More than a peacemaker

Fuerst, J.S.

MORE THAN A PEACEMAKER THE POLITICAL WRITINGS OF OSCAR ARIAS J.S. FUERST Since the peace plan proposed by President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica and ratified by the five Central American...

...The Collected Plays and Writings on Theater of Karol Woitvla $35.00 at bookstores or order toll-free (800)822-6657...
...In his short inaugural address of March 1986, Arias affirmed his belief in the principles of peace and neutrality, and his rejection of military force as a means of settling disputes...
...He has stressed in his writings the great necessity for Costa Rica as well as other developing countries to make more use of cooperatives, substituting them for state-owned enterprises...
...long with a belief in the importance of improving the economic welfare of the rural poor, Arias has maintained a skepticism, if not a basic distrust, toward the goodwill of the private bankers...
...Costa Rica's sugar quota has likewise been reduced, and recently some additional tariff restrictions have been imposed...
...the World Bank has placed far more stringent restrictions on economic policies which Costa Rica must meet to receive its current installment of a multimillion-dollar bank loan...
...administration...
...At first, Arias backed Esquivel and his protectionist subsidies for small, "inefficient" farmers and their bean, rice, and corn crops, a point of view that Arias himself had Jong espoused...
...Oscar Arias told me several years ago that he believed it was important to oppose AID on this point, and that it was very important for the United States to realize that third-world countries like Costa Rica cannot depend solely on the private enterprise, but must have a strong and growing cooperative movement operating in the farming area, the housing area, the consumer distribution area, as well as many others...
...His present five-nation plan for a cease-fire, national reconciliation and dialogue with dissidents, free elections in 1988, suspension of outside military aid, and national and international supervision is merely a spelling out of a position he and his key aide, ex-Chilean John Biehl, have long held...
...This philosophy and its principles have been put to the test in the first two years of the Arias administration...
...Another keystone in the Arias approach to government, apart from his emphasis on peace, is his humanizing of government...
...In approaching the redistributional problem, Oscar Arias has long recognized the key role that the policies for farmers, farm laborers, and industrial workers must play in any Costa Rican program...
...Top officials in the U.S...
...has reduced its annual aid from $175 million to $100 million...
...One of the most significant statutes with which he was associated before becoming president was designed to decentralize decision702: Commonweal making to the municipal and regional levels as much as possible...
...that the Nicaraguan-U.S...
...the liberal cries, "Let us beg the oligarchy to parcel out some of their land...
...toward Costa Rica should not be surprising to those who are familiar with U.S...
...The world is hungry...
...Years ago, Don Pepe Figueres, a mentor for Arias, crystallized this sentiment when he said, "What are tractors without violins...
...Roman Villeda Morales in 1963, Honduras...
...has in the past, either by subtle or direct means, "buried them...
...He has emphasized "the great necessity for helping small farmers and workers obtain a fairer share of the country's wealth...
...Those of us who share the opinion of Senators Dodd (D-Conn...
...Arias has refused to meet with contra leader Adolfo Calero or to give him a visa for Costa Rica, has restricted the Costa Rican activities of Eden Pastora, and has countermanded the agreement made with the CIA by his predecessor, Alberto Monge, to allow any use of a U.S.-constructed airfield in northeast Costa Rica as a contra base of operations...
...Juan Bosch in 1963 and again in 1965, Dominican Republic...
...conflict must be settled by diplomatic, non-military means, believe that Congress must support the Arias plan and reaffirm Costa Rican neutrality, with all that implies...
...The private bankers have not been happy with some of the steps that his government has taken to control the quality and quantity of credit...
...In the past, both Democratic and Republican administrations have brought about the destabilization and sometimes destruction of such populist and democratic leaders as Roman Grau Martin in 1933, Cuba...
...In his book, Pressure Groups and Costa Rica, Arias singles out the private bankers as a pressure group primarily interested in their own welfare, a group that has to be controlled in the interest of the common good...
...The world is tired of war...
...During Costa Rica's 1986 presidential campaign, he reiterated that the U.S...
...Now available in a handsome edition expertly translated from the Polish and introduced by Boleslaw Taborski, these plays and writings oh theater make vivid the intellectual development of a great Christian leader...
...Agosto Sandino in 1933, Nicaragua...
...In the area of foreign policy, Oscar Arias has long been a conciliator on the subject of Nicaragua...
...Still, he and most of the top financial and political leaders stand four-square on the issue of debt renegotiation for Costa Rica at an increased term of years, a reduced interest rate, and a deferred initial payment...
...A major feature in Arias's economic plans for Coast Rica is the extension of the cooperative movement, whose National Federation is presently headed by former Secretary of Agriculture Rodolfo Navas Alvarado...
...As he said in Costa Rica in the Year 2000, '' What we need to do in our programs is to humanize our state, humanize our economy, and humanize our culture...
...His first secretary of agriculture, Alberto Esquivel, was a strong proponent Before the Papacy there were the Plays Karol Wojtyla-before he became Pope John Paul II-wrote six plays that probe the fundamentals of human existence...
...In sum, the most grievous charge against liberalism is that it is provincial and irrelevant to the major problems of the world...
...He has questioned many of their actions, called for free elections and dialogue with dissidents, and urged a freer flow of information in Nicaragua...
...In his book, Arias writes that although pressure groups of all kinds determine what policies eventuate, individuals in association with such groups whether unions, farm associations, or cooperatives can make a real difference...
...AID commission in Costa Rica told me that they would countenance no such transfer on any general basis because they did not trust the cooperative leadership and were unwilling to give grants or loans for any purposes other than privately owned corporations, except in special and unusual circumstances...
...and Kerry (D-Mass...
...Is this then the beginning of a "destabilization process" for Oscar Arias...
...As Arias told me, "This decentralization of decision making is a real risk, but so is life...
...AID continues to obstruct transfers from CODES A to the cooperatives, insisting that such enterprises be sold to private management at subsidized bargain prices...
...Visa & MasterCard only...
...fuerst is a professor of social welfare policy at the School of Social Work at Loyola University of Chicago...
...Nevertheless, when Lizano resigned in opposition to this policy, and the World Bank and the IMF objected, and when conservative pressures began building against it, Arias had to yield...
...From his Job, written at age nineteen in 1940 in Nazi-occupied Poland, to Radiation of Fatherhood, written by Archbishop Wojtyla in 1964, these plays are inner dramas of the human soul intended for small-scale private performances and reading...
...Jacobo Guzman Arbenz in 1954, Guatemala...
...4 December 1987: 703...
...Change," he said, "must come about through the rule of law...
...the liberal cries, "Let us make it free...
...They reasoned that the cooperatives were too socially minded, too political, and are not sufficiently concerned with "the bottom line...
...During the last year and a half, President Arias has worked closely with the National Federation...
...He is a great admirer of C. Wright Mills, whose own third-world position was summed up in his characterization of' 'liberalism'': To the world's range of 4 December 1987: 701 enormous problems, liberalism responds with its verbal fetish of freedom...
...Jorge Eliezer Gaitan in 1948, Colombia...
...For those who would probe his views on basic socio-economic issues, Arias has written extensively...
...and Michael Manley in 1980, Jamaica: all of whom were non-Communist leaders trying to bring more social justice to their countries...
...Will the Nobel Prize arrest this...
...In fact, according to Don "Pepe" Figueres, who first nationalized banking, it was this move that was largely responsible for keeping the high standard of living in Costa Rica, relative to the other Latin American countries...
...government should not have come as a surprise to those acquainted with his past statements...
...The U.S...
...The present obstructionist policies of the U.S., which even after the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize still threaten to undermine the Arias plan, as well as the punitive actions of the U.S...
...should be giving economic and social aid to all of Central America, rather than attempting to bring the Sandinistas into line through military means...
...Therefore his initiation of the peace plan in the light of the fumbling operations of the Contadora group and the machinations of the U.S...
...These benefits, plus selfdeterminism, are the requirements for a small undeveloped but clearly democratic country to remain viable and thrive...
...No great friend of the Sandinistas, Arias has over many years indicated, publicly and privately, his uneasiness about the actions of the Sandinistas...
...He had written, "the big problem of small farmers is that of productivity, that of providing enough food for their families and doing it efficiently.'' It was on this issue of efficient productivity that one of the big brouhahas of Arias's administration took place...
...Nevertheless, on the banking front, as in the agricultural subsidies, President Arias has had to give ground and allow more flexibility to private banks than he wanted...
...Although the farmers and farm workers struck on the streets of San Jose, the leaders of the strike clearly recognized the sympathetic attitude of Oscar Arias and asked rhetorically, "Who is running the country, Oscar Arias or the IMF...
...must also continue,to support Costa Rica with preferential tariffs, refinanced loans, and a debt moratorium which Costa Rican leaders all find indispensable...
...Juan Velasco Alvarado in 1975, Peru...
...Esquivel was sacrificed to what seemed the "general welfare" of the country, as the financial people saw it, and Lizano returned...
...political involvement in Latin America during the last fifty years...
...In the economic sphere, the U.S...
...It involved an internal power struggle in mid-1987 between the finance minister, Fernando Naranjo, and the Bank of Costa Rica's president, Eduardo Lizano, on the one side, and Alberto Esquivel, the minister of agriculture, on the other...
...Last April, at a festival sponsored by the cooperative movement, Arias stated that, "Since my assumption of the presidency, I have taken on the challenge of extending cooperatives in every corner of the country and in substituting cooperatives for state ownership wherever possible...
...For a considerable time, Arias backed this position...
...In spite of his belief in the efficacy of groups, he emphasizes that individuals have to be involved at the grass-roots level...
...he main problem that Oscar Arias or any progressive in Latin America faces is that the U.S...
...While such redistribution is complex and difficult to accomplish, it is precisely for this reason that we must redouble our efforts and be bold in achieving results...
...He believes in the necessity of trade with Nicaragua, free immigration between the countries, and settlement of border disputes by discussion rather than military means...
...FUERST Since the peace plan proposed by President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica and ratified by the five Central American countries is becoming known to the American public because of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval which the Nobel Prize represents, it is vital to examine the thinking of this political economist-statesman whose writings are as extensive, though hardly with the same orientation, as the" "late" Justice Bork...
...If our [Costa Rican] middle and upper classes persist in maintaining their present levels of consumption and property ownership, they will lose the social and political peace that they have enjoyed for so many years...
...Arias indicates a strong faith in being able to achieve a better and fairer distribution through the democratic process...
...The farm subsidies were to be gradually withdrawn, although Arias promised to have further discussions...
...University of California Press Berkeley 94720 of subsidies for small farmers...
...At the same time, he has been equally uneasy about the actions of the current U.S...
...During the Monge as well as the Arias administrations, the government of Costa Rica has made serious attempts to transfer some of the industries operated under CODES A, the umbrella organization for state corporations, to cooperative sponsorship...
...In 1977 Oscar Arias put it this way in his book Costa Rica in the Year 2000: "There must be a fairer distribution of wealth, income, and opportunities...
...the liberal cries,'' Let us arm for peace.'' The peoples of the world are without land...

Vol. 114 • December 1987 • No. 21


 
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