88fErP REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES (3. Torfi 1987120427 Tights 9117Suony GBUSS57930 free exercise of their rights of organization, in their demands for better salaries and in the fight against dismissals, etc. etc. 18. 032 19 All of these activities point to labor increasing voice in Costa Rican politics. In the Congressional eleclotions which took place in February 1942, the votes of the Communist party increased to 16, 198 (Legation despatch No. 135, April 29, 1942. The Communists claimed that they had at least 25, 000 but were defrauded of more than a third.
It is possible that this is true, and as the party has grown since then, it is obvious that its strength is one to be reckoned with seriously. When Manuel Mora gave his last two speeches over the radio, it is quite certain that each pulpería (corner pub, grocery, etc. had its radio tuned in and that the crowds listened. Mora chose to speak on Saturday night at 8:30 with this audience in mind.
He is a very convincing speaker, and the masses believe him to be sincere. His radio addresses, advertised well in advance, may have placed him in a strong position with reference to the voting on the labor code in Congress.
One of the leading members of the Center for Studies of National Problems (Centro de Estudios de Problemas Nacionales, an organization of young men from 18 to 32 years old, engaged in studying and publicizing national problems. has informed the Legation, however, that Mora friendship with the present administration has lost him at least from 5000 to 6000 votes on which he could formerly have counted from persons not affiliated with the syndicates or the Communist party, who believed him sincerely above the usual political conflicts and solely interested in bettering the lower classes.
Though the figure of 6, 000 may be high, there is doubtless much truth in this statement, since the administration has been steadily losing favor with the people (see Legation despatch No. 1171 of December 16, 1942. In contrast, however, it should be remembered that the syndicates are better organized today and they have go ined new adherents, which represents a unified strength perhaps more important than the loose adherence of many persons who formerly voted with him.
Alufoo 818 complete picture of the growing influence of labor cannot be made without mention of the propaganda uses which have been made out of the enthusiastic reception given Vice President Wallace. The Vice President speeches and public statements, both while here and before his arrival, stressing the necessity of bettering the living conditions of the common man, the ideal of Christian democracy, and his insistence that men must be well fed before then can take their rightful place in the world, have all been emphasized in the Costa Rican press.
Mr. Wallace simplicity, his well publicized desire to meet la borers and agricultural workers and to dispense with protocol and formal entertainment, were headlined daily in all the Costa Rican newspapers. No Costa Rican doubts Vice President Wallace knowledge of and vital interest in the problems of agricultural laborers, and in a speech which he made on April 10.
Manuel Mora referred to the conditions of Costa Rican agricultural laborers as being worse than that of animals. President Calderón Guardia mentioned Mr. Wallace by name, among other leaders of world opinion who realized the necessity of improving the conditions of the laboring classes, in his message to the Congress presenting the labor code and calling for its passage.