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Extra info for Oscar Arias Sanchez
For 30 minutes, he explained his views. “You’re totally isolated,” Arias said. “Nobody is backing Washington . . By no one, I mean Contadora, the Latin American Support Group, Western Europe. You’re betting on war. ”79 Reagan retorted that military force was the only way to remove the Sandinistas. Arias said the Contras were too weak. Reagan said that communists never gave up power voluntarily. Arias replied, “We all know history, Mr. ”81 If the United States was not trying to change history, at least Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras agreed to try.
The president and his family had taken a family vacation, to celebrate his wife Margarita’s birthday. There were no telephones or televisions. “No, no, I don’t believe it,” President Arias said. 87 Arias, Margarita, and their children, Oscar Philipe and Eugenie Sylvia, hurried back to the capital to news conferences, microphones, bright lights, and questions. After holding the news conference, Arias met with school children at his office. “Part of our basic curriculum is teaching kids the importance of peace,” said a teacher.
Attending a Thanksgiving Mass the next day, he told the congregation, “If today we are raising a hope, there are also a thousand obstacles before us. ”85 The next step was to wait and see if Nicaragua’s Ortega, El Salvador’s Duarte, Guatemala’s Cerezo, and Honduras’s Azcona could deliver on their promises. Despite Arias’s refusal to be manipulated by United States’ opinion, he firmly supported democracy. The peace plan that he had been formulating since before his election was grounded in it. “We totally identify with Western values, democracy and what the United States represents,” Arias said.