San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bolivia’s Morales: The US abolished Costa Rica's army

Media outlets throughout Latin America on Tuesday reported on statements by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who claimed the United States had abolished Costa Rica’s army. In actuality, Costa Rica abolished its own army in 1948, and the U.S. was not involved.

Morales, who was commenting on recent elections in Costa Rica and El Salvador, said, “For the first time a leftist party stands out in a country that was once a colony of the United States, and I think – and I hope I’m not wrong – it is a country without armed forces, as the United States eliminated the army in Costa Rica.”

News outlets attributed Morales’ statement to a report from Spanish news agency EFE, which was cited by Yahoo News, Bolivia’s La Jornada, Colombia’s Vanguardia and El Salvador’s El Mundo.

Morales also said the results of the recent presidential elections “are part of a process of rebellion in Latin America and the Caribbean against U.S. imperialism.” He expressed his hope that all the presidents of the region will be “anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist.”

“I really feel there is a rebellion in Latin America to be democratically freed from the empire. Without U.S. imperialism, there will no longer be coups and we will no longer have our natural resources plundered. Bolivia is the best example,” Morales said.

The Bolivian president delivered the speech during a ceremony of indigenous people in the Andean region of Oruro.

Last week, a news report aired Feb. 2 by Venezuela-based TV station Telesur incorrectly reported the existence of a U.S. Southern Command military base in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. That report stirred the political climate in Costa Rica and prompted official complaints from President Laura Chinchilla.

Telesur President Patricia Villegas later called the incident a regrettable mistake and offered apologies to the Costa Rican people.

Costa Rica’s army was abolished on December 1, 1948 by a governing board led by National Liberation Party founder José Figueres Ferrer, following the end of a civil war prompted by accusations of electoral fraud by then-President Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia.

Calderón’s supporters annuled the March 1 presidential election in which Otilio Ulate had allegedly defeated the president.

Figueres led a civil army that defeated Costa Rica’s Army and a coalition of communist guerrillas loyal to Calderón in a 44-day civil war that killed 2,000. After 18 months, the governing board stepped down and handed the presidency to Ulate.

Figueres later was elected president of Costa Rica three times.

UPDATE: This is not the first time Morales has made wild accusations about Costa Rica’s relationship with the U.S.

In 2010, Morales referred to Costa Rica as essentially a protectorate of the U.S. The Bolivian president said, “Costa Rica doesn’t have armed forces, but it’s armed forces are those of the United States.”

Morales later apologized for the marks, saying he didn’t intend to offend Costa Rica.

Contact L. Arias at

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The most stupid thing that I heard

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From day one your governance has been the same. Clever distraction Evo Morales, very clever. You point the finger up north, meanwhile stomp your own people with the other hand. The empty can rattles the most! EVERY Nation has it’s negative side. You don’t live in a glass house do you? We see your errors too. My humble suggestion is that you continue to improve your focus on Bolivia. Shake that chip off your shoulder you call imperialism and just try to become more historically informed.

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This article about the military, shows the leader of Bolivia spouting total B.S. to make his control stronger. That said, America has many faults, and has done bad things but many of the dictators down this way have done far worse. I am married to a tica and I can tell you that her family as well as every Tico I know prays for the U.S. to save them when and if attacked – they are not praying for Daniel Ortega to save them, or Venezuela or Bolivia – they are praying to be saved from those countries and leaders should they seek to attack Costa Rica which is a very real possibility, especially as Venezuela has in the past publicly stated its intent to control and dominate the region. Every country of means spies on its and other peoples – The U.S. has been a let down to many including me , and especially lately but to speak as if it is only an evil place is as ignorant as the statement by Bolivia’s “Dictator!”

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Ok.usa usa .big deal you dont want us in your country?stop bending over every time you need help…17.trill in go to any bank and ask for a will only get what you can pay back, right? 50 mil in food stamps. That means these people are eating. And not dirt..medical, if you cant pay here you still get medical attention…oooboohoo…usa is spying on me..big deal. As long as they are not sending death some well most of you …

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Steven Burns

Way to go President!
Well apparently he not only looks like a moron, he talks like one.

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I think the only moron is you! Seems like you dont know much about your country!!

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John W.

The United States has many problems. That’s certainly true. We have our own problems with our democracy.

Bolivia has many problems, too. The only thing I can confirm is that their standard of living is lower than the US. Do they have problems with their democracy? Probably. Do they have corruption? Probably.

Does the US? Yes.

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In the 1920’s booze was illegal and marijauna and coca leaves were legal
Coca was and is still a plant used for traditional medicinal purposes in Bolivia.
Bolivia, just another casualty of the ‘War on Drugs’ failing/failed policy. Ask DuPont the reason why.

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Jose Espinoza

USA has a high standard because they have 17 trillion in debt and 50 million on food stamps. The USA also has a debt of 3 trillion to China. Higher standard of living than what? What a bunch of bull. NSA is spying on its own citizens Where is your freedom. Its a false freedom.

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Fix your own problem first then worry about other USA and USA citizens. Latina America has a voice a voice against the machine named USA military machine. Understand hope you eyes.

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Trying to distract from your own country’s problems again, Mr. Morales?

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“Without U.S. imperialism, there will no longer be coups and we will no longer have our natural resources plundered. Bolivia is the best example,” Morales said.”

Best example of how to ruin a country on your own without help from foreign countries or what? Venezuela is another great example, they’ve stepped away from the US and the West and they are doing great. Shitloads of oil and citizens are still starving and stores can’t even provide staple goods.

Exchanging US influence to populist leftish politicians with no sense for economics or politics whatsoever won’t make the situation much better.

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USA is bad company until the day i die. Say no more

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Facts on the US Citizen

1. 50 million on food stamps

2. No health care for everyone

3. Big Army that kill lots of children in country that most stupied America don´t get or know where they are.

4. Goverment that likes banker and not the poor or middle class

5. 17 trillion of debt the most in the world. And the fastest growing debt

6. IN 2008 US goverment bailed out the banks during the crisis and forclosed on 20 million homes of poor and middle class

7. The truth is US is false freedom

8. How many types of law enforcement does the US have? To many. Can any one say police state.

USA is such a wonderful place think about it.

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Yes, the USA is a wonderful; place. I suggest you try Bolivia.

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I have lived in Bolivia people where great and food was good and no stupied USA citizen telling me how to pay more taxes to there stupied military. USA should stop saying they have freedom. USA freedom is to kill other with there military machine. So sad what has happened to USA. 17 trillion in debt and 50 million on food stamps. Talk about socilaizm.

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Luis Masis

Get over yourself idiot !!!!i rather live in the US than all those shit holes you guys in Latin America have as neighborhoods.

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Francisco L.

I won’t argue about Bolivia s great culture and food. However the way you talk about the US is quite offensive, inappropriate and over generalised. The US is an enormous country have you visited all? I am a tico, have been to nice places in the US and have met extraordinary nice people in the USA. Nowadays I live in a real socialist (more social democracy) country: Denmark and I find moresimilarities with the US than with Bolivia.So dont rush to judgemental comments my friend. I think you are missing the point of Evo being repetitively offensive to our land.

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That is very correct that the United States has been involved in Latin America for a very long time but guess what? What are you Socialist/Communist govts been doing lately for Latin America? Noting,look at Nicaragua and Bolivia and Venezuela, poverty and lack of daily essentials and crime is rampant so go socialist,your doing an awesome job yourselves.

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Ronald Guevara

I love the hear US Citizen show there only word they know Communist. They don’t understand one thing they have done in Latin America. US has a big military thats it. If they had no Military they would keep there stupied thought to them selfs. Mike go to IRAQ and see the family that have lost moms and dad and brother and sister for what so you greedy US citizen can have some oil. I would take any type of system but US System. Freedom you US citizen are so stupied you live under a police state. 50 million on food stamps no health care no good jobs and everything is from China in USA. Freedom what a bunch of BULL SH##

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“Costa Rica abolished its own army in 1948, and the U.S. was not involved.” – Perhaps, but never underestimate the covert operations and military influence of the U.S. throughout Latin America!

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The power of a conspiracy theory is very strong. People want to believe that teh USA is plotting against them (for what reason??? none that I can see).
Blaming the USA for all your problems is likely blaming the sun for your sunburn. Some people prefer to blame others rather than accept that they should be responsible.

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No perhaps here… The U.S. was not involved.
The civil war was resolved within Costa Ricans and the U.S. was not a part of that, as it definitely was not part of the process to eliminate the army.
If anything, it would have actually promote its strengthening and would have offer “help” in order to have another military facility in the region.

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Sorry Benjie old son, but your tax dollars have and are being used to keep the people of Latin America poor, uneducated and hungry so that your corporations can milk the lands dry for the benefit of the few. Your tax dollars are covered in the blood of innocents all over South and Latin America.

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Jose Espinoza

US is a joke of a country now. Benjamin is right 17 trillion in debt and growing. US is so in debt. As for no army in CR they might need a defence force in the future after US falls.

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Hey, Jose Espinoza, What bastion of democracy do you come from? People keep risking their lives to come here; talk to them!!! My taxes are being used to help Banana Republics all over the world; LOL!!!!!

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Norm the US goverment does not give any money to Costa Rica in 20 years. Jose comes from Costa Rica a country that gives free health care. How many leaders in Latin America has the US goverment helped over throw. Lots. Norm learn your history a little. Shame on the US goverment. Shame on US America if Costa Rica could be honest they ask all you US citizen to leave including US companies. Latin America hates what the USA has done to them in the past. USA says they are FREE what a bunch of BULL. How many Guns deaths? How many on food stamps? How many police agency do you have? How many Irag citizen did you kill in the last war? How many die because they cannot get health care in the USA? More to come soon i will write about the truth about the USA.

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US goverment say no more. 17 trillion in debt say no more.

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