COSTA RICA: Pepe''s Choice

Pint-sized José Figueres once described himself as "a literary socialist farmer with a kind of Atlantic Monthly mind." Thrust into politics as President of Costa Rica's ruling junta, he has never been quite able to decide whether to chuck politics for the bookish quiet of his coffee finca (farm), or to stay on in San José to finish the uphill fight for his program of "neo-liberalism."* Last week Pepe Figueres made his choice.

Faced with steadily mounting opposition from the followers of President-elect Otilio Ulate, who have forgotten that Figueres won last year's civil war for them, he went to the...

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