Stephen Earley

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



From the time the Sandinistas seized the National Palace in August 1978 until their victory on July 19, 1979, the Nicaraguan Revolution has brought worldwide attention to Central America that has yet to diminish. The recent events in El Salvador, exacerbated by apparent interference from the young and struggling Sandinista government, as well as a growing awareness by the outside world of the internal agitation in Guatemala, have maintained that attention. Honduras regularly goes through its own political convulsions, and not long ago, Panama was an issue of national controversy in the United States during talks on the canal treaties. But tiny Costa Rica--that "ideal democracy" in the midst of Central American military chaos--has received little outside recognition of the internal problems and conflicts that signal departures from its admirable traditions. Faced with an economic crisis unparalleled in its history, shocked during the spring of 1981 by a series of terrorist attacks once thought "impossible" in such a tranquil country, and still trying to understand its leaders' involvement in the Nicaraguan Revolution, Costa Rica demands our scrutiny.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



Armaments, Politics, Costa Rica, Nicaragua