Oscar Arias & U.S. policy in Central America

In doing the post on Honduras, I came across the role Oscar Arias, then president of Costa Rica, played in the US-backed coup in 2009. During his earlier 1986-1990 presidency he formulated one of those phony-assed peace plans to broker the brutal US Contra war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. I don’t recall much about the plan now except that it called for greater US involvement. For this he was nominated (& eventually won) the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize.

Harvard University sponsored a speech by Arias at that time which the Boston (where I lived at the time) antiwar movement mobilized for. In his speech he talked about how some US initiative was helping restore democracy in war-torn Nicaragua. The audience erupted in thunderous applause. In the question & answer session, I stood up & in the most respectful language challenged his peace plan for promoting US aggression. The audience erupted in thunderous booing that seemed to go on forever.

If you’ve never been booed, I can assure you it’s a moment of living hell though I managed to get through my spiel, telling the audience I intended to finish my question whether they liked it or not. But I was flustered & neglected to throw back at them how they applauded democracy in a country besieged by US aggression & yet wouldn’t allow me to ask a simple question in an educational venue.

My omission still fries my ass.

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