An Apt and Able Middleman

Costa Rican President Luis Alberto Monge Alvarez, 57, was inaugurating a new agricultural reform project last week at the village of Cipreses outside San José. He was in the midst of his speech when the ground began to shake. In a matter of minutes, the earthquake was over and Monge finished his remarks. Afterward, climbing behind the wheel of a white Landcruiser, he smiled and cracked, "I speak and the earth moves, yet my opponents say I lack charisma!"

It is political earthquakes that Monge has had to worry about most since assuming...

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