COSTA RICA: Medal for Otilio

Around the Caribbean, where some governments change violently and others never seem to change at all, little Costa Rica (pop. 800,875) has the firmest grip on democracy. Its citizens like their Presidents elected, their press free, their schools strong. They feel no need for an army but will rise in arms when they must. A citizen army, under Coffee Planter Jose Figueres, fought in 1948 to stop a scheming government from keeping an elected President, Otilio Ulate, out of office. Figueres won handily, and, as promised, turned the government back to Ulate. Since then, President...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!