We may believe in the state's responsibility to alleviate the crushing poverty that afflicts 40 percent of Latin America's population, but most of us also affirm that there is no better cure for that poverty than a stronger, more globally integrated economy.
Free trade will go a long way toward alleviating poverty in Central America. Yet trade alone is not enough.
The plight of the terrified Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border to escape violence and poverty in their homelands has launched a passionate and often bitter debate in Washington.
In the United States, resources exist to retrain displaced workers and promote the development of technologies that create new job opportunities for American workers.
At one time in the history of the Americas, weapons and armies were associated with liberty and independence, and with new opportunities for our peoples. At one time in the history of the Americas, there were liberating armies.
India, Pakistan, China, Singapore and South Korea are heavily investing in nuclear arms. Since 21st century is the century of Asia, Asian countries should be the first ones to drop this arms race.
The best way to perpetuate poverty is by spending on arms and military, and the best way to fight terrorism is by fighting the basic needs of humanity, because hunger and poverty perpetuate crime.
When Harvard University opened its doors in 1636, there were already well-established universities in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
Many developing countries continue to be burdened by high percentages of their population living in poverty. Yet, instead of addressing this root cause of conflict, many states, ironically, increase their military might in order to control increasingly desperate populations.
We seek in Central America not peace alone, not peace to be followed someday by political progress, but peace and democracy, together, indivisible, an end to the shedding of human blood, which is inseparable from an end to the suppression of human rights.
Latin America has not achieved the development that it deserves... I'm not optimistic for all of Latin America, not only for Central America.
We had the courage to face the superpowers that wanted a military triumph for each side they supported in Central America. We told them, 'No,' and presented a peace plan.
If there is no peace in Central America, it will not be because Costa Rica, and myself as president, have not done what is necessary to obtain peace.
Costa Rica believes in building bridges, in looking for solutions to problems, and not clinging to positions.
The children of the world, what they want and what they need are health clinics and schools, not tanks or armed helicopters or fighter jets.
More combat planes, missiles and soldiers won't provide additional bread for our families, desks for our schools, or medicine for our clinics.
Peace is a never ending process... It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests. It requires us to work and live together.
During the 41 years that have elapsed since Costa Rica abolished its army, our fundamental freedoms have never been threatened, nor do we know a shameful history of repression.
Indeed, it is quite sad to see the United States becoming the main exporter of arms. It is quite sad to look at the U.S. government subsidizing arms exports.
It is in the U.S. interest to have a more prosperous neighbor to the south. Because if we cannot export goods, we will keep exporting people. And that's not what the U.S. wants.