Is Costa Rica a model for democratic socialism?




Costa Rican Socialism:
  • Universal public healthcare system (“Caja”)
  • The military has been abolished
  • The police are kept to a minimum
    • About 7,500 officers for the entire country
    • For comparison: Chicago has over 11,000, MKE has about 6,800
  • Universal public education, k-college/trade school
    • If you graduate from trade school, the government offers a job guarantee
  • Public housing for the homeless
  • The government encouraged Nicaraguan refugees to come to Costa Rica (although the situation has become more politically volatile since fascists from “Free Costa Rica” started attacking Nicaraguan refugees in August)
    •  About 20,000 Nicaraguans have applied for asylum since summer this year because of Daniel Ortega’s crackdown in Nicaragua.  Over 10,000 have been admitted already
  • Strict environmental protections
    • 80% of CR is designated public land, including all beaches
    • Wildlife is protected from predation, preserving biodiversity (CR has 5% of the WORLD’S species)
    • Drilling for oil (which they have) is completely illegal
  • Massive renewable energy projects in solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric
    • The country will be totally carbon-neutral by 2020
  • Costa Rica has a multi-party system with three major parties claiming socialist orientation: Broad Front (a hard left, democratic socialist party), National Liberation Party (a member of Socialist International, NLP is a more “moderate” democratic socialist party than Broad Front: their umbrella includes democratic socialism, neoliberalism and Third Wayism), and Citizens’ Action Party (a social democratic or so-called “Christian Socialist” party)
  • New President (from Citizens’ Action Party) is fighting for same-sex marriage rights (which the Supreme Court of the country ruled all provinces must recognize)