Accepting the inevitable, the U.S. last week recognized the military governments of Venezuela and El Salvador. Before doing so, the State Department had gone about as far as it could to discourage power-hungry army men elsewhere in Latin America. At the order of President Truman (TIME, Jan. 10), it had put off the Venezuelan recognition for two months. But when it asked other Latin American governments for advice, their almost unanimous answer was, in effect: "Face the unpleasant facts."

Recognition had a few strings attached. The State Department carefully noted that it was making no "judgment whatsoever as to the...

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