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March 23, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-23

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Page 4 Thursday, March 23, 1989 The Michigan Daily
Perspectives on osta Rica
By the Coalition for and the public debt had reached the equiva- stricter yet. The sales tax was increased, loans and as its principle export market. In American country impoverishing itself to
Democracy in Latin America lent of 234 percent of the nation's yearly the public sector was cut by 5,000 em- order to reduce economic dependence, ex- meet its foreign debt: the fact that recently
Costa Rica has long been considered exports. Monge instituted "shock ther- ployees and large cash-crop farming was ports and export markets need to be diver- there were uprisings in Venezuela, a
immune to the political and social insta- apy," consisting of harsh measures to de- encouraged at the expense of small tradi- sified, so Costa Rica is less vulnerable to country with a 30-year democratic tradi-
bility that plague its neighbors. Decades crease public spending and increase rev- tional farms. Arias' policies, like those of the fluctuations of the international mar- tion, over IMF-imposed austerity pro-
of economic growth, a non-interventionist enue, while opening up the external econ- Monge, met with some resistance. When ket. Import reduction would also benefit grams should clearly point out that no
foreign policy, and the government's omy to international markets. Though grain subsidies were cut, farmers protested the economy while making Costa Rica country in Latin America is immune to
commitment to a comprehensive health, critics claim Monge's policies were too with demonstrations and road blocks. more self-sufficient. Finally, debt repay- international economic forces.
education and welfare system, led it to be drastic, Costa Rica's creditors, including Without subsidization, Costa Rican ments must be proportioned to the eco-
called the "Switzerland of Central Amer- the International Monetary Fund, U.S. corn growers cannot compete with the nomic ability of the country. CDLA will be hosting the visit of
ica." But in 1981, Costa Rica became the Agency for International Development and heavily subsidized corn imported from the
first Latin American country to unilater- the World Bank, felt these programs were United States. Costa Rica is becoming
ally suspend payment of its foreign debt. too lenient. In order to refinance debt re- increasingly dependent upon imported sta-
After years of expansion, Costa Rica's payments, they called for even tighter ples, while its own land is devoted to non-
economic growth slowed in the mid controls on public spending, a reduction of traditional exports such as cut flowers and 'In essence, Costa Rica's military polic now answered to the
1970s. International markets shrank in re- import tax, continued wage suppression, strawberries.
sponse to the recession and the OPEC cri- and an increase in the price of public ser- Costa Rica has stabilized its economy, Reagan administration, while its economic policies were being
sis, and agricultural expansion reached its vices. but at what cost? Wealth has been designed by foreign creditors.'
limits as all available virgin arable land Monge was able to cushion the severity concentrated in the hands of multinationals
was claimed. Assured this was a temporary of these reforms due to a substantial in- and large scale exporters. Small farmers
economic crisis, Costa Rica planned to crease in funding from the U.S. Economic have been squeezed out, and as of 1985,
weather it through increased borrowing. assistance from the U.S. AID more than real wages had not regained their 1979
The public debt tripled between 1974 and tripled from 1982 to 1983. It is generally levels. The price of these reforms is not
1978, and it had tripled again by 1982, acknowledged that this increase was solely economic. Education has become
when President Luis Alberto Monge took "payment" for allowing contra bases to be inaccessible to many; malnutrition has Costa Rica will know social and eco- Leonel Gomez Vides, the former
office. set up along the nation's Nicaraguan bor- increased, due to a decrease of money nomic improvement in the 1990s only if deputy director of the Salvadoran In-
Monge realized that Costa Rica was not der. In essence, Costa Rica's military available for welfare programs, and union the United States and other international stitute for Agrarian Transformation
simply facing an economic setback, but a policy now answered to the Reagan rights have been impinged upon through creditors provide it with attainable, realis- (ISTA), El Salvador's defunct insti-
new economic reality. In 1981, annual in- administration, while its economic wage control and government intervention tic debt repayment plans that allow for tute for land reform, who has been in
flation had topped 100 percent, unem- policies were being designed by foreign in strikes. some economic flexibility. If they do not, exile since late January 1981 after an
ployment stood at 12 percent, the domes- creditors. Costa Rica's economic situation, Costa Rica may be forced to forfeit the attempt on his life on January 12, 1981,
tic budget was running at a deficit equal to The economic reforms of President Os- though stable, is fragile. The country is gains it has made over the last few decades on Thursday, March 23, at 8 p.m. in
20 percent of the gross domestic product, car Arias, Monge's successor, were even overly dependent upon the U.S. both for and become another unstable Latin Rackham Ampitheatre.


Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 118 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All ot' ar
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.


fighting racism

Nice timing, Bill

Frieder's sudden departure for Arizona
'State University could not have come at
a worse time. To leave a team only a
few days before the NCAA tournament
is an action only someone of question-
Sable character, and little concern for the
team, could take.
The players have depended on
Frieder for instruction and guidance
ever since he convinced them to come
to Michigan. But he is leaving the
players to their own devices at a critical
juncture in the season: right when they
are making their run for the national
championship. Frieder's leaving is
clearly something the players do not
The fans, however, do. Since
Michigan's second Big Ten title under
Frieder and their subsequent second-
round loss in the post-season tourna-
ment, fans have booed Frieder at home
games and have called for his ouster.
Well, as fans we got our demand, but
Frieder's timing stinks.
There are probably many reasons
while Frieder left: he stands to receive a
$200,000 raise at ASU, he reportedly
had a poor relationship with Athletic
Director Bo Schembechler, and he
thought he had accomplished all he
could at Michigan. But another reason
could be that we were just too tough on

the guy. We, the fans and the media,
underappreciated Frieder to the point of
running him out of town right before
post-season play.
No one remembered that Frieder was
a winner at Michigan. For the past six
seasons, Frieder has averaged 25 wins
and has guided the team to two Big Ten
championships, an NIT championship,
and five consecutive NCAA tourna-
ment appearances.
Granted, Frieder never coached the
team to the Final Four despite the ex-
cellent talent he recruited. But as fans
we can only expect so much. We do
have every right to expect a winner, but
not every team can be a regular cham-
The whole episode smacks of the
treatment the football fans at Ohio State
gave coach Earle Bruce. Bruce consis-
tently won nine games each season but
could never capture a Rose Bowl win
or a national championship. For this,
the school fired Bruce in 1987 amidst
fan and alumni pressure.
It may be more than instructive to
remember that Ohio State finished with
a losing record last year under a new
Thankfully, we do not treat our
football coach in such a way. Bo wins
many regular season games and Big
Ten championships, but he has a rather
abysmal bowl record and has yet to
win a national championship. That is a
record similar to Frieder's (and to
Bruce's), yet Bo is something of a de-
ity on campus. Maybe, we should have
given Frieder the same consideration
we give Bo.
However, the worst thing to come
out of all of this has been the hoopla
created by the tournament media
around Frieder, who isn't even there,
while the current work by the Michigan
team and Coach Steve Fisher go unrec-
ognized. Of course, we must remember
that the mainstream sports press
wouldn't even have batted an eye had
the coach leaving been one of a
women's athletic team, no matter how
well the season had gone. Maybe, it
would be good if the media forgot
about Frieder for awhile and concen-

By the United Coalition
Against Racism
The silence, which has been often mis-
interpreted as complacency, has once again
been broken. One of the most militant
demonstrations against racism in the last
few years took place only two weeks ago
at a historically Black college, Howard
University. Some might incorrectly as-
sume that this would be one of the most
unlikely places for a protest of this nature
to occur. Those who have never been ex-
posed to the atmosphere at predominately
Black institutions might assume that they
are a cultural haven, free from all the
institutional inequities that we as students
of color face on a predominantly white
campus. Of course there are certain very
concrete advantages, comforts and benefits
to be gained by attending a Black college,
however the students at Howard have put
the country on notice that institutional
racism, what ever its form or face, will
not be tolerated.
On Monday, March 6 over a thousand
Black students occupied the central admin-
istration building at Howard University
demanding accountability from
administrators on several important issues.
One of the students' concerns was the
seating of Republican National Commit-
tee Chair Lee Atwater to the school's
board of trustees. Students cited Atwater's
management of the Bush campaign with
its explicit racial overtones (particularly
the misuse of the Willie Horton/furlough
issue) as well as his positions on civil
rights and apartheid as ample evidence that
his presence on the board would be both
symbolically and politically dangerous.
Atwater expressed his interest (while on
the Howard board) in continuing the Rea-
gan/Bush agenda for higher education -
we read this to mean further cuts in Fed-
eral student aid and continued exclusion of
the majority of African Americans from
universities and colleges. As Michael
Lewis, a student spokesperson said in a
statement, Atwater is "regarded by students
to be opposed to the Black agenda."

The outrage over Atwater was not the
only concern of student activists as the
media would lead us to believe. The
United Coalition of Student Leaders pre-
sented a list of at least twelve demands to
the Howard administration, including de-
mands for improvements in financial aid,
cancelling of proposed tuition increases,
student input in university decision mak-
ing and expansion of eurocentric curricu-
lum. These demands bare a striking re-
semblance to those presented by numerous
student groups on campuses across the
country, including our own. Financial
aid and access are pressing concerns for the
majority of students of color. Narrow
curriculums dominated by euro/anglo-cen-
tric paradigms must be challenged to in-
clude the contributions of people of color
and reflect the changing demographics of
the U.S. and the world.
Black students at Howard continued to
occupy the main administration building
and eventually two other buildings for four
days despite several factors which could
have ended the sit-in: 1)there was a court
order requiring them to leave Monday

night, 2) Atwater resigned on Tuesday, and
3)100 police in riot gear with tear gas and
battering rams descended upon the building
Tuesday to remove them. Support for the
demonstration poured in locally, with D.C
residents collecting food and blankets for
the protestors, and nationally, with stu-
dents from other Historically Black col-
leges (Tuskegee Institute and Morgan
State) driving to D.C. to show solidarity.
Students who were on the outside of the
building disrupted classes to encourage
others boycott and join the demonstration
with slogans like "Atwater is Finished,
but the Struggle is Not. Continue to
Fight for Our Rights."
The Black student struggle at Howard
represents a continuation of students of
color taking the lead in the fight against
institutional racism. These actions chal-
lenged the media's images of Black stu-
dents as victims of racist attacks and in-
stead showed us as the true fighters we are
-- in the tradition of our foreparents'
struggles. As one student leader said, "We
want this to send a message to Black col-
leges across the country. This is just a

Brown bag discussion
CENTER HowardUniversi Protest
The Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for Anti-Racist Education, a student organized
and run alternative resource center is sponsoring a series of brown-bag discussions. This
week's topic is "Fighting Instutionalized Racism on College Campuses." Bring lunch,
drink coffee (free), and participate in the stimulating, informal discussion. Friday at 12
noon in the Baker-Mandela Center, first floor of East Engineering, room 3.


L".}tt.ers.?:: .......th.e,...ed:?:}. }}....

To the Daily:
On March 24, 1989 the anti-
choice group Operation Rescue
(also known as Rescue Life)
will hold a "national day of

to Defend Abortion Rights
(AACDAR) will conduct a
clinic defense and counter-
demonstration. This is a call
for all women and men con-
cerned about women's rights to
join us in defending individual
women and demonstrating for
women's reproductive rights in
general. Join AACDAR in
saying "we will not go back."
A woman's right to choose is a
fundamental right that must
not be denied.

meet at 5:30 a.m. at the
"Cube" in Regent's Plaza. We
will car pool to the clinic.

- Linda McFarlane
March 20


Daily Opinion Page letter policy

Due to the volume of mail, the Daily cannot print all the
letters and columns it receives, although an effort is made to
print the majority of the material on a wide range of views.
The Daily cuts letters and columns for space in both the edi-
torial process and in production.


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