COSTA RICA: Freelance Diplomacy

In Costa Rica's admirable if not entirely unblemished history of democratic government, no figure stands taller than diminutive (5 ft. 3 in.), scrappy José Figueres Ferrer, 64. At the head of a ragtag band of rebels in 1948, "Don Pepe" routed a Communist military coalition that had tried to seize power illegally. He banned the Communist party, abolished the army (Costa Rica has not had one since), instituted many social reforms and, after 18 months, restored power to the elected President. Figueres was elected to the presidency in his own right in 1953 and again last year. Educated at M.l.T....

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