Figueres Ferrer, José

Figueres Ferrer, José

(hōsā` fēgā`rās fār-rār`), 1906–90, president of Costa Rica (1948–49, 1953–58, 1970–74). He rose to prominence as an outspoken critic of President Calderón GuardiaCalderón Guardia, Rafael Ángel
, 1900–1970, president of Costa Rica (1940–44). A practicing physician, he entered politics in 1934, serving successively as vice president and president of congress (1935–39).
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 in 1942 and was exiled to Mexico (1942–44). In 1948 he led a revolution to ensure the presidency of newly elected Otilio Ulate. He served as provisional president (1948–49), abolishing the army and nationalizing financial and communication services before turning the government over to Ulate. He was overwhelmingly elected president in 1953. Despite bitter opposition, he instituted a sweeping program of welfare legislation, public works, and educational reform. As president from 1970 to 1974, he pushed further social and economic reforms. His son, José María Figueres Olsen (ōl`sān), 1954–, was president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.
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