28 March 2011 (Shanee/Matzah)|
Day #377, 5934 AM
La Luca Sin Fin
The Costa Rican Struggle Without End
La lucha sin fin is the Spanish name of a finca or farm in Costa Rica, Central America, belonging to a rather remarkable man called Don Pepe Fugueres, a national hero. In 1948 the then government, backed by local communists, was voted out of power but refused to step down. Don Pepe raised a ragtag army of students and intellectuals and within two months, with the support of Guatemala and (pre-revolutionary) Cuba, crushed the central government which had been aided and armed by the Somoza régime in Nicaragua and by Honduras. With 600 untrained men he defeated an army 10 times the size of his own, losing 60 men to the opposition's 2,000.
"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his Elohim (God) and he shall be My son" (Rev.21:7, NKJV).
But this is not what made Don Pepe a hero, in my view. After founding the Second Republic of Costa Rica, he disbanded the army and implemented far-reaching social welfare programs. And then, after 18 months, to the amazement of everyone, he stepped down as President and handed over the reigns of power to the man who had won the 1948 election that the preveious communist-backed government had refused to recognise, a man from a totally different political party to his own. Later he was elected President in his own right.
I have always been an admirer of Costa Rica which in Spanish means 'Rich Coast', an irony inasmuch as the country did not prove to be the treasure trove the Spanish hoped it would be. But it has its own 'richness' in non-material things. In a region where government tends to be by coup d'état rather than by democratic election, Costa Rica is the exception. Of the 50 or so presidents since its independence in 1821, only 6 were dictators. With a constitution forbidding an army, the country has never suffered a major invasion or occupation by another country. It has the highest literacy rate in Central America, has more teachers than policemen, and is as close to a classless society as you can get, possessing a robust middle class. There are very few desperately poor and very few fabulously rich. Somehow this a country that has got things 'righter' than most others...and without very much in the way of natural wealth and without the burden of financing any military machine.
Costa Rica is, of course, far from being a paradise in the biblical sense but as far as secular régimes go, it is one of the best. Its geography makes it quite isolated and this has tended to cultivate a rugged individualism, teaching its people to be self-reliant. Costa Ricans are friendly, courteous and give refuge to those driven out by totalitarian countries around them. 'Bigger is better' is not liked there, and communitarianism therefore finds a fertile soil..which is perhaps why it has attracted so many Quakers who moved there in large numbers from 1951 onwards to establish a large cheese industry.
In a world where dictatorships are on the rise again, especially in Europe, it is good to know that some countries are still around that may provide safe havens for believers in the future whejn the political climate globally becomes oppressive. Not that things can't change, of course, and we should not assume that safe havens can't, and won't, be taken over by the élite and turned into fascist-governed provinces of the New World Order. La Luca Sin Fin will still be true even in comparative havens for all of Yahweh's people - overcoming the world is no passive affair.
Let us get back into the struggle if we have wandered from it and not rest until we have completely overcome the flesh and are resting 100% in Messiah!