong to Figueres’ party, but the latter respected the democratic election by the people of Costa Rica, and willing stepped down from power (Costa Rica: Government and Politics). In 1986, a young lawyer called Oscar Arias Sanchez was elected president on the platform of peace (Brief History of Costa Rica). Picado's long-time political ally, Manuel Mora of the communist Popular Vanguard Party, had no intention of negotiating with Figueres. The “Arias Plan” calls on the five Central American states to work towards democracy; to assure freedom of the press and of political organization with free and open elections. A disquieting recent trend is a follow up effort by the U.S. to paramilitarize Costa Rica by enlisting it in the so-called “War on Drugs” (Common Security). The Costa Rican revolution of 1948 capped an extended period of social tension and political unrest. American Authorities decided to operate from a Salvadorian airport. Figueres formed an alliance with other exiles and returned to Costa Rica in 1944. The United States had ensured Somoza's political impotence. It was an event that shaped the future of a country, its people and their place in Central American politics. Democracy is not only the type of government of Costa Rica, but it also the source of tremendous pride in a country that brags about having more teachers than policeman and not having a standing army since it was abolished in 1948 (Costa Rica: Government and Politics). Hoping to use Costa Rica as a base, the Legion planned to move against other authoritarian governments in Middle America. This book analyzes the circumstances of 1940–1948 that led to a successful armed uprising. Also, the day after the elections, a fire of suspicious origins destroyed many of the ballots (Costa Rica: Since Independence). After the war, Figueres ruled for a year and a half as head of a provisional government junta which abolished the military and oversaw the election of a Constitutional Assembly in December, which subsequently produced the new 1949 constitution. Figueres’ conservative and business allies, backers of Ulate, wanted the latter President without having to depend on the bayonets of Figueres. In a region that has been plagued by long and turbulent civil wars, the peaceful and reformist outcome of Costa Rica’s Civil War differs greatly from its neighbors. Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia was exiled from Costa Rica, but the government of Calderón had great importance for the Costa Rican society and the credit he deserves for the social reform cannot be ignored (Costa Rica: People). Davis blandly "explained our well known policy of non-intervention" and then referred to the obligations of American nations [to] non-intervene. Calderón’s efforts to regain control of the country in December of 1948 only rallied further support for Figueres. (Press Release). This is why we’re going to talk about the civil war and what you’ll notice w Costa Rica has have 2 constitutions the second one produced in 1949 after the revolution. He told them how “younger individual in poor societies, very much equal in terms of intelligence, ability and motivation, do not have access to academic institutions such as those in the developing world.” Arias continues to advocate education and vehemently believes too many countries sacrifice education to fund armies. On March 12, 1948, word reached San Jose that a band of revolutionaries led by Jose Figueres had taken over the town of San Isidro del General in the southern part of the province (Since Independence). On April 19, Picado and Father Benjamín Núñez, an eminent labor leader within Costa Rica, signed The Pact of the Mexican Embassy, ending th… “There is no doubt that the people of the United States would greatly benefit if these funds are dedicated toward improving their educational systems and promoting scientific research instead of building an arsenal.” Arias blamed poorly funded education systems for slowing developing nations’ economies. Shots rang out, and Valverde fell dead on his doorstep. On April 19, Picado and Father Benjamín Núñez, an eminent labor leader within Costa Rica, signed The Pact of the Mexican Embassy, ending the armed uprising. When civil war broke out in neighboring Nicaragua, Costa Rica was drawn reluctantly into the conflict, its northern zone being used as a base first for Sandinista and later for “contra” forces. After the revolution, the negotiations that led to the establishments of liberal democracy are best seen as beginning in the crisis of 1948. As leader of the revolutionary junta, he consolidated Calderón’s progressive social reform program and added his own landmark reforms: he banned the press and the Communist Party, introduced suffrage for women and full citizenship for blacks, revised the Constitution to outlaw a standing Army (including his own), established presidential term limit and created an independent Electoral Tribunal to oversee future elections. However, these conditions have only existed since 1949. Before, during, and after the Costa Rican Revolution of 1948 and the Costa Rica-Nicaragua Crisis of 1948-1949, the Truman Administration maintained a posture of strict neutrality and helped to isolate, and bring a quick end to, both conflicts. : 2002433880: Niñas y niños del 48 escriben, 2001: verso t.p. The Costa Rican Civil War is the defining event of the 20th century for Costa Rica. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua all suffered extremely long and painful dictatorships (The Civil War of Costa Rica). That Figueres undertook and honored the pact seems to reflect a commitment by him to the principles of procedural democracy, independent of his commitment to the substantive program of the Social Democrats (Peeler). After a highly contentious electoral process plagued by violence and irregularities concluded on February 8, 1948, the independent Electoral Tribunal, by a split vote of 2 to 1, declared that opposition candidate Otilio Ulate, of the National Union Party, had been elected president. This book analyzes the circumstances of 1940-1948 that led to a successful armed uprising. Democracy’s Guerilla [sic] by Christie McLaughlin Mora, facing the reality that now the United States was ready to act against him as well, gave in to Picado's plea. Calderón had been elected president in 1940 as the candidate of the right, closely allied with the Roman Catholic Church and with the business elite, but his enthusiastic support for the Allies during World War II and especially his punitive measures against the rich and influential German community in Costa Rica, caused that elite to withdraw its support for him. It has influenced the country and its consequences reach out to today. [citation needed] Pro-Calderón and communist demonstrators began to sack those businesses that participated in the strike, and Picado was forced to respond to the strike with force by intimidating merchants and professionals and threatening workers with dismissal and military service. Calderón then created a different political base by allying himself with the Costa Rican communists (the Popular Vanguard Party), led by Manuel Mora, and with the socially-progressive Catholic Archbishop of San José, Monsignor Víctor Manuel Sanabria, in order to pass legislation guaranteeing labor rights and creating a welfare state. For his efforts he was awarded the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to establish a peace treaty with his civil war torn neighbors. His speech focused on the repercussion of war and the necessity of demilitarization. to increase the tensions within Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Politics: Our Democracy: An Overview The product of a country that abolished its army in 1948, President Arias has consistently work for peace in the region, convinced that negotiation, not war, is the best means for assuring peace. On March 12, his National Liberation Army exchanged fire with government forces, and the war began.[9]. [3][4][5][6][7], Figueres began training the Caribbean Legion, an irregular force of 700. The Costa Rican communist movement, organized in the Popular Vanguard Party led by congressman Manuel Mora, was allied to Picado's government and contributed to the unrest by deploying its militia against the opposition. [5], The annulment of the election results in 1948 and the attack on Dr. Valverde's home on the same day appeared to provide Figueres the proof that he needed to show that the government had no intention of ceding to the will of the people. Costa Rica: People: Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia (politician) Costa Rican President Picado, realizing that defeat was inevitable, sent notice to Figueres that he was willing to come to a compromise. Costa Rica: Heads of State: 1848-1948: Presidente de la República de Costa Rica [1][2]: 31 Aug 1848 - 16 Nov 1849: José María Castro y Madriz (x): Representante encargado del Supremo Poder Ejecutivo de la República [3]: 16 Nov 1849 - 26 Nov 1849 Calderón’s enlightened policies included land reform, a guaranteed minimum wage and progressive taxation (Brief History of Costa Rica). Picado then threatened to take the matter to the United Nations. [8][6], On the day that the government annulled the elections, police surrounded the home of Dr. Carlos Luis Valverde, where Ulate was and Figueres had been only moments before. MONTGOMERY, Alabama – All roads led to revolution in the Costa Rica of 1948, when a hacienda owner named José Figueres Ferrer would overthrow the government and soon after become known as the father of modern Costa Rican democracy. Ulate escaped but was later captured and imprisoned, all of which helped to paint an especially distasteful image of the military. This thesis attempts to Arévalo's help proved to be indispensable. The Costa Rican revolution lasted for five weeks with sporadic fighting in which the National Liberation Army, led by Jose Maria (“Don Pepe”) Figueres Ferrer, proved victorious over the badly organized and poorly directed Costa Rican army. Mora's communist militias provided important armed support for the government, both during the tense years of Picado's administration (1944–48) and during the Civil War itself. In actuality, Figueres’s revolution had been planned for some time, and the 1948 election merely provided a good excuse. The day after the fall of Cartago, Picado—low on supplies and without any other source of support—sent a letter to Mora and National Republican leader, and former President Calderón stating that "the attempt to hold San José would be futile and catastrophic." There is a substantial pro-military sentiment that was used extensively by the Reagan government in its efforts to militarize Costa Rica. In fact much of the defense of the government was provided by armed Communist party members. The Figueres-Ulate Pact was signed on May 1, 1948 giving Figueres 18 months to govern the country without a legislature before turning power over to Ulate (Since Independence). LESSONS OF THE COSTA RICAN EXPERIENCE. The Civil War was camouflaged as a reaction against the violation of a democratic process, but it was much more than that. The abolition of the Costa Rican army refers to the suppression of all the armed forces of Costa Rica, carried out on December 1, 1948, after the 1948 Civil War in Costa Rica ended News Sponsorship Project for Liquor in Sports was sent to the Supreme Court for Consultation Peaceful Costa Rica, The First Battleground: The United States and the Costa Rican Revolution of 1948* 1 - Volume 50 Issue 2 - Kyle Longley (Baker). This increase in tensions created problems that the political structure in Costa Rica was unable to cope with. The one called “Don Pepe” died in 1990 a national hero, his death set the scene for social and economic progress that would earn Costa Rica the reputation as a peaceful and stable island of democracy in one of the world’s most politically unstable, and often war torn regions.    In a region that has been plagued by long and turbulent civil wars, the peaceful and reformist outcome of Costa Rica's Civil War differs greatly from its neighbors. With more than 2,000 dead, the 44-day civil war resulting from this uprising was the bloodiest event in 20th-century Costa Rican history. Unlike Ulate, former president León Cortés, and the other members of the Costa Rican opposition, Figueres felt that Calderón would never allow a fair election to take place. As one of the effects of the Revolution of 1948, the demilitarization of Costa Rica stands as one of the most striking in a region where conflict has deep roots. [3][4][5][6][7], After a highly contentious electoral process plagued by violence and irregularities concluded on February 8, 1948, the independent electoral tribunal, by a split vote of 2 to 1, declared that opposition candidate Otilio Ulate of the National Union Party, had been elected president. Moreover, the United States was not inclined to intervene since they were part of the negotiations to exile Calderón. The people did not respond. Figueres had been exiled to Mexico in 1942, the first political outcast since the Tinoco era, after being seized halfway through a radio broadcast denouncing Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia, who had been the president of Costa Rica from 1940 to 1944. A socialist, he used his popularity to build his own electoral base and founded the Partido de Liberacion National (PLN), which became the principal advocate of state sponsored development and reform (Baker). Costa Rica Handbook by Christopher Baker However, on December 10, 1948, the exiled Calderón and his supporters invaded Costa Rica from Nicaragua. "[10], Picado bitterly observed that non-intervention was a fiction, Figueres had received "tons" of supplies from Arévalo, and rumors circulated of aid even from the Panamanian government. This article is about the civil war of 1948. The National Liberation Army, as the rebel army called itself, slowly worked their way up the Pan American Highway, capturing small but important cities and ports with relative ease. The determining force was United States policy. He also said that if schools do not train students to compete in the global economy, the country’s technological and economic growth will suffer (McLaughlin). Most Latin American countries can’t affirm the same fate (Government and Politics). In short, Figueres could have done anything he wanted, including establishing a personal dictatorship (Peeler). Mora, facing the reality that now the United States was ready to act against him as well, gave in to Picado's plea. Thus, the Calderónista majority in the legislative Assembly voted to annul the election on grounds of fraud (Peeler). [1] The Constitution forbade consecutive reelection, so Calderón's National Republican Party had fielded as its candidate for the 1944 elections law professor Teodoro Picado, who was perceived as a weak figure controlled by Calderón. Although the U.S. intervention in Guatemala to overthrow the government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 has generally been seen as the first case of Cold War covert anti-Communist intervention in Latin America, several scholars have raised questions about U.S. involvement in a 1948 Costa Rican civil war in which Communism played a critical role. Say the name Figueres in Costa Rica and it's bound to get a reaction. The day after the fall of Cartago, Picado—low on supplies and without any other source of support—sent a letter to Mora and National Republican leader, and former President Calderón stating that "the attempt to hold San José would be futile and catastrophic." “Necesitamos más música, más pintura y escultura, más filosofía, más poesía y literatura”. Figueres also contended against the communist militias commanded by congressman Carlos Luis Fallas and against Nicaraguan soldiers who had been sent by Somoza to help the government retain power. Its abolition of the death penalty in 1878 and prohibition of a standing armed force in 1949 were benchmarks in the effort to limit state violence and increase expenditures on social programs. The right-wing faction, led by the junta's Minister of Public Safety, Édgar Cardona, attempted to overthrow Figueres and was excluded from the government thereafter. In 1948 there was a revolution that lasted only 40 days, the National Liberation Army led by Jose Figueres, who was also known as Don Pepe, was fighting against the illegitimate government led by Teodoro Picado who was directing the Costa Rican Army. Forces supporting the government advanced on Figures' ranch, but Figueres withdrew most of his forces into the mountains. [10], Throughout the conflict, Figueres received a steady supply of arms from Arévalo, while Picado's forces were unable to exploit Somoza's desire to help. This caused a rebel army under commander José Figueres Ferrer to rise up against the government of President Teodoro Picado; the government was quickly defeated. When President Picado, at the urging of Calderón, declared the election of Ulate fraudulent and refused to step down from his office, Figures saw the perfect opportunity to launch the attack that he had been planning for so long (The Civil War of Costa Rica). By its mobilization in the Canal Zone, constant pressure on Picado, and cutting off Somoza's help, the United States determined the outcome of the revolution in April 1948. The elections of 1944, marred by serious charges of fraud against the Calderón government, were won by a Calderón loyalist, Teodoro Picado. 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costa rican revolution of 1948

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