Oscar Arias Peace Prize Essay

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Mr. ________________ World History/Literature Tuesday 8, February 2011 Oscar Arias’ Prize Winning Peace Plan In 1986 Oscar Arias Sanchez became the president of Costa Rica and proved to be one of the most influential leaders for peace. His pursuit of peace in Central America allowed him to ultimately win the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his tremendous efforts to resolve conflicts between the Sandinistas and Contras in Nicaragua. Many Costa Ricans to this day think very highly of Arias because while he was in office he sustained peace in Costa Rica and all throughout Central America. Oscar Arias’ exceptional mediation and negotiation skills were a critical element in the success of the 1987 peace plan for Central America. Although peace was already a prevalent trait in Costa Rica, “it had heavy foreign indebtedness and other economic problems” (Oscar 550). When President Oscar Arias took over, his steady and innovative leadership ensured lasting peace and prosperity. Costa Rica’s success is largely due to the fact that Oscar Arias set down the necessary foundations. If it weren’t for Oscar Arias, Costa Rica would not be called the Switzerland of Central America (Langley 234). Arias perfected Costa Rica’s democratic government, education, transportation, and communication by placing the necessary laws in action. He also made major improvements on infrastructure; for example, he drastically improved Costa Rica’s section of the Pan-American Highway, which greatly increased communication and transportation. Arias’ desire to achieve a lasting peace in Costa Rica and Central America is obvious when one looks at what preceded his Peace Plan. The country of Nicaragua has been in conflict often because of outside influences like the United States and Russian Marxists. The rise of the Sandinistas and the Contras in Nicaragua had possible serious

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