Regarding Kerela -
Your brush off of literacy rate (100%) was noted, as well as your dismissal of infant mortality. You never even mentioned the life expectancy of 72 years for men, 78 years for women. This is higher than black men and women in the United States. Oh well, life expectancy apparently isn't as important as GDP. Another statistic not mentioned is the reduction of birthrate from 44 per thousand in the 1950's to 18 by 1991. This was accomplished through cooperative voluntary family planning programs rather than the coercive (and less successful) "one-child family" programs in places like China.
Amartya Sen describes two types of development models - "growth mediated" and "support led" processes. The 'growth mediated' we are familiar with in IMF-World Bank structural adjustment (privatization) policies. "…the support-led process does not operate through fast economic growth, but works through a program of skillful social support and health care, education and other relevant social arrangements. This process is well exemplified by the experiences of economies such as Sri Lanka, pre-reform China, Costa-Rica or Kerela, which have had very rapid reductions in mortality rates and enhancement of living conditions, without much economic growth."
It is a matter of process. Kerela is democratic and there have been several changes in political power. The communists have been voted out in the past, and they have been voted back in. Unlike Nicaragua, the U.S. has failed to subvert this process.