As SOME people, mark the 21st anniversary of Rabuka’s coup, a lot of public debate and ideas are flying around as to what should be done to END THIS COUP CULTURE and really move-on. I know it has been raised numerous times before that MAYBE the answer to all our woes is to ABOLISH THE MILITARY.
Although for now I, and other law-abiding-sick-of-coups-citizens believe that that would be the BEST STEP our nation should take, some people (maybe the current military personnel themselves and their supporters) may think otherwise.
However, if we study how some coup-ridden countries have overcome this problem of “military involvement” in their governments, the BEST example there is to date, is Costa Rica.
And this is how they did it. More information can be found in this site
An era of peaceful democracy in Costa Rica began in 1899 with elections considered the first truly free and honest ones in the country’s history. This began a trend that continued until today with only two lapses: in 1917-19, Federico Tinoco ruled as a dictator, and, in 1948, Jose Figueres led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election.
With more than 2,000 dead, the 44-day civil war resulting from this uprising was the bloodiest event in 20th-century Costa Rican history, but the victorious junta drafted a constitution guaranteeing free elections with universal suffrage and the abolition of the military. Figueres became a national hero, winning the first election under the new constitution in 1953. Since then, Costa Rica has held 14 presidential elections, the latest in 2006.
Costa Rica has no military and maintains only domestic police and security forces.
Costa Rica has long emphasized the development of democracy and respect for human rights. The country’s political system has steadily developed, maintaining democratic institutions and an orderly, constitutional scheme for government succession. Several factors have contributed to this trend, including enlightened leadership, comparative prosperity, flexible class lines, educational opportunities that have created a stable middle class, and high social indicators. Also, because Costa Rica has no armed forces, it has avoided military involvement in political affairs, unlike other countries in the region.
So, there we have it. If a small country like Costa Rica (who shares some similarities with ours) can make it successfully without a military, why can’t we do it?
So, the challenge is: WHO can be the hero to have the guts to ABOLISH OUR MILITARY?