Costa Rica: Turbulence in Paradise

Costa Rica, long an island of tranquillity in troubled Central America, is experiencing some unaccustomed turbulence. Minister of Security Angel Edmundo Solano Calderón put the nation's 6,000-man civil guard on "maximum alert" two weeks ago, citing rumors of a coup. After President Luis Alberto Monge ridiculed the takeover scare as "crazy," a chastened Solano said he had only been joking. But a few days later Monge asked Solano and the 14 other members of his Cabinet to resign, as well as nearly all of the country's 33 ambassadors.

The housecleaning is aimed...

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